Post 223: Feeling down after the holidays and completed a second root canal treatment Hurray- Smoky Eggplant Soup, Moosewood soup recipe Moroccan Stew

I’ve been wearing hearing aids for 13 years. Before that it was a race between me and the sounds, especially the high ones. I couldn’t catch the words and they’d begin to vanish and I’d chase after them. My post is about crossing hurdles.

The holiday was wonderful. Sorry that it is over. The start-up wasn’t smooth.

The hard part was getting our sukkah up.  Yes, Erev Yom Kippur the work  was to begin. That’s the usual practice. Several hurdles were in the way to assembling the parts.

1.The building’s storage room was locked. They key that we had to it didn’t work. The next day we procured the key. We could see now where our cross poles were stored, but we could not reach them. Why?

2.The storage room that held the poles has been reconfigured. The building’s oil tank was on the other side of a sheet rock barrier. The polls were way to long to get around two narrow openings. How to do it?

3.Our grandson Nachman arrived. He’s a wiz and he got the poles out of the storage room. He did the impossible!

4.Our sukkah’s curtains are not in our machsan, nor is the extension cord. Nachman assembles the walls, straps, and schach to the sukkah. I start to decorate the sukkah skeleton. It’s an open air legal sukkah.Nachman wants privacy. He runs off and returns with curtains and an extension cord. He straps the curtains to the rod with the aid of my second grandson Binyamin.

5. The overall impression of the sukkah is gruesome. Standing in it feels like a covering for a trapped cat and it smells bad too. No-one wants to go into it. I pummel the curtains and they are still stained,

6. That was Friday before Sukot. What is one to do without a sukah to say the bracha “Leshev B’Sukkah”?

7. Then began our peripatetic Sukot journey. That FridayI scurried around to neighbor’s . ” Yes” “surely come was the reply. Sunday Night, the first night, we were invited to my daughter’s sukkah.

8. I began to search out neighbor’s for places to say the bracha. They all offered their hospitality. Sometimes we brought our own food. We were invited to small gatherings and I am really solid talking 1 to 1.

It was a wonderful, memorable holiday, as we made many new friends.

A new Hurdle. Today, October 7th is the second day of root canal treatment to be performed by a light-handed Australian endodontist, Dr. Sommer. The first visit went well, and the expectation was that this might not be too bad. I’d heard the instructions and anyway the key is to breathe easy. Sitting in the patient’s seat, listening to Bill Evans on the keyboard, feeling that numbness take over my chin, I relax. I remove my hearing aides. Why keep them in when they’ll only magnify the scraping? Dr. Sommer asks, “You can take a sip”. OH NO, He’s asking do I want to sleep?  I reply thinking, I just got these needles, why put me to sleep? ” But I wasn’t asleep last time? Polite gentleman that he is, he repeats, ” But we ask the patients to sip after the needles.”  Then, I got it. A mis communication.


 Do NOT Eat or Drink after root canal treatment:

  • Crunchy foods such as carrots, corn on the cob or apples, as they could damage the tooth or cause undue pain.

  • Chewy foods such as gum, most breads or candy, like taffy, as it could pull out the temporary filling.

  • Hard foods such as ice or nuts as they could damage the tooth or cause unnecessary pain.

  • Avoid alcohol as it could increase bleeding.

  • Avoid food that is excessively hot as it could increase sensitivity.

  • Also avoid spicy food could cause unnecessary discomfort or sensitivity.

DO Eat and Drink:

  • Fruit smoothies

  • Yogurt

  • Ice Cream (without nuts or anything crunchy or chewy)

  • Bananas

  • Mangos

  • Pears

  • Milkshakes

  • Peaches

  • Soup (as long as it does not have anything crunchy or chewy in it)

  • Mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower

  • Oatmeal

  • Cream of wheat

  • Eggs

  • Applesauce

  • Rice pudding

  • Tuna salad

  • Sushi

  • Tofu

  • Thin pastas cut up well (such as angel hair)

  • Pancakes

  • Pudding

  • Hummus

  • Macaroni and cheese

  • Most Indian, Thai and Chinese food providing provided the noodles are thin, the meal is very mildly spiced and there are not any peanut, carrots or other crunchy/hard ingredients

Smoky Eggplant Soup-Got a bunch of eggplants

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times


  • 2 pounds small firm eggplants
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups sliced white or yellow onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 6 cups chicken broth or mild vegetable broth
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon za’atar, available in Middle Eastern groceries
  • 2 teaspoons chopped parsley


  1. Poke 2 or 3 holes in eggplants with a paring knife, then place on a baking sheet under hot broiler, about 2 inches from flame. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, allowing skins to blacken and char. Turn and cook on other side until eggplants have softened completely, about 4 minutes more. Set aside to cool, then remove and discard skins and roughly chop eggplant flesh.
  2. Meanwhile, put 3 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy-bottomed stainless or enameled soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, season generously with salt and pepper, and cook until softened and beginning to color, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, cayenne and reserved eggplant and cook 1 minute more, then add broth and bring to a brisk simmer. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Check seasoning of broth and adjust salt.
  3. Purée soup in batches in blender. Strain through fine-meshed sieve and discard solid debris and seeds. Add 3 tablespoons lemon juice to puréed soup and taste again, adding more as necessary. Soup should be well seasoned and rather lemony.
  4. Mix lemon zest with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil for garnish. Ladle soup into small bowls, topping each bowl with 1 teaspoon lemon oil, 1/2 teaspoon za’atar and some chopped parsley. May be served hot or cold.

    Moroccan Stew

     Author: Moosewood Collective

     Serves: 4 to 6


    • ⅓ cup olive oil
    • 3 cups coarsely chopped onions
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric
    • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
    • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
    • ½ teaspoon paprika
    • 1 cup sliced carrots
    • 4 cups cubed sweet potatoes or butternut squash
    • 3 cups cubed eggplant
    • 1 green pepper, sliced in strips
    • 4 cups sliced zucchini or summer squash
    • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
    • 1½ cups cooked garbanzo beans, liquid reserved
    • pinch of saffron
    • ¾ cup dried currants or ½ cup raisins
    • Optional: 2 hard cooked eggs, chopped
    • Optional: ½ cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds
    • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
    1. In a stew pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions for 2 or 3 minutes.

    2. Add the garlic and spices, stirring continuously.

    3. Add the vegetables in the order given above, so that the starchier vegetables will cook the longest.

    4. Sauté after the addition of each vegetable until its color deepens.

    5. Stir in the garbanzo beans, the saffron, and the currants or raisins.

    6. There should be some liquid at the bottom of the pot from the cooking vegetables. However, if the stew is dry, add ½ cup of tomato juice, liquid from the garbanzo beans, or water.

    7. Cover the stew and simmer on low heat until all the vegetables are tender.

    8. Add the chopped parsley just before serving.


2 thoughts on “Post 223: Feeling down after the holidays and completed a second root canal treatment Hurray- Smoky Eggplant Soup, Moosewood soup recipe Moroccan Stew

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