who's in the kitchen

Judy and Jerry join the circus

Back from a cruise, into the kitchen


A few weeks ago, my husband Jerry and I left for a cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. One day, as we perused the calendar of activities, Jerry noticed something called “circus school,” and we agreed to give it a try. We got on a line with a bunch of young adults, mostly in their 30s, and the ship’s sports crew assembled a full-size trapeze arena.

I thought I was there to witness Jerry play “the daring old man on the flying trapeze,” but perhaps I had sunstroke. I shocked even myself by announcing that I was going to try it. We looked around and discovered that the younger adults were there to accompany preteens and teens to the arena, not to trapeze themselves. What were we thinking? We were the only ones over 15 on the line. We looked at each other, but refused to embarrass ourselves by quitting.

The trapeze instructor went first, swinging back and forth a few times, lifting his feet above the bar and hanging upside down, anchored only by his feet. He then put his hands back on the bar, did a backwards somersault flip and landed on the cushioned platform.

I laughed and said, “Could you imagine if they expected us to do that?”

I soon learned that we were expected to do just that. One by one. each kid climbed a tall ladder that seemed to go on forever. Once on top, many decided to climb back down. But if they decided to continue, they were hooked onto a safety belt and told to reach out, grab the bar and swing out.

It soon became evident that no one was going to be able to replicate the professional’s routine. Many couldn’t hold their grip and fell to the safety foam below. Some lasted a bit longer, but no one could perform like he had. Good, I thought. Less pressure on me.

Suddenly it was my turn. I climbed the endless ladder to the top.  I held my breath, reached out and grabbed onto the bar. And just like that, I soared across the vast expanse.

Swinging back and forth to build up momentum was a bit terrifying, but to my surprise, I wasn’t that bad. My only issue was my herniated disc — it was hard for me to reach my feet up over the bar and hang upside down. But I was able to swing back and forth and do a backflip. Not bad!

All in all, we had a great trip. Until, that is, Jerry left his carry-on, with all my favorite things in it, outside the port. How, you may ask, did this happen?

As we left the port, dragging our suitcases and extra bags, it began to pour. Since we had to wait about six minutes for our Uber, we found a spot protected from the rain, not far from the curb. I was about 15 feet behind Jerry. Just as the Uber arrived, his daughter from Israel called to wish him a good Shabbos.

I stepped out into the rain, dragging my luggage, and shouted at him to hang up. He kept on talking as. Eventually he started walking towards the Uber, still talking on the phone. I handed my luggage to the driver and ducked into the car to get out of the rain. Jerry handed the driver his phone and said “Here, talk to my daughter while I put my luggage in the car.” Jerry is Jerry, and I normally give him a little more leeway, but for the life of me I couldn’t understand why he was handing his phone to a man who clearly didn’t speak a word of English.

Once home, I wanted to unpack and do laundry. It was then that I realized Jerry’s carry-on was missing. He had left it at the curb and only loaded the big suitcase into the trunk.

“Great,” I said. “Because you couldn’t hang up for five minutes, you’re missing all of your important stuff!”

Serves him right, I thought — and then it hit me. I had put a bag in his carry-on with all my really good costume jewelry, my favorite pair of shoes and a few other things that hadn’t fit in my bag. Now I didn’t want to teach him a lesson — I wanted to find that carry-on. I called the port in Bayonne, reached the person in charge of missing items, and gave her a description of the carry-on and a few items that would be inside.

A few hours later, I was told that the luggage was not found yet, but that I had to give a detailed description of a few items in the suitcase so that they could identify it without a luggage tag. I described the costume jewelry, shoes, a small CVS prescription bottle with Jerry’s number and address on it. I told them about Jerry’s books, his new sunglasses and a Giants shirt.

Jerry, overhearing this, told me to let them know about the book Tevya the Dairyman, by Sholem Aleichem. Before he could continue I turned around in annoyance and said, “If they find a black carry-on that has all my costume jewelry and my favorite shoes along with a Giants shirt and CVS meds with your name on them, and they can’t figure out that it’s your carry-on, I’m guessing they’re not going to figure it out with the rest of the items in there either.” (When reading, raise your voice to an intensifying crescendo of anger for the full effect.)

Ten days later, there has been no sighting of the bag. The inquiry is about to be closed. I would just love to be a fly on the wall in the pawnshop when the finder tries to sell a few pieces of diamond jewelry only to realize that it’s all costume!

Might this article reflect Paradise Lost or Paradise Gained by John Milton?

Once home we decided to eat healthy to make up for all the ice cream we had on the ship. This is a great recipe made with Cooper’s Crumbs — amazingly delicious gluten free crumbs. 

Low Carb Delicious Breaded Cauliflower

1 egg, beaten

Salt and pepper to taste

1-1/2 cups of Cooper’s Crumbs, Original Four Spice Salute 

2 heads of cauliflower, broken into florets

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk eggs, salt, and pepper together in a bowl. Place Cooper’s Crumbs in another bowl. Dip each cauliflower floret in egg mixture to coat, then dip each floret into Cooper’s Crumbs to coat. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake in oven until tender and lightly browned, turning once, about 40 minutes.

Cooper’s Crumbs are gluten-free and delicious. They can be found at I & D Glatt in West Hempstead, Cedar Market in Teaneck, The Cheese Store in Cedarhurst, Aron’s Kissena Farms in Queens, and Columbus Natural Foods in New York City.