Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Scanner vs Fax

We were among the first in Shiloh to have a fax in our home.  It has been broken and out of use close to ten years, ok, maybe only eight, but neighbors still call asking to use it.  I'm sorry we never replaced it, because it's nice to be able to do favors.

When I had to buy a new printer I debated between one of those all-in-one fax/scanner/printer models, but in the end I just got a printer/scanner.  We rarely need the use of a fax. 

Today I proved to myself that the scanner is far more useful and economic.  I needed to get various documents to my sister in Arizona, since she's handling absolutely everything to set them up in an assisted living place.  All the things I scanned could have been faxed, sort of.  Some would have needed photocopying first.  Also, we would have had to pay phone call rates to fax the stuff.  The scanned documents were just sent as email attachments.  My sister will print them on her printer.  She also doesn't have a fax, so this was really easy.  Also, she can save the documents in her computer memory besides the hard-copies.

Breaking A Fast

Yesterday was a fast day, the 17th of Tammuz, according to the Jewish religion.  I kvetched and ranted here and on facebook.  How much is physiological and how much is my general stressed out mood and how much due to the weather, I wouldn't guess.

I, please don't say foolishly, walked down the hill, about a kilometer or half a mile plus, to a neighbor's to join her and others for weekly T'hillim, Psalms.  The walk in such "clothes-dryer" weather really knocked me out, but I always feel good after these sessions.  We share the entire one hundred and fifty Psalms by David and then say special prayers for those ill and in need of G-d's help for other reasons, too, like finding a match and getting pregnant.  Unfortunately, the list keeps growing, though some who were on the "need a match" list recently got married.

I was driven home feeling better, B"H.

My husband fasts easily and broke the fast on our typical Shabbat leftover dinner of soup, chicken, vegetables, rice and salad.  I made myself a quick, nothing special vegetable soup of split peas, onions, carrots and squash (and some oil, salt and pepper.) 

As soon as I could eat, I drank water, felt awful, not hungry and ate a very ripe banana.  Before I could finish that the phone rang.  It was my sister about things needed to be done for our parents and reports to each other.

Only after we finally got off the phone did I have my soup, a few small bowls.  By then I felt better.  Later I ate some plain goats yogurt and an apple.

How do you break fasts?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Another: G-d's In Charge, Siyata d'Shamya, Story

Those of you who read this blog regularly/frequently know that I had a job as EFL teacher substitute at the beginning of the year in an excellent girls high school.  I left it early, because I just couldn't concentrate with my father living with us.  I'm not designed for heavy stress. 

Since I was on the staff, I was added to all sorts of email groups from the office, and I never asked to be taken off.  Usually I just delete whatever they send, but there was something in the title of one just now, that got me curious:
"We're all supporting --"
I read it and discovered that a staff member's daughter will be undergoing neurosurgery tomorrow.  Well, not only do I know the woman, I know her husband, one of their children studied with one of mine, I taught one of their sons, and... yes, the girl was a student of mine.

Please pray for a refuah shleimah, a complete and speedy recovery for:
Aviva bat Yael

Tizku l'mitzvot
May you be rewarded with more mitzvot

Slow Fasting

It's the 17th of Tamuz

This morning, sans water and coffee, I found myself typing more typos than usual.

There's a ton of laundry to fold.

I feel like kvetching.

I miss my water and coffee.

Knowing that it's the "three weeks" already makes my trip to Arizona to take my father to my mother much closer.  I'll be in the states for the 9 days and Tisha b'Av.

I'll be back for the Shiloh holiday of TU b'Av.

I try to go away during the 9 days, since the pool is closed and I have little to do but the Mitzvah of kibbud av v'em.

Sorry for kvetching...

Monday, June 28, 2010

There's Always A First Time

Last Thursday at the pool:
"-- cancelled on me.  I don't have anyone to give the shiur (Torah class.)"
"There's something I had been thinking about..."
"I'll check with one more person, and if that doesn't work out, I'll let you know."

Duhh!?!  What had I done?  I volunteered to give a shiur?  Gevalt!

Yes, I did it on Shabbat.  It was very participatory.  Nobody dozed off.

You Can Never Have too Many Toilets, About Yesterday...

When we planned this house, we had four kids with a fifth (final) on the way.  By the time we moved in, the baby was soon to be toilet trained.  Three toilets seemed minimal.  One by the bedrooms, one in ours and one by the front-door for visitors and the kids in a rush home.  When listed like that, three don't seem all that many.

For the past few days I had been noticing a very unpleasant smell in our bathroom.  Admittedly I don't do a thorough cleaning all that often, but the usual spots weren't the cause, because my usual cleaning didn't make a dent in the stink.

Then yesterday after the pool, the water didn't go down when I took my shower.  I shower in "the kids' bathroom," because our shower is a terrible water-waster.  It takes too long for hot water to make it through the plumbing.  And for more years than I like to remember, only my husband and I have lived in this house.  Even this year with my father just gives us a population of three, not too many for one bathtub.

I lifted up the "cap" in the bathroom floor and lots of dirty water went up and flooded the room, though the bathtub did empty.

Then I went into our toilet-shower and peeked into the shower stall and saw that it had become an "overflow" for the sewer.  That's why the room had been stinking!

And then I called the plumber!

Baruch Hashem, the front-door toilet isn't connected to this mess, and the plumber from Nevada got it all fixed and cleaned up the same afternoon. 

Life's never dull, is it?

Sunday, June 27, 2010


That was nice to hear!  A neighbor called that out to me as I was running to a from my house doing errands today.

Two years ago, I was a very different size.  I was in the obese category.  Now, according to the charts I'm still overweight, but there's no comparison in terms of how I look.

Sometimes I still "feel fat" and have to work on myself not to get "down" about it.  Then I get some compliment like the one in the tittle, and I feel so much better.

Spring JPIX at Leora's

It's springtime in HP, the Latest JPIX is blooming!

Enjoy, enjoy!  It's worth the visit. 

Leora, thanks so much!

Confusion In The Air

It's late June and should be hot.  It has been hot, though not recently.  When I went to the pool on Thursday, I was the first to arrive even though it had been open for an hour already.  Yesterday afternoon, when I took a walk, I needed to go back home for a heavy sweater.

That bodes badly for a nice "swim" this morning.  I wonder how warm the water will be and if there will be a cold, chilly breeze blowing.

We have a very short pool season here in Shiloh, just three months.  Of those three months, the pool is closed not only on Shabbat.  It's also closed on the fast day of the 17th of Tammuz, which is this Tuesday and then it's closed for the first ten days of Av, a period of mourning according to Jewish Law.  I try to schedule my visits to the states to include those ten days in Av.

G-d willing my neighbor will be over to stay with my father this morning so I can get some "swimming" in.  If it's chilly, I won't stay all that long.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Why Am I Not In The Picture?

On Friday my cousin (yoohoo, are you lurking?) was visiting to see my father and she mentioned a picture that our youngest cousin had sent her.  My mother had found it when cleaning out the house, gave it to him, and he scanned and sent it out.  They all thought it rather strange that everyone but me and that youngest cousin are in it. 

So they all tried to figure out why I was missing.  It seemed rather strange. 

I asked her to describe the picture, which she did in great detail.  Suddenly, I knew exactly why I wasn't in the picture.

What's your guess?

Friday, June 25, 2010

More Ways to Use Celeriac

Last week I subjected my husband, father and yours truly to another of my creative cooking solutions.  The object of my recent experiments is the rather repulsive looking celeriac, celery root, that ugly thing attached to the strong-tasting stalks my husband puts in the chicken soup he makes every week.

As you most certainly agree, they ought to be well-disguised.  Would you guess they can be found here?

I cut up a root, small pieces, along with the onion for this meatloaf.  In addition there's some tomato paste/concentrate, an egg, coarse garlic and some dehydrated parsley flakes sprinkled on top, and some ground meat (part poultry.)  No, no binder was used.  I've been doing my best to reduce or even eliminate carbohydrates from my diet.

My customers approved the experiment.  The flavor is so strong that you don't need salt.  Actually I don't cook foods like this with salt.  It's real easy to make.  You can even mix it in the baking dish to save on dishwashing.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Parents, As Of Now...

I guess some of you missed the beginning, or I was never too clear. 

Way back when, last September, my mother fell and was hospitalized.  She is the more "with it" of my two parents, aka the caregiver.  My father was left at home alone, no proper food, care, medications etc.  My NY daughter took off from work when she could, and sometimes my father was taken to spend the day with my mother, but that wasn't a solution.

It was decided that I should go to New York and bring him here to Israel, to Shiloh to be more specific.  So I did.  The plan was for my mother to be brought to Israel as soon as possible.  I envisioned two or three months, but it didn't happen.  Time began dragging, and her situation wasn't good either.

A few weeks ago she finally made it clear that she'd prefer to be moved to Arizona, near my sister.  So, now my sister is getting her ready, and they'll soon be in Arizona.  My sister found a nice assisted living place for my parents.  And G-d willing in a few weeks, I'll be taking my father there.  My father is overjoyed, because he misses my mother desperately.

That's the basic story.


I'm a firm believer in the "life rule" that you should look for reasons to party, never too many celebrations.  This week, so far, two out of three celebrations have been enjoyed.  I'm invited to another one tonight.

The other day I met with friends to celebrate a young at heart "elderly" friend's birthday.  We had a great time together and promised ourselves more partying.  I hope we'll really do it.

Yesterday the Movie Club came over for an "early 90th Birthday" for my father.  Why aren't we waiting for the "real" date?  That's because my has mother decided that they'd be better off near my sister in Arizona.  My sister is helping my mother pack up her house, life etc right now.  And I'll, G-d willing, be taking him to Arizona in a few weeks.

I didn't show a movie.  Actually, besides the menu, a cake from the best baker in the neighborhood and a fruit salad from another, there was no real program planned.  I set up hot and cold soft drinks and set chairs to join the couches as a "circle" in the living room.  My father sat in his favorite seat, the end of the couch with the broken spring.  It's where I generally sit and must have destroyed the spring a few years ago.

Conversation flowed.  I was amazed.  I had thought that the party would last less than an hour, but everyone had such a good time talking, eating, noshing that they stayed over two hours.  Again, there was this feeling that we must get together much more often just to socialize.  There was a great mix of ages, three generations, and the participants were from all over the world.

Tonight is another party, very different.  Stay tuned...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Great Anti-Shechita Hypocrisy

I finally posted the expose` which had been simmering in my mind for a long time.

Can there be a strong dose of antisemitism in the anti-shechita laws?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Fault

Today, after my father got up, showered, dressed etc, he was acting very out of it, more than the usual until breakfast kicks in.  I decided to check the hearing aids to make sure the batteries were still working.  I took the first one out and realized that I had never turned it on.  Then I checked the second, the same.

Oops! My fault. 

"Off" hearing aids in the ears diminish hearing.

Taking care of my elderly father is always a challenge, and sometimes I'm the problem.

I Bought It!

I was so confident that the dress had been sold that I walked into the store and looked for it.  At first I was so relieved not to find it, but then, there it was waiting for me.  Why else would it still be there after all this time?  I tried it on again.  Yes, besides needing something for the low "V" neckline, which I can use for other outfits, it was made for me. 

The skirt is lined, so it doesn't need a slip.  It's of a very good fabric which doesn't wrinkle, packs easily.  It's the "icing on the cake*" for my new "slimmed down" wardrobe.

Of course, I still need more "everyday" tops which I haven't been able to find.

*Never reward with food.  Don't use food as a comfort, not for yourself, kids, grandkids etc.

Monday, June 21, 2010

While My Nail Polish Dries...

I admit that it makes me sound rather flaky, but even women (grannies) of my advanced age wear nail polish.  Why shouldn't we?  And  I don't bother with clear boring "colors."  What's the point if it doesn't make some sort of statement?  I don't like most of the colors in my collection and hope to restock the next time I'm in the states.  I like the Sally Hansen brand.  My nails do seem stronger when I use it.  Of course the chlorine-full swimming pool water does its damage, but that's just another good reason to polish my nails.

Today my husband is home, so I'll be going to Jerusalem.  For the past couple of months I've gotten emails trying to organize a birthday party for a very young at heart elderly by years friend.  For some strange reason, although I hadn't made specific plans I did know I'd be going to Jerusalem today.  G-d's my scheduling secretary, of course, and last night I got a call from a mutual friend of that friend that it had been decided that we'd be partying this afternoon.  PERFECT!  No surprise.

And the student who visits with my father in exchange for her scholarship is free Thursday evening when I have another birthday party to go to, a local one for a neighbor turning sixty.

My nails are dry enough to do the next stage of my day.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hop Over to Frume Sarah's for The Latest Havel Havelim

It's hard to believe that Havel Havelim is up to #272 already.  I remember when the first fifty was a major milestone, and here we are still going strong.  Jblogging is rich in talent.  Take a look at the posts from Jewish bloggers all over the world.  I'm sure you'll enjoy them.

Jewish Mourning, The Practical Aspects

Leora interviewed me for her blog about how to help during the shiva* plus other practical aspects, including for the mourners themselves.

I'd like to hear your reactions, suggestions, experiences etc. And of course that includes from the mourners' perspective, too.

*Shiva is the customary Jewish seven day (really six plus) mourning period.

Haircut, Couldn't Be More Convenient

My new next door neighbor cuts women's hair.  I spoke to her about cutting mine a few months ago.  She said that her house was a mess from moving in, but she'd come to me.  In the interim I cut my own, badly of course, but I can't see it.  I really wanted a good haircut for the summer.

So, when I saw her at the pool today I asked, and she came over afterward.

She has all her equipment in a convenient bag.  I sat on a plastic chair in the middle of my livingroom, and she cut my hair.

You really can't get more convenient than that.  I don't have carpeting and we swept it all up.

My Life?

A few weeks ago, at our Shabbat shiur nashim, Women's Torah Class, a new neighbor told his life's story and how he became religious.  I found something "missing." It was dry.  Yesterday afternoon, Shabbat, I was asked to do the same (plus my aliyah story) for a group of visiting teens.

I was under the impression that they were older, like mid-high school, but it ended up they were graduating eighth graders from a nearby elementary school.  I'm not used to talking to kids of that age at all.  Events I lived through are ancient history for them.  They're from backgrounds very different from mine, though some of their parents may have similar histories.  Of course, few of us wear our personal histories on our skin.

I did my best to tell my story.  They seemed incredulous at times.  I hope that some messages will stay with them.


Friday, June 18, 2010

There Are Times I Wished I Had A Larger Oven

For years it never bothered me that my oven was small, but recently I began cooking lots of baked foods, especially vegetables.  Cooking takes me ages, because I can't fit too much in the oven.  A "slightly larger" one wouldn't make all that much difference, but that's no solution, because my kitchen was planned with inflexible walls and cabinets.  We'd have to do major renovations to fit anything larger.  Even worse, over the years it has gotten more and more difficult to find such small stoves.

Sorry for the rant!

"The Three Terrors"

LATMA does it again with this very terrorizing ditty. After they conned the world, the terrorists are back serenading all they hold near and dear. Beware or they'll visit you real soon.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Busybody Internet Censorship

We have one of those "internet in the air" set-ups, and I know that people may be stealing our service. But sometimes our computer gets klutzy and latches itself onto the neighbor's censored internet service.  We're not interested.  As "senior citizens" child-proof internet isn't on the menu.

I'm old enough and anyhow don't look at what I shouldn't look at. 

Another Great Reason To Live in Shiloh!


This was obviously taken before the pool was filled and before the tarp was hung to bring privacy to the Shiloh Swimming Pool.  The pool administration and maintenance staff have been busy for weeks repairing the pool and refreshing the landscaping.  There's also a shallow children's wading pool which can't be seen from this angle.

Our swimming hours are strictly segregated, male and female hours.  The early hours and the last before closing are adults only, no kids.  That's when I go.  It's much more pleasant.  "Icing on the cake" is the location, an easy and short walk from my house.

Big Day Tomorrow, G-d Willing

I was hoping to post a picture of the pool, but it's not yet uploaded and bedtime has long passed.

I've arranged for someone to stay with my father, so I can go to the pool for 45 minutes net.  I opened today, but women's hours were at night.  I don't like night hours, and besides that there wasn't anyone to stay with him.  The pool is very close to our house, but not too close.  We don't hear the noise.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bargains, A Day Off and Being A Sandwich

I may have gotten the order wrong in this title, but by the time I finish composing this blog post it should all be clear, all topics covered.

The very first bit of advice I received last October when I brought my very elderly father home to Shiloh  from New York was:
"Take time off for yourself."
That was from a close friend, someone I've known longer than most of those in Israel.  She's a geriatric social worker.  Since, unfortunately, my husband is only working part-time, he's the alternate care-giver.  I've been able to get out at least once a week, usually some sort of meeting in Jerusalem or shopping.  Sometimes, like yesterday, the shopping was in the discount supermarket, Rami Levy, in Sha'ar Binyamin, just north of Jerusalem.  Honestly, the prices in our local supermarket aren't bad, but it's fun to shop someplace else.  The one thing which is always cheaper in the discount stores is good coffee.  I use standard Israeli Elite Turkish coffee in my filter/drip coffeemaker.  I also use the same in a percolator on Passover.  I love good, strong coffee.  Since I restrict it to morning, I consider it very healthy, and recent research confirms it.  Yesterday I bought fancy Mocha, too.  The price wasn't all that much higher.

My daughter picked me up on her way home from Hebrew University, Mt. Scopus.  She has a sort of staff position there through her legal work with the Israeli Movement for Quality in Government.  I could have bought more stuff, because I was able to give my purchases to a neighbor who was going home.  My husband took the stuff from her car afterwards.

The only big downside of my father's living with us is that I've hardly seen my grandchildren this year.  Since I hadn't made any plans for yesterday, I told my daughter that I'd like to visit, and I did.  I spent a lot of time with the five year old and saw the others, too.

I'm pleased that they have retained enough familiarity with English that I could continue speaking it to them.  If I have to use Hebrew, it'll be hard for them to accept my speaking English.  We all want them to comprehend basic English trusting that if ever really necessary, they'll be capable of communicating in English.

One of my cousins is coming here in August with some of her clan for her eldest grandchild's Bar Mitzvah.  She has a granddaughter exactly in between the ages of my two granddaughters.  The girls met two years ago when my entire clan was in New York for a family wedding.  We're all looking forward to the grand event and seeing the kids become friends, not just distant cousins.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Not the Nightmare People Expect

Israeli Government offices have a awful reputations, inefficiency, time-wasting etc, but I really must tell you the truth.  They are actually pretty efficient.  Here and there they can have nasty clerks whose job it is to ruin your day, but on the whole I've found them surprisingly efficient and even pleasant in recent years.

Yesterday I had to take my father to Jerusalem, to the Ministry of the Interior to take care of something.  I hired someone to drive us and provide "taxi service" between locations.  Before he dropped us off he said that he had something to do in a different part of Jerusalem.  I told him that I was pretty sure that he wouldn't be back in time.  He has been in Israel just a few months less than we have, and we're approaching the forty year anniversary.  So, of course he's still traumatized by the "old way" things were done.  Instead we decided that I would call him when I walked in and let him know if it seemed crowded or not.

One of the improvements is that there are afternoon hours twice a week, from 2:30pm -5:30, if I remember correctly.  Years ago, there were awful stories of people who came a couple of hours after it opened and all the numbers were taken.  They were told:
"Come back tomorrow."

Because of that, old-time Israelis will still tell you to get there early, before opening.  Actually, that's the dumbest thing you can do, because that's the only time there's a long line.  When I go in the morning I come around 11am and there's almost nobody waiting.  Yesterday we got there at 4pm.  No crowds.  Of course people were waiting, but the numbers moved quickly, so I told the driver to stay in the neighborhood.

I had the form, etc ready, but since my father moves slowly I was afraid that three more numbers would be called before I'd get him to to clerk.  So I explained to him that I would run the clerk, hand in the folder and then go to get him.

That's what we did and it took just a few minutes.  Now it's possible to pay the clerk with a credit card.  We used to have to go to a special cashier, yes, another line to wait on.  Things are better now.

Answering Questions About Helping Jewish Mourners "Sit Shiva"

Leora is working on a series about Jewish Mourning, and she'll have a post interviewing me on how to help mourners.  She sent some questions, and I've just spent quite a bit of time answering them and giving other info.  She'll have to compose questions to match.

Bli eyin haraa (not to tempt the "evil eye,)" I'm quite an expert on shiva for one who has never sat.  I'm one of the oldest, probably the oldest now, in my shul who has to leave during Yizkor.  I have neighbors who were even older before they sat shiva for the first time.

The basic Jewish Laws of Mourning really take into account what a mourner need emotionally, psychologically.  It's very upsetting to hear that, especially abroad, outside of Israel mourners are making their shivas more like wakes, having it catered like big social occasions.  Most Jews aren't members of synagogues, so just when they need help, they're all alone.  There's no traditional rabbi to guide them, nor a "chessed committee" to help with the logistics.

Mourners' needs are to be catered to.  They're not supposed to bring catering for "guests."

Monday, June 14, 2010

Zion Square, Jerusalem, Spiritual and Material

Ancient and modern, and everything in between, 


Don't think of it as contradictions, think of שלימות shleimut, being complete, whole.  Judaism is a balance of the spirit and physical.  Yes, like the Jewish Calendar combines the lunar and solar calendars to make the most accurate calendar of all.

Here at Zion Square a big performance stage dominates, and next to it Breslov Chassidim (followers) try to interest passersby.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Better Mincha (Afternoon Prayers) Than No Tel At All

Note the long shadows.

Long afternoon shadows.

For a few years already, I've made every effort to walk down the mile plus, two kilometers to Tel Shiloh on Rosh Chodesh, the first of the Jewish Month.  Rosh Chodesh is considered a "women's holiday," and Biblical Shiloh is the location where Chana prayed for a son who would lead the Jewish People.  The basic laws for Jewish Prayer are derived from how she prayed.  Nu, what site could be better for our prayers?

This morning I couldn't leave the house, because I take care of my elderly father.  So, I prayed the Rosh Chodesh morning prayers at home.  Then close to six, someone came over to visit my father.  She said she had enough time.  So, I went down to Tel Shiloh to pray.

Have a good month.

Chodesh Tammuz Tov, KCC So Humbly Served

It's hard to believe that this is the fifty-fifth edition of the Kosher Cooking Carnival.  I wish to thank all those who have volunteered to host it and all those who've sent in posts.  I firmly believe that there's a need for a blog carnival concentrating on all aspects of kosher food, Jewish Law, cooking and eating.  Please continue to send in your posts and volunteer to host and of course promote the blog carnival in all ways possible.

To view previous editions, click on any of the following links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, KCC Meta Carnival, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 5253 and 54.

Here it is:

anything kosher!

rickismom presents Coriander and Parsley Condiment posted at Beneath the Wings.
Hannah presents Oil-Based Pie Crust | Cooking Manager posted at Cooking Manager, saying, "Thank you!"
Soccer Dad presents Alphabet soup posted at Soccer Dad.
The chossid, my former Stern roommate,  shows a yummy Israeli breakfast.


Batya presents Mobbed posted at me-ander.

economical use of left-overs

Ilana-Davita presents Bread Pudding posted at Ilana-Davita.

Every day meals

Mimi presents great fish posted at Israeli Kitchen.
Jay3fer presents First garden supper: Kale! And a delicious new soup. posted at Adventures in Mama-Land, saying, "Fresh, local, easy..."
Jay3fer presents Adventures in Mama-Land: The easiest fresh garden tomato rosé sauce for pasta posted at Adventures in Mama-Land, saying, "Easy, fresh, local... a family favourite!"
Leora Wenger presents Millet, JPIX, KCC and Upcoming posted at Here in HP.
Ilana-Davita presents Marinaded Turkey posted at Ilana-Davita.
Mom's Gazpacho looks good.

Jewish Shabbat and Holiday food

sheva presents Lets talk Challah posted at My Shtub, saying, "challah!"
Mirjam Weiss presents Viva La Diva posted at Miriyummy, saying, "What started out as a one-time request may now turn into a regular feature on our Shabbat table." 
I finally discovered the secret to stuffing vegetables.

Restaurant or Cookbook Reviews

Batya presents Brunch Treats posted at me-ander.
There's are times when dieting isn't on the menu.

traditional food

Jenny Horowitz presents Matzo Ball Soup posted at Jenny Learns to Cook, saying, "If you got the recipe for Matzo Ball Soup out of a book, it's wrong. It must be from your mother. This is from mine."
BookishIma presents Blintzes three ways posted at In our small garden

I usually spend my Rosh Chodesh mornings at Tel Shiloh, instead I'm composing this Kosher Cooking Carnival and minding my elderly father.

If you can host a future edition of KCC, please let me know shilohmuse at gmail dot com

The next KCC will be beneath the wings, a wonderful blog worth visiting.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of kosher cooking carnival-kcc using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Not Wasting Food and Self-Protection

Nu, what's the connection?

Just over last year, we had a whole hullabaloo here when a snake was spied sun-bathing on our roof.

The snake catcher I hired reminded me that if we had a cat, we'd be more protected, also from scorpions and other dangers.

Well, I'm not willing to adopt a cat again.  We used to have a pet cat for many years, but the kids were in charge.


The next best thing is leaving some food out for strays which can also get very territorial.  So I do that on occasion.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Stuffed Peppers, Easier Than I Had Guessed

Maybe it's because I didn't grow up seeing my mother make them, but I always thought that foods like stuffed peppers and stuffed cabbage were the foods of nightmare preparation.  When I was younger and more ambitious I did try stuffed cabbage, but as tasty as the results were, I decided that they weren't worth the work.  In my mind, and most restaurant menus, all the stuffed vegetables are in the same category, so it was only very recently I ever attempted stuffed peppers.  You must understand that I've been married forty years already and I don't buy "take-out."

Simply put, there 's a mystique concerning stuffed vegetables, like homemade blintzes.  
Too complicated!

I'm wrong; yes, I admit it.  Stuffed peppers, tomatoes and even squash if you have a grapefruit spoon are amazingly easy to make.

Mix your chopped meat as if you're making meatloaf. 
  • For a pound or half a kilo of meat:
  • Dice an onion, add an egg and a generous squeeze of ketchup or tomato paste and garlic
  • If you're stuffing tomato or squash, add whatever you've had to take out when emptying them
  • Photobucket
  • Open up the vegetables you're stuffing and put them in your baking dish
  • Stuff 'em, you'll be amazed at how far a bit of chopped meat goes
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  • Cover with foil and bake
Yes, it's that easy and it looks so impressive!
PS You can stretch the meat with starchy additives like rice etc.  You can enrich it with parsley, oregano, whatever you like.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Making Template Upgrading Easier

Just over half an hour ago I first signed into blogger and was greeted with an "offer" to easily upgrade my ancient template.  It's a tempting template offer for sure.  The options tempted me, and I tried one but saw that all of the important links I've added to my sidebar were gone, like my blogroll, Baile Rochel's (aka Erma Bombeck in Samaria) and the list of the more than fifty editions of the Kosher Cooking Carnival.

I'm willing to give up, reduce/just include active blogs and sites in my blogroll listing, but I can't blog without the other two lists.  Maybe I can add them as is via the html codes inside the blog accessible via the "tabs."  That would clean up the sidebar, which is a bit too long and unwieldy. 

But this is all in theory, because my computer froze so badly that I had to close down explorer and almost restarted the computer.  This time when I signed into blogger it didn't offer anything.  A month or two ago I couldn't post pictures easily and when I tried to use their new spellcheck, I also found the computer frozen.  I think that with all the upgrades, sometimes they need more tweaking before everything works well.

Considering the big zero I pay for their service, I can't complain.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Now I Remember

Most of the day I  couldn't understand why I was so tired.  But just now, bedtime, I recalled that I had trouble falling asleep last night and finally got to sleep over two hours later than usual.

So, nu, I ought to go to sleep now.


I Guess I'm Not All That Unique

Did you read the name of that lovely boat?  Ilana-Davita noticed it when wandering around with her camera and sent me the picture.  I can see that the boat's name is slightly different, ME-AND-ER, but it's close enough for an odd choice like this name.

It's funny, because this blog got the name me-ander for a peculiar reason.  I'd really like to change it.  Maybe if I ever redo the template, but then the gorgeous banner ~Sara~ made wouldn't match.

On with my day...

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

"I Remember Seeing The Original."

I was a bit trepidant about my choice for the today's Movie Club, "Good Night and Good Luck."  There's lots of talking and no real action. 

My father doesn't always follow things.  He's missing a few brain cells, no, not Alzheimer's.  There's a big difference in types of dementia.  His is from an aneurysm and hardening of the arteries, not a deterioration of the brain.  The cells which remain are very intelligent.  Sometimes he amazes us with his intelligence and memory.

I make him choose which direction for our walk, and he makes a point of varying it:
"Yesterday we went this way, so we'll go that way today."

Recently, he is enjoying watching the news less and television shows even less than the news.  But he's not the only one in the group, and I'm running out of movies to show.

He followed the movie in its entirety, as did the others in the group.  They all remembered when it happened, even the ones who had lived in New Zealand at the time.

Afterwards my father said:
"I Remember Seeing The Original."

I have no doubt that he did,

Different "Shiva," Jewish Mourning Customs

Yesterday, when I was on my way to Jerusalem I got a call from my husband that an old friend's brother had passed away, and he was sitting shiva (the seven day mourning period) for two days in Jerusalem.  So I added that to my itinerary for the day.

I got to the Israel Museum to see my daughter and the new "Windows" exhibition, a post and pictures to follow, G-d willing.  Then I tried on that dress, picked up some aluminum baking pans in town, bought a "take-out" salad, was surprised by son #1 and met a friend to "eat out."  We sat in the shade near the big HaMashbir department store in downtown Jerusalem, each with a tuna salad. She told me, quite rightly, that I should really prepare one at home, like she does.  I ought to, G-d willing, next time.

After that I took a bus to the shiva (mourning) home.  I didn't have any details, such as when he died or had he been ill.  I did expect a mob of people.  A teenage boy got off the bus with me and also stopped to look at the death announcement poster by the building.  I read it, because I wanted to find out which apartment, but when I asked the boy, he said that he is a grandson, so for him it meant something else.

I followed him in.  The apartment door was open, which is the custom.  Very few people were there, just family mostly.  The dead had been buried less than twenty-four hours and there's a custom that only family and very close friends visit the first day or two.  But I had no real choice.  I can't go to Jerusalem often and our friend was only going to be there a couple of days.  He lives abroad and will finish mourning in his own home.

I was offered water.  This family keeps strictly according to Ashkenaz (European) custom of not serving visitors.  Sephardi (Mediterranean and North African) Jews serve all sorts of foods to hear brachot, blessings.  Some ethnic groups serve a festive meal to honor the dead every night of the shiva.

In Shiloh it's common for even the most Ashkenaz families to serve water, soft drinks, cookies etc for two reasons.  One is that there are visitors who have traveled a distance and it's considered important for them to have "something."  Another is the influence of the neighbors.  The Sefardi neighbors want to make blessings in honor of the dead.  We're a very international, multicultural and multi-ethnic community. 

Many families are Jewish ethnic mixtures.  Sometimes that can cause confusion.  A few years ago neighbors were sitting shiva over Purim.  An announcement went out that the widower, being Ashkenaz could not accept Mishloach Manot (the Purim food gift,) but his daughter, married to a Yemenite, could.

And if you're wondering what to bring, it's best to bring some food the mourners can eat.  Try to find out who is organizing things for the mourners, so you'll bring something they need.  Just in case they have too much, it should be something that won't spoil or can be frozen.  Or if you're not sure, a nice fruit basket.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

I Didn't Buy The Dress

What dress? 
The one in that "Ronit" store, where I just got the fancy top.  That store I fell in love with because of the clothes in the windows a few months ago.
Again, what dress?
I was a really good girl when I bought the top; I didn't try on the dress.
What dress was that?
The one the saleslady pointed out that would be perfect.
Well I kept thinking about it and thinking about it. And I had some time today in Jerusalem and like a magnet it pulled me.
It was still there, in my size, just NS149 from NS249.
That's not all that much a discount.
But it is made so well, lined even and great crush-able fabric.  My late and lamented Aunt Sadie would have loved it.
OK, so did it fit?
It fit perfectly and made me look younger and even showed off my newly rediscovered waistline.
So, why didn't you get it?
The "V" in the neck is too low.
Couldn't you cover it somehow?
They give away these stretchy lace things.
It didn't cover me up right, and the fabric doesn't go with lace.
So, you can get something else, like a shell.
But I didn't want that dress to be a "jumper" with a shirt underneath.  It would be too hot and just ruin the effect.
So, you didn't get it.
Right.  Maybe I should call the store and tell them to hold it, and I'll buy a tight shell.  That dress is so gorgeous and can be worn for all sorts of things.
Do you need it?
No, not really, but I can dream... and blog about it.

Getting Tempted

I've been helping someone out working on a project to create a site on blogger.  OK, honestly I chose blogger because I know it, having been blogging on it forever.  Today it seems that for absolutely free it offers more options than people realize making it very cost effective for a small struggling business.  Why pay a fortune for a webmaster or pay-site when you can get a search-able site for free?  I've also seen a number of professional paid sites which don't give their clients what they really need, and those things are freely available to bloggers like me.

So, nu, what tempts me?  It isn't doing this for money, or maybe it would be a good idea...  It's replacing my old templates for the new ones on blogger.  I tried once before and got stuck, very stuck so I reverted back to my old ones.

It would be a lot of work, but the new gadgets, options etc are mind-boggling.  With the tab setup I could have both blogs on one "site." 

One of the things holding me back is that I'm afraid that Murphy's Law will rule.  There must be a Murphy's Law saying:

The minute you upgrade, there will be an even more advanced option making your new upgrade immediately passe`.

Does anyone have any inside knowledge about bloggers plans?