Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Sibling Rivalry

Some people think that sibling rivalry is normal and expected and benign. This article from the New York Times puts it in a different light.

Apparently, in some cases there is dangerous violence, and even if there aren't any physical effects, the emotional scars are eternal.

I don't remember my own kids fighting, ok, except for the time when both boys wanted the scissors, and the elder one grabbed and cut himself. Then I rushed him to the neighborhood doctor, leaving the younger one home alone, and when we were across the street at the doctor, there was lightening and the electricity went out in the neighborhood. Then one of my daughters, older than the boys, got home and was horrified that I'd left her little brother home without electricity, but there was electricity when I left.

And then I had to wait with the injured one for the bus to arrive with my husband, and tell him that he wasn't getting off, since he had to take the young man to the emergency ward for stitches.

Thank G-d it wasn't serious. Any parent will tell you that these things happen. And now, they're all best friends. I don't exaggerate about that, thank G-d.

And for the third...

Time sure flies when you're having fun, and I guess it's time to think ahead to the third Kosher Cooking Carnival. It's a monthly event, and the second came out last week, so there's no time to waste.

Send me the links to your food posts, please. Remember, "anything kosher."
  • recipes
  • memories
  • traditions
  • cookbook reviews
  • restaurant reviews
  • kosher laws

Number three will come out after Purim, so please send posts about your Purim Feasts and Mishloach Manot, what you made and what you received. And also, as we all know, Pesach (Passover) is only a month after Purim, though it always seems much closer. And I'm sure everybody, even non-Jews, probably have some good food stories about that holiday.

So, please don't dally, gevalt! Did I really write that?! Send me your posts, anything kosher! Please get them in early, by March 20th, to: shilohmuse at yahoo dot com or via blog carnival or the handy form at Conservative Cat.

wisdom from across the seas

Read this wonderful piece of wisdom from across the seas. It certainly helps give a healthier perspective on life.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Locking doors

I really don't know what goes on today in public schools in America; I just know that teaching in Israel is nothing like my school memories.

I first started teaching here over twenty years ago, as a girls gym teacher in our local elementary school. It's not that I was ever good at sports, more enthusiastic than speedy or daring, but they were desperate. The job lasted thirteen years.

My first "confusion" concerned the fact that I showed up at the classroom before the bell rang, to be there on time of course. My students were never ready, and I'd get upset. It took quite a while until I noticed that none of the other teachers were at their classrooms "on time." Then I learned "lesson number one." Don't be first or you'll have to discipline and get angry at everyone else's students, and one needs all one's energy for one's own.

Lots of water under the bridge, or should I say: many report cards have been filled in since...

Now I'm a high school English Teacher for students for teenage boys who think that a nutty sadist invented the language of Shapkespeare.

"What's a 'liguit,' teacher?"
"A what? You mean a 'light.' You don't pronounce the 'gh' as 'gee' in the middle of a word."
"So why is it spelled that way? What a dumb language. Can't we leave it out?"

I'm still battling the tardiness of students. Now in some of my classes I do something new. I walk in, ok, after the bell, since I did learn lesson number one, then I take attendance, even if nobody else is in the room. There are advantages to that. I don't have to remember anyone's name. Then if nobody still hasn't walked in, I take out my crocheting. That's the sign for the boys that nobody will be marked as "present," only "late."

Frequently, not only are they late, but they walk in without books, because some of the other teachers lock the doors once they're ready to begin the lesson.

In other classes, which are homeroom classes, I began getting very annoyed by all the interruptions, when other kids would walk in "just getting something, teacher." I began locking the door, and sometimes my students are actually grateful. Nobody likes to be interrupted.

I find it a horrendous solution, but I can't think of anything even a fraction as effective.

finished, sort of

I finally finished the dishes and giant pots from Shabbat, but there's still laundry and cleaning and...
by the time I do finish, I'll have to start all over again for next week!

Recipes, The Mundane and BOMS, yessiree!

Yes, the latest issue of BOMS is hot off the keyborad! Take a gander!

...and about The Carnival of the Mundane, it seems like I must have had missed it when it first came out, but you shouldn't ignore it; there are some great posts in there. And notice who was singled out for being the "Queen of Mundanity."

I must thank Sun Comprehending Glass for putting my Kosher Cooking Carnival in place of honor in the 80th Carnival of Recipes!

So, enjoy! There's lots to read out there!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Thank G-d it's raining, but...

In Israel it only rains in the winter, so every drop is needed and precious. We must thank G-d for the rain; it's considered a reward for our "good deeds." But sometimes, I have plans, and the rain sort of "gets in the way," like today.

We had a full house, thank G-d, for Shabbat, all the family, all the kids, including our two granddaughters, and there's lots of dirty laundry to be washed and dried. And the electric dryer isn't the best, nor the most economical to run. It's best suited for small quantities in an emergency. Is it considered an emergency when two loads of wash are wet, and I must prevent their getting moldy?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

My baby's home!


My baby's home after spending close to a year in NY/NJ after serving in the Israeli Army.

YES, MY BABY'S HOME! Ok, at the moment he's off with friends, but all my kids were here for Shabbat, and now I have to start scrubbing the dishes and the floors and doing laundry and...

Baruch Hashem! My baby's home!

Partying at the Carnivals!

We bloggers like to party, cyber-style. That means that we do it from where ever we are, and we don't f2f the people we party with, or should I say carnival with. Yes, that's right. We maybe passing people in the street whom we know very well, but we've never met them in person. And in some cases, we think that we don't know a blogger, but the truth is that we do, since not everyone reveals his/her identity.

We read and write all sorts of things that get distributed all over the world. The "posts," aka articles, are collected into "carnivals." They're not the sort of carnivals where my son won all sorts of stuffed animals. They're like internet magazines, filled with all kinds of posts. Usually there's some sort of theme to the carnivals, like my very own "Kosher Cooking Carnival."

In my various guises, like me-ander, Shiloh Musings, Blog Free! and The Muse's Pics, I participate in the carnival scene. Recently I've had posts in Carnival of the Walkers #35, Carnival of the Vanities #179 and Carnival of Comedy #43.

So please, take a gander, I'm sure that you'll find some great reading there.

The Second Kosher Cooking Carnival!

This is "sticky taped" and will remain on top for a couple of days.

Extra portions to anyone who can identify the picture, the more details, the yummier!

Yes, here it is, the Second Kosher Cooking Carnival. In some ways the second is harder to put together than the first, since there are more expectations. I hope you won't be disappointed, but the best way of having an even better one next time is to send me more and more links. ANYTHING KOSHER!

On the Flip Side presents Kosher Traveling, which is something most of us need to know at one time or another.

Did you know that not only is Soccer Dad a whiz on the computer, but he's no stranger to the kitchen. Read his cookbook review.

A good friend recommended that I check out Sabbath Meals, even though the blogger hasn't been blogging of late. Read this fantastic post about what the ancients ate.

This looks like a great mushroom recipe; I must print it out for my son. It's from the The Low-Carb Gourmet Cookbook, by Karen Barnaby (Rodale Press, 2004).

You don't have to be Jewish to cook kosher. Try this earthquaking chocolate cake!

Now, Elisson of Blog d'Elisson, I must admit that I didn't know what Gehockteh
was until I checked the link. So, take a look. It sounds absolutely delicious! And try out this feast of his!

Now for some recipes:

From Mark:
Batchelor latkes
Need White Potatoes
1) take a knife and cut long pieces
2) Put them in a plastic bowl
3) put bowl in a microwave and nuke until crisp.
4) Apply liberal amounts of Israeli honey.
5) If not full, repeat as needed
Mark actually DID this. He found the microwave essential. There is, however, a large white box in the apartment. It has knobs and 4 circles on top. Rumors are that the box is used for cooking, but I cannot substantiate the rumor.

From Carrie Devorah, DC based investigative photojournalist and podcast host
My contribution for dieters
Take a large apple.
Put in a ziploc bag. Option- dust with cinnamon.
Seal bag.
Put In Microwave zip side up. Nuke for 2-3 minutes.
3 minutes leaves the apple more saucy.
Eat from bag or place in dish. Heat fills you up and leaves you craving junk foods less.

Willow Tree gives a great creative tabouli; no need to obsess over needless details. And here's her chicken soup.

Read Jerusalem soul foodies for wonderful and tempting eating ideas in Jerusalem. I may try out an ice cream place, because their review mentions mint, uhmmmmm, yummy.

I'm sure you'll like this roast beef from AtarChef.

Following is a recipe from Fred, a true artist:
a special curried rice dish....
cook or grill a chicken, use enough pieces to serve the amount of people you wish to feed.
I usually use 1/2 a chicken to feed 2 of us. Cook a cup or rice, best to boil water and then add the rice and let it finish on a low flame or, I use a a medium flame but have a round metal tool with small holes in it, which sits on the stove between the flame and the pot.
The cooking takes about 28-30 minutes. I find with the use of the device the rice doesn't stick to the pot.
In a mixing bowl mix a cup and 1/2 of mayonnaise. Add curry...don't be shy, and some soy sauce for an additional taste{optional} some salt and pepper. mix these ingredients and then add a can of corn, or peas or similar desired vegie, a can of mushroom pieces, drained of course, the chicken and the rice. Mix the ingredients and put into a pyrex or porcelain dish, or two, for a future meal. Then bake .... I usually use about 35 minutes at 220-230 degrees in a toaster oven, and when finished I usually leave it in for an additional 5-10 minutes, on grill, to obtain a bit of a crispy crust.

Let me know when you tried it what you thought of it.

Forgot a couple of little things.
I usually chop up some garlic, onion, celery, green pepper, scallion, whatever looks
good or is in season. Also because of the kosher restriction, I left out the following -
which can be used without the chicken, or fish pieces, making it a vegetarian dish.

Beat about 4 eggs and a cup of cottage cheese, and 1/2 package of graded or
chipped cheese, usually used for pizza, and mix the mixture into the rice and
veggie dish, making a kind of pashdidah, or souffle' . Baking and seasoning
the same. I like curry, so I add a healthy amount, but for those with more
sensitive pallets, use the seasoning in moderation according to taste

I wish I hadn't said "yes" when my son suggested making this diet killer. Not only is it delicious but it's easy to make. Things get complicated when you keep kosher, especially when you want a "drink," It's kosher; it's not kosher; it's kosher; it's...?

And now for Ezzie's cooking up a storm chicken with pineapple, which seems just perfect for a great meal!

I'm finishing this now, since I have a lot to do, and if you were hoping to get your recipe in and missed out, to paraphrase Scarlett O'Hara:

Next month is another Kosher Cooking Carnival,
bli neder and B'ezrat Hashem

So please start posting and send your links to: shilohmuse at yahoo dot com

Thursday, February 23, 2006

busy, busy

I'm pretty busy, so I must try to "reduce" my blogging. All good things, Baruch Hashem. In the meantime, you can try the recipes in the Second Kosher Cooking Carnival!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The vision test

Continuing the saga of my glasses, reading glasses...
Today was the vision test. Now, for me a vision test, at least what's imprinted in my mind, is standing in my classroom as a young kid. The teacher or school nurse drew a line, and we had to stand behind it, one after another. A chart, an eye chart, was hung on the blackboard, and we took turns reading the chart. I was never tempted to memorize what others said the letters were. There was no point to it, as I could always read it easily.

The only thing that never made any sense to me was that the kids who could read the very last line were given a note to bring to their doctor for further testing. It seemed strange, since according to my understanding, they could see the best.

PS This was in P.S. 46, Bayside, Queens, New York City

OOPS! PPS, In case you're interested, the test I took today was very different and amazes me each time, and my eyes tested the same as three years ago. The reason why I was suspecting deterioration was simply because the glasses, the lenses were so scratched I couldnlt see clearly.

Talking about clothes...

Men love to make fun of women for talking too much, especially talking about clothes, but when men get started on the topic, there's no stopping them.

My husband discovered the email "group" mail Jewish many, many years ago, when email was new, a novelty. It's an email discussion group on Jewish topics. Members are from all over the world and all "committed" to Torah Judaism in "one form or another."

It was on mail Jewish that I discovered the "pesak," rabbinic opinion, that there's no such thing as "mezonot bread/roll." "If it looks like bread, tastes like bread and eaten like bread" it has the same halachik (Jewish Law) obligations as bread. It doesn't matter if there's "potato water" instead of regular water. It's not a cake. This makes sense to me, though it complicates airline travel, since it means I must wash for the rolls and sandwiches.

Many of the topics bore me or are irrelevant to my life. On occasion I pipe in with a line or two. For the past month, or maybe it's a year or more, the men on the list have been arguing about proper dress attire for dovening, praying. 99% of this is all custom, but they won't let go of it. A few times already I've written something to make them stop, because I find myself deleting the digest after reading the list of topics. "two hats," "gartles," "jackets," "types of shirts," "proper attire for leading prayer," "black or grey"

It's all so superficial. They've repeated each subtopic so many times. I no longer look forward to reading mail Jewish. No one is going to be convinced, since the male dress code is very dependent on the society they're in.

As I say every morning in the "Morning Blessings,"
I thank G-d for making me "kirtzono," according to His wish.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Refuah Shleimah

It was just announced that Rabbi Benny Elon, head of the Ichud Leumi, NU/Moledet, has throat cancer.

Refuah Shleimah

Binyamin ben Rut

He's lucky; he doesn't take after me!

When I mention that I go "to the pool," I hope you don't think that I swim laps or anything like that, because I don't. In the days when it was required, I failed every swimming test I ever took. The one exception was in junior high, where there was a pool, and we were supposed to do at least 15 lengths of each stroke. I started with the "elementary back stroke," which is the "breast stroke" on the back. It's pretty easy and relaxing. It took me the entire lesson, and after I staggered out of the pool, I was sent to the "nurse's office" and never asked to complete the test.

In every camp or pool I was the eternal "advanced beginner." That meant that in theory I knew the strokes, but I couldn't go very far with them. It wasn't that I was afraid of the water, not at all. I even learned how to dive, something I haven't done in decades, since the thought of walking the plank terrifies me. My routine is to start my "pool time" with a jump into the deepest water.

Nobody else in my family, neither my parents, siblings nor kids seem to suffer from my swimming disability. Thank G-d. A perfect example is my son the "plumber's apprentice," who's also taking a swimming instructors course. He decided to widen his repertoire by taking a life guard course. That requires a swimming test. Let's suffice to say that without any speed practice or other training, he successfully swam in well under the required time and swam under water well over the minimum.

Lucky boy that he doesn't take after me.

Monday, February 20, 2006

I'm not forcing you to eat

Just a reminder, not to eat, but to send me links to food posts, "anything kosher" for the Second Kosher Cooking Carnival. Here's the first one.
  • recipes
  • memories
  • menus
  • traditions
  • cookbook reviews
  • restaurant reviews
  • "anything kosher"

Send to: shilohmuse at yahoo dot com


We're in BOMS!

Yes, we're in BOMS again, among some very interesting and intellectually stimulating company. Take a gander!

Fitness walking with friends, or the negative calorie get-together

Traditionally, good friends get together over a cup of coffee and some pastries, or a pot of tea and some biscuits or a meal including... well, including calories.

My favorite is the negative calorie walk. Some of my friends and I get together to walk, and we talk, too. It's a very pleasant way of socializing. No fuss and no calories, and the conversations are just as good.

I'm now part of a few walking groups. My Sunday group is speedy. The two who set the pace have less spare fat in total than my pinky--no exaggeration, and keeping up with them is a real challenge and a great calorie burner. Monday's group is a different pace, very relaxed. Thursday is in between.

Sometimes there are so many of us that a few conversations are going on simultaneously. Another advantage is that nobody has the burden of hosting, fixing up the house, baking, shopping etc. And there's no clean-up. It's a major part of my local social life.

Another regular negative calorie meeting is when I exercise in the pool on Wednesdays. Yes, exercise, not swim.

Oh, and in case you're curious, I'm not thin at all, but think of how much fatter I'd be without all this physical activity.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Baile Rochel can't remember, exactly

Baile Rochel's Back! #12

Did I tell you that my lens popped out and disappeared? That's one of the lenses in my glasses, reading glasses. It must have been last Tuesday, since I don't think it was Thursday, and it couldn't have been Wednesday, since Wednesday I didn't go to the grocers, since it's my swimming day. Unless it was Thursday, but I'm not sure, since I'm pretty sure I went to the grocers early in the week. It must have been Monday or Tuesday.

But if it was Monday, that means it took me almost a week, since it's already Sunday, to have called the eye doctor to make an appointment. And I know I was putting it off, since I was afraid that the new system, which isn't a booklet with all the doctors and numbers, but we have to call a central "appointment number" and give our identity number and then tell a nameless operator, which is better at times than someone who may know us, but getting back to my wondering what had happened to all of my eye doctor records. This is the only eye doctor I've been to; he's the one who gave me the news that I had grown up or old enough for reading glasses over a decade ago. Wow! Was I traumatized; I wouldn't even go to the opticians alone, it was so frightening. But that's not my problem now.

Back to my story, you see that somehow this morning I got up the guts to call that number. Luckily they had sent a magazine, my health plan that is, and the number was on it. Acutally the number was all over it, since they want us to call. Oh, yes, so I called and the operator gave me the news that for eyes, at least in Jerusalem, eye doctors are private doctors in their own clinics. I didn't have to go to one of the big official clinics, so I asked, if by chance, could it possibly be that there still is an eye doctor named Dr. Hustovsky, don't laugh, his name is something like that, though I've probably spelled it wrong. Really it's not like it's an easy, everyone knows it kind of name.

Not to leave you in suspense, yes, he was on their list, and she gave me his number, and I called immediately, not my usual procrastination, probably since I'm sick and tired of using those $10 glasses I bought in New York last summer for emergencies. And even more amazing, I was able to make an appointment for today. So, after getting the last, ok, maybe not the really last, of the "next year's clothes" for Halleli and Porat, I got to the eye doctor's office just a second before he opened the door and asked his secretary who's next and she pointed to me. Ok, so I'm exaggerating a little. I managed to give her my name and pay her and then he opened the door. I never even got to sit down and crochet. Imagine that!

Baruch Hashem! Everything was fine, except I could hardly see, since the drops made everything a bissel too bright. Good thing it isn't summer, since it wasn't all that bright today, and I do have sun glasses.

Trying to be super-efficient, I went to the optician who also has the doctor who checks vision to see if my eyes are "aging," like in needing higher numbers. But they said that I have to wait a few days, since the drops distort, you're telling me.

So I made an appointment for later in the week, but while I was there, in order not to waste time later in the week, I looked for frames. Well, my old ones, which I'm very angry at for losing the lens, whenever that was, were very expensive, but I'm tired of them. Now you should always think of glasses as jewelry worn daily. I really felt like I needed something new and different, and at first the lady in the store kept showing me frames that looked like my old frames, and suddenly I realized that my old style is still being sold. But I wanted something new and a bissel different.

I mentioned which sick fund, and she showed me some which were highly discounted for members, now is 70% off enough discount? I thought so, and I even found new frames, but if the remaining lens in my old one is exactly what I need, does it pay for me to get a new one? Oy yoy yoy, ugh! I don't want to hope that my eyes have aged, but I want new frames for a new look for a new me.

I'll let you know later in the week.

And after that, I went into "Big Deal" which is a discount chain selling close-outs from the states. And what was on the counter for sale but "reading glasses" for NS9.90, which is $8- less than I spent on a pair this summer in New York, and these were even nicer than my spares, so I bought a pair.

At my age, one can never have too many spare pairs...

Soccer Dad shows us how...

...to do a great Havel Havelim! It's number 58, if you're counting. He started it over a year ago, and other bloggers, including yours truly, usually host it. But periodically Soccer Dad takes over.

This new edition is so filled with posts from Jewish and Israeli blogs from all over. There are many blogs which are new to me. So I highly recommend that you make time to visit.

And I wish to thank him for the reminder to send me links about food, "anything kosher," for the Kosher Cooking Carnival. Please send them to: shilohmuse at yahoo dot com

Thanks and Shavua Tov
Have a wonderful week!

Near but far, or am I just lazy?

Last night I should have been partying in Eli, just a mile or so up the road, plus the mile to the road and the couple of miles off the main road. Door to door, I'd say that if we had a car, it would have taken about six or seven minutes, without stopping.

The son of dear friends, we've known forever, if you consider that life began even before we were all couples/coupled, got engaged to a girl whose family lives in Eli. They drove out from where they live, which probably took at least an hour or more, after Shabbat to meet the girl's parents.

At these sorts of events/parties, people start arriving pretty late, not an hour I really wanted to hang out on the road. We tried checking out if friends of the chattan, groom, who live in Shiloh were going, but couldn't find any. I also asked neighbors who know the kalla's parents, but they weren't going either.

I remained "dressed up" from Shabbat until I went to bed, but I didn't get a call offering me a ride. Maybe I should have just tried "tremping."

So let this "mazal tov" do instead, please.


Saturday, February 18, 2006

A Blast From the Past!

Would you believe-- Jack LaLanne!

Now, please don't tell me you've never heard of him! If so, that means that you're pretty young or not from North America. He was the very first TV fitness guru, and he's still at it. And he's 91 years old. When I was a kid I thought of him as old.

His general healthy living advice was revolutionary when he began, but now it's old hat. I guess I ought to pay better attention and get more active.

While we're at it, there's a great article about core exercise, which makes a lot of sense. That's the torso, keeping all of those muscles strong.

True, no guarantee that we'll live as long as Jack, but we should just be healthy and fit for as long as we live.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Depressing, isn't it?

The more one knows about how the health system works, the more depressing it is.

A recent expose showed that a device that is progressing in its quest for American Government approval to relieve depression hasn't shown that it can do the job. Then why is it being approved?

And the good news/bad news in cancer treatment concerns the price of one of the "better medications." Investigations show that the price is being determined by "demand" rather than actual production costs. But the experts say that it probably isn't even as effective as the manufacturer wants people to believe.

Some people are getting very rich from the pain and illness of others.

He did it!!!

He did it!! Israel Perspectives is now 100% Israeli! He's on the Knesset list for the National Union, and according to Israeli law he had to sign away his foreign citizenship in order to run.

This is a very important step in his life as an Israeli. I was never put in his position. As just an ordinary teacher and grandmother, I've never had to choose between my two passports, other than my commitment to live here in Israel.

I wish him great success, and yes, I'm voting for him!!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

calcium? teflon? red grapefruit?

Let's pretend this is some sort of reading comprehension test. Look at the title. What do the words have in common? Which is the word that's different?


red grapefruit

OK, did you read the links? Did you guess right?

Now, the latest in health news is that those calcium pills that so many women my age and older take may not really be worth it. There's a chart illustrating the article that shows that the best source of Vitamin D is sunshine. And if you're taking the supplements, and because so many foods have them people don't even realize they're taking them, you had better be checked for kidney stones.

Red grapefruit has more health benefits than white grapefruit, especially in lowering cholesterol and preventing heart trouble. The only problem is that for some reason it interacts badly with certain medications, so anyone on medication must consult with his or her doctor.

And Teflon, no great surprise to hear that there are components that can cause cancer.

So what's recommended? Have your grapefruit outside in the sun, but not too much sun. We don't want skin cancer, do we? And throw your Teflon pans away. I've always preferred good stainless steel. Remember that the body produces cholesterol, if you don't consume enough of it.

For those of us who've paid our dues...

Turn on your speakers and put on your spectacles, this is nice.

I ought to start cooking for Shabbat!

snow, no

Just in case you're curious, it didn't snow here. The media hyped it, and I 'm sure lots of kids didn't get up for school. And considering the professionalism and morals of the Israeli media, I still say that they were working "hand in glove" with the workers who make big money on " snow alert." There may well be even "snow alert" for the media, extra overtime for photographers, etc.

Considering the yahoo weather report, which gave temperatures way too high for snow and only mentioned rain, it's hard to believe that it was just an "innocent mistake" on the part of the Israeli media.

Mothers-Daughters, anyone

I don't quite think that this title is accurate: Author Applies Tools of Linguistics to Mend Mother-Daughter Divide . There are some interesting observations here, but mending is more complicated, and the issue isn't isolated only between mothers and daughters.

Any two people can have miss-understandings, when one miss-interprets what another is saying due to "emotional issues."

"Crippled?" Not Her

As we all know, words have a lot of power. One of the best "wordsmiths" around is Chava Willig Levy, who uses a wheelchair to facilitate her mobility. (Chavie, I hope that you're satisfied with that description!)

Read her post about the word crippled.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


I wonder. Is is going to snow? They didn't cancel my staff meeting in Beit El, which usually gets more snow than we do. I hope that we make it to and from safely.

Now I have to get ready to go.


The Israeli news has been predicting snow for tonight, but according to yahoo, just rain, and temperatures too high for snow. It makes me wonder. Are the Israeli forecasters jealous of the foreign snowstorms, or are some work unions utilizing the media to get extra high-paying hours to be on duty when there really isn't any necessity?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Carnival Scene

If you're looking for recipes, take a gander at the latest Carnival of the Recipes #78. There's a great variety for all tastes and all occasions.

And if it's food for thought, you've a hankering for, there's the latest BOMS, always a treat.


Dieting, Is It Worth It?

Anyone who has seen me knows that I should lose weight, but I just can't diet. It's too stressful.

Now I'm becoming even more convinced that I'm right. This recent, yes, another, article from The New York Times confirms it. There's no real statistical proof that low-fat, low-carb (and what else is left?) diets really make one healthier. As far as I'm concerned, extreme anything isn't any good.

And while we're talking about food, I'd like to remind you to send your food posts for the 2nd Kosher Cooking Carnival. Either to shilohmuse@yahoo.com or via the handy form. Remember send your recipes, holiday meal memories, menus, etc.

Anything, as long as "it's kosher!"

Baruch Hashem, Back Blogging

Baruch Hashem! I hope you missed me!

It's one of those stories...
A couple of days ago, suddenly there was trouble with "blogger," that's the blogspot I blog from. Such things happen periodically, and usually within a few hours they fix it. While I "patiently" waited, I suddenly noticed that even though I couldn't blog and couldn't comment on blogger blogs, others were commenting on mine and others could blog. I went to sleep on it, and in the morning, yesterday, it still didn't work. I was starting to get annoyed, but I figured that blogger's this big international internet service, and they'll fix it.

Yesterday morning one of my walking buddies mentioned that she couldn't access my blog. She's also a regular reader. Then it hit me! She also uses Netvision for her internet/email. Maybe, since others are blogging and commenting, that the problem is Netvision. I sent out a few queries within the Israeli blogging community and discovered that other Netvision users were having problems. I asked my husband and the other bloggers to complain to Netvision and I went to bed early. If I can't blog, I may as well sleep.

So, this morning I woke up and still couldn't blog. My husband reported that at first Netvision denied that the problem could be with them, but he kept pressing, and techies listen to men, which is why I gave my husband the assignment. Finally he admitted that there may be a problem with Netvision.

But this was hours later and still no blogging, so I called. They told me that the technicians should be arriving in an hour, just the phone crew works 24 hours a day. He asked if I wanted notification when it's fixed. Of course, considering what we've paid all these years. I figured that it would take them a few minutes to change their "settings" or whatever. But no call and no blogging all morning. Then I had to go to work, no call and no message.

When I was in Waadi Charamiya, between Ofra and Shiloh, the phone rang. There's no reception in the valley, so it went dead after I heard: "This is Udi from Netvision." Finally I got home, and there was a message, that all was fine, and I could surf to my heart's delight. Of course, surfing isn't my thing, it's the blogging.

So here I am!

This will be cross-posted on Shiloh Musings and Blog Free!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Havel Havelim, again

Yes, it's the 57th Havel Havelim! This time brought to you by AbbaGav. I just read through it and saw links to lots of "new to me" blogs, so I strongly suggest that you take a gander and read the great variety of posts.

Shavua Tov and Enjoy!

just discovered and a KCC reminder

Every once in a while I check out if there are any additional blogs on the Israeli "ring." Today, while my husband is still performing for the machers, and I'm exiled to the den and computer, I checked again.

Read what's coming out of Alfei Menashe, which isn't all that far away from here. There are bloggers all over.

And besides that, I'm sure that bloggers eat and probably cook, so that it shouldn't be a problem for everyone to blog something about food "anything as long as it's kosher" for the next Kosher Cooking Carnival. Please send your links to shilohmuse@yahoo.com or via the conservative cat form.

lots to do

I have lots to do. We're expecting some "machers" this morning. That means important people. So I really ought to get dressed, fix up the living-dining room, maybe bake a cake etc.

I'll report on it afterwards, though I may be hidden during the visit, due to my "undiplomatic" ways. But at least I must change the table cloth. "Someone" put a round one on, instead of an oval or rectangle which matches the size/shape. Should be my biggest problem...

and there's wash to hang outside... unless the sun doesn't show

Maybe I should just go shopping and leave

Saturday, February 11, 2006

"Safe" medications

Is there really a "safe" medication without side effects, one that won't cause secondary problems?

Years ago, at the end of my third pregnancy, my blood pressure went up a bit, and the procedure in those days in England, where we were, was hospitalization. Those were the days when a mother stayed a week in the hospital after giving birth, rather than the few hours they're hospitalized today. So it's not like my life was in danger, or the numbers were really high. I ended up going there at night. They took my blood pressure which had gone up a bit more, which was probably due to the fact that I was leaving my two kids home, and the younger one had just come down with the chicken pox. Before going to sleep I was given two pills. The nurse couldn't or wouldn't say what? or why? so I was in a dilemma what to do. I didn't want to take medication, and nobody there could tell me anything about those pills. Finally, I compromised, considering that maybe they were important, and I took one, half the dose. I think they were valium, and I really didn't want any medicine at all. I wouldn't even take aspirins. The next day everything was fine, but I spent a week there while they tried to figure out why my blood pressure had risen. I wasn't ordered to take any other medication, though they offered quite a variety every day.

From what I've been hearing, prosaic is now extremely common, even for pregnant women. A recent article brings up the dangers to the unborn baby.

Another medication which doctors insist has no side effects and doesn't remain in the body or endanger it is Ritalin. Now they're saying that Ritalin "could have dangerous effects on the heart."

Another drug, Accutane, which is very popular and successful for curing acne, is also known to cause miscarriages and deformed babies . It's very hard for the doctors to enforce the "no pregnancy" rule in their patients taking the medication.

Very frightening, isn't it?

Friday, February 10, 2006

How far off?

A friend and I were just emailing about Pesach (Passover) plans. I said it's far off, and she said it's real soon.

Before this Pesach we have a quick trip to the states for a wedding, and before that there are three birthdays, and Purim's in the middle of the birthdays, and before the birthdays, my "baby" is supposed to return home, G-d willing, from a year in the states. So Pesach, which is all of two months away, seems very far away.

I guess it's all relative. It's all relative to whatever else is going on in one's life.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

winter, dread

It's winter, real winter, today, and I dread going to work. This has nothing to do with work itself, or my studetns, better left undescribed. It also has nothing to do with the fact that the rain is so necessary for our existence. It's because last year I got so soaked just walking to the bus stop that I almost went back home. Instead I called the office and asked the secretary to get me dry shoes and socks. She thought I was joking. I insisted that I was serious. There was no way that I could teach in dripping wet boots, socks and clothes. So she got someone to bring me dry shoes and socks for the lessons, while my own dried out a bit. I wore plastic bags in my boots on the way home.

I just can't bear the thought of going through that again. Also, on Tuesday I waited a full hour in Beit El until I got a ride to Ofra. I just can't do it in the freezing rain. Am I getting old, burnt out or both?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Great News!

No more need to buy those expense faux foods to avoid cholesterol and be healthy! You can have your butter and not feel guilty!

According to The New York Times:
Low-Fat Diet Does Not Cut Health Risks, Study Finds
That's right!

And if you want to know other ways of saving money, read the:Festival of Frugality #9


in the kishkes

At Amona the police hit the Jewish demonstrators "in the kishkes," "guts," to cause internal injuries, but this post is about a different type of "kishkes." It's about my first attempt to cook "kishke."

Kishke is a traditional Jewish food, at least for Ashkenazim, that's the community that spent a few hundred years in Europe. It can be described as a type of starchy sausage. The genuine article was probably stale bread and fats slowly cooked in intestine casing. Yeah, it sounds pretty disgusting, but...

...nowadays it's generally made pretty differently and wrapped in things like aluminum foil, baking (parchment) paper and similar things.

I grated an onion and carrot in the food processor.
Then I combined it in a bowl with about 1/3 cup of oil and
an egg or two
some spices, salt, pepper, paprika
and mixed it all up with matza meal
until it was almost solid
then I rolled it in cylinders in the baking paper
and placed them on top of chulent

OK, what's chulent
It's a slow cooking stew, traditionally served on Shabbat. It's started before Shabbat and then cooks all Friday night until Saturday (Shabbat) lunch.
The chulent I made last week, which got raves from the frequent critics, was simple.

First I browned a few pieces of stew meat with an onion,
then I added beans which were partially cooked, or use canned beans,
then some large chunks of potatoes and water to cover
It was already simmering when I placed the kishkes in.

I added more water before Shabbat, since it seemed to need it.

Then it wasn't touched until I served it late Saturday morning.

The critics loved it!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

All in the family...

I was talking to a friend the other day, post-Amona. She's from a large family, siblings all pretty similar religious life-style, dress the same etc. There's one difference. One of them thinks my friend's a bad mother, because her kids go the pro-Eretz Yisrael demonstrations, like staying in Gush Katif to try to prevent Disengagement.

The siblings try to stay away from politics when they're together, which admittedly is pretty tough in Israel.

Of course, my friend's kids were in Amona, and she was in frequent touch, via the cell phone. During one call, she was told that Cousin X was there, too.

"How could that be? I just spoke to my sibling who insists that none of those cousins would ever do something so foolish, dangerous and irresponsible!"

"Do you think I don't know my own cousin, who incidentally, had an arm in a sling?"

So she called her sibling.

"Do you know where X is?"

"In school, of course!"

"Well, I don't know how to tell you this, but my Y just saw X in Amona." She was kind enough not to mention the sling.

"Ridiculous! Impossible! I'm calling X immediately!"

It took X a few days to make contact with parents, most probably due to the threatening messages, or maybe X was waiting until there was no need to wear a sling.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Ani Yerushalmi, I am a Jerusalemite

The famous Israeli singer, Yoram Gaon's recent statements don't really surprise me. We lived in his grandfather's house.

The movie, "Ani Yerushalmi," "I am a Jerusalemite" came out in 1971. We were living in the "old city" of Jerusalem, within the walls at the time. We were in Maon Betar. One evening some people came by and told us stories about the building, which had been owned by the "Kukiya" family, which owned many buildings in the city. The people told us that Yoram Gaon's grandfather had lived in the building, and they showed us which room was his.

"Ani Yerushalmi" is Mr. Gaon's movie. (I haven't seen the movie for decades, so I'm trusting my memory.) It begins by traveling the road "up to Jerusalem" while Yoram Gaon is singing about the city. He then enters the "old city" and tells us that he's off to his grandfather's house. What a thrill it was to hear him say that and know that we were living in that very same building.

Soon after, my husband got a part-time job in the Jerusalem municipality, and the old men he was working with told him a story. Yoram Gaon's father used to work there, in the same office. He was a very religious man. One time when he and one of the other workers were traveling somewhere, they passed the Hadassa Ein Kerem Hospital. The elder Gaon said: "When I die, make sure they don't take me there." He didn't trust them; he didn't want to be autopsied.

A few weeks later, the elder Gaon told his friend that he just needed to sit for a few minutes. Suddenly he was dead. His friend remembered the request and got some heart medicine from someone and put it in the dead man's desk drawer. That way they could tell the authorities that he had suffered from heart trouble, so there wouldn't be an autopsy.

The 1973 Yom Kippur War was a terrible time in Israel. The country was in danger of annihilation. Syrian forces from the North and Egyptian from the South were over-running the country. There were many dead and wounded soldiers. Celebrities from all over came to try to cheer the troops. My husband was then working in PR in Shaare Tzedek Hospital and Danny Kaye came over from Hollywood, (and he didn't get me an autograph.) I heard from a friend who said that her husband reported that Yoram Gaon came to visit the troops, but all the famous singer could do was hug the soldiers and cry.

And now Yoram Gaon is showing his love for the country for the Land of Israel by being brave and saying something that will make his "friends" angry. He's seeing the connection of the kids who demonstrated at Amona with those who established the kibbutzim before the State of Israel was restored. He's asking the question all should ask:
It would be a good idea to think long and hard about this: When the regime fights the people of Amona, who is it actually fighting? Are these youth the State of Israel's real enemy?

I wish I hadn't said "yes"

A few weeks ago my son had this "great idea" and asked me if we could try, in honor of his cousin's upcoming Shabbat visit, baking a "fruit crisp" like her mother makes. Considering that he was going to do it, and he's a great cook, I agreed, though my usual cakes are of the simple "one bowl" variety.

Step one was to google, since I had never made anything like it. I found something that seemed pretty easy and printed off the ingredients and instructions.

We went over them, since reading English isn't his greatest talent.

This is what I printed out (sorry but I didn't save the link):

5 medium tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup melted butter
1/3 cup water

PREPARATION:Arrange sliced apples in a buttered 8-inch square baking dish. In a bowl, combine the sugars, flour, and oats; stir in melted butter. Spread mixture over the apples. Pour water evenly over top. Bake in a 375° oven for 30 minutes, until apples are tender and top is nicely browned.

Did you notice something? No, so I'll continue.

He really wanted one with cranberry sauce like his aunt makes, but we couldn't find any in our store, so I bought canned strawberries, which he mashed up. Yes, we made changes, besides the usual margarine for butter.

On the sliced apples he put brown sugar. OK, now what did the instructions say? The sugar is for the topping, so we had extra sugar in the fruit. He mixed the strawberry mush with the flour and oats and added more sugar. Not quite like the instructions said.

Yes, this was very sweet and very delicious and very addicting, and since then we made it again, and I find it totallyirresistiblee. And we made it a little differently, with sliced peaches, from a can, on the apples, and liquid from the can instead of water. No extra sugar, but it was sweet, very sweet.

So I guess it's one of those "no fail" recipes. So let's call it: "No Fail Fruit Crumble" or "Diet Killer Crumble"

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Good idea?

I feel better knowing that schools in other parts of the world have trouble getting the kids to attend school. Over the years we've tried all sorts of unsuccessful methods. Now, here's an article in the New York Times, telling how some schools have improved attendance.

Just plain bribery. It may seem silly, but works. I think most parents would tell you that kids do want rewards, even for the simplest things, even for the things they should be doing from their hearts or their own benefit.

As an EFL, English as a foreign language teacher, my classes suffer very seriously from absenteeism. It's making it harder and harder to move the class along, when I have too many kids absent. And English is not the type of subject that one can cram easily.

Now, what can we give them, since we can't afford a car?

Urban renewal vs urban desertion

Residents of Gush Etzion always considered themselves the "elite" of YESHA, part of "consensus." Many don't consider themselves as "settlers" and refuse to take part in the struggle for Eretz Yisrael.

Recently they were shocked and traumatized when not all of their regional council was included within the ghetto walls mutilating our precious Land. Now for another slap in the face. Their buses will no longer go through downtown Jerusalem. Their bus routes were our envy. We in the Binyamin Local Council and the Shomron have a less convenient bus. It goes via Romema, Shmuel Hanavi, Ramat Eshkol, French Hill and Pisgat Zeev.

The new terminal for the Gush Etzion and Hebron area buses will be the Malcha train station with a stop at the Malcha Mall. This will more than double the travel time to downtown Jerusalem and the popular neighborhoods the buses used to go through.

There is something much worse about the changes, much worse than the logistical inconvenience. This is another attack on the downtown businesses!

Jerusalem, like many other cities all over the world, is suffering from "mallitis," the growing popularity of malls, which is taking a big chunk out of the economic viability of downtown businesses. By removing the suburban bus routes from the center of town and the Jerusalem Central Bus Station, the government is weakening the center of the city.

Whether weather, or not?

I'd really like a constant weather report on my toolbar. For awhile, I had the weather bimbo up here, on me-ander, but she didn't have a Jerusalem weather report and spent her time waving a flag. As a said, she was a real bimbo.

There's some sort of yahoo option, but yahoo is the worst of spyware, from what I understand. It's bad enough that I use the email, but to have a yahoo spy on my computer, recording and reporting everything we write and receive... too much for me. Remember, I'm the one who tells the telemarketing fundraisers: "I don't give by telephone." And then I'm happy when they hang up. Why should I give my credit card number to an unknown voice on the phone?

So, I don't know of any way to have an easy "no-step" or "one-step" way of checking the weather forecast.

Education #52

The Carnival of Education #52 is really a great one. The issues brought up are important. There is something for everyone to read.

Take a gander!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

not mundane

Honestly, I don't think that the Carnival of the Mundane is mundane. It has lots of good posts, including...
take a gander!

And just a reminder to start sending me your kosher food posts for The Kosher Cooking Carnival!

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Mundane, again

It seems so strange to be dealing with the mundane of Shabbat preparations, when others are in pain, physical pain from the terrible injuries caused by police brutality. I have to finish cooking and cleaning. Last night I wrapped the gifts for Hallelie and Porat. Yes, they're all coming for Shabbat.

So, I'll just get off the computer for a bit.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

No more film?

My sister's a professional photographer, arty type pictures. Not the "smile, say cheese" variety. Her portfolio has lots of black and white. She even has used a giant old fashioned camera with giant negatives. I'm just an ordinary photographer with an ordinary film camera. It's not an antique; I consider it new.

But according to the experts it's almost a dinosaur. I like my camera. I've sold gorgeous pictures I've taken with that camera. It's so easy to use, and I'm a real pro at changing film.

I'm starting to prepare myself for the unpleasant fact that my next camera will be a digital. I won't go into "Foto Nir" with the film in my hand, and he won't have my name written on the envelope before I get to the counter. It'll be different, very different. I'll probably go in with a disk and tell him what to print. Or I'll do it all by ordering online and then wait for the pictures, and even little album books to come in the mail.

Obviously, I'm not afraid of the 21st century, or I wouldn't be typing this out on the computer.

I just hope that the digital cameras will be easier to use for middle-aged eyes, and I hope that the batteries will last much longer. My film camera doesn't need constant recharging or new batteries.

Help me out. What do you recommend?

It's not new, but...

Considering what has been going on recently, this is quite topical.

Crossing The River

Three men were hiking through a forest when they came upon a large, raging violent river. Needing to get on the other side, the first man prayed, "God, please give me the strength to cross the river."

Poof! God gave him big arms and strong legs and he was able to swim across in about 2 hours, having almost drowned twice.

After witnessing that, the second man prayed, "God, please give me strength and the tools to cross the river."

Poof! God gave him a rowboat and strong arms and strong legs and he was able to row across in about an hour after almost capsizing once.

Seeing what happened to the first two men, the third man prayed, "God, please give me the strength, the tools and the intelligence to cross the river.

" Poof! He was turned into a woman. She checked the map, hiked one hundred yards up stream and walked across the bridge.


Honestly, don't you think that things would be better if women ran the world!?

Pray for Yechiam ben Rachel

Refuah Shleimah to Yechiam ben Rachel
He was beaten by the police at Amona, and now is fighting for his life.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Best Movie Theater

Years, ok, decades ago, my husband and I went to the movies a lot, an awful lot. Sometimes we'd go to two movies a day. Our first date was to see a movie.

In recent years, quite a few actually, I haven't been to a movie theater at all. It's not that I haven't seen movies.

One of the reasons is that I'm not comfortable sitting in the seats. I just found myself miserably in pain. And, especially in Israel, where so many people are reading the subtitles, there's a lot of noise, since people talk and don't care that they can't hear. And finally, movies are expensive to see.

There's also no reason to see the movies when they're "new." It's not like a newspaper. Good movies are just a enjoyable months and years after release.

The last time I saw a movie at the movies was when I went to see the Andy Kaufman movie, "Man From the Moon." That's because Andy and I went to school together, Great Neck North.

Since then, the only movies I see are on the VCR and DVD. I can put up my feet without being yelled at by the ushers. I can get up whenever I want for a break of any sort. That's what "pause" and "stop" are for. I can eat what I want and get phone calls. I can fold the laundry and entertain friends. I can eat popcorn with just the right amount of salt sans food coloring. I can watch movies at any time of the day or night.

I can buy the movies I want for less than the price of a few tickets. When I was in NY a couple of weeks ago, I found a couple of great stores for DVD's. KMart and a store in the Manhattan Mall. In the MM store, lower floor, they had some great movies for $14- two for $25 and four for $40- I bought a couple, and then asked my parents, 80 plus, how much a senior ticket cost in the local theater. They said $5- Meaning that even two discounted tickets cost the same as a DVD of an old movie, if you're buying four. Friends and family can share them. Today they're available in libraries, just like books. There's really no reason to go to the "movies," pay a fortune per ticket and then be forced to pay inflated amounts in the movie kiosk, or snack bar. In many places, it's forbidden to bring your own food from home. It think that they purposely spray the place with popcorn odor to make us hungry, so we'll buy junk food during the intermission.

If it's a good movie, you can, and will want to, see it more than once. So definitely the best movie theater is your own home!