Author Archives: Mah Jongg and Me

About Mah Jongg and Me

Mah Jongg is not just a game. It has become a part of my life that allows me to entertain my Mah Jongg-playing friends, cook great meals to serve to them and test my mental skills during our game play (which, hopefully, is often).


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I have dreamed of declaring Mah Jongg just after the Charleston is completed and before the game actually begins. In her most recent newsletter, Gladys Grad, the amazing Grand Master of American-Style Mah Jongg, answers a question about just such a heavenly happening! Have you ever had this happen to you? Let me know about your own “Heavenly Happenings!”

Q. I am curious as to how you would rule in the following scenario: The Charleston was completed through last right pass and East declared MahJongg. You have mentioned many times that the game does not begin until East throws the first tile. Of course, East is the only player who could have Maj at that point. This happened at the table where I was playing in another tournament a few years ago. That director declared it a valid Maj. I’m sure you would not criticize another director’s ruling, but I’m wondering how you would rule. It will probably not ever happen again in my lifetime! Pat

 A. It is a good mahj. It’s a “hole-in-one,” a “Celestial Mah Jongg “, a “Heavenly  Mah Jongg,” and you name it .  It’s even a good mahj for East if it happens during the Charleston. NMJL condones it, and so do we.  


Screen Shot 2015-11-26 at 11.34.10 AMWe’re enjoying your humorous anecdotes so keep sending them!…we’d like to hear more Mah Jongg stories you have to tell that will keep us laughing – from your games, lessons, shopping expeditions, anything! Send them to me and if you have any photos be sure to include them as well. Soon we’ll be sharing these stories with everyone!


Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 10.58.15 AMIt’s hard to believe that it is already Thanksgiving and there are only five weeks left in 2015. With all the unspeakable horrors going on in our world, I thought I would take a moment to write about being thankful for the many wonderful things in my life, especially all of my dear Mah Jongg friends – how very fortunate I am! I hope wherever you may be for this holiday that you will take a moment to give thanks for all that we have…and perhaps sneak in a game or two of Mah Jongg. Happy Thanksgiving!Screen Shot 2015-11-22 at 2.43.15 PM


I am working on an idea with my friend Ray and I need your help…I’d like to hear about any humorous Mah Jongg stories you have to tell – from your games, lessons, shopping expeditions, anything! Send them to me and if you have any photos then make sure you include them as well. We can’t wait to read your submissions!


I think you will enjoy this article from Heritage – Florida Jewish News…much thanks to my wonderful friend Gwen for sending this to me!

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IMG_1178As promised, here is the recipe for yesterday’s Mah Jongg Wednesday lunch of Mexican Chicken Soup. This recipe is so easy and SO delicious…you will be so happy if you make it, as will everyone who gets to enjoy it with you!


4 split (2 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on

Good olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)

1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)

2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)

4 large cloves garlic, chopped

2½ quarts chicken stock, preferably homemade

1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in puree, crushed

2 to 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander seed

¼ to ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

6 (6-inch) fresh white corn tortillas

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a sheet pan. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until done. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones, and shred the meat. Cover and set aside.IMG_1162IMG_1166Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.IMG_1163Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their puree, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, 1 tablespoon salt (depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock), 1 teaspoon pepper, and the cilantro, if using. Cut the tortillas in half, then cut them crosswise into ½-inch strips and add to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes.IMG_1164IMG_1165IMG_1168IMG_1170Add the shredded chicken and season to taste. Serve the soup hot topped with sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and broken tortilla chips. Add a wedge of lime floated on top.IMG_1171IMG_1178