Sunday, October 31, 2010

I Didn't Do The Women's "Race for the Cure"

I heard about it from a friend, a long-time cancer survivor, who was planning on marching/walking.  There's too much skin cancer on both sides of my family, so I try to stay out of the sun.  I'm the "dark one" in my family, so I was raised believing that I'm immune to skin cancer.  That's a myth. 

Apparently it was quite an event.  The Real Jerusalem Streets has a great photo spread on it.  Sharon even found a marcher who was marching for RivkA.

Nothing Fancy, Sticking to My Regular "Elite" Turkish Coffee

A few months ago, I thought I'd treat myself to a reasonably priced mocca coffee from the supermarket shelf.  It took the longest time for me to open it.  I do like to postpone the pleasere of "treats."   It's vaccum packed, so that wasn't a problem.  I used it in the drip/filter coffeemaker and discovered that it barely colored the water and had even less flavor.

This morning my coffee container didn't have enough for my usual two giant mugs, so I supplemented it with the mocca.  Yuck!  What a waste of good Turkish coffee!

Maybe I should just pour the rest of those pathetic brown "things" into the garden so I won't be tempted to ruin any more mornings!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Erasing... RivkA is no longer on my "Refuah Shleimah" List

A few months ago, RivkA asked me to add her to the list on my sidebar.  She wrote that even though she was functioning well, she was dangerously ill.  Obviously she wasn't delusioned about her situation.  I didn't see her f2f this past year, but whenever I did see her before then she always gave such a strong and healthy impression, it was hard to believe that she was struggling with cancer and living on chemo and sometimes radiation, too.  Not long ago, I wrote to her that a friend just had a double mastectomy, and she called my friend offering to help her in any way required.

Yes, that was RivkA.

This Shabbat we read the Torah Portion "Chaye Sarah," about Sarah's death, burial and introducing us to the Biblical RivkA, who was so strong, generous and caring.

RivkA's funeral is 10pm tonight.  Information on Coffee and Chemo.  There's also shiva info.  It's important to know that the family requests a break from 12 noon until 3pm and that nobody arrive after 9:30pm.  For more details, please check her blog.

May RivkA's family be comforted among the mourners
of Zion and Jerusalem.
Please daven (or send happy thoughts) for the
memory of RivkA bat Yishaya.

Friday, October 29, 2010

So Sadly...

RivkA is no longer suffering from this world pain.

Baruch Dayan HaEmet
Baruch Dayan HaEmet - Blessed is the True Judge.
This is the blessing said upon hearing the news of someone's death.

About 11:10 AM this morning (Friday), RivkA passed away.

The funeral for RivkA will be held Saturday evening, Moetzei Shabbat at 10PM.

It will be at the Kehillat Yerushalayim Beit Hesped in Givat Shaul, Jerusalem, across from the Herzog Hospital (on Har Hamenuchot).

Shiva information and additional details will be posted.

May RivkA's family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for the memory of RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism, RivkA's family

Kosher by Design Teens & 20-Somethings: cooking for the next generation - Book Review

That’s right! Personally, besides things that are undoubtedly geared to specific age groups, like infant teething rings, I don’t like such specific pigeon-holing as the title. I think that Susie Fishbein and her publishers sell the book short by pegging it specifically for youth and young adults. This isn’t a criticism of the book, not at all. That’s how things are marketed. They want to make sure that singles will feel that the book is written for them, because Susie’s core readership cooks for family and guests.

I’m the type of person who has friends of all ages, ranging from my parents’ age to my kids’. I don’t think we should limit our social life to those of our exact age and generation. I’m saddened that some of my neighbors refuse to try out our long-running Shiur Nashim (Women’s Torah Class) on Shabbat, because they only want to go to one for “young women.” Personally, I love the mix of ages, ideas and experience.

Now, let’s get back to Kosher by Design Teens & 20-Somethings: cooking for the next generation by Susie Fishbein, the latest in her amazingly popular kosher cookbook series. It really is an excellent cookbook well-organized, easy to follow instructions, lovely pictures etc. It’s definitely an American cookbook, and that’s not just because I recognize foods from my sister-in-law’s Westchester, NY, table. It’s because all of the ingredients, measurements, brands etc. are American. There is no information page with equivalents so people like myself in Israel would know how much butter there is in a “stick,” or what Fishbein means by a box of soup stock etc. Since some ingredients are only available in the states, there should be an appendix with substitute lists. There has been a very well-orchestrated publicity campaigns all over the international Jewish blog world, so the book should have had been edited better for international use.

Also, to make it easier for those shaky in their kashrut, I’d color-code meat and dairy options when they’re for the same recipe, or every recipe. For instance, the Corn Potato Chowder can be either meat, dairy or parve. I’d have the meat ingredients in red and the dairy in blue, so people will have an easier time sorting things out. I’m a great fan of color-coding. When I ran the ready-made sandwich wagon department for a Bagel Restaurant, I color-coded the sandwich labels. It made it much easier to identify the cream cheese from the tuna. It was perfect until a very handsome guy who happened to be color-blind began working in the department. For Jeff, I added shapes. I’m sorry to begin this review with criticisms. Please don’t get me wrong; I do like the book. In the guidelines for reviewers we were told that we may and should add our constructive criticism.

I love reading cookbooks, but when I cook, I don’t follow them. That’s right; I don’t follow recipes. I use cookbooks for inspiration. And this cookbook is very inspiring. Admittedly, the recipes aren’t my usual style, but I’m getting lots of ideas from them. Years ago I bought myself one of those stick- blenders, which I’ve hardly ever touched. I can use it with some of the book’s recipes. There are some really delicious-looking vegetable recipes, like the Creamy Parsnips-Spinach and Za’atar Cauliflower. I’d probably substitute celery root for the parsnips, because I’m always looking for ways to cook those roots instead of throwing them out.

Considering that the book is marketed for students, the young and probably not yet married, it’s important that the recipes will be easy to divide to fewer servings. There are quite a few recipes which can easily be made for just one or two people; for instance, the Herbed Flounder Package. One of Jerusalem’s most handsome bachelors  once made something similar for us. He added more vegetables making it a “one pocket meal.”

The fun of cooking is being creative, and Susie Fishbein does seem to enjoy cooking. Back to cooking for fewer people, it would have helped to get information about freezing the food and cooking in advance. Busy people can’t cook every day. Even though I’m no longer working and traveling daily, I cook as I did then. I do all of my weekly cooking for Shabbat. The soup, meat and some of the side-dishes last the entire week. It’s so much more efficient.

I must admit that I was unpleasantly surprised at all the “hidden sugar” in recipes like Garlic Rosemary Filet Split. It would never have occurred to me to use ingredients like sugar and jam in meat, vegetables etc. Those diabetic and on strict diets should be aware of this. I’m going to have to check with my sister-in-law who cooks many similar dishes to those I discovered in Kosher by Design Teens & 20-Somethings: cooking for the next generation. I’m very curious about how many “non-sweet” recipes have sugar.

I do recommend the book. There’s lots of basic cooking and kitchen information, like the reminders to wash hands. I thought she was quoting me! And yes, the recipes are clear and easy to follow.

My cooking style is very different, much simpler. I use fewer tools, bowls etc. and fewer ingredients. While reading Kosher by Design Teens & 20-Somethings: cooking for the next generation  I developed more of an appetite for writing my own cookbook.

And for those of you, who are anxiously awaiting news, whether or not you’ve won the free copy of the book, I’ll be going over all of the rhyming slogans this week and G-d willing around Rosh Chodesh Kislev, November 7, I’ll post the winning slogan. So, if you’ve entered the contest and haven’t yet sent me your contact information please send it ASAP along with another copy of your rhyme. Most of the comments/entries don’t have easily identifiable names, addresses etc.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Letter to RivkA

Coffee and Chemo's RivkA has requested letters. I sent the following letter via Pesky. Since RivkA has been so public about all aspects of her cancer, medically and how she and the family cope, I'll publicly post the letter I wrote her:

RivkA, you've given a new face to cancer. Unlike many who've had chemo, even in the past, you'd rush up for a hug and kiss. Unlike others, you continued going to the pool, not giving up your regular activities.

I pray that I (and my loved ones and everyone in this world) never have to face your challenges. You've taken them on without ducking, shirking or hiding. I'm convinced that has given you more time here in this world.

You've taught us so much.

G-d decides how much time we have, but we decide how to spend it. It's one thing to learn this in theory, in some machshvet or philosophy course. Everything seems so easy when you don't have to do it in real life. But you, and your ezer k'negda Moshe have been showing us how to live.

This world is meant to be temporary. Here we buy our tickets, determine whether we'll have cheap or luxury seats in the Next World. Only G-d can read the code.

I don't know if I'll make it to the hospital to see you. f2f hasn't been the main part of our relationship. Since you have so few minutes of the day when you have the strength to be with others, you should use it for your family and f2f friends. You're in my mind where you've always been ever since I began reading your blog.

I pray for miracles, and if a great medical miracle doesn't happen, then I hope that G-d lets us meet again when He decides my 120 has come.

Brachot and Good Health to Your Family,



May G-d grant RivkA bat Teirtzel a רפואה שלימה  Refuah shleimah, a complete recovery

What Do You Expect From A Country That Doesn't Legislate Maternity Leave?

American women must pay full-price for breast pumps.

But nursing mothers will not be allowed to use their tax-sheltered health care accounts to pay for breast pumps and other supplies.

That is because the Internal Revenue Service has ruled that breast-feeding does not have enough health benefits to qualify as a form of medical care.

In some respects, the biggest roadblock for mothers’ groups and advocates of breast-feeding is one of their central arguments: nursing a child is beneficial because it is natural.

In all honesty, I'm amazed that breastfeeding (nursing) babies is as common as it is in the United States, because there is no mandatory maternity leave, paid or not.  Some employers do offer maternity leave, but it's not a legal requirement.  Israel now gives fourteen weeks to new mothers, so they can stay home with their babies, breastfeed them and physically and emotionally recover.  My daughter told me that she gets full salary and the right to extend it according to how long she has been working at the same place.

Compare this to the "good deal" my friend's American daughter gets where she teaches, six weeks of half-salary and no extension option.  Apparently, this is considered an unusually pro-birth place of work.

What do American women do?  How do they manage?  How long do women take off after giving birth?

I know that many European countries give maternity leave packages which are even better than Israel's.

The lobbyist shouldn't stress the "natural;" they should have just stressed all the health advantages.

RivkA On My Mind

RivkA and her cancer are fighting it out.  Jameel posted another update.  Pray for RivkA bat Tertzel, may G-d grant her a רפואה שלימה refuah shleimah, complete recovery.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's the Time to Rhyme For the Book if You Cook

I don't know about you, but I'm having great fun rhyming for Kosher by Design Teens, 20-Somethings: cooking for the next generation.  The winner of the contest will get a free copy of the cookbook.

Rhyme about the latest Susie Fishbein's latest cookbook.  Yes, that's  Kosher by Design Teens, 20-Somethings: cooking for the next generation.

The contest closes next Sunday and the winner will be announced the following week, on Rosh Chodesh Kislev.

Put your rhyme in the comments and send me your contact info, so in case you win, the book can be sent to you.

Why Didn't The Computer Go On?

This is my getting up earlier than usual day of the week.  I spend the morning in Matan studying Tanach, Bible.

So, very bleary-eyed, I shuffled/stumbled into the den, pressed the button and ... nothing all dark.  It took me a bit to realize that everything was "all dark" except the emergency hall-light which is next to the normal hall light. Nu, no electricity.  So I stumbled on to the candles and tried to set something up in the kitchen so I could boil some Turkish coffee.  Finally I succeeded in lighting the match and using it to light the candle when...

Yep, you guessed it.  All the lights went back on.  Electricity was back, B"H, thank G-d and the intrepid Israeli electricity workers.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tired, Yes, Again

I should not have stayed up late to see Law & Order last night.  I'm too tired to function at this moment, so I ought to use my last waking minutes to pack up for tomorrow.

Good night!

This is The Dessert I Can't Resist!

Last week I met a good friend for lunch in the veteran Jerusalem "health food" restaurant, Village Green. I always enjoy choosing fresh and cooked vegetables for a salad there. I also had their Tofu-Spinach Pie, which was very good. Surprisingly I resisted their totally delicious and legendary bread. Years ago when loaves of freshly baked bread were available to customers to slice in unlimited quantities, I was one of those customers who could finish off a loaf with their fresh unsweetened butter. This time I didn't even take a small roll.

I felt satisfied after my meal, but my friend insisted on buying us dessert and coffee. I couldn't refuse; I couldn't resist.

The date-nut roll is better than any gooey, sugar-filled cake, at least IMHO.
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Monday, October 25, 2010

Thank G-d, or Egged, for Those New Free Bus Transfers

Egged Jerusalem buses now have transfers, free transfers, if you request when you pay.  You can use them for unlimited buses within about one hour and fifteen minutes.  That's how I get to the Central Bus Station from Gilo every week after tutoring there.

In theory the trip can be done with one bus, the 31, but it's pretty harrowing, because the bus has a very winding route in Gilo and then detours to Malcha, the mall and  Teddy Stadium.  And then it stops at Binyanei Ha'Uma, rather than on Jaffa Street.  It's quicker to take multiple buses.

Today, when I finished tutoring I was surprised to discover that the father had gone with their car and I didn't have a ride to the bus stop, a full half a kilometer (a third of a mile) uphill.  I ran, and as I got to the top and was still about a block from the bus stop, two buses, a 31 and a 71, chugged right by, out of my reach.

So I waited, and waited...
Finally, a 30 night route came.  It took me to a stop that it shared with a lot of routes, and I caught a 72 which would get me to downtown Jerusalem but not near the bus station, so on King George Street I caught a 75 to Har Nof, which went via Binyanei Ha'Uma adding close to five minutes walk, and I was getting nervous.  So I switched buses again at Machane Yehuda, got the 8, straight to the bus station, even went through the manual security check quickly.  Yes, that made four buses for the price of one!

I got there so early, I even had time to buy more multi-tickets.  The clerk overcharged me and then gave me the difference in change.  Yes, B"H, a wonderful trip home!

Salad in Malcha Mall

Recently I met a friend at Jerusalem's Malcha Mall for lunch. We went to one of the restaurants (sorry, but I don't remember which--it wasn't Cafe Hillel) with seating in the wide corridor. I can't even remember the name of the fancy creative salad you can see here.

Israeli restaurants are very creative with their salad dishes. This one has various vegetables, grated feta cheese and walnuts. For some reason I felt very hungry a couple of hours afterwards and had to go to the mall's supermarket and buy some almonds to eat. I didn't eat the accompanying bread which looked really delicious. I've reduced carbohydrates to keep my weight down.

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

There's Still Time, To Send a Rhyme, Give it A Spin, And You Can Win!

Yes, that's right.  The official book review hasn't been posted yet, and the contest is still open.  The winning rhyming slogan will win its writer a free copy of Susie Fishbein's latest cookbook.  I've read it, yes cover to cover, and it's definitely a book worth having.  This isn't the official book review, but I must tell you that there are recipes in it which suit all ages, all tastes and cooking/eating styles.

One small request:
Would all those who have entered the contest please send me contact information, so when my committee chooses we can make sure your prize arrives.  Thanks!

HH is Praying For RivkA

My dear friend, in real f2f life too, Risa hosts this week's Havel Havelim and she has dedicated it to the רפואה שלימה Refuah Shleimah, Complete Recovery of Coffee and Chemo's irreplaceable RivkA.

Please add  RivkA bat Teirtzel to your prayers and check out Risa's Havel Havelim

Risa will be hosting the next Kosher Cooking Carnival, so please send your posts, anything about kosher food and kosher cooking.  If you'd like to host one, please let me know.

Also it's still not too late to enter the Kosher by Design Teens & 20-Somethings: cooking for the next generation rhyming slogan contest.  The winner gets a free copy of the latest Susie Fishbein cookbook.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Checking Up Via RivkA's Blog

I don't remember where I first saw the title, Coffee and Chemo, but as soon as I saw it I read it and was hooked.  A short while later I met RivkA at the first Jewish Bloggers Convention and then a "social media" workshop/gathering in the Old City.

We met again when she and Moshe brought the family to Tel Shiloh, along with Jameel and his family, and at the Second Jewish Bloggers Convention.  No doubt if there had been a third this past summer, RivkA and Moshe would have attended.

Now, I'm admittedly not among their closest friends, and the message on Coffee and Chemo is that Moshe is busy being with RivkA and their kids, so I won't call.  I live too far to offer food and other services the family may need.

RivkA bat Teirtzel's in my prayers.  That's something we can all do, pray, for a Refuah Shleimah, complete recovery for this totally amazing young woman.

Click on this picture and you can see RivkA at Tel Shiloh.  For some strange reason, I have lots of pictures of her back, and this is the only one I found that showed her face.  She's mid-left.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Chicken or the Egg, Which is First? TV or New Social Reality

Our clan is waiting for Happy Endings to be broadcast.  It's a Friends, Seinfeld wannabe.  Our interest is because one of the featured players/stars is a clan member.  Today in the New York Times there's an article about those sorts of sitcoms and how they've replaced the family-based sitcoms of an earlier time. 

They mention some of the older/previous similar shows, but I think that they don't go back far enough.  How could they leave out thirtysomething which did include married and single friends, but their age for entering marriage, parenthood etc fits these newer shows?  The TV show Taxi should also have been included.

Watch TAXI - Andy Kaufman's Big Speech in Comedy  |  View More Free Videos Online at

Yes, that was my classmate, Andy Kaufman, talking about friends.  For sure, the article should have included those two shows.

And how can the article mention Desperate Housewives without mentioning Soap?  Soap should be used as medical treatment for those in need of laughter for therapeutic reasons.

And then there's the sitcom which originated in England as Man About The House, Three's Company. 

Is it society that controls what's on TV or do the shows influence society?

Updates on RivkA bat Teirtzel, A Refuah Shleimah

It's best to check her blog and keep praying for a Refuah Shleimah for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

This is a picture I took of RivkA at the International Jewish Bloggers Convention.

Shabbat Shalom uMevorach

OU's Women's Trip to Israel Ignores Shiloh

The OU is offering a special tour to Israel this winter, specially for women.  Now considering the theme I was sure that they'd be bringing the women to a site which should be number one, numero uno, for every self-respecting proud Jewish woman.  That's Shiloh, of course, where Chana's way of praying became the model of Jewish Prayer for all time.

I quickly checked the itinerary so I could mark the date and try to meet them. 

But for some strange reason, they won't be in the Shiloh area at all.

Jewish Prayer is based on how Chana prayed for a son who would serve the Jewish People.

In today's difficult times, it seems so obvious to me that we need to emulate Chana, not only to pray but to be willing to think of the Jewish People first and not out own personal, selfish needs.

Just a reminder, there will be Rosh Chodesh Kislev Prayers for Women at Tel Shiloh.  Please let others know.
Sunday, November 7 · 9:30am - 10:30am
תפילת נשים בתל שילה
There will also be a Dvar Torah
ראש חודש כסלו
תל שילה
יום א' ל' חשון
7-11 9:30
יהיה דבר תורה, בע"ה
נא לפסם ולהזמין נשים

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I Think The Postal Worker Was Afraid of Me

She had gotten to work late.  I wasn't the only one waiting for her to open the mini-post office. Actually there was quite a line ahead of me.  Nu, so I waited. 

Finally it was my turn, and the clerk looked, and she looked, and she looked some more.  She went through every pile that could possibly have been hiding my review copy of  Kosher by Design Teens & 20-Somethings: cooking for the next generation

Our "post office" is a very small little "building," and I was starting to get nervous.  There aren't too many places to hide there.  The Jerusalem branch of Artscroll and Susie Fishbein's publicity staff were all concerned and writing to me about my missing book.  It should have arrived days ago, but I hadn't gotten any notice from the post office, and the young woman working there couldn't find it.

So, of course, on the very, very bottom of the last pile of book-sized packages, there it was!
A "Kosher by Design"
Is finally mine
With the right rhyme by you,
you can have one, too

Please send in your rhyming slogan in the comments of one of my blog posts about the book.  The writer of the winning slogan  will receive a free copy of  Kosher by Design Teens & 20-Somethings: cooking for the next generation.

So now I have about a week to read the book and prepare my review.  I love to read cookbooks, but I must admit that I rarely follow recipes.  I use them as "inspiration."  And this new Kosher by Design cookbook definitely looks inspiring!

Jerusalem, Mixed Bag

You never know what you're going to see in Jerusalem.

That's why this post is a "mixed bag."

Downtown has more surprises and more personality than the newer neighborhoods.

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The Best Things in Life Are Free, Win The Latest Book by Susie

Yes, that's Susie Fishbein of Kosher by Design fame.
Lots of cookbooks, not the same.

Susie's latest is written for those who don't want too many steps and/or have limited kitchen facilities, like students and very busy adults.  But like all of her recipes, there's a lovely elegance to them.

I'm one of the lucky bloggers who has been promised a review copy, which still hasn't come, and the privilege of hosting a contest.  The winner will receive a free copy of Kosher by Design Teens & 20-Somethings: cooking for the next generation.  There are lots of other kosher "foodie" bloggers with the same deal.  We all made up our own contest rules.  Jennifer is requesting cooking disasters.  G6 also has a contest, information here.  I've requested a rhyming slogan.  Comment on one of my posts about the book. The winner will be announced around Rosh Chodesh Kislev, November 8, so keep checking the blog.  You may enter more than once.

Here's another sample recipe:

Eighteen years ago, when my niece Lauren was born, she had a baby nurse named Eileen. When Baby Lauren would wake to eat in the middle of the night, so would Nurse Eileen. She would shuffle into the kitchen and whip up batches of these delicious scones, leaving some for us family visitors. A gorgeous new baby in the family plus delicious fresh scones made their apartment a popular hangout for our whole family.
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
11 tablespoons (1 stick plus 3 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature for 15 minutes
2 eggs, plus one additional for brushing
1/2 cup milk
6 tablespoons mix-ins such as chocolate chips, blueberries, or raisins, optional

1. Preheat oven to 375˚F.
2. Cover 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
4. Cut the butter into small cubes. Add it to the flour mixture and use both hands to knead the dough, rubbing the butter into the flour.
5. Add the eggs and milk, kneading to form a crumbly but somewhat sticky dough.
6. Turn the dough out onto your work surface and knead for another minute or two; the dough should start to become more smooth as the butter softens from the warmth of your hands. Divide the dough into two pieces. Use the heel of your palm to spread each piece into a circle, about 3/4-1 inch thick.
7. If adding any mix-ins, spread them over the circle, then knead and re-roll and press into a circle. Do not over-mix the scones.
8. Using the open end of a drinking glass or a round 2-inch diameter cookie cutter, cut out circles of the dough and place 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Re-roll the scraps, and cut out more scones.
9. With a fork, whisk the remaining egg. Brush generously over the tops of the scones.
10. Bake for 15 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown and tops are light golden.
11. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*Personally, I never bake dairy unless it's a cheese cake.  Use margarine (or oil) instead of butter and soy or rice milk instead of the dairy milk.  Just my two cents.

From the sponsors: Preorder your copy today at – enter the coupon code KBDBLOG at checkout to save 10% and receive free shipping in the continental U.S. Join online to find more reviews and giveaway contests! Kosher by Design Teens & 20-Somethings: cooking for the next generation is aimed at the young and digital-savvy fast-food generation and those who cook for them. Susie Fishbein is an everyday cook who loves to share her passion for cooking and entertaining with friends and family. Her enthusiasm for food and entertaining led to the creation of her best-selling cookbook, Kosher by Design, published in 2003 by ArtScroll Shaar Press. For more recipes and updates, visit the blog or connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Praying For RivkA

One of the best and most valuable and amazing jbloggers is RivkA bat Tirzel from Coffee and Chemo.  As you can much too easily guess from her blog's title, RivkA has cancer. 

She blogs about all aspects of her life, her illness, her kids, her work as a swimming teacher, her husband and her adventures.  So many times I've asked her what she was like before cancer.  I'm exhausted just reading all the things she has been doing.  I'm bli eyin haraa healthy and I could never keep up.  Of course she is younger than me, but even when I was her age I doubt if I could do all she had been doing on chemo, yet.

Unfortunately, the cancer is getting worse.  Friends have organized the division, sharing of the 150 chapters of T'hillim, Psalms to be said for RivkA's refuah shleimah, complete recovery.  Please take part in it, and if you can't, please pray however you can.

Mechanized Public Toilet

Jerusalem has a number of these strange-looking "capsules."  The toilet automatically flushes whenever the door is opened, when someone enters and when he/she leaves. 

When inside I can't figure out how it "locks me in."  How does it know that someone is in or it's empty?  You need to press a button to unlock the door to get in and do the same to get out.  I'm always afraid that someone will press open and enter.

This one is on King George Street, in Gan Atzma'ut, Independence Park.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Sisterhood

In North America synagogues usually have a "Sisterhood," the women's organization.  Our shul started having women's meetings a couple of years ago.  I doubt if we've met more than a half a dozen times.  Tonight was one of them.

The men expect us to worry about organizing the kiddush, the food after dovening and generally hope and pray that we won't try to get involved in "men's" issues, like the prayers.  When things are going well, there are generally women willing to organize food for occasions, but most of us feel the need to do more.  The women who joined the main committee while we were expanding the shul did a great job, really contributed.

Tonight we began brainstorming about how to get the kids who run around to have a more spiritual time in shul.  Many of us are from places where there are "junior congregations" and other prayer options for children.  These are spreading in Israel.  And we have an idea which can be done here... if the men agree.

Featuring ME on Shimshonit!

I'm the featured "foodie" on Shimshonit's blog.  She interviewed me about food, cooking etc.

I just read it and not only am I grateful for the exposure to her readers, but I'm blown away by the lovely comments.  It reminds me how unaware we frequently are of how others perceive us and how we can influence without trying.

My dear Shimshonit, thank you very much!  And to my readers, please visit Shimshonit!

Please, Enjoy the Recipes

Sneak Preview! Try Susie Fishbein's Spicy Carrot Sticks  from Kosher by Design Teens and 20-Somethings

Spicy Carrot Sticks
I have always been a fan of roasting any vegetable at a high heat to caramelize its natural sugars. This fantastic side dish goes a step further by adding a spicy kick that makes these carrots addictive.
6 large carrots, peeled, ends trimmed
1 egg white from a large egg
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon water
1 1⁄2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1⁄2 teaspoons sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon paprika
1⁄4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt
1. Preheat oven to 450˚F. Cover a jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Cut each carrot in half to make 2 (3–4 inch) pieces.
3. Cut each carrot half in half lengthwise. With the cut-side-down on your cutting board, cut each half into 3 equal strips to make thin carrot sticks.
4. Place the egg white into a large shallow bowl or container and whip with a fork or whisk till foamy.
5. In a large bowl, mix the olive oil, water, garlic powder, cumin, sugar, paprika, and white pepper.
6. Place the carrot sticks into the beaten egg; toss to coat the carrots in the egg white.
7. Stir the carrots into the spice mixture. Arrange in a single layer on the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the salt.
8. Roast, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
9. Transfer to a serving plate or bowl.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

And Now I can Feel Those Muscles Aching

I don't give up all that quickly. So, the fitness "machines" were wet in the morning, big deal. I just returned in the cover of darkness to work out a couple of minutes. And I wasn't alone. It's a very popular spot for neighbors of all ages. Tonight it was full. And the only kids were babies being held by parents who wouldn't let child-minding get in their way.

The pool closed over a month ago, and my upper body is crying out in pain from just a couple of minutes of exercise. That means that I must do more stretching and pushing, lots more.

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It's Time for My Biennial* Mammogram

First to prepare:

Mammogram Jokes- The Joys & Thrill Of Mammograms

This is an x-ray that has it's own name because no one wants to actually say the word "breast". Mammograms require your breast to do gymnastics. If you have extremely agile breasts, you should do fine. Most breasts, however, pretty much hang around doing nothing in particular, so they are woefully unprepared. But you can prepare for a mammogram right at home using these simple exercises!

Open your refrigerator door and insert one breast between the
door and the main box. Have one of your strongest friends slam the door shut as hard as possible and lean on the door for good measure. Hold that position for five seconds. Repeat again in case the first time wasn't effective enough.

Visit your garage at 3 AM when the temperature of the cement
floor is just perfect. Take off all your clothes and lie comfortably on the floor with one breast wedged under the rear tire of the car. Ask a friend to slowly back the car up until your breast is sufficiently flattened and chilled. Turn over and repeat for the other breast.

Freeze two metal bookends overnight. Strip to the waist. Invite a stranger into the room. Press the bookends against one of your breasts. Smash the bookends together as hard as you can. Set an appointment with the stranger to meet next year and do it again.

Locate a pasta maker or old wringer washer. Feed the breast into the machine and start cranking. Repeat twice daily.

You are now properly prepared.


For years 'n years they told me,
"Be careful of your breasts;
Don't squeeze or bruise them,
and give them monthly tests."

So I heeded all their warnings,
and protected them by law...
Guarded them very carefully,
and always wore a bra.

After 30 years of careful care,
the Doctor found a lump.
He ordered up a Mammogram,
to look inside that clump.

"Stand up very close," he said,
as he got my tit in line.
"And tell me when it hurts," he said.
"Ah, yes, that's just fine."

He stepped upon a pedal...
I could not believe my eyes
A plastic plate was pressing down!
My boob was in a vice!

My skin was stretched 'n stretched
from way up by my chin.
And my poor tit was being squashed to
Swedish pancake thin!

Excruciating pain I felt,
within its vice-like grip.
A prisoner in this vicious thing,
my poor, defenseless tit!

"Take a deep breath," he said to me.
Who does he think he's kidding?
My chest is smashed in his machine;
I can't breathe and woozy I'm getting.

"There, that was good," I heard him
say as the room was slowly swaying.
"Now let's get the other one."
"Lord have mercy!" I was praying.

It squeezed me from the up and down,
it squeezed me from both sides.
I'll bet he's never had this done,
to his tender little hide.

If I had no problem when I came in,
I surely have one now...
If there had been a cyst in there,
it would have popped--- Ker Pow!!!

This machine was made by man,
of this I have no doubt...
I'd like to get his balls in there;
for months he'd go without.

And here's something more serious to think about. If you're afraid of the pain described/exaggerated in these little "jokes," please watch this movie:

I have quite a few friends alive today who'd probably be dead if it weren't for the fact that they get their breasts regularly checked and x-rayed by those male-invented mammography machines.

Ladies, what do you do which is more painful than a mammogram?  I get my teeth cleaned.  It's wonderful for the stomach muscles.  Really, I'm serious.  When in pain from the poking and prodding, I contract my stomach systematically, great for the abdomen.  I must learn those "Paula" techniques for the sphincter muscles to use at the dentist.

*The saintly surgeon who travels to Shiloh and neighboring communities to examine us every year considers a mammogram every two years sufficient for low risk women. G-d willing posting this will prove a good reminder for me to make the appointment.