Sunday, April 19, 2015

Remembering to Count the Omer

According to Jewish Law, it's an mitzvah to Count the Omer, the 49 days from Passover until Shavuot. This is easier said than done for many. For the first decades, yes, decades, after I became religious I never ever succeeded. And then with the help of a cell phone reminder I began to count, but every week I had a problem.

The hardest counting time/day for me is Friday night, Shabbat, when my phone isn't around to remind me. So this year I've hung a sign just across from where I like to sit and read on Friday night when I finish making the salad and setting the table, when my husband is in shul. That is my quiet time alone to transition from the busy week to Shabbat mode.

The sign has helped me so far.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

And What Did I Do Instead of Blogging?

It was more than just the lack of blogging, when I didn't have internet in the house for my computer. Though I could receive and send emails on my phone and check facebook, the tiny phone screen and faux keyboard made typing a nightmare, especially for me who does "touch-typing."

Suddenly I wasn't spending time in the den. There's nothing to do in the den without internet. So I read some fun books and watched more television. What books? I read books from the Rizzoli & Isles series by Tess Gerritsen. I definitely recommend them.

Not blogging and not having internet wasn't as bad as I had thought it would be.

The world survived without reading my opinions on everything. And there are things I could have done on the computer that don't need internet, but I just did not feel like doing any of it. I guess I needed a break.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Catching UP, Most Recent 52 Frames and Havel Havelim

Since I've missed my blogging for at least a week, there are some standard weekly posts I usually offer. One is news about Havel Havelim and the other is my 52 Frames photo of the week.

The recent Havel Havelim, post-Passover was hosted by Tzivia, and as usual she did a great job. Haveil Havalim, Parshat Shemini, the Fed-Up-To-Here with Matzah Edition. Next week it will be hosted by newbie, Varda. You can send her your links before Shabbat, please. To get more involved with Havel Havelim, the longest running weekly Jewish blog carnival please join our facebook page.

I also plan on posting a Kosher Cooking Carnival around Rosh Chodesh Iyyar, which is this coming Sunday and Monday, so please send me links about kosher food, cooking etc from the past month, For more information about the Kosher Cooking Carnival, the longest running blog carnival about kosher food, check out our facebook page.

This past week's 52 Frames theme was "Nature," and here's my photo.

It's not what I had planned because of the lack of internet. I shot and sent it with my phone.

Just trying to catch up. Stay healthy everyone and refuah shleimah to those in need.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Yes, B"H, I am Back!!!

I did not plan this past week's hiatus from blogging, not at all. And I'm very proud that I didn't have a "breakdown" over it, since I've been so OCD about daily blogging on both blogs, here and Shiloh Musings.

There's a very mundane reason for it. About a week ago when I turned on my computer there was no internet. On that fully little tower with the flashing light, with G-d's help green not red, the INT was dark, yes, just dark, neither green nor red. So when I checked the wall and plugs, I found that there was a broken box with tiny wires sticking out. And there were books on the floor, meaning that some of my husband's books had taken a nosedive and crashed into the box. There was no way for us to fix it. We called Bezeq, and the service guy said that all we had to do was to buy a new microfilter. My husband got one, but we couldn't plug it in.

Again we called Bezeq, especially when I checked the phone in the den, which was dead. It was during Passover, so the local Bezeq repair guy was on vacation. And even though I do know him and his wife, I wouldn't dare call and disturb them. This wasn't a health issue. It was only internet. We still had our phones, and my husband works part-time in an office with internet.

For me this was a "test," obviously. I was curious to see if anyone would miss me. Obviously the answer is in the negative.

Today, finally, the repairman came and replaced the plug and explained a few things about it to me. He also commented that this computer is very ancient, implying that it needs to be replaced, but I told him that as long as it works it stays.

Yes, the lights are all on, and I'm back in business, blogging business as you can see, B"H.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Passover, Pesach at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh

Yesterday I walked down to (and then up from) Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh. There were plenty of visitors from all over the country, even though fewer than earlier in the week, because probably of a terror attack not far away.

Here are some photos. If you're a facebook friend, you can find more in my fb album.

Shiloh Hakeduma is open all year long, except for Shabbat and Jewish Holiday. Email or call 02-9948011.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Low Carbohydrate "Savta Brei," Great Reviews

For the first time possibly ever, my cousin and her husband came over for lunch without the kids. We are all empty-nesters with adult and married kids. In recent years we've taken one-day trips by ourselves during Passover and Succot, but they had never just come for lunch.

I decided to do a new version of the old menu I'd serve way back when, when they'd show up with all of their kids on Passover. That's based on my legendary "Savat Brei," a dish only my mother-in-law ever made. I've never seen such a recipe any place but in her culinary repertoire. Simply described, it's Chanukah potato latkes spread on both sides of a matza and fried. I call it "Savta Brei," because she called it "Matzah Brei," and Savta is the Hebrew for Grandmother, and my kids called her "Savta."

Decades ago, when I'd host my cousin's clan and we were all much younger and slimmer, I'd make the "latkes mush" out of grated or blenderized potatoes, onions, eggs, matzah meal, salt and pepper. But now that my cousin and I are the "savtot," plural for savta, I decided that we'd be better off with a new streamlined low carbohydrate version.

Squash, carrot, celeriac and onion

I substituted low carbohydrate vegetables, squash, carrot, celeriac and onion for the potatoes. Instead of hand-grating, I used the blender and a few eggs.

Then I mixed, adding, salt, pepper and matzah meal until it wasn't too runny. I heated up olive oil (the only oil I buy for Passover--but any vegetable oil can be used) in the big frying pan, coated both sides of the pieces of matzah with the mush and fried, turning over when cooked.

I served it with yogurt, but you can also use sour cream, apple sauce or even jam or honey if calories and sugar aren't your problem.

Of course, we can't ignore the fact that this does include matzah and matzah meal, but it did make a fun and filling meal and less/fewer glycemic carbohydrates than the traditional potato version. And of course we served it with a fresh salad.  My guests loved it! The "mush" can also be baked into a kugel. I then add a bit of oil on top before baking. And the "mush" can also be fried or baked into "latkes."

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Google Maps Goofed!

Yesterday I figured I could walk from the center of Jerusalem to the Caffit restaurant in the Botanical Gardens. I checked on Google Maps and followed. At first everything seemed fine. I was going in the right direction, but halfway there the "guide" said one way and my husband another. I became confused and followed Google Maps which sent me to places where they would tell me to cross busy non-pedestrian streets and turn where there were no turns nor paths.

I had to periodically turn back when I found myself getting further away according to the "minutes to destination."

It claimed I had reached my "destination" when I was on the wrong street. I could see on their map that the street I needed was parallel to where I was standing. So I began looking for a way to get to that street, Yehuda Burla. I finally found a playground with people in it and asked. They gave me directions, and over a kilometer later I found what according to the address should have had been the restaurant, but it wasn't. Actually it didn't exist. There was no restaurant at 1 Yehuda Burla. There were locked gates to the Botanical Gardens.

My husband insisted he had gone through the gate, but apparently between his and my arrival they had been locked. I walked down a few roads and even saw him and my friend. We talked and signaled to each other.

Finally I found someone who gave me directions, to go to a pizza place a hundred plus meters away and find the underground passage, which I did.

I must have walked an extra couple of kilometers or more. But I very cheerfully decided that I had burned enough calories and revved up my metabolism well enough to eat what I wanted. Yes, I made sure that we stayed for dessert and enjoyed the ice cream!

And old conventional paper map fully marked with streets would have done me better. I could follow GM's right/left instructions but not their northwest and south. I'm not a compass. Thank G-d I'm relatively fit.

not my photo
I was too busy following the maps, instructions and talking to my husband on the phone

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Medad Version of The Modern Inclusive Completely Kosher Passover Seder

Photo by my husband.
Not all of the Medad clan attended the official family seder, which was at our daughter's home. My three youngest children, plus daughter-in-law and baby granddaughter were in the states for the Holiday with other family members. We do have lots more out there.

First of all, the meal's menu, though you have to go through at least half the Hagaddah before having anything other than some green leaves and wine (or grape juice.)

Yes, that's me doing nothing.  No one else
wants the publicity of a photo which was taken
during set up.
Photo by my husband.
To summarize the meal, you should know that there were both kneidelach and rice. There was a very easy way to know who ate what. All those born Tunisian ate rice and refused the kneidelach. I have no problem seeing rice on the seder table or watching family member eat it. To be perfectly honest, I didn't touch the potatoes either.

We also sang a variety of tunes, and between pretty much all of us, every word in the Hagaddah was read or sung or both. Even I read some of the Hebrew, which may have surprised my grandchildren.

None of the post-Bar Mitzvah aged males made it awake to the end. The only male to stay awake the entire Seder has just over half a decade to go until his Bar Mitzvah. There was lots of singing and dancing by me, my daughters and granddaughters. Could there be something in the genes?

The food was delicious, and we didn't let the lack of alert men stop us from finishing to the very last word, thanks to my daughter. I don't know how she got the energy for it.

In terms of ritual, everything that was required was done and with enthusiasm. The kids came prepared with stories, quizzes and more. We all had a great time, and somehow I was up as usual at 6:30am.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

My Ancient Blender

I have a blender which was bought in 1974. I've used it very few times considering all of the decades I've had it. It's my Passover Pesach blender. I bought it for grating potatoes and onions the year my husband did his basic training service in the IDF. The grating was his job, and considering that for three (ending up being four) months I was the only parent for our two daughters then aged a year and two and a half, I was not going to take over that chore for Passover cooking.

In those days there was a special discount store, Shekem, which had a supermarket and department store including electrical appliances. Soldiers' families got coupons to use there, and considering that in 1974, my husband's army "salary" was the same as an 18 year old got to buy a bit of nosh, we needed that discount.

1974 was also decades before discount shopping stores, like Rami Levy had come to Israel. There also were hardly any supermarkets. Most shopping was in a small, local grocery store and the shuk, open market for those who could get to one.

my Moulinex blender

This one came with a small "coffee bean grinder" which my husband uses for grating the horseradish root for the most powerful "chrain" you can ever imagine. I use it for making kugels and "Savta brei."

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Great Start to Passover!

We had a wonderful time at our daughter's with most of our grandchildren. Of course there was too much food and too much to drink, though since the wine goblet was enormous we didn't fill it. The table had kneidelach, geffilte fish and rice. There were two very different types of charoset. That's because although we are thoroughly Ashkenaz, Jews from Eastern Europe, our married children have brought other traditions into the family.

But we all drank the same wine and read from the same Hagaddah for the Passover Seder. We're all one people and one family.

Chag Kasher v'Sameach!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Passover! Pesach! פסח!

Yes, it's Passover! Pesach! פסח!

As is our custom, we turned our kitchen into its Pesach mode the day (night) before the great search aka Bedikat Chametz. That gives me an extra day to cook and makes the most sense, since switching after the "search" used to mean that I'd be doing an all-nighter on my own before even attempting the cooking.

Now even though we're not hosting the seder (only one in Israel) I did some cooking. I'll be bringing the kneidelach (matzah balls,) geffilte fish, kugel and some vegetables. All of these recipes are TNT tried 'nd true. Since I made too much geffilte fish, I froze some. I'll probably freeze at least one of the kugels too. I also cooked a chicken while I was at t he stove for us to eat during the week.

Today my husband will make his traditional charoset  and chrain*. That's his contribution.

Yesterday, in order to clean out the freezer, I ate all sorts of strange foods. I hope I haven't put on too much weight. At least I gave away the half loaf of delicious whole-wheat rye bread which I gorged on two days ago.

*horseradish- ground in the coffee-grinder part of our old/ancient blender mixed with a bit of vinegar.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Fun and Funky Passover Music!

To keep me sane while cleaning I watched some of my favorite musicals on the DVD Guys and Dolls, Dream Girls and Phantom of the Opera.  I think I had also watched--sang along with another one but can't remember the name. If I remember I'll edit it in.

Which is your favorite this year?

Here's the Maccabeats:

And here's from

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Levitation, 52 Frames and Passover Cleaning

As if I had nothing else to do, but in order not to ruin my perfect record in 52 Frames I came up with a photo of "Levitation."

It's definitely not as technologically advanced, fascinating, uplifting etc as most of the other photos in the album, but those paper airplanes are up in the air. They did better than the balloons I had tried to get flying earlier.

They are powered by 52 FRAMES, as they should be.

I enlisted my husband, as you can see in the photo. Actually, the two of us tried folding the paper into paper airplanes. Decades after we had last done it, we couldn't quite remember how. He even checked with Professor Google, but as you can see, we did good enough jobs.

Yes, it was pretty dumb to waste time with all we have to do in this house even for the minimal "only chametz, not dust nor grime" Passover cleaning.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Farewell, Goldschläger, Farewell

Many, many years ago at a festive event for relatives, their relatives from the other side brought a very delicious and unusual drink/liquor. Ever since then, we managed to buy a bottle for ourselves every few years. We'd have a bit on special occasions, and lucky guests would have some too. Yes, I'm referring to Goldschläger.
Goldschläger is a Swiss cinnamon schnapps (43.5% alcohol by volume or 87 proof; originally it was 53.5% alcohol or 107 proof),[1] a liqueur with very thin, yet visible flakes of gold floating in it.

We've had this bottle for awhile, though it's now empty and in the trash. I finished the last drops last night when clearing out the liquor cabinet. To get the very last drops and bits of gold I poured in some light beer. Yes, they actually go together, at least according to my unschooled taste buds.

Next time I travel I'll have to see if I can buy more, though I've heard that the recipe has changed and it isn't as good. Will it just live on in my memory like Crème de menthe, which I haven't seen for a long time? But according to Wikipedia it still exists.