Monday, December 31, 2007
Periodically I get notices from them that new classmates have also signed up, but big deal. They never showed any interest in me when we were classmates, so why should I care? But now, my "best friend" from my early days in Great Neck signed up. I saw her name. And they also told me that "someone" join as a gold member and you'll find out who! has looked at my profile. Yes, of course it's her. I even managed to discover her new last name.
So, if anyone knows an Ilene Asinofsky Meyerson, please tell her to contact me.
I just spent my last four days off, two Sundays, Thursday and Friday, testing high school girls in nearby schools.
The "oral" Interview Test is both fun and the most complicated to prepare for. It's not just a "chatty" talk.
There's a structure and very clear rubrics, or guidelines on how to grade it. Sixty points are about a research project. To get full points, the students are supposed to talk for three minutes and then answer questions. If they don't do that, and it does take preparation, then I have to take off points. Unfortunately, not all the teachers train the kids for that requirement. Also, in some schools, they have the test a year or two after they've done the project, so it's not so fresh in their minds.
I really do enjoy the job of testing, because I can discover how wonderful the younger generation is.
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Saturday, December 29, 2007
There's a lot more I want to write about the subject, but I don't have the patience to sit here in this freezing den. Let this suffice for now. I'd like your comments.
On Shabbat I read an article in the Jerusalem Post about the difficulties young English-speaking immigrants have, because they're not taught Hebrew properly.
First of all, I'll quote a friend who make aliyah (moved to Israel) about twenty years ago:
"Anyone who thinks that it's easy to come with with young kids hasn't tried it."
The time, whether a few weeks, months or years, it takes for a kid to learn Hebrew well is Hell for all. But not all the blame should be on the Israeli establishment.
- Attitude is crucial. When parents stress to kids that they want them to continue native-tongue functioning in the "old language," the child won't work as hard to learn the new one.
- Put away all the old movies, cartoons, etc and get Hebrew only versions.
- Even before aliyah, train your children, and yourselves, to memorize: poems, songs, famous speeches. This talent/skill is needed to learn a new language.
- Attitude: Make it clear to all in the family that language skills are the key to a happy life. Work together to perfect Hebrew.
Anyone can learn a foreign language. You don't have to be a genius. The more languages a child is exposed to at a young age, the easier it will be later to learn additional languages.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Where I teach, we've been busy with "pre-tests" to prepare the boys for the "real thing." I proctored a double session yesterday.
On Sunday, I was in a nearby school, testing a few dozen students in the "Interview" English Test. And today I tested girls in another local high school. When I went into the English Room, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the "decorations" I had made when I subbed there, eight were still displayed.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
I really love doing it. I find it even more fun than teaching. The kids want to do well and are very receptive. It's a structured interview. Sixty percent of the points are based on how well they can talk about a "research project" they did in English and the other forty percent is a personal interview.
Since I only work part-time, it's easy for me to make the time to go to other schools. This year worked out very well. One school asked me to teach on Sunday, which is a day off for me, and another school asked for Thursday and Friday. I don't work then, either. I just made one condition, transportation. "Tremping," hitchhiking is awful enough as my mode of transportation for work, but if they want me in a good mood to appreciate how great their students really are, I shouldn't be stressed out trying to get to their school.
No problem. Both schools agreed.
Sunday's transportation was great with a young driver I know well. But I was getting very worried about tomorrow's arrangements; I hadn't heard from the school. Today, I was terribly busy trying to get tests and assignments prepared before work, and I didn't have a break the whole time. We were doing "practice tests." I had sent an email to the teacher in charge before going to work, but I was worried. She hadn't called.
Winter is setting in. The insulation has lost the summer's heat, and it was very cold at work. The room I was in didn't have heating. I couldn't relax, worrying about tomorrow. Had they really made arrangements?
Then I waited a long, long time for a ride in the direction of home. It was cold, very cold. I kept trying to remind myself that when I wait a long time, there's usually a pleasant surprise, but...
By the time a car came by, opened the window and announced: "Ariel," I could hardly think. I asked if I could get off at the Shiloh Junction. I had barely gotten in when the women in the front seat said hello to me by name. I was surprised. I was so tired and hadn't expected someone I knew. She continued that she hoped she had prepared her students well for tomorrow's test.
Yes, I Am Not Making This Up! I couldn't believe it. I told her that I still hadn't heard about my transportation. Maybe she could contact the teacher who was in charge to find out what was going on.
Better than that. Her husband, who was driving, is one of the administrators and began calling up all their drivers to find the one who was supposed to pick me up. It took about four phone calls, then BINGO! The right driver who was concerned that he hadn't gotten exact instructions. So, we made all the arrangements right there, on my way home.
And when I got off at the junction, immediately a car came, and the driver took me straight to my door.
Baruch Hashem, Thank G-d
Hashgacha Pratit, Divine Providence
We were at the 34th Azkarah, Memorial for two friends from Betar, New York, who where killed in the Yom Kippur War. The army assigns soldiers to be at the ceremonies, and they're always amazed that we continue to get together. The widow of one of the friends explained to the young soldier that we're "family." We grew up together in Betar. No "blood relations" can be any closer than we are.
The other night we attended Sheva Brachot in Jerusalem, the post wedding celebrations of a granddaughter of British friends, who brought us to England to work with the Betar Movement there over thirty years ago.
Last night I went to Kfar Adumim for a Bat Mtizvah celebration, granddaughter and daughter of good friends. The highlight activity was weaving a wall-hanging for the Bat Mitzvah girl. As you can see, both boys and girls participated. The instructor is a neighbor from Shiloh.
... there's nothing tastier than the latest Carnival of the Recipes, on Gillian's Food History blog. There's something for everyone's taste. And a special something to look forward to, she has volunteered to host February's Kosher Cooking Carnival!
Monday, December 24, 2007
Yes, that's my background. One of my "inventions" is calling "long" and "short vowels," "strong" and "weak." When you say their names, "strong vowels," you need stronger facial muscles. In contrast, you need very little muscle strength for the "weak" or "short vowels."
Periodically, I'm reminded of how different things seem depending on where you're sitting. Yesterday morning, I was reminded anew while waiting for my ride to the Ofra Girls High School, where I was to test students for the Interview part of the English Bagrut.
As I walked down to the sidewalk, I admired the gorgeous green of the weeds, as the early morning sun shined through.
But then, a few seconds later, when I looked at the same scene from the sidewalk, the green was lacking that glow.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
They both begin with "A," and neither is an "apple."
Artichoke dipped in avocado. Sorry, but there's no picture of my simple avocado salad.
Take a ripe avocado, and mash it with a bit of mayonnaise, chopped onion, some garlic and olive oil. Yes, that's it.And the artichoke* is also very easy to make.
All you have to do, after soaking and rinsing to try to make sure nothing's lurking in the leaves/petals, is to boil (add peppercorns and lemon to the water) it until the leaves are easy to pull out.
How do you eat it? Well, pull out each leaf and dip the "fleshy part" in "something." That something can be olive oil, avocado salad, mayonnaise, t'china, whatever or nothing. When the leaves are gone, you'll have its "heart," plus the "hair." Pull out the hair and eat the heart, stuffed if you want.
*They are like giant asparagus.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Nice Shabbat, my married daughter was over with her family.
Her eldest must have fallen out of bed and ended up opening her chin. At 2am, we weren't going to bother the local doctor. 8am was early enough for that. So it was closed with glue.
Sure beats what I had to do with my 3rd, when she, at about the same age, split hers. I had to take her to the Hadassah, Ein Kerem, Emergency Room in a cab. I don't remember why we didn't go to Shaare Tzedek. Then after she was checked, we were put into a small room and I was given a suppository and told to "stick it in..." Well, I did. When she was unconscious I looked for medical staff. Yes, we were alone. She was stitched up, and I don't remember much more than that.
Besides the medical emergency it really was a nice Shabbat.
I have lots of dishes to do. I was at a synagogue meeting, and we voted to expand, finally.
This week I agreed to do administer the Oral Test (Interview) of the English Bagrut, in a couple of high schools. It's work but fun, and both schools are providing me with taxi service.
Friday, December 21, 2007
The OU Shabbat letter included a lovely story by Esther Heller about the less mentioned advantages of living in Israel.
As horrendous as our politicians are, your average Israeli is still wonderful at heart especially if you have to travel on public transportation.
I'll never forget what happened one day, well over thirty years ago, after I finished a very unpleasant visit to the American Consulate. It's located in "East Jerusalem" and staffed by Arabs. In those days, you had to walk through former "no man's land," where the old wall/border was. The closest bus stop was Sha'ar Shechem, the Damascus Gate.
Daughter #2 was just a toddler in a stroller and hadn't been all that quiet and passive while waiting in the consulate. I don't remember what my chore was there, maybe arranging passports...
I just know that when I finally made it to the bus stop, I must have looked awful. The bus driver got out of his seat, went down the stairs and carried my daughter, well strapped into her stroller, into the bus.
Compare that to my experience just two years later in Golders Green, London. We were on shlichut, for the Betar Youth Movement. I, in advanced pregnancy, was taking my eldest to school, accompanied by my then three year old. The bus stop we needed serviced two schools, so I waited until the other kids, unaccompanied, got off the bus for us to step down. As we stood, perched at the edge of the open bus, it began moving. My older daughter fell out, I began yelling at the driver to stop. Thank G-d we got off safely, but I was shocked that not only did the driver yell at me for not being fast enough. And even worse, from my Israeli perspective, not a single person helped me, neither physically withe the kids, not by telling the driver that he should have checked before driving.
When I told the story to my mother's British cousin, all she could say was:
"It was so much nicer here during the war." (WWII)
Shabbat Shalom U'Mevorach
Have a Peaceful and Blessed Shabbat
Thursday, December 20, 2007
THE 25th KOSHER COOKING CARNIVAL!
Looking back, here's a listing of all the previous KCC's: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24.
If you're interested in hosting one, please don't be shy. It's great fun; just let me know which month you want.
The Kosher Cooking Carnival is in its third year already. It's not just a "recipe carnival." It includes posts about all different aspects of kosher foods, including:
Special Holiday Foods and
Cookbook and Restaurant Reviews
And, of course, recipes
There is no limit to the amount of posts you can send, as long as they fit the criteria. You may also send in links to other bloggers' posts.
Thanks Juggling Frogs for sending me He'brew Beers Reviewed by Hoosier Beer Geek posted at Tzvee.blogspot.com. And also for this interesting post from Seth's blog. JF has been really great, sending me lots of kosher food links; thanks! I many not have credited her with all of them, so please take this thankyou for them all.
Borei Minei V'samim, what a great idea from Ya'aqov!
The Babka Nosher gives us Zesty! Yummy!
Take a looks at Elisson's BACHELOR DINNER; it looks great.
Try these Latkes posted at Crunchy Granola Mom, who's a friend of Juggling Frogs.
Teddy sent in his latke recipe plus.
Here's my new version of potato latkes.
Rafi G. brings up a good point. Should the city of Afula tell its citizens how to make chulent?
Here's something special: A Simple Jew presents Erev Shabbos Chanuka. You must take a look. And read how A Simple Jew makes Sufganiyot, which are good to eat all year long.
Elisheva presents Yoshon/Chodosh Notices. Thanks Elisheva!
There's plenty of valuable information and bargains on Kashrut News, so take a look.
Try Mother in Israel's Microwave apple/pear sauce; it looks nice and easy.
Teddy's pizza looks yummy! He's definitely going ethnic with The Secret Of Hawaj - Yemenite Spice, too. And if you have some left-over beef, try his Meat Stew - With Beef Stock or Leftovers. I'm sure it's great, like all his recipes. And now for your favorite meat eaters, serve Teddy's Rib Roast.
You've most probably noticed that the majority of the posts here are from two bloggers, Juggling Frogs and Teddy. They are the two main kosher bloggers, and I'm happy to announce that together they have cooked up the most complete set of illustrated instructions for making challah. Note that I wrote "making" and not "baking," since this isn't about popping a pre-made challah from the freezer into the oven.
Eggnog is good all year long, at least I like it. Neighbors of mine make it for Purim and the lucky few get it with Mishloach Manot, but Treppenwitz makes it for Chanukah. Here's his recipe.
Gillian Polack gives us Vegetarian frying from 1891; let's try them. They seem very modern, actually.
Here's a different kind of "latke" from West Bank Mama.
Is this too green for you?!!
Here's my meal at Shammai 12, green, spinach ravioli in pesto sauce. You can't see the garlic, but it was sure there!
Teddy gives us Muffin Meatloaf And Potatoes a la Barbara; I must try it.
Getting away from recipes for a minute, how do you make your refrigerator Shomer Shabbat? It's not as easy as it used to be. All the great cooking in the world won't help, if the light goes on in the fridge when you open it.
Juggling Frogs shows us how to make your own colored sugars; bookmark that for Purim. I didn't use those things for my own kids, but now I'm a savta (grandma.)
Juggling Frogs sent Foods to Counteract Your Moods [Food] posted at Lifehacker. There are times I wonder what they fed the students where I work….
And I'm sure that Dark Chocolate Cranberry Blondies, posted at Baking Bites, will put everyone in a good mood.
Only Juggling Frogs can tell us how to make a bulk cookie cutter from tuna cans. And only our Juggling Frogs can find us a site with all sorts of useful formulae for things like Taco Seasonings and Brownie mixes. And here's another link she sent, Heart4Home's 9 Traits of Organized Kitchens. Now, to clean and organize my kitchen according to their suggestions.
Don't you wish that Ezzie had invited you to A SerandEz Thanksgiving?
Mother in Israel tells us how to save time in the kitchen. I remember when I was the cook in the local day care center, and I found I could cook for two days in a drop more time than for one. It's all in the planning.
Read about Manhattan's First Kosher Cheeseburger? It's posted on Jewish Blogmeister. And he also reviews a new soda. He's not just Jewish Music…
Juggling Frogs sentCrockpots -- not just for Shabbos anymore posted at Coffee and Chemo. This is a very inspiring blog, so read it, even if you don't have a crockpot.
I'm sure that my super-simple-one pot vegetable soup can be cooked in a crockpot. If you try it, please let me know how it comes out. Thanks.
OU's Kashrut News asks you to do a favor and answer the OU Survey: What Do You Want to Eat Next?
Now, finally, if you haven't yet heard it,
here's the story behind
the "cook" in the
Kosher Cooking Carnival logo.
That's it for this month. If you're interested in hosting a future KCC, please let me know, shilohmuse at yahoo dot com. Please submit your posts and any others you deem suitable for KCC via blog carnival.
Thanks to all of you, and please post and link this edition of KCC to your blog.
Here's the latest edition.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Usually I make a two-pot vegetable soup, which is always delicious. But then I make too much, and I just made it last week during Chanukah, so I decided to make a quicker, easier and smaller one.
- I let them cook 15 minutes, then sit, covered*, for an hour.
- pour out the liquid, since people say that beans are easier to digest if you pour out the first liquid
- next some split peas, check, rinse, add to pot with more boiling water and cook at least a half hour. Sit covered.
- Then I added cut-up onion and carrots
- Tomato paste and rice and lots more water, and cook for an hour.
Put in salt, pepper and whatever a few minutes before turning off the flame. And let it "sit" a bit more.
*Cover with a heavy towel to keep the heat in the pot.
According to Jewish Law there are a number of fast days, which move so slowly, throughout the year. Today, the Tenth of the Jewish Month of Tevet, is one of them.
With the exception of Yom Kippur and the Ninth of Av, the fast days are only during daylight, from the first rays of the sun until darkness.
The 10th of Tevet is both the best and worst of the fasts. It's the shortest, because there are few daylight hours, and it's the worst, because it's so cold, and by not eating, I get cooolllllldddeeerrrrrrrrr and even cccoooooolllllllllddddddeeeeeerrrrrrrr.....
Sometime this after noon I'll probably cook a vegetable soup which is a great fast-breaker.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
It definitely could have been a better day.
The Teacher Applicant
After being interviewed by the school administration, the teaching prospect said, "Let me see if I've got this right: You want me to go into that room with all those kids, correct their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, monitor their dress habits, censor their T-shirt messages, and instill in them a love for learning. You want me to check their backpacks for weapons, wage war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, and raise their sense of self esteem and personal pride. You want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, and how to register to vote, balance a checkbook, and apply for a job. You want me to check their heads for lice, recognize signs of antisocial behavior, and make sure that they all pass the state exams. You also want me to provide them with an equal education regardless of their handicaps, and communicate regularly with their parents in English and Spanish by email, letter, telephone, newsletter, and report card. You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk, a chalkboard, a bulletin board, a few books, a big smile, and a starting salary that qualifies me for food stamps. You want me to do all this and then you tell me........ I CAN'T PRAY?"
This about sums it up!
Monday, December 17, 2007
The Carnival of Recipes is posted. There's a nice mix of recipes. Of course, some aren't kosher, but they can be ignored or adapted for the kosher kitchen. I just couldn't resist the dessert table...
A nothing more interesting to read with one's morning coffee than....
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Sunday, December 16, 2007
And I'm busy with this month's Kosher Cooking Carnival. Please submit your posts and any you deem suitable for KCC via blog carnival. The Kosher Cooking Carnival is more than just recipes. Any post about kosher food or kashrut is welcome. If you're interested in hosting one, please let me know. Thanks
Saturday, December 15, 2007
I've been teaching EFL English here in Israel for ten years, into year eleven now, and up until just over a month ago, the "mefakachat," supervisor never showed. I know her, because she taught me "Testing and Assessment" when I did my teachers license a few years ago. We got along fine then.
But I went into a total panic when I heard that she was coming to visit and observe. My 10th grade group is a challenge. Sometimes the lessons are great, and sometimes... not so. Of course, that's the class she was going to observe. And I know those kids wouldn't cooperate.
I had been teaching them "questions," how to understand and how to write them. So I made up a form, with all the question words and space to write questions. They had to write questions to ask the guest. She got bored before they finished; they are sort of slow. So my "guest" wrote "answers" on the board and asked the kids to guess the questions.
I'd be lying to say that it was a rousing success, but it wasn't a total disaster.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Instead of my usual rushed felafel, I made a point of having a meal there and even treated myself to a piece of cake... which was so rich I couldn't even finish it.
I sat by the window and enjoyed the view. OK, you probably think I'm nuts to enjoy watching a "construction scene," but I always get a kick out of the reflections on windows.
There's a certain elegance to the restaurant, though some other diners were speaking so loudly, it was hard to control myself. I felt that I should join their conversation. The music was lovely; I tried to concentrate on that and the view.
If you can, pop in for a lovely meal or snack.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Maybe that's because the streets are parallel. But the Aroma chain is the one similar to Hillel. Shammai 12 is something else. It's one of those "Italian" ones.
I finally tried it out not long ago.
The waitress tried to talk me out of having spinach ravioli in pesto sauce. She said that many customers are turned off by so much green, but I liked it. The only mistake was that I was at a "social occasion," the screening of Refusenik afterwards, and I kept having to clean my mouth with mint strips because of the garlic.
The location, music and food, all fine.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Now, strange and me, that's an easy combo. Let's start with the obvious...
- I was actually double-tagged. I just got back from the morning in the Dead Sea and was excited to see two comments to my blog, both tags. One from Babka and the other from Fern Chasida. They had both been tagged by Juggling Frogs, and they both tagged me.
- My married name (before we Hebraized it) rhymed with my "maiden" name; I went from Spiegelman to Winkelman.
- Not only isn't "muse" my real name, but Batya isn't either.
- I am one of the oldest female jbloggers. I know of one older than me, for sure.
- But most people can't tell how old I am, since I inherited good genes.
- I may be eligible for "senior discounts" before I decide what I want to do when I grow up.
- My very first TV appearance, probably before most of you were born, was on the "Allen Berk Show," the summer of 1967. If you want details, please ask... yes, it would make a great post.
And I tag: my husband, (poor guy, being married to me can't be easy,) Cosmic X, Soccer Dad, The Muqata, and Joe Settler. And please, if anyone else is interested, please, post the meme and let me know.
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs
4. Let them know they are TAGGED by leaving a comment on their blog
When my camera was new, I took some pictures at a friend's party and she said she never got them. At least I found them on the other computer. If I can't find the CD, I'll have to burn them again and email the pictures.
Other things to do now...
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Everyone agreed that it was a great success! Doing it this way is the "best of both worlds."
Exact measurements? Sorry. There's really no way of measuring exactly. I'd estimate that you should have approximately twice the bulk potatoes to onions. You can add carrots and squash. This isn't some exact chemistry formulae.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Otherwise, bli eyin haraa, Murphy's pretty polite. Of course he only comes, when he does, uninvited, and I didn't invited him to today's family get-together. My Israeli kids and the grandkids, who still aren't the age to travel alone, are coming for candle-lighting, latkes and my famous vegetable soup. I also found a bag of ground fish in the freezer and made my easier than you would expect gefilte fish.
So last night, after I had wrapped all the gifts, for the big kids, too, of course, I suddenly noticed that the ceiling over the front hallway was wet. I've seen those sort of drops before... Yes, it means that the boiler is leaking. It was late at night, so I called the cellphone of our plumber, who doubles as the local synagogue's Ba'al Koreh, and was a childhood friend of my older girls... I figured I'd just let it ring a couple of times, in case he's sleeping... Good news, he answered quickly. Bad news, he's in the army, reserve duty. He promised to send someone over in the morning.
My husband decided to check it out in the attic. He climbed up and reported a small leak from the tank. How long could that have been going on? So he set up a pail underneath, and we went to sleep.
Good news, this morning, just over six hours later, it was only a third full.
And... more news when there is some...
Party's still on. Chanukah Sameach!
Sunday, December 9, 2007
This article, from The New York Times, says that the statistics for dying are worse for the skinnies.
And don't forget that if you don't eat enough cholesterol, your body will overproduce it. Don't forget to stay active, and I don't mean reaching for seconds, thirds and more.
Stress is also a killer, so if all the dieting is making you "nuts," it's not a healthy diet.
Now, after exercising to an anti-osteoporosis DVD, and too much sitting by the computer, I'm off for a walk, and I'll buy some sour cream for the latkes.