Post 56: How to give bad news: Some lessons from the Municipal Bureaucracy. How to Replace Sherry in Recipes from Livestrong .Chestnut Risotto with Butternut Squash

I have accepted the fact that my Mural ,

“We Remember Khaybar”

was thrown in the garbage. I discussed the Mural in Post 53: Here is the last photo that I took of it last week.

IMG_20150118_135623 copyIt disappeared probably on Thursday a week ago in the middle of the night. The international sector of Mayor Birkat’s office can’t realistically plead ignorance of the mural because staff members took photos with it, including Mayor Birkat and his top advisor. That is, they took photos with ” Jerusalem is Charlie”. Admittedly, my mural was not done when the Rosh Ha IrIya signed.

“We Remember Khaybar” was named and recalls the Muslim siege of Khaybar, Saudi Arabia. Muhammed’s army conquered the Jewish city, desimating the Jewish population and banished the remaining Jews. The mual is named for them and is dedicated to the slaughtered ones in Paris. 

My friends consoled me. They were concerned. Many saw me at work painting and many bystanders signed the piece.

I’m curious to hear from my readers. Do you think that the Jerusalem Municipality will respond to my questions? Will they admit that it is gone? Will they handle the news via a letter, telephone call, e-mail, text?

This is very interesting. In my day , bad news was conveyed B’al Peh, face to face, and only if that was not possible by telegram or via a phone call. Never by message machine.

You’ll find out in my next post the method used. Or perhaps my questions  will be ignored. My advice to bureaucrats.

 1. Avoid excuses: Yes, it happened. No, it wasn’t a good thing. No, you’re not trying to dodge responsibility. Your objective is to state the news and nothing but the news. You’re simply going to put it in such a way that you will be seen as a person of integrity. When done properly you’ll get a round of applause from me.

2. Avoid finger-pointing: Instead of a blame fixer, be a problem fixer. Don’t try to assign the bad news to someone – not even to yourself. Quibbling over who did what to whom isn’t going to solve anything. We were having a good day, something bad happened, here’s what we’re doing about it

  1. Chestnut Risotto with Butternut Squash

Bon Appétit  | December 2004

Chestnut Risotto with Butternut Squash recipe

photo by Brian Leatart

Makes 6 first-course servings

A touch of cream Sherry amplifies the sweetness of the nuts and the squash.

How to Replace Sherry in Recipes from Livestrong

Last Updated: Feb 21, 2014 | By Susan Brassard

How to Replace Sherry in Recipes
A dry white wine is an acceptable substitute for sherry.Photo Credit Seiya Kawamoto/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Sherry is a brandy-fortified wine used in cooking to add acidity and depth of flavor. While an appropriate replacement for sherry in cooking depends upon the specific recipe, chicken broth or plain water are often acceptable substitutes. White wine, red wine, wine vinegar or champagne may also be suitable alternatives if the flavor or sweetness corresponds with the flavors of your dish. If you do not wish to add alcohol to your dish, fruit juices are a viable substitute, although the depth of flavor will not be the same.
Step 1

Combine 1/2 cup of cider vinegar and 1/2 cup of water with 2 tbsp. table sugar/agava and 1 tsp. of lemon juice as a substitute for 1 cup of sherry wine.

Step 2

Add 2 tsp. of vanilla extract to replace sherry in your recipe. If you prefer alcohol-free vanilla, you can purchase pure, non-alcoholic vanilla extract from a health food store or specialty market.

Step 3

Use an equivalent amount of hard apple cider or French vermouth to replace sherry in stews, sauces or soups that require some cooking time.

Ingredients for Chestnut Risotto:

  • 6 cups low-salt chicken/ vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup cream Sherry or omit
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter/olive oil, divided
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups (10 ounces) arborio rice/brown rice
  • 2 cups peeled roasted chestnuts, or jarred chestnuts, chopped

    Directions to roast chestnuts:

      1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
      2. Cut a 1/2 inch crisscross on the flat side of each nut. Be sure to cut through the shell to prevent the nut from exploding.
      3. Place the nuts in a shallow baking pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
      4. Or if you have a roaster, which is a combination of a tray and a screen, lay out the chestnuts and roast on top of the stove for a bout 15 minutes to each side. I use this method.
      5. Store fresh nuts and roasted ones in the fridge.
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh marjoram
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

preparation/ omit cheese for macrobiotic diet

Bring chicken broth and Sherry to boil in medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and keep warm.

Prepare chestnuts or use ones from a package.

Meanwhile, heat oil and 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and squash; cook until onion is translucent, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add rice; stir until rice is translucent at edges but still opaque in center, about 3 minutes. Add 1 cup warm broth; simmer until almost absorbed, stirring often, about 4 minutes. Add more broth, 1 cup at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding next until rice is just tender, stirring frequently, about 25 minutes total. Stir in chestnuts, thyme, and marjoram. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter, cheese, and parsley. Season risotto with salt and pepper and serve.



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