Friday, April 30, 2010

Making It From Scratch, Blog Carnivals and "MckLinky"

After I posted about making a "scrap hat," I went looking for blog carnivals focused on crafts for the post.  A few days later I saw that I had gotten a "hit" or "visit" from someone via Making it From Scratch.  It seemed like a nice blog carnival offering posts on crafts, cooking etc.  I do recommend that you visit.

There was one curious thing.  It stated that this edition, davka my first time participating, would be the last using blog carnival.  The carnival owner was converting it to a "MckLinky" listing.  I'm familiar with "it."  That's the method used by Ruby Tuesday and other "picture memes," or whatever they're called.

I know that hosting a standard, classic blog carnival is a lot of work.  I've done it more times than many for at least four different carnivals.  But I must say that as a visitor they are nicer and more welcoming than the MckLinky list, though I like the set up of Making it From Scratch better than Ruby Tuesday.  Simply, Making it From Scratch requests a title or short description of the post, while Ruby Tuesday just asks for the name of the blogger.

As a blog carnival "owner," I consider the fact that the classic blog carnival "floats" from blog to blog is a way of getting more people involved in my carnival, the Kosher Cooking Carnival.  We're in our sixth year already.  Once someone hosts an edition, he or she promotes it and exposes it to a new group of people, since no two bloggers have exactly the same fan base.

What do you think? 

Thursday, April 29, 2010

OK, So I'm Guilty...

...of Not Pruning

So, sue me!

Spring 2010

A long time ago, I bought a whole bunch of rose bushes, every color but red.  Unfortunately I've never taken proper care of them, but every spring they flower, sort of forgiving me, just a little.

If you look carefully here, you'll also see that the grape vines have spread and they touch, the roses and grapes, at least the leaves and branches.

Never Too Old! Times Two

So far, at least according to what the owners are aware, the oldest person to eat at HaGov, The Lion's Den, Jerusalem's new, great, delicious kosher sports bar & grill, is no other than my father!
HaGov kosher sports bar & grill,Jerusalem
He absolutely loved the food and ate it with more enthusiasm than he eats my cooking.  I kid you not!  His good humor and appetite could also be attributed to his new hearing aids (I'll have to blog about them) and the company, most of his grandchildren and all of his great-grandchildren.  The kids drank nothing stronger than orange juice and were supervised by a professional security guard.  Yes, seriously.

And about those who claim that all this internet stuff is just for the young and too complicated for those of us who already "get discounts," not true.
HaGov kosher sports bar & grill,Jerusalem
After too many frustrating times trying to upload pictures for blogging and wasting my time, I found a solution.  I've returned to my photobucket account.  I don't know why blogger has changed things, but I'm sick and tired of not being able to easily post pictures.  Granted that this isn't a one-step process, but thank G-d it works.  I just have to remember to do my writing and spellcheck before adding the pictures, since that used to foul up the codes.  I hope that you'll enjoy the blog now.

PS HaGov is located at 5 Yoel Solomon St., Jerusalem, the end of Shamai St., near Zion Square.  If you're on facebook, you can find it there and check out the nightly sports schedule.  Each screen can show a different game.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

"A Bridge Too Far," A Film Too Long

I never would have put on "A Bridge Too Far," if I had checked how long it is, almost three full hours.  The Movie Club is still meeting, even though it's Sefira, when one doesn't see "fun" movies.  The previous two weeks we saw documentaries about World War Two, so I thought this movie would be a good choice.  I have a few new ones, and I asked someone's opinion, and he said that we should see it.  I didn't watch it in advance.

We'll see some Carol Burnett TV shows after Lag B'Omer.

Blogger Bug, Again

I've just wasted lots of time trying to upload pictures.  Blogger has changed its toolbar for creating posts, or whatever they like to call it.  Call it what you wish, but for me it has been a nightmare.
Pictures aren't uploading.  The computer just sits with those flashing and turning and whatevering icons doing nothing in the end.

I've been trying this on both computers and all variations.

Sorry for the rant.  Am I the only one with problems recently?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Here it is: The "Scrap Hat!"

A few days ago, I mentioned that I was crocheting a "scrap hat" made of yarn leftover from other hats.  Yesterday, when in Jerusalem, one of my daughters said that the scarf she was wearing didn't match the outfit she was going to change into.  Suddenly, it hit me.  The "scrap hat" would match.  I ought to finish  it immediately.

And I did.

The Bus "Incident"

Yesterday after my cleaning and check-up at the dentist, no new cavities, but I'll need an hour's worth of treatments next month, I took the bus from Har Nof to Geula near downtown Jerusalem.  Being tired, I was glad to have a seat even though it faced backwards which really doesn't bother me, leaned my head against the window and closed my eyes to rest a bit.  Suddenly, something began banging my head.  I grabbed it, let out a yell, opened my eyes and discovered that it was the window shade.  The passenger sitting behind my back, back to back, apparently wanted to lower the shade and hadn't checked to see where the other end of the shade was.

That other passenger was an young Arab woman, as was her companion.  No, they didn't apologize, not at all.  A passenger across the aisle yelled at me:
"What's the big deal?  It wasn't her fault. She didn't notice that you were there!"
"That was the problem," I replied.  "She should have checked."
"Savlanut, patience!  What's the big deal?"
"When you get hit in the head, you can try to be patient!"
Then things quieted down.  I leaned my head back on the window and tried to rest.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Annoyed, Double

I've been trying to post some pictures for hours, ever since I was woken up, earlier than usual.  For the past couple of months I've had trouble posting pictures on both computers.

I don't know when I need to be in Jerusalem, because I had tentative plans to see someone who hasn't answered the phone, the messages etc to confirm morning or afternoon.  So I woke up in a bad mood, annoyed by some "noises"  and smell.

That's not a good way to start the day.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Simple, Healthy, Non-Dairy Spread

I used to be the cook for the local day care center for babies and toddlers from 3 months to three years old.  I did this for at least four years.  At the same time I was the girls gym teacher.  The logistics could be very complicated, but I liked having two totally different jobs.  I guess my extra weight, which eventually put me in the obese category, began piling on after I stopped those jobs.

Some of the food I cooked was my usual recipes from home and others I learned or adapted from professional lessons they arranged for us.

One thing I learned was Halva SpreadHalva is sweetened sesame seeds made into a "candy."  As candies go, it's pretty healthy.  We were taught how to take the ground unflavored seeds, sold in many stores for techina and turn it into a spread, good for sandwiches or for spreading on crackers.

This is really easy, just three ingredients of similar quantities.  Don't obsess over measuring exactly.  You may like it sweeter or less so, more liquidy or more solid.  You won't get arrested for playing with the proportions.
  • unflavored sesame paste
  • honey
  • boiling water
Mix them all together, and that's it.  It sure beats peanut-butter and jelly, the sweet sandwiches of my childhood.

HH d'Elisson

 Yes, try the latest Havel Havelim at Blog d'Ellison.  There are lots of great and interesting and all the the above jblog posts.  I'm sure you'll find plenty to read.  Havel Havelim is a great way of getting to know other blogs, and if you're a blogger, you, too can participate.  Details in at d'Ellison.

The "Scrap Hat"

Our financial situation is the pits.  This isn't the forum to go into details, though you regulars know that I'm not working, certainly not for money.

My latest "art hobby" is crocheting hats for myself since I cover my hair for religious reasons.  When we had enough money I'd frequently go "yarn shopping" after getting a new outfit, so I could have a new hat to match.  I neither bought clothes all that often nor crocheted all that quickly, so the pace of both usually worked out.  Occasionally I'd crochet a hat for my daughter and twice I crocheted kippot for my grandson, although he's a bit young to wear them (at least according to his parents.)

New clothes are now pretty rare for me, and my collection of hats and scarves is pretty varied, but I still like to crochet when watching tv or a movie.  I no longer have staff meetings and cancelled classes to spend crocheting, since I'm not working.  And this year I'm not taking any courses, so even though I have much less to actually do, the free time isn't the type of free time for my hands I'd usually devote to crocheting.

When crocheting one frequently ends up with extra yarn, and these "scraps" fill a very large bag.  So now when I need to start a new project I go "shopping" in that bag for scraps to create a new hat.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Not For A Heavenly Reward

As many know, certainly no secret, I've been taking care of my elderly father since October.  My mother can't do it.  She's supposed to be selling their house and moving to Israel.  My father now lives with us, an unexpected reversal of the "empty nest."

I never expected to be doing it.  But here I am.  That's life.  I'm pragmatic.  It needs to be done.  Ironically, I didn't have all that much to do with my father when I was a kid.  He was busy working.  But there actually were a couple of fun things.  Sometimes we'd go swimming on weeknights at a nearby high school pool, Bayside High School.  I don't know how many times that happened; maybe a handful.  Another thing was once a friend of his, who had daughters no sons, decided that he and my father  should go on a father-daughter fishing trip.  So they rented a boat and we went.  That happened once.

Back to purpose of this post.

A few neighbors keep telling me that I'll be rewarded for caring for my father, in עולם הבא  Olam HaBa, the "World to Come."  They say that my ticket to גן עדן Gan Eden, The Garden of Eden is reserved for me; my name is on it.  Actually, I find it offensive to think that someone takes care of parents for ulterior motives.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Preparing for Summer

There's G-d's work and there's the work that must be done by humans. Getting ready for summer has work for us all.

If you look carefully here, you can see that there's someone by the pool working on repairs. That's one of the first signs of summer here in Shiloh.

I enjoy observing our grape vines. During the winter you just see dead-looking branches, but as spring comes, so do leaves, and now between spring and summer we can see the very beginnings of the grapes. Of course it will take another few months for them to be real edible ones. 

Last year there was nothing to harvest. G-d willing, this year we'll be able to enjoy the fruit of the vine.

Yes, You Can Call It Multi-tasking

Yesterday I had the plumber over to fix our toilet  and I was overjoyed.  Not only that we wouldn't have to schlepp to the other end of the house to do "our business," but because the grocery store was open when he was over.  Nu, you're wondering... What can be the connection?

As regular readers know, I've been caring for my very elderly (89 year old) father since October.  I'm not supposed to leave him alone.  That sometimes makes things difficult.  I needed to shop, and my husband had a late meeting after work.  Our plumber is a native English speaker, so, yes, I asked him to be responsible for my father when I ran down to the grocers.

Yes, of course he agreed.  You can call that multitasking.  I only paid for the plumbing repair.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Shiva* Calls

Do you visit or phone?  Both are "shiva calls."

*Shiva is Jewish mourning, generally a full week of seven days.  Sheva means seven in Hebrew.  Mourning is in stages, seven days, thirty days and a year for parents.

I just called my cousins who are sitting shiva for my aunt, their mother.

HaMakom Y'Nacham
May G-d comfort them...

Keeping It Simple, Presents For the Kiddies

There was a time when I had more money and there were fewer kids... I'd get clothes and stuff for all the kiddies when we'd have family gatherings.  This year I wanted to buy something that they'd enjoy and I wouldn't consider beyond budget.

So when I was in Jerusalem recently, I saw a good deal on stickers with all sorts of Israeli Flag motifs. I picked up two packages, giving a total of twenty pages of sticker, about 15 stickers to a page, if I remember correctly. I figured that would be enough.  

I also brought some blue and white balloons from the house.  I showed the stickers to my cousin's eldest grandchild and gave her the responsibility to set up the arts and crafts and give everything to her siblings and cousins. 

While they were working I blew up the balloons and tossed them to the crowd.  My father then joined playing with the balloons.  It was a success.  The kids and my father  had a good time. 

You don't need fancy expensive gifts.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Well, We'll Just Have to Wait

I had this great post planned, illustrated with two photos, so I started uploading the pictures onto the blog.  And I waited and waited and, yes waited some more...  OK you know the end of the story.  Nu, do you see any pictures?  I wouldn't have written this post if I had succeeded.

I guess the time has come to take a walk, by myself.  My father has been refusing to go out this past week.  Not easy....

Neighbors, Thank G-d!

Yesterday morning I suddenly realized that we were too close to the bottom of the milk bottle.  As part of my exercise routine, I went down to the grocers, hoping they'd be open for just a short time at least.  But since it was Independence Day, it was closed.

This morning I asked my husband to find someone to ask to buy us milk, and he did.  The milk has already been delivered.   Thank G-d for neighbors.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Favorite Foods? Anyone?

One thing I like is "wining and dining" someplace that isn't my home.  Today we wined and dined.  We were at our annual Israeli Independence Day cook-out at my cousin's.  We brought the wine and they provided the salads and meat.  Everything was so good, too good.  I figured that I'd gone over my protein limit for the day, so I just cooked up some veggies for dinner at home.

If you blog about your favorite foods, favorite cooking tips, only if it's kosher according to Jewish Law, of course, please send your post to the Kosher Cooking Carnival, a blog carnival all about kosher food, the halachot, (laws,) customs, reviews of restaurants and cookbooks.

The next one will be hosted by Leora.  If you're interested in hosting one, please contact me.

Maybe We're Just Too Fussy

Last night at the Independence Day festivities here in Shiloh, I was getting very frustrated trying to take pictures.  My front row seat was too far to the side, by the door, so every time I started shooting, people just walked by oblivious ruining the picture.  Not that there was all that much to photograph.  The planning, programming, direction etc didn't lend itself to a photogenic evening.

At one point, a neighbor came over to ask if I could lend him some spare batteries for his camera, which I did.  Later on, when it was over and I was walking home, he stopped his car to return the rechargeable batteries.  I asked if they had worked alright.

"Yes, but there was hardly anything to photograph."

My sentiments exactly.  But this morning when I checked my camera and deleted the worst of the pictures, I did find a couple of good ones.

חג עצמאות שמח
Chag Atzma'ut Sameach
Happy Israeli Independence Day

Lots to Read In The Gantseh Megillah!

Read the latest edition of the Gantseh Megillah.  You'll enjoy it for sure!

Monday, April 19, 2010

You Can Never Have Too Many Toilets

I was never allowed to read in the toilet.  I guess it's because my mother is from an extremely large family, nine kids, in a small two bedroom, one bathroom apartment.  I remember sitting and reading the strange incomprehensible components, ingredients in various cleaning supplies, scouring powders which were stored next to the toilet.  I learned from the earliest age to do my "business" quickly.  Also, one toilet for five people meant that we couldn't monopolize it.  Finally, as a young teen we moved to the house with the luxury of two toilets, one of which has a bath.  So in the morning when most of us had to adhere to a strict schedule to get to school and work on time, we had to use the right one.  If you needed a shower, you could go upstairs, if it was the "post-breakfast visit" downstairs, and if someone was even slightly "off schedule" it drove us all off.

A friend's married daughter delayed toilet-training her youngest, because as a young family with a half a dozen kids and one toilet in their rented home, she sometimes found herself running to use a neighbor's facilities.  They finally bought the house of their dreams with about four toilets, total luxury.

We planned our house with three toilets, a main one for the kids, one in the master bedroom and a third just inside the front door.  That third one was great when the kids were young and pressed for time.

Why am I writing about toilets?  This isn't a home design blog.  This is a "kitchen sink" blog which includes everything imaginable except politics which I blog on Shiloh Musings.  Well, after years of coddling our "master" toilet because of leaks, overactive flushing and probably outrageous water wastage, I finally threw in the towel and called the plumber.  We can't use the toilet anymore.  My father uses the main one, and we now use the one by the front-door, which is quite a hike from our bedroom.

The plumber made a house call to see the sick toilet, but he couldn't give me a date for repair/replacement depending on further investigation.  Luckily we have that third toilet.  And I called in a plumber, since I didn't want to get stuck with a flood like Lucy and her friend.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

And Then There Was One

Just a couple of years ago, my father and his brother and sister were all still alive at eighty-plus.  Then his older brother got sick and died within a few months.  And recently his sister became very ill, and now she, too, has passed away.

Ironically, a few years ago, it seemed that my father was the weakest of the three, having suffered an aneurysm and later mild heart attack.  But in the end, he's the survivor.  It's not easy for him.  They were all very close.

The local doctor and rabbi said that it would be much too stressful to try to get him to sit shiva, the Jewish week of mourning.  He can barely hear, especially since his hearing-aid broke and the new ones aren't ready yet.  Conversation is difficult.  He's supposed to stay calm, not easy when so upset.

I'm too stressed  out and upset to write about my aunt right now.  Another time...

Simply Mysterious Havel Havelim

Simply Jews presents a simply mysterious Havel Havelim offering tempting titles, leaving the curious to check out the posts without a clue of the jblogger, except for the occasional pronoun.  Take a look and visit the posts.

Kosher Bar and Grill, Cooked by a Chef

I guess it's an international trend.  Trained chefs are cooking in surprising  places.  Sybil (Wonders of a Wonder Pot) Kaplan discovered upscale food and fine dining in Jerusalem's new kosher sports bar & grill, HaGov.

HaGov has a facebook page where you can get information about specials, like for Israeli Independence Day, and the night's sports programs.  Each television screen can show a different game simultaneously.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

It's Hard To Do This Alone

Shiloh Musings, my other, or "main" blog sometimes takes off without my having to do anything.  There are a few friends, acquaintances with blogging/posting rights, and they sometimes surprise me by writing something for the blog.  I like the idea that it's not just me.  I think having other voices from other places and situations makes the blog more valuable and more interesting.

Last week there were quite a few posts by my "teammates."  Sometimes it seems like months go by with just my lonesome blogging.

I haven't found anyone to blog here.  This blog is a bit more me, more eccentric, whatever.  It covers lots of material, but rather thinly.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Computer Monitor Redux

I wrote too soon about my new computer screen.  Here's the continuation of the story by the neighbor who helped:

Thanks for the public "thank you" for helping get you the monitor. (BTW, the flat screen we acquired in the process is no great shakes -- LOUSY resolution. Have to figure out if/how I can adjust it).

There is more. Just yesterday Hillel saw another post for someone wanting a replacement monitor. This was someone we knew in his "batching" days, back in Chicago. Now married and made aliyah, living in Maale Adumim. So Hillel sent Akiva all the replies that came to his e-mail box rather than yours, and it turns out one of the respondents is Akiva's next door neighbor! So that will make shlepping the monitor home much easier!

Really and truly accurate: mitzvah goreret mitzvah!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Shimshonit's KCC #53, Absolutely Lovely

I'm really impressed by Shimshonit's very first Kosher Cooking Carnival.  Yes, first implies that she will host more.  I certainly hope so!  There's a great section of kosher cooking posts from all over the jblogsphere. 

If you'd like to host one, please let me know shilohmuse at gmail dot com.

Please don't forget to participate by sending in your posts about kosher cooking, food etc via blog carnival.

Different Modes of Transportation

During the Passover festival activities at Tel Shiloh there were donkey rides, sedgeways and horses.

Never dull, of course.

If You Ever Feel Like You Have To Buy Me A Present...

Please don't buy anything from those fancy soap places.  I usually don't like the smell and don't have anyplace for the soaps.  I also don't use all sorts of creams, not even hand cream.  Before Passover I finally threw out some, which I had been holding onto for years.  I didn't like the smell and they didn't make my hands feel better.

Sometimes in malls, when salespeople accost me trying to sell hand cream, I agree to try, explaining that I never buy before sampling.  One time I had forgotten that I had some on my hands and was horrified, disgusted when I washed my hands afterwards, because it felt disgusting grease was coming out of the faucet.  Until I realized that the water was "loosening" or "liquefying" that cream...

I also don't like a lot of the face creams; they hurt, burn.  A couple of times when salespeople urged me to sample cleanser creams I insisted they remove them immediately, because I was in pain.  One saleswomen had the nerve, chutzpah to argue with me.  Another time the saleswoman was very nice, explaining that she, too, was sensitive to many brands.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Oops! I Just Realized....

I just realized that I ought to take a walk, since I was barely out of the house all day.  Besides taking my father for his now short walk, I've been in.  Hanging out the wash on the merpeset (balcony) does not count as "going out."  I didn't even go to doven at Tel Shiloh this morning.  I wonder if anyone did.

One thing I did was to host the movie club.  I showed some World War Two documentary about the Nuremberg Trials.  Monday was Holocaust Memorial Day and it's sefira, when one doesn't go to cheery things like fun movies.

So, off, or is it out I go?

Eenie, Meenie, Miny, Mo... With A Little Help From My Friends

Connection?  Strange title, no way.

This morning I had a choice of computers to use, a luxury I hadn't had for a couple of weeks.  The screen on the PC, old clunky, had died so my husband and I had to share the too heavy to schlep laptop.

A good friend suggested that I ask her husband to advertise on janglo for an old computer screen.  Many people do save functioning appliances no longer in use, because it's such a shame to throw them out.  He did and lots of people contacted us from all over the Jerusalem area begging us to take their screens.  Then came the next problem.  How to take and schlep it from Jerusalem....?  The same cooperative friend contacted one of the generous people, brought the screen home.   It was delivered by their son on his way to school and then he returned later to help with all the wires to replace new for old, or less old for much older.

And now, for the price of a bit of typing our computer is working again.

There's nothing like friends!!

Thanks and Chodesh Tov!  Have a good month.

Please pray for a Refuah Shleimah, a full, complete and speedy recovery:

Rut Rachel bat Ekye

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Before I Totally Collapse

Thank G-d I've had a wonderfully busy day today.  I shopped in Jerusalem's Machane Yehuda, visited a friend for lunch, brought a different friend home, went to say T'hillim (Psalms) made dinner for everyone, took my father to the clinic (AOK) and had some friends over.

I probably won't make it to Tel Shiloh tomorrow, but I hope others will be there.  I can't leave my father alone and don't have anyone to stay with him.

It'll all be fine.

Good night before I can't reopen my eyes.

Dog, Cat, Kids and A Shiloh History Story

Two pictures taken while getting ready for Passover.  Every year there's a "pre-Passover camp" to occupy kids while homes are being cleaned for Pesach.  My second daughter and her friends started it soon after we moved to Shiloh.  They all had younger siblings to occupy and joined forces also inviting other little kids who didn't have older sisters to watch them.

It's now a Shiloh institution.  There's a coordinator, lots of counselors and the parents even pay a fee.  Originally, it was free, especially because taking care of younger siblings was as important as cleaning.  It's not the norm to pay your own children to clean and babysit.  But one of the very grateful and satisfied mother of the young children cared for felt that the counselors deserved gifts.  She collected money and bought each a special siddur, prayerbook.

I don't know what today's counselors get for their work.  This year the kids cleaned up each day, after I took that picture.

And here's another pre-Passover picture, a dog resting in the shade of this bush/tree.  My son who's studying to be a dog psychologist noticed it.  

The dog sure looks comfortable.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Back in Shoes

I can't believe that my foot infection started almost a full month ago.  Baruch Hashem, thank G-d, the infection is gone, but it is not 100% healed.  It was probably very deep, because it has taken over a week to fully close and heal.  I'm still using some alcohol and turmeric for that.

On the three week mark I stopped feeling like something was in my toes, strangling them at times.  For two weeks I took antibiotics.  Thank g-d, I can't complain.

Fresh Garlic

We've had this fresh garlic hanging near the clotheslines for a few weeks already.  For a short period of time, late winter, early spring it's sold in the Israeli markets, like Jerusalem's Machane Yehuda.  There's a strong garlicky smell permeating and dominating the air at the shuk and on the buses full of shoppers.  Considering that I didn't grow up eating and cooking fresh garlic, it took us a few years until we bought our first bunch.  It lasted us a long time, months and months.  Now we use it up very, very quickly and then have to buy that awful imported garlic.

It would be nice to grow our own, but we've never succeeded.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Start The Week With Fume Sarah's Havel Havelim

Frume Sarah's Havel Havelim is one of the best.  I hope there won't be more problems with the internet here, because I want to read the posts.  Many of the bloggers aren't on my usual reading list, and I'm looking forward to reading the posts.

Have a great and healthy week.

Like Emeralds

When I was waiting in Shiloh for a ride or bus to Jerusalem on Thursday, on my way to The Lion's Den HaGov, the sun hit the leaves of the trees in the park, making them shine and shimmer like precious stones.

That's one of the reasons I always have my camera on me. There are pictures I want others to see and enjoy. It seemed like the park was full of sparkling emeralds.

Monster on The Window

I've been led to believe that the lizards native to this part of the world eat bugs.  Therefore they are very welcome guests.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Back to One Functioning Computer...

... and we're surviving.

Somehow we're going to have to replace them both.  The screen on the big one is dead.  As long as the modem works, since it activates this one.

Have a good week.

And how can I worry about computers when a close friend will be undergoing serious surgery this week.  Please pray for a Refuah Shleimah, a full and speedy and complete recovery:
Rachel Rut bat (daughter of) Ekye

Friday, April 09, 2010

What's Cooking?

You'd think so soon after all the Passover cooking that cooking would be the last thing I'd like to do, but somehow I did a pretty efficient job for Shabbat.  Unless I've forgotten something, there's just one more thing to cook, a pot of vegetables. I baked lots of vegetables for each meal and turned the left-over rice into an apple-rice kugel. We have one guest tonight.

Tonight is a meatloaf, soup, kugel and two types of veggies, oven and pot, plus a salad. Tomorrow chicken and vegetables. Oops, maybe I should do something for a starch... I was hoping to avoid potatoes, but no choice.

Vegetables and kugel for seudat shlishit.

Jerusalem's Best Bar and Grill

Finally, after months of watching and waiting, I had a meal at The Lion's Den, HaGov. It's a kosher sports bar and grill in Jerusalem, 5 Yoel Solomon Street, phone 052-870-9993.

I think that the pictures speak for themselves. The food was really great. My friend and I were very impressed.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

KCC Reminder

Shimshonit is busy putting together the tastiest ever Kosher Cooking Carnival.  If you have any kosher food posts of the past month please send in the links.

Next week is Rosh Chodesh Iyyar, and you don't want to miss out.

  • Kashrut in Jewish Law
  • Kosher Restaurants and Cookbooks
  • Holiday and Shabbat Menus
  • and Kosher Recipes, too
If you'd like to host one, please contact me.

Easy Cooking

Honestly, cooking can and should be very easy. The following pictures were taken two weeks ago when I was cooking before Passover for Shabbat.  We needed good festive food to honor Shabbat, but because Passover was just a couple of days away, I didn't want to deal with anything fussy or unnecessary.  That's why all the food was in disposables and to be baked in the oven.  Even the kasha (buckwheat) which was baked with water and covered.  It came out perfectly delicious.

I'm not going to list the ingredients in any of these dishes, because I want to stress that there's great flexibility and creativity in cooking.  Don't blindly follow recipes.

Cooking should be fun and stress free.  Use these pictures for inspiration, copy the freedom not the slavery.

How Green....

Here are some pre-Passover pictures, taken about three weeks ago. You can see how our grape vines are starting to get nice and green. We generally don't get grapes worth harvesting until well into the summer. That's in a good year. Last year there wasn't a grape to eat, though the year before was record-breaking delicious, bountiful.

One of the local kids has made quite a business for himself. I must give him a call. When I spoke to him he was too busy to do my yard, though he did the neighbor's. Or maybe I should get some goat owners to bring their goats...


I sometimes photograph food at at restaurants and weddings and sometimes when I'm cooking, but I'm not one of those who photographs everything I eat. (Hat tip: my husband)   My family frequently cringes when I do it.  They cringe a lot when I'm around. They find me very cringe-worthy/causing.

Some of you may find me rather amusing, but I guess you wouldn't if I were your mother, or wife or daughter or whatever.  My friends don't seem to mind much.  I guess if they did mind, they wouldn't be my friends.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Updating a Bissel

Starting with my foot, thank G-d, after almost three full weeks, the infection has cleared.  I stopped the cabbage treatment and now pour some alcohol and then a liberal dozing of "curcum," turmeric.  It was healing well until I decided that a clean sock was a good substitute for gauze.  It must have stuck, so now I'll be using gauze to cover until it's fully healed.

Sefira counting is a bit stressful.  The second alarm on my cell phone, I set up to be as a reminder isn't ringing. And at least one of the email reminders isn't coming in at all.  Having only one functioning computer doesn't help.

My very elderly father has been living with us for half a year already.  I never thought it would be so long before my mother would make aliyah.  We still don't have a date for that.  She hasn't sold the house yet.  He's getting older and weaker.  His younger sister in New York is dying of cancer.  I don't know how much he comprehends of it.  They spoke the other day.  My kids do their best to visit him.  Our married daughter was here for the last day of Passover and he really enjoyed seeing the kids, watching them play.  Yesterday he was disappointed to discover that they hadn't slept over again.

That's about it for now.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Israelis, No Need To Travel To Watch The Games

Downtown Jerusalem has a world class sports bar.  No need to to pay $500- for a good seat.
The Lion's Den, HaGov, 5 Yoel Solomon Street, Jerusalem, 
Sports Bar & Grill
Kosher, Shomer Shabbat.

Sunday - Thursday 7pm- 5am

Where's the Sun?

Tue - Nisan 22, 5770, 04.06.10Clear 46F-68F°    Clear

I'd agree that this looks more misty than "clear."  I took the picture around 7:30am.  It began clearing a short while later, and now it's barely 10am and  the third wash is up and out.  OK, I admit that I have a smallish washing machine.  Its capacity isn't much even compared to your typical European model.  It was advertised as 5 kilo, but I think that's an over-exaggeration.

There's more humidity than is good for National Laundry Day, but it's not raining.  Of course, considering the drought, if it did rain, I'd have to be glad and consider it a gift from G-d. 

And to get philosophical and scientific at the same time, the sun is out and shining even when we don't see it.  Remember that when you're feeling blue.

Israeli National Laundry Day

Diaspora Jews celebrate National Laundry Day tomorrow.

Wash #1 was in the machine before I went to sleep, and #2 went in before dawn. There will be an orgy of sorting and folding clean laundry this afternoon or evening. I have to find just the right movie dvd or tv show to keep me seated.

I like to have all signs of Passover packed away as soon as possible. If I don't get them when enthusiasm is high, they just get shuffled around my anarchic mess. I hear the sound of the spin, meaning that I'll probably be out hanging wash in just a few minutes. I've offered neighbors use of my clotheslines, but I don't think there's room for other washes today. Water conservation will also have to wait. Let the garden dry out. We can't have dirty laundry.

How Did Raizy Do It?

I don't know where she got the time, but Raizy posted an amazing Heval Havelim in the middle of Pesach. Yes, she cooked up quite a jblog storm, or let's say, stew.

I'd like to see her take a Kosher Cooking Carnival!

Take a look at her Havel Havelim. It's not just for Passover.

Heating Up, Something Stinks

Our PC has been heating up, even smoking, so I'm on the heavy laptop.  So if there's sudden, inexplicable blog and email silence from me....  that's the reason.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

A Bissel Rant and Update

A "bissel"'s "a little."

Yes, kvetch I will about these computers.  Last night I didn't succeed in getting a single post posted, even though I began with a "draft."  That's a partially posted blog post.  I need to upload pictures on the other computer.  This one rarely cooperates.  The other one usually does.  So I leave the post in draft and then recover it here for the writing, graphics etc and then post.  But the computer was so slow I couldn't finish editing etc and just left it until this morning.  (See previous post.)

Now, this morning I tried uploading pictures but discovered that firefox, the browser we use on the other computer, is a sneak.  It showed the page as if I was signed in, but I hadn't, so the pictures didn't upload.  Now, I finally fixed it and will go to Shiloh Musings to post.

And besides that I "cheated" and cooked the chicken an meatloaf for last day of Passover early. I took them out of the freezer and just have to finish the soup, (stock was made last night) and make the side dishes. My married daughter is coming with family. We haven't had them for a Shabbat/chag/holiday since my father moved in with us. They usually visit for an hour or two and a meal. Roll out the beds and mattresses.

Soon I'm off to the kitchen and don't think I'll be here blogging etc.

Passive Solar Cleaning

Can you guess what this is?

I hope you read the title of the post.

The little glass cups, upside down in the bag, are used to hold the special candles I light as the Jewish Sabbath and holidays begin.  When the candles burn out, they leave some wax and a metal "plate."  Normally I clean them by putting them in a plastic container, add some laundry detergent and boiling water.  The problem is that it's now Passover and the container I use is from a food forbidden on Passover.  I needed to clean the glass cups, at least get the metal out before putting in a new candle.

I don't have enough for all I need over the holiday.  I light seven candles each time.  My married daughter is coming for the last day of Pesach, and she lights five.  A friend lit two candles in my house.  That's:

That many I don't have.  So I put some out in the sun to melt out the metal.  And it worked.  I hope the sun is strong tomorrow morning.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Finally, A Nice Long Walk

As some of you readers should know, I've been plagued by an annoying, painful infection on my foot.  It has slowed me down more than I'd like to admit.  That plus pre-Passover cleaning and taking care of my very elderly father has kept me home and relatively sedentary.

Baruch Hashem, yesterday I got out.  I went to our Tel Shiloh for the festival.  I walked the whole way down from my house, wandered a bit there and then walked all the way up home.  I must have covered about four kilometers, close to two and a half miles.  It's nothing major, but considering how little I've walked recently, it's great.

And yes, Baruch Hashem, thank G-d, I felt fine.

PS G-d willing there will be pictures posted on Shiloh Musings and this blog, too, eventually.  Keep checking.  It isn't easy with my "senile" computers.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Easy to Eat Healthy

Thank G-d I've been pretty successful in keeping the weight off.  I'm still eating a modified low carbohydrate diet.  Here in Israel, it's relatively easy to find salads and cooked vegetables to eat, even at fancy meals, like weddings.

I took these pictures at a wedding I attended pretty recently, Shulchan David, Zion Gate, Jerusalem.

Among my friends salads like these are more important than cakes, and it's not that we're all "health freaks."  We just feel that the meal or festive snack must include vegetables.  When my local synagogue has a kiddush or other "event" salads are on the basic menu.  It sure helps.