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Working my way through some Indian recipes from a not very good book - an experiment in seeing what works and what doesn't. The night before last I turned my kitchen into a post-hurricane site with a

Ta. I must give this a try.

Thank you thank you. But doesn't everyone look better wearing a bath mat?

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Gazpacho with poached shrimp and basil. I did not strain it, because I've come to the conclusion that straining it is stupid.

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Also shiitacoli risotto. Using up some stuff, in a positive way.

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I am so impressed by your every night meals--also by the fact you set the table. 😋That rarely happens in this household 😲😬. Although you do use the same 'napkins' 😋

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6 hours ago, Sneakeater said:

You need to set the table.

It’s a very important step toward convincing yourself you’re actually human. 

But sometimes the table is already set...with Significant Eater's office.

Last night, ate dinner at the couch, watching The Big Sleep. 

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8 hours ago, Evelyn said:

I am so impressed by your every night meals--also by the fact you set the table. 😋That rarely happens in this household 😲😬. Although you do use the same 'napkins' 😋

The whole story: I'm only out of the house for work for about 20 hours a week, including commuting, so I have a fair amount of time to get dinner together. That's a coffee table - I eat on the couch in front of the tv. We don't own a dining table, or cloth napkins. And unless I get it together to go shopping today, tonight's napkin is going to be a paper towel.

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In our house, our kitchen’s large center island has an area at one corner which fits two (high) chairs. That’s where Michael and I have our indoor meals. I always use placemats and “set the table” using paper napkins, a folded sheet of Bounty. (I used to use cloth but abandoned that.)  We do have a kitchen table with four chairs (we can add two more) and use it for the two of us for holiday dinners. For those occasions, I use a tablecloth and cloth napkins. I don’t remember the last time we used our dining room. During warm weather months, we take as much advantage as we can to eat on our patio. There, I set the table with placemats and paper napkins.
 

As for our apartment, we have a dining table at the end of the living room close to the kitchen. In the Before Time, we only ate breakfast in, though occasionally we got delivery in the evening from Sarge’s. No placemats, just paper napkins. I used to do holiday dinners there but stopped doing them many years ago. However, this year, for the first night of Rosh Hashanah, I prepared a meal there for us, our daughter, and son-in-law.  Tablecloth, cloth napkins, holiday candles, etc. (For the second night, Michael and I went to Mark’s Off Madison and had his Rosh Hashanah menu.)

 

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The two of us eat at our ancient marble topped kitchen table, no mats, premium paper napkins.   The napkins get second service at breakfast if they haven't been savaged at dinner, tossed if gross.  After second use, I save them for kitchen spills and other grotty work.   We seldom use paper towels anymore.   Dining room is used whenever family comes over since there are only two chairs and a stool for seating in the kitchen.  

I always set the breakfast table before closing the kitchen at night.    Grand-daughter asked my why I always set up breakfast the night before.   "Because I don't like bumbling around in the morning!"

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This past year we finally resumed using our china for Friday night Shabbat dinners as we decided the boy was big enough that we weren't risking something breaking - year's ago we made an active decision to use it every week instead of saving it for "special occasions." And this way the table looks a little nicer than the rest of the week when we eat on our regular meat dishes. For shabbat and holidays we use the "fancy" Vanity Fair-style paper napkins (I say style because it's some other brand). It's crappy paper napkins the rest of the week (or one's clothes in the boy's case, no matter how hard we try to break him of the habit).

I toyed with pulling out the silver for Rosh Hashana but there are too many things piled on top of the silver chest to pull it out.

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In the pre-renovation times, we would always sit at a dedicated dining room table, whether it was the round one I had in NYC and shlepped to San Jose or the one we got here at the Housing Works shop with 6 chairs (that we had reupholstered) and a leaf for expansion.  Placemats always; cloth napkin for N and Vanity Fair paper napkins (bought in bulk at Costco) for me.  Fancy cloth napkins when we have guests.  The DR table is actually a little too large for the old space, especially with the chairs with the curved backs, but I'm glad we have it now because it's our de facto countertop during the renovation.  We're taking all of our meals in front of the couch.  I use a folding table we bought during the last renovation, and N just holds her plate/bowl.  The serving tray our friends got us a while ago has been pressed into service as N's work table.

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Oh, to have our dining room table back. And with at-home work now officially extended through mid-January, who the hell knows when that will happen. A real dining room table was the first new item of furniture purchased when we moved downtown in '03; prior to that, in our 4th-floor walkup railroad flat, we ate off a coffee table. Never underestimate how wonderful a real dining room table and chairs may make one feel.

Always a placemat except when more fancy or company is over (yeah, that happens a lot lately) and the tablecloths and cloth napkins come out. Cloth napkins also get used when just feeling fun.  A supply of Vanity Fair napkins, bought in bulk (in three different sizes, including cocktail napkin size!) is on hand and generally used. (Yay!) When really lazy, Scott tri-folds (also bought by the case) get used. The name-brand paper towels stay in the kitchen, for wrapping herbs, lettuce, etc.

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Tomato (heirloom and Jersey beefsteak) and sweet onion salad. A few drops of balsamic and good olive oil.

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Baby lamb chops "scottadito."  Saffron rice pilaf. Haricots verts (nah, just plain green beans), blanched and sautéed in butter and olive oil, a touch of garlic and chili pepper flakes.

I'd bought a small New Zealand rack of lamb, cut it into individual chops, and marinated in olive oil, lemon, garlic, dried Italian herbs, salt and pepper. (As can be seen, my "butchering" skills are not exactly great). Cooked in a screaming hot cast iron pan -  these were really delicious.

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