Monday, May 31, 2010

What's A Parent?

With today's medical mysteries, parenthood and conception are no longer simple and straightforward.  This New York Times article about how children conceived via some of the new methods is disturbing, at least to me.

Last night I was at a wedding of the adopted son of friends.  They have two adopted children, and I've spoken to the other one about his biological family.  He's in touch.  So it may be that they're only long-term fostered, but the arrangement is life-long.  These aren't kids thrown out at eighteen or whenever the money stops coming in.

The biological parents were at their son's wedding, but the couple who walked him to the chuppah (wedding canopy) was the one who raised him since he was a baby.

This young man knows from where he came.  I don't know how much contact he has with his biological family, but the other adopted child has a lot and understands that he's lucky to have an extra set of parents and more loving siblings.  He's thankful.

Late Night Call

I quasi-panicked when I saw that it was a call from handsome bachelor #1 that I  had missed as I fumbled getting my phone out of the bag.  It was late at night, past my bedtime, but since I had been at a wedding I was still up.

What could he want?  Could something be wrong?

The panic simmered, since I couldn't get through to him.  Call-waiting.  So I continued with my going to bed routine and called a few more times.  Finally he called back.

"What's happening?"
"I got a new washing machine and don't understand one of the buttons."
"Isn't there an instruction book?"
"Well, it's not that new a machine..."

Apparently, it's very old, but a classic from "Crystal," an excellent company, and I once had the deluxe of that model.  Nu, what do you think "drip" means?  After he read me everything on every dial I guess that it means that the water doesn't go out, so it'll "drip" dry. 

I gave him basic instructions as to which cycles for what type of clothes, which he thanked me for.  It's nice to know that I'm considered an expert at something, even something as simple as washing clothes.  And I was very impressed at how well he now reads English.  He has some sort of dyslexia, so even learning to read Hebrew was a challenge, but like many MLD's they can learn to read and do.  It just takes a little longer and different teaching methods.  Unfortunately school is "one size fits all," but we're not all the same size.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Waiting X2 Plus

A few hours ago, someone called to say they were coming to Shiloh and wanted to know if they could visit.  I said "great."  Then they called that they'd be coming soon.  That was a couple of hours ago.  The chilled water from the fridge is now room temperature, as is the boiled water for tea or coffee.

In the interim I (thankfully) watched E.R. and now I just finished my manicure and as I type this with wet fingernails we finally got the phone call that they're coming up.

Chickens Out For New Zealand

Kosher chickens that is.  In another example of twisted perverse morality the New Zealand government has joined a select group of frigid to Jews European countries and banned Shechita, animal slaughter according to Jewish Law.  Is hunting forbidden in these countries, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden?

It's not a simple matter of just importing kosher meat and poultry from abroad instead of local shechita, because according to New Zealand law, unprocessed poultry can't be imported.

The Jewish community in New Zealand is trying to appeal but considering that the Prime Minister is Jewish the chances aren't good.  Successful Jews abroad generally try to downplay their Jewish allegiance.  This is a good time to make aliyah.  I have neighbors from New Zealand who are happy that they are here in Shiloh.

Should I Open the Windows?

Last night I went to bed in a huff after having an argument with the kid across the street who had decided that right across from my living room windows was the ideal place to have a smelly bonfire.  By the time I had discovered it, having been safely in the den hiding out from Eurovision damage was already done.  The house stinks.

Davka this morning there's no breeze to help remove the soot from my house.

Additional damage was that my good clothes quickly absorbed the smell and have to be laundered.  And it also took me a long time to fall asleep.  Not a great way to start the week.

Tonight I'm off to a wedding so G-d willing the week will be good.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Eurovision, Getting Worse Every Year

We've been seeing, not every year, Eurovision since the middle or late 1970's.  It used to be fun, and a lot of music used to be good, or at least bearable to listen to.  Now it isn't.  The whole thing has also gotten so huge it takes three nights, performances, until there's a winner.  Too many countries are considered "Europe."  Decades ago, Israel was probably the furthest, but considering that the Tel Aviv crowd likes to consider themselves just another Mediterranean town, like southern France or Spain...

I must admit that I don't like modern music.  There's too much screaming and not enough rhythm. 

And I didn't quite catch the tune of the Israeli song. The guy has a nice voice, but our winning songs were easy to pick up and sing along.  This one doesn't have a chance.  Compare Harel Skar with Yizhar Cohen's winning song.

Friday, May 28, 2010

What A Pleasant Surprise

My plan is still to blog on Shiloh Musings about the Leftist hippocrates masquerading as human rights activists...

I opened the Jerusalem Post internet site to find a specific article I had seen in In Jerusalem, when surprise-surprise I saw this fantastic review of HaGov!

And, I like the photo illustrating it, too.... Do you know why?

HaGov is a kosher* sports bar and grill in Jerusalem, near Zion Square, 5 Yoel Solomon.
*So, that means it's closed Friday night and only opens well after dark Saturday night.

Facebook, Getting Used To It

When I first signed up with facebook, I was just being very pragmatic, willing to try almost anything to promote my blogs, especially Shiloh Musings, which is my very humble contribution to the hasbara campaign to promote and defend Israel and Jewish Rights in our HolyLand.

I don't open my facebook page automatically as I turn on my computer.  Priority is checking emails.  But if I get a message from facebook that someone messaged or commented there, I sign in to respond.  Recently that's getting more frequent, and I comment on other people's stuff.  My youtube posts automatically on facebook.

Facebook is like a cross between email and blogging. I like it much better than twitter.  My blog posts automatically go up on twitter, but I don't actively twitter.  On occasion I chat on email or facebook.

Last night my father asked some very intelligent questions about what we do on the computer, since he sees both me and my husband tapping away on the keys so too many hours of the day.

PS I'm very easy to find on facebook.  Just search my name.  I think I put the links to my account on my blogs' sidebars, too.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wasted Day, But Can't Complain

I can't complain, because my minor "virus" was really small potatoes compared to the cancer surgery some of my near and dear have undergone recently or what RivkA just went through.

Because I'm home caring for my father, I can take care of myself when I'm not feeling well.  I rested all morning, dozed, since I didn't sleep well at night.

I live in the "slow lane."

Plenty to Read in The Gantseh Megillah

Yes, it's that time of the month, when The Gantseh Megillah's posted for your reading pleasure.  As usual, Michael has chosen a great variety of posts from his regular columnists plus...

Send my regards, please.

Yuck! Tired

I didn't sleep well last night.  I am so tired.  Maybe I ought to just get comfy on the couch...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Reducing Calories and Saving Money

Isn't that what we're aiming to do?  Throw off our excess weight and spend less?

I did manage to reduce my weight enough to graduate from obese to ordinary overweight.  I can now buy clothes in regular shops, in the middle of the size range, rather than with all those X's.  But with my father living with us, I haven't been able to earn money. 

We have to stop wasting.  Recycling is important and we can't throw out food.  A few weeks ago, I blogged about mashing celeriac with potatoes, to add flavor and reduce calories and carbohydrates.

celery root

Yes, these are celeriac, the celery roots.  No, not from the long pale stalks of celerity used in salads.  The celery stalks which grow out of these are much darker, shorter and stronger flavored.  They're great for soup, but my husband, who cooks the weekly chicken soup, doesn't use the root.

I'm now searching for ideas on how to cook these.  Besides mashing them with potatoes, I've already shredded them in the food processor with carrots and onions for a vegetable soup.  I also sauteed them with the same vegetables and then added cooked rice.

Does anyone have any other ideas? 

I Should Have Gorged on This

diet food

Most Israeli weddings have lots of delicious, diet-friendly foods.  You don't have to be on a low carbohydrate diet to enjoy this salmon and "undressed" fresh salad.

At a recent wedding, I did start my eating adventure with this, and there were other low or no-carb foods at the "reception," that first meal.  Most weddings, and other grand festive events, there are at least three meals served.  That is the equivalent plus of three meals, when you consider calories, protein, fat and starch (carbohydrates.)

  1. reception, easy to overeat by sampling everything in unlimited quantities
  2. first course, a protein plus, as large as many of us eat at home as a normal meal
  3. main course, like a large meal at home
I admit that I end up eating all three meals, though I do try to keep all my choices as low carbohydrate as possible.  I try to limit myself to only one of the doughy bourekas, or "cigars," choosing the one stuffed with meat rather than potatoes.  For first course, I also choose the one with the least amount of starch, and if it's not tasty, I don't finish it.  The same for the main course, and I ignore the carbohydrate side dishes.  Of course, I drink water.

One trick is not to arrive hungry and also remember that there are choices and don't be shy about asking the waiters for plain salad. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hadassa's Cheesecake Recipe

Here it is, a sugarless cheesecake recipe with minimal measuring. Do not attempt it unless you are familiar with cheesecakes or have a knack for getting things right the first time.

Size of pan? Uh... I mentioned not to attempt the recipe unless you're familiar with cheesecakes. Make the filling before the crust, which needs to be pre-baked, and choose a pan or two according to the amount in your mixing bowl. If you have a well stocked kitchen, you'll definitely have something suitable.

Filling: 500 grams (two Israeli containers) cottage cheese - or a bit more*, 250 grams (one Israeli container) white cheese, splash of apple (or other fruit) juice concentrate, dollop of honey (so that you can call it a milk and honey cake, although you can use either just the concentrate or just the honey) - you decide how sweet you want it, three-four eggs, and enough flour so that the filling will firm when baked but not so much that the cake isn't a cheesecake. (You can add more spices to the filling but my kids won't eat it so I just sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top for the delicate flavor and coloring.) Mix ingredients well but not so much that the cottage cheese is as smooth as the white cheese. Pour filling into pre-baked crust. The oven pre-heated for the cake when the crust baked. Bake cake until the filling is firm. Turn off oven. Let cake cool in oven. I find that that gives the cake a nice consistency.

Crust: half cup oil, splash of apple juice concentrate (you decide how sweet you want it), half cup-cup water, 2-3 teaspoons baking powder (part or all of an Israeli package), spices (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice etc.) to taste and enough flour to make a firm dough. I sometimes add sugar, organic unrefined, but it's not necessary. Mix ingredients well until you have a firm ball. Refrigeration helps firm the dough. Roll dough to desired thickness and line the bottom and sides of the cake pan which has been either oiled and floured or lined with baking paper. (In spite of what the cookbooks always say you do not need a spring-form pan.) Cut extra dough into cookies. Decorate cookies with nuts or dried fruit if you like. Pre-heat the oven if that's the way you do it; I don't always. Bake crust for about 10 minutes at 180 degrees C and the cookies for a little bit longer. The original recipe that I (sort of) followed said to let the crust cool before adding the filling, but I didn't and it's not necessary.

* This is a good opportunity to use cottage cheese left over from another Shavuot recipe.

Hadassa DeYoung, K'far Darom/Elon Moreh

One of Those "Made to Blog" Siyata D'Shmaya Stories

Even though I've always gone to very nice as people dentists, going for dental treatment is not among my favorite occupations.  In some ways I even dread it more than a mammogram.  So, I must admit that I was rather happy to hear that my husband had some important plans the day of my dental appointment and couldn't stay with my father.  I figured that would give me another few weeks before the dreaded one hour appointment could be rescheduled.

My stress levels were down when I called the secretary a couple of days before to postpone it.  I was taken by surprise, yes, rather shocked, when she offered me an appointment at the same time of the day for the very next day, even sooner than my original appointment.  And, yes, my husband would be available to stay home with my father.

"How do you have an hour free?  Usually, it takes a few weeks for such a long treatment."
"Just two minutes before you called, we got a cancellation call, and I was just going through the lists trying to figure out whom to call and offer the slot."
"How often does something like this happen?"
"Not often, certainly not such a perfect match."
"Well, I guess G-d planned it, so I have no choice other than to accept it."

Of  course it wasn't as awful as I had feared, just more expensive.  And I got all the errands done in Jerusalem, etc.

Thank G-d!

Monday, May 24, 2010

He Left My Teeth, But Took My Money

I was going to call this:
"How Long Will I Need A Plastic Spoon?"
OK, who guessed where I was today?

I think I lost my sense of humor? 

Nu?  Where was I?

E.R. Is It Worth Getting Up at 5am?

Maybe I'm crazy, probably.  Fox series changed its schedule and doesn't repeat E.R. on Thurs and Friday when I'm home, so, since yesterday I took my father to the dentist, I got up, just a bit earlier than usual today, yes at 5am, to see the episode I had missed.  It was the tail end on Season 2.  I remember seeing the early seasons years ago.  Here and there there's something familiar.  Fox series seems to show the first six seasons repeating and repeating.  We got the dish early season 5.  Once it gets there again, I'll have had enough, unless they continue past it.

They seem to have finished Boston Legal.  Mental is too mental for me.  The balance of real, possible and ridiculous doesn't work.

I presume that Castle will be off for a while pretty soon.

Why am I writing about tv shows?

It's better than thinking about today's dentist appointment.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Giving Thanks

I'll start by thanking Adventures in MamaLand for awarding me with this Versatile Blogger award.  Read the post she wrote about the award and its history.

“Versatile Blogger Award” Rules – the MamaLand edition:
1. Thank the person who gave you this award. Definitely!
2. Share one thing about yourself readers might not know otherwise.
3. List (with links) SIX (6… not 15!) bloggers you think are fantastic, and why.
4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.

1-done in sentence #1 of this post
2-After eons of blogging, is there anything you don't know about me?  Did I ever mention that I'm a college drop-out?  It took me close to twenty years to return to university studies, someplace else, and finally get a degree.
3-OK, here goes:
  • Soccer Dad, for veteran bloggers like myself, his establishing Havel Havelim makes me very grateful.
  • Beneath the Wings is special.  Real life, common sense.  Visit and see what I mean.
  • Voices, Sharon Katz's magazine's blog.  I had admired Sharon greatly before meeting her and becoming her friend and magazine columnist.  Now you can meet her via her blog and magazine.
  • Why did I think I was only supposed to mention five bloggers?  I had this other blogging couple set in my mind for four and five, and that's what they'll be.  They are none other than our dear friends for forty years, give or take, Risa and David.
  • And for the sixth, no other than Ilana-Davita who has a very unusual blog, with a wide variety of posts.
Once this is posted, I'll have to contact the lucky bloggers.  No curses on those who would rather not participate.  Blog in good health, which is what a Grannie like me should say.  I mean it!

To Write and Report

I was supposed to do a couple of things last night, but Motzei Shabbat, Saturday night after Shabbat is getting too short.  I don't officially nap on Shabbat.  Meaning, I don't get into bed to sleep a couple of hours.  Admittedly, I occasionally doze on the couch or even during the early afternoon Shiur Nashim,  Torah class, but I don't go to sleep.  When I do/did, I found it impossible to fall asleep Saturday night.  So, I go to bed my usual hour, and now since we're in the time of the year when the sun goes down the latest, plus daylight savings, that doesn't give a very long Saturday night.  OK, so I didn't do all I should have done.

When I went to oral test the high school kids with official accommodations, I was told to get my grades in Motzei Shabbat.  I graded the papers on Friday.  The English coordinator never called.  I'll call her later in the morning.

Before Shabbat I received an email from Sharon Katz of Voices Magazine that my column was due after Shabbat.  Nu, I forgot to write it.  So, I have to write it now.

I'm also a week late so far in responding to Jennifer's meme.  Please forgive me.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Killing Time. Waiting for the Computer to Compute...

Am I the only one with a slow computer?  I keep all sorts of handy gadgets by the keyboard, tweezers, nail file and sometimes a good book.  I don't crochet while waiting, because it takes too long to untangle.  Tonight after Shabbat, while I was waiting for ole clunky, I gave myself a manicure, yes, seriously.  I didn't get around to doing it before Shabbat, so, better late than never.

What do you do when waiting?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Drink Your Brain Medicine, Your Coffee!

I just love these articles that confirm what I want to hear.  Coffee is good for your brain!

1. Caffeine has a positive effect on cognition, memory performance, and the ability to complete complex tasks.

2. An inverse association between regular caffeine consumption and the incidence of Parkinson’s disease was found–in other words, caffeine looks to be protective against Parkinson’s disease.

3 . The consumption of moderate amounts of caffeine was seen to decrease the cognitive decline associated with aging, as well as the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.

4. Caffeine prevented motor deficits, normalized brain function, and prevented brain degeneration.

5. Caffeine improves a sense of well-being, happiness, energy, alertness and sociability.

6. Caffeine enhances aerobic endurance.

7. Consumption of coffee can lead to a decreased risk of Type 2 diabetes.

8. Coffee has a whopping amount of antioxidants–on average, Americans receive 1,299 milligrams of antioxidants from their 1.64 cups of daily coffee. The closest competitor was tea at 294 milligrams. Rounding out the top five sources were bananas, 76 milligrams; dry beans, 72 milligrams; and corn, 48 milligrams.

I don't live on coffee.  I drink a few cups early in the morning.  After that I rarely touch it, only sometimes if eating out in a dairy restaurant, and that's much less frequently than weekly.

Please don't forget that a lot of the pc forbidden foods are being discovered to be extremely healthy, like eggs and milk fat.  Coffee is on that list, too.

I eat eggs every morning.  They are a complete, perfect, natural unprocessed protein and don't contain salt.  A cooked egg is very easy to digest.

Zero (0%) percent dairy products are forbidden in my home.  They aren't natural.  If you don't eat enough cholesterol your body will produce it in higher than necessary quantities.  So, it's better to have regular dairy products of 3-5% fat.   I shun the low fat and skimmed dairy products.  But I don't eat yellow cheese, either.  I rarely touch cheese at all.  I have regular milk in my morning coffee and eat plain, unflavored goats yogurt.  Generally, that's all the dairy I eat.

Don't Forget!

Please remember to send in your posts to the Kosher Cooking Carnival.  It's best to get into the habit of sending them just after posting; otherwise you may forget.  I'd certainly forget!

And if you're interesting in hosting one, please let me know.

KCC is a monthly blog carnival, which is posted around Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of each Jewish month.

  • Kashrut in Jewish Law
  • Jewish Food traditions
  • kosher recipes
  • anecdotes about Jewish Food
  • Jewish Holiday Food
  • kosher restaurants and cookbook reviews
  • anything kosher!
Bloggers, please remind your readers about it, thanks!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Can't Complain or One of The Advantages of Living in Israel

It was one of those weeks...
Shabbat, Holiday, Shabbat, there was barely enough time in between to attempt to lose the weight put on from each festive meal.  Even for me, who follows the "once a week binge" as part of my low carbohydrate diet, this week  plus is too bingy for words.

At least I had today, Thursday, without any festive meals, challot or my neighbor's Yemenite pittot.  But if I hadn't made aliyah and I was stuck in chutz l'Aretz, abroad, I would have had a second day of Shavuot and less than twenty-four hours to prepare for the following Shabbat.

What do people do?  I'd guess that cooking double for Shabbat last week  would have helped.

I admit that on the occasional year we, in Israel,  have Rosh Hashannah and Shabbat consecutively, giving us a three day "yontiff," Holiday, but it's less that Jews in the rest of the world have to deal with.

Brunch Treats

A few weeks ago, I met someone for a Friday brunch in Jerusalem.  To make it convenient for me, we decided to meet near the Jerusalem Central Bus Station (CBS.)  In the past I had always eaten in the large dairy restaurant in Center 1, the now busy mall, which once had a children's clothing store, where I worked for a few months, during that I'll work at anything time in life.

Recently, the past year or two, the never-successful commercial space next to it (closer to CBS) was fixed up and has some nice stores.  There's a branch of the Cafe-Cafe chain.  It was much quieter there, so we decided to try that venue.


My companion had the Israeli Breakfast which included a cup of coffee, an omelet, cheeses, a salad and salad spreads, plus a tempting roll.

I had an amazing Salmon Salad.
great lunch

It tasted as good as it looked!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Close to forty people crowded into our livingroom/diningroom/kitchen (open "L") to hear our neighbor Rabbi Dov Berkovits this afternoon for our annual Shavuot Shiur (English Torah Class.)   Lots of neighbors came, as did visitors; some were parents of neighbors. 

There was a short program in English last night at a neighbor's home, but I didn't go.  I had been debating between that and the women's classes.  But I didn't go to that either.  I realized that I was too tired and would probably fall asleep.  I was disappointed.  I didn't even drink wine last night, because sometimes the wine knocks me out.

And just in case you're curious.  I served melon and watermelon chunks with toothpicks, my rich, moist banana chocolate chip cake and water.  That's it.

This one was slightly different, since I used juice concentrate instead of some of the sugar and water. And I didn't bother with oil.
  • in a small or medium bowl, mash 4 bananas
  • add half cup juice syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons of vanilla and some cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup water, mix liquidy ingredients
  • in a larger bowl 4 cups of flour and baking powder according to recommended amount
  • 1 cup brown (can be light) sugar and a hand-full of chocolate chips, mix dry ingredients
  • add liquid to dry, and mix; if too dry add some water
  • add 5-6 eggs and mix
  • pour into baking pans and bake medium heat, until pops up when pressed

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Simple Shavuot Menu

Luckily my husband is happy with dairy on Shavuot, no debating.  Only when the Tunisian branch of the family is here for the holiday must we eat meat.  He buys a cheesecake, since I've never quite gotten the recipe right, and this year he bought frozen blintzes, since I never quite learned how his mother makes them.    What I did make was gefilte fish and vegetable soup, a root soup experiment.  We're very few people for the meals, so it's silly to make tons of food.

For  both meals we'll have the soup and fish.  I'm serving different versions of sweet potatoes at each meal and different fancy baked vegetables.  The other vegetable dish is cooked in a pot with just a bit of oil.  It includes onion, carrot and squash.  Yes, that's it.  Of course salad is served with each meal, and the blintzes are for the noon meal. 

I'm in Israel, so there's only one day to worry about.

Chag Sameach

It Could Be Written As A Great Short Story

I'm not a fiction writer.  I wish I was, because I think there's more of a market.  One of the things that happened to me yesterday when I did oral testing for mld (mildly learning disabled) high school students could be written as a good short story.  I don't need fiction when the truth is so compelling.

I've known this high school for over fifteen years.  It has changed a lot, including its location and the staff and of course students.  My memory isn't all that great, and nothing looked familiar, even though I had been in the building once before.  I was happy to find some veteran staff members and newer ones I know, but I didn't see any familiar students.  It's not a popular school with my neighbors.

The long day was winding down.  I had time for one more student before my ride home.  The boy who walked in looked vaguely familiar, as if he could be the brother of someone from the high school I had once taught in.  As I did with all the students, I asked him to write his name on the test booklet but didn't bother trying to read it.  There was no need to know his name until I had to report the grades.  

The English coordinator warned me about him and told me that if he "lists" the answers too quickly I should make him say how he chose them.  There was no need for that, since it was clear that he was seriously and honestly struggling with the material.

He was visibly relieved when he finished the last question:

"Didn't you used to teach in --?"
I took a good look and replied: "I remember you.  You live in -.  I had recommended to your mother that you be transferred to here.  I'm glad to see you.  Good luck!"

True story, of course.

Monday, May 17, 2010


A few days ago, a friend called asking me to "oral test" her high school students for their English Bagrut (nation-wide final exam.)  It's a one-time deal of course, and anyone can do it.  You don't have to be an English Teacher.  I, davka, had done it at that same school before entering the profession.  The school has changed a lot since then.  So have I.

I've been wracking my brain trying to decide on the right clothes to wear.  For me, teaching is theater, and that especially includes a major, crucial testing day like today.  I can't distract or repulse.  I must choose a skirt comfortable to sit in, on any chair at any type of table, modest regardless of how my legs are crossed or not.

Of course, my blouse or shirt must keep me well-covered regardless of the angle viewed.  I must look friendly, not frightening nor distracting.  I can brighten the outfit up with the right hair-covering, hat or scarf.  And of course an interesting choice of earrings (I wear three) always helps the students to keep their attention focused.

I have a cousin who is a professional costume designer and works all over north America.  I've never discussed this with him.  Maybe I should.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Israeli Deals, Sales and Bargains

I just heard of an Israeli internet site which publicizes all sorts of good deals.

Check it out, costs nothing to take a look.

Choose KCC By Leora!

Shavua Tov!  Start the week (unless it's still Saturday night for you in which case just enjoy) with the latest Kosher Cooking Carnival hosted by Leora!  There are lots if interesting and tempting recipes and kosher food posts to check out.  Please blog about it and send around the link.

KCC is a monthly blog carnival which gets posted around Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of the Jewish Month.  If you'd like to host one, please let me know.  Send in your links via blog carnival.
  • Jewish/Kosher food traditions
  • Halacha, Jewish Laws about Kashrut kosher food
  • kosher restaurant and cookbook reviews
  • kosher food recipes
  • anything kosher!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Annual Shavuot Dilemma

Way back when, when I was learning how to be a good Torah Jew, you'd think that for properly celebrating Shavuot eating cheesecake was more important than learning Torah all night.  The Jewish world I knew was Ashkenaz, European, not Sephardic (Iberian) or North African.

In those days, if someone had a different custom at home, from the Yiddishe cheesecake he/she was clever enough to keep it a secret.

We've been living in Shiloh for almost three decades.  Shiloh isn't the New York I knew in the 1960's.  We're multicultural, ethnically diverse.  Yes, really.  We have Jews here from all over the world, all different backgrounds, including entire families who are Jews "by choice."

It may sound sacrilegious, but many of them don't eat cheesecake on Shavuot.  They don't eat dairy at all.  Many eat meat and even grill the Shavuot lunch.

What do you eat on Shavuot?  I'm planning fish meal.  We have some ground fish in the freezer from Pesach, so maybe I should make Geffilte Fish.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Shot In The Ladies Locker Room

Gevalt, this post will probably be a star on "google" but for the wrong reasons!
It was one of those occasions when I was glad to have had my camera with me.  While drying my hair under one of the immobile wall-hairdryers I kept staring at that wig, saying to myself:

"I must shoot it.  I hope the owner doesn't take it down before I can get my camera out of the locker!"

And while taking the picture:
"Don't worry ladies; I'm only photographing this wig on the wall.  You're not in the picture, none of you!"

A large percentage of the women who swim "women's hours" in the Neve Yaakov, Jerusalem pool are religious and married.  Jewish Law requires us to cover our hair.  I wear a variety of hats and scarves, but others wear wigs.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Before They Dry Out

We're barely into spring, and the summer fires have already begun. This isn't England.  We don't have rain for more than half the year, and even humidity is at a premium, rare in most parts of the country, Land of Israel, to be more exact.

I took the following two pictures not all that long ago, but since then they've dried out quite a bit.

Spring 2010

Spring 2010

Pictures aren't real life.  Time stands still when photographed.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Plans? Me?

There's the saying that "man plans and G-d laughs."  I've decided to just ride the waves.  Whatever happens is meant to happen.  When I was a kid we went to Jones Beach, Long Island, a lot.  There are good waves there, at least according to the standards of little kids.  This is pre-surfing I don't know if anyone surfs there.

My father taught me how the "jump" the waves.  If you don't know how to handle yourself in waves, you can be knocked down, injured, even drown, G-d forbid.  So, when I say that I'll just ride the waves, I don't expect to be pushed around and let the water ride over me.

You're supposed to jump with the wave keeping your head above water.  The higher the wave, the higher the jump.  Yes, that's life.

A Guest of The Elderly

Considering my age, I guess I'm a senior citizen already, but I'm not elderly!

Periodically, I get a taste of old age when I visit a very young at heart friend in the senior home in the Shalom Hotel, Bayit V'Gan, Jerusalem.  Part of my friend's contract/conditions there is to buy a certain amount of meal tickets each month.  They serve a full meat (or fish if that's your choice) lunch everyday.  It's not free, not included in the standard conditions.  The residents have to buy meal tickets and let the kitchen know in advance, so the right amount of food will be available.  Some people fill containers and take the food to eat in their apartments, but it's really nice to eat in the dining area and socialize.

The food is tasty, though nothing spectacular.

There's a choice of two soups, a salad bar, a choice of proteins and side-dishes (as illustrated) and a dessert table with cake and fruit salad.

"Senior" Lunch

The Shalom Hotel deal is for "independent living."  It won't suit my parents at this time; a decade ago it would have.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My Father's New Friend

My father has been pretty lucky here in Shiloh, even making some new friends.


People have been very nice and welcoming.  Some live here "full time," and others are "parents of" and visit occasionally.

Food For All!

I've been sitting on these pictures I took in Jerusalem's gorgeous, tempting open market, Machane Yehuda for a couple of weeks.  Luckily, they stay fresh, unlike the produce for sale.  Enjoy! 

There are no calories in just looking, but remember that if you don't eat fresh healthy food, like what's sold here you won't get the vitamins and you'll be deprived of the great taste...

Jerusalem's Machane Yehuda Open Market

Jerusalem's Machane Yehuda Open Market

Jerusalem's Machane Yehuda Open Market

Jerusalem's Machane Yehuda Open Market

As you've probably noticed, the shuk has been "upgraded." It's yuppier than most people think, so this pet store shouldn't be a great suprise.

Jerusalem's Machane Yehuda Open Market, dogs, too

Monday, May 10, 2010

My New "Friend," Kirk Douglas

You may remember that I blogged about Kirk Douglas's blog last week.  I commented to a post of his asking if he really does the blogging or is it someone else.  Well, today, just a few minutes ago, rather bored here at the computer and a bit annoyed that although I post about twice a day on two blogs, there have been almost no comments (so I don't know if anyone really reads my posts) I found myself checking his blog.

Would you believe that he replied to my question and referred to me as his "friend!?"

I commented, of course.  It will probably take a while to be posted since comments to his blog are moderated.  And in case you're curious, all the technical stuff, including the typing is done by staff, but he does dictate, and at 93 that's great.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Controlling TV Addiction

We've had our years with TVs and without TVs.  And even the "with" years never provided us with much reception, a variety of shows.  For me, that's enough.  I don't like the feeling that I'm addicted to a TV program.

Now we have a simple satellite dish so my father can watch the news.  We only get a few stations, enough for our needs.  And we get a couple of stations with American TV series.  The various episodes are repeated a couple of times over the week, so I can usually though not always catch them all.  I've only allowed myself to get "attached to" a few shows, which we see on Fox Series.  They are:
  • E.R.  which we saw on some channel, maybe Jordan or Israel, when it was newer.  I must admit that it's even better second time around.  When we got the dish they were showing season 5 and then 6.  Now, we started over and got to 2.
  • Castle, an amazing show, like the old Remington Steele and Moonlighting.  I'd have to see the older shows to try to judge which is the best.
  • Boston Legal is hysterical, great comedy, acting etc.
That plus news and whatever other shows, movies, my own DVDs... enough!

HHappy Bima Ima Day

The Bima Ima presents a fast-paced Havel Havelim.  Catch it!

Rosh Chodesh, the first of the Jewish Month of Sivan is approaching, which means that there will soon be a Kosher Cooking Carnival at Leora's. So send in your kosher food posts ASAP. And if you're interested in hosting one, please let me know at shilohmuse at gmail dot com  

And of course please blog about them so others will know and visit and spread the word even further.

The Empty Nest

My dear jblogger friend, may we f2f someday soon, Lady-Light wrote the most beautiful post about her empty-nest.

We own our home, B"H, thank G-d, and have lived here since the kids were all young.  Three of the rooms had been designated as "children's rooms."  Our kids have long left the nest, but it takes so much longer to re-designate their rooms.  Part of the reason is that they aren't too swift about packing up.

The first room re-designated was the smallest room, all of two meters by three, very well planned with a sliding door for maximum usage.  It was daughter #2's room and we turned it into the "young couple's guest room" when she got married.  And then when grandchild #1 was born, we succeeded in squeezing in a crib making it the perfect "young family guest room."

The next room to metamorphose was "the girls room," a "room for two," chock full of books and a lifetime times two of souvenirs, too valuable to toss, but not valuable enough to take to the next stations in life.  In recent years it became the grandchildren's home away from home when they stayed over.  That is until my father was about to move in with us.  Then we got the green light to remake the room into "grandpa's room."  It was totally redesigned and furnished by son #1 and son-in-law.

The "boys' room" still has their stamp and possessions, though recently, my youngest cleared out a lot of his things since he's renting an apartment with a friend.

Homes evolve, live.  Next episode....

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Information Overload

There are people gifted with the capacity to remember, file and process vast amounts of information, names, faces, facts etc.  Unfortunately, I'm not blessed in that way.  Sad, but true.  I suffer information overload.

Not long ago, I noticed someone at our bus stop waiting area at the Jerusalem central bus station.  She definitely looked familiar and she glanced at me in a way that told me that I, too, looked familiar.  She didn't take the bus to Shiloh, but I know people from all over.  Well, I sort of know them if only I could remember their names or how we met.  We didn't really talk to each other.  I noticed her another few times.  I've been thinking about her, since it really bothers me.

I finally remember who she is and how we met but not her name.  So, next time I see her, I can talk to her and tell her that I remember her from...

Friday, May 07, 2010

"Retitling," It's All In The Labeling, Isn't It?

I've just changed the title of last night's Shiloh Musings blog post.  I was very surprised that it hadn't attracted any comments, but then again, the title was awful.  As usual I wrote the title before writing the post, and it was an unwieldy, unattractive title.  Yes, as a former public relations worker and advertising agent, I know a good title when I write it or read/see it.

Last night I was in a rush and tired and wanted to go to sleep.  When I started writing the post I had a vague idea of what I would write, and short as it is, it quickly developed in a slightly different direction.  When I posted it, I knew that the title was too unwieldy (there I am using the same adjective again) and probably not at all clear to many readers.  Doubly bad.

Titles should be short and pique the interest of potential readers.

I feel better about the title now.  It'll also google better. 

Another thing is that the original title had a Hebrew phrase, slogan, which most people wouldn't get, and I didn't even translate and explain it.

Yes, the bottom line is that I did a bad job.  I never claimed to be perfect.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Being Vague and Discrete

It's one thing to publicize who I am, but besides my husband who also isn't shy about letting the world know who is, the rest of my family, even those who are in public light from their work, don't want me letting you in on the secret.


Many of us personal bloggers have that problem. It's no real secret who our kids are, especially since they quite often go by the same name as us. But just because we live rather public lives, doesn't mean that our children, grandchildren, parents, siblings etc must live so exposed.

There's a fine line...  I hope that I don't cross it.

Remind Me, Please

I have no idea when it will be, but the next time I get to New York, please remind me that I want this list of great bargain stores which sell 2nd hand clothes and overruns, whatever the euphemism you prefer.


A "Club Sandwich" in Jerusalem

HaGov kosher sports bar & grill,Jerusalem

Yes, the Super HaGov club sandwich is quite a mouthful.  Three slices of bread and two types of meat, plus some salad.  One of my kids ordered it when we ate dinner at HaGov last week.  He loved it.  There are also vegetarian and low-carb choices on the menu. 

HaGov, The Lion's Den, is the new kosher sports bar and grill, 5 Yoel Solomon Street, in Jerusalem.  It's open all night, except for Friday night.

Week Speeds By

It's funny how Wednesday morning feels like the middle of the week, but Wednesday night feels like the week is over.  Tomorrow I have to start cooking for Shabbat and invite guests.  It's risky inviting on Thursday, since some people are invited by then.  I like being with people, and it's also good for my father.

Judaism splits the week, sort of, in half.  There's Shabbat and then there are three days after and three days before.  Tuesday is the previous Shabbat and Wednesday is the upcoming Shabbat.  I guess that's why I feel like the week is almost over.  Before going to bed, I take out the meat/poultry to thaw overnight.  Yes, that really makes me feel like Shabbat is on its way.

Good night!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Start Your Day With A Laugh

This (sorry, but you have to click to see the youtube) reminds me that I once read that an international company had an awful time finding a name for their new product.  They had all their "choices" checked by multi-lingual linguists, and unfortunately all the options had some negative connotation in one language or another.

Words have their misunderstandings and disputed connotations.  Last night's Shiloh Musings post about "Israel" has surprised me by attracting a lot of comments.  I must also admit that very few, if any, agree with me.  Join the fray...