Thursday, June 30, 2011

Writing About Summer Camp

A few weeks ago, I saw that Tablet, a Jewish internet magazine, had asked for stories about camp.  My camp experiences weren't very Jewish, so I didn't even attempt to enter anything.  Instead I sent a note about it to the Betar list.  A lot of our Betar friends got their start in Betar and Zionism by being sent to Camp Betar.  So I had no doubt that there were some really great stories to be told.  I just wondered if a Camp Betar story would be chosen among the winning ones.

Too bad there's no "agent's fee."  Eileen's story made it!

by Eileen Chupak Baranes, Camp Betar

I first went to Camp Betar in Neversink, N.Y., when I was about 14 years old. I went there with my best friend, Shushie, whose mother found the camp. I had no idea whatsoever about Zionism, but I knew it was a Jewish camp.

The first year we were in the Kanaim group, which was the oldest group. We were two teenage girls from the Bronx who were into boys and not much else. I loved it there. It was fun. The girls and guys were fun, and the counselors weren’t much older than we were.

Tisha B’Av came around. Whoever fasted was exempt from activities that day. So, of course Shushie and I fasted. We got bored sitting in the bunk, so we snuck out of camp and walked into Neversink, which was a small one-general-store town, to get supplies for after the fast. I remember buying a bottle of Mountain Dew and lots of munchies. Then we turned around and, to our surprise, saw all the head staff of camp in the store. Did we get in trouble! They confiscated what we bought and marched us back to the camp.

That night we had kitchen duty. We had to clean the kitchen and scrub down the stoves and ovens; it was terrible. We got so dirty and greasy; the showers in the bunks didn’t have hot water so we had to take a cold shower to get the shmutz off of us.

But don’t think that that was the end of our being bad. Our counselor, Barbara, didn’t know how to handle us. She just finished high school and was going away to college. We didn’t like her. One day we got a bucket of water, opened the door a little, and put it on the top of the door; we waited until she came in and she got the bucket of water on her head. For that she made a guy counselor take us on night maneuvers to scare us. But, please, we were from the Bronx (as a matter of fact so was he): Nothing scared us.

Until the end of camp I didn’t have a clue about Zionism. Then the guys from Machon L’Madrichim came back from Israel. They had light in their eyes. They were like magic. I can’t describe how I enjoyed listening to them talk of Israel and their experience and the Jewish destiny to live in Israel. After that I joined Betar and went to the meetings in the Bronx. Forty-six years after that I am still in Israel and do not have a moment’s regret.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Adventures in America, Summer 2011, #2 Jet Lag

It's me, the zombie speaking blogging.  I dozed deeply if that's not an oxymoron for an hour yesterday and then a short doze after a late dinner on the way to my sister/brother in-laws' place.  Then I/my body was wide awake according to Israel time, so I kept talking to my sister-in-law much too late.

My husband is blessed with theability to sleep any time any place.

Today a dear friend is taking us shopping, discount style. I dont' really need much, but my husband does.

No doubt, adventure #3 will be a "mall."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Adventures in America, Summer 2011, #1 Good News, Bad News

Thank G-d the flight was fine.  Good thing I took a sweater.  The airplane was very cold.  Another thing was that the Delta kosher breakfast was not a menu for me.  Good thing that I had brought apples, almonds and a red pepper.

  • And good news that we landed early, no problems. 
  • Bad news was that USA Passport Control was still on skeleton staff until 5am, so we had to wait over half an hour.
I don't know how often I'll update.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Warning Re: Ice Cubes

Here's what I wrote on facebook:
Careful with ice. I had to save my youngest by doing the Heimlich to remove it, and my husband's cousin (an RN) had to do CPR on her eldest, both cases due to ice cubes.
Please don't give young kids ice cubes to suck on.

I don't have time to write more.  Stay safe!!

Spinning Out of Control

Last night I couldn't fall asleep.  I felt my mind spinning out of control.  It's not all that easy to relax when there are too many "loose ends" concerning our trip to the states.  We're not being picked up at the airport, and we don't have a "schedule" for the first few days.  Basically, we have a place to stay, but it's not all that convenient.  As much as I complained about my parents' Great Neck, NY house, at least we could walk the mile to and from the station and find lots of kosher restaurants on Middleneck Road.  Well, that part of my life is over.  The house was sold soon after my mother left it for Arizona.  I honestly don't know if I'll ever be in Great Neck again.

Before traveling, I still have to go to work in Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin.  Actually, my boss wouldn't have blamed me if I had said that I couldn't make it, but I don't want the week to be a waste.  If I see a ride home early, I'll take it.

The "upside" of my not sleeping well/enough the past couple of nights is that I shouldn't have trouble falling asleep on the plane.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

"That" Time of The Year

Actually, I thought I'd do it more frequently this past year, but I didn't get back to the states at all.  My sister handled all of my parents' (actually my mother's) medical emergencies etc as they enjoy being in Arizona.  My father praises the weather, since he's never cold, and my mother likes having my sister nearby. 

I've "reinvented" my life after almost a year of having my father living here in Shiloh with us.  Wednesdays became my special beloved day of Tanach, Bible study in Matan.  I began giving occasional classes to my Shabbat Shiur Nashim Women's Study Group.  I've even registered for two days of the summer Herzog College Bible Classes.  I truly hope that I can handle/absorb two days of five classes each.  At least there is transportation from Shiloh.  Maybe one day would have been enough, and they aren't cheap.  I've wanted to other years, but I'm usually away then.

Besides my studying, I've taught as a tutor and returned to an earlier profession, sales.  I work in Yafiz.  It's not the best job I've ever had, but it's good for now and doesn't demand any preparation.  The added bonus is getting to see so many friends when they shop there and in Rami Levi.

I've requested that a few friends try to blog here when I'm away.  I may not get too much computer time.  I'm not leaving today, but I figured it was time to update you.

Stay safe and healthy and comment...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

New Veggie Combination and New Salad, Too

I'm trying to use up food that we have, since we're off to...

We have some mitzvot to do in Chutz La'Aretz, out of the HolyLand.

Searching the fridge, I discovered two cabbages I bought a couple of weeks ago. A red one and a green one.

With the red cabbage I made a simple, colorful salad.  I cut up all the ingredients, slicing the apples and carrots as thin as I could.  You can do the cutting in a food processor.
  • red cabbage
  • apple (I used granny smith, but any apple would taste good)
  • carrots
  • olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • I would have added raisins or dried cranberries, but I don't keep them in the house, because I'd eat them all immediatedly.
I cooked the green cabbage with onion, carrots, tomato paste and ginger root.  First I sauteed the onions, ginger and carrots.  Then I added the cabbage and tomato paste and some boiling water to dilute the tomato paste.  This was really delicious and so easy to make.  If I had enough squash, I would have added it, too.  Most vegetables would taste good with this, or you can use it for a sauce to serve with pasta or over hamburgers or meatlof or fish or just about anything!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Last Week's Flowers

Last Shabbat's guest brought us these flowers.  It was a challenge to find the right container.  I used a tall plastic food container, too tall for my fridge, and for a bit more stability, I put it in a large empty plant container.

At first they didn't look all that pretty, but day by day...

...they got fuller.

And then they were suddenly past their prime, not worth the "film."  So I threw them out and dumped the remaining water.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Pool, Heaven on Earth

Blessed we are here in Shiloh.  Look at this:

A number of years ago some of my wonderful neighbors decided that we needed a pool.  It took a while to actually organize the building etc, but it was done.  And it definitely adds to our quality of life here in Shiloh.  Being that we're a religious community, men and women swim at different times, the same rules for boys and girls over the age of five.  At the beginning and end of the day, it's adults only, male or female depending on the schedule.

The pool is the main reason I don't feel like going away in the summer.

Easy, Tasty Egg Salad Sans Mayonnaise

So far I haven't heard any complaints, so I'm blogging it.  It's one of the sandwich fillings I make for my husband to make sure he's not hungry during the day.  That's the key to losing weight.  Yes, eat.  Eat good, healthy, non-fattening food.  Actually some of the food I recommend may be considered "fattening" by others.  Remember, you need the fats to be healthy and the healthiest part of the egg is the yolk.

It's best to eat both parts of the egg together.  Don't fear the egg; it's much maligned out of ignorance.

Back to my egg salad, perfect for filling a sandwich:

  • Mash hardboiled eggs with a fork or whatever you usually use. 
  • Add to it some catsup and a bit of oil
  • diced onions are optional, as are any other herbs or spices you want.
Yes, that's it!  It can't be simpler, can it?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Kosher -Delicious Looking- Elegance

These fancy cookbooks like Kosher Elegance by Efrat Libfroind, Published by Feldheim Publishers, always make me feel terribly incompetent.  I've been cooking for decades but my food never looks like that.  Granted, some people like my cooking for eating, but I've never gotten the hang of serving like you can see in Libroind's book.

I found some recipes in Kosher Elegance by Efrat Libfroind that I'm looking foward to trying, like Colorful Green Bean Salad.
Serves approximately 12
My friends and I planned an impromptu get-together, complete with a lavish meal. I was bringing dessert, but as a little bonus I made a salad, too. Well, I threw myself into preparing an elegant dessert, but the real showstopper was this simple salad that took two minutes to make.

1 1-pound package frozen green beans
3 cloves garlic
3 peppers in a variety of colors
1 carrot
1 handful dried cranberries
1/4 cup toasted, slivered almonds
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds

4 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Briefly cook green beans in water until crisp. Drain and let cool slightly. Chop garlic, peppers, and carrots into small cubes and add to green beans. Add dried cranberries, almonds, and sesame seeds. Mix dressing ingredients, pour over salad, and toss well.

Tip: To preserve that fresh, bright green color, transfer beans to a bowl of ice water immediately after cooking. No one will believe the green beans are cooked!

Of course I'll make a few changes like using fresh green beans and no salt.  I absolutely love the look of it, and I have no doubt that it tastes good, too.

Another vegetable recipe I must try, with minor adjustments--eliminating the sugar for sure--is Caramelized Vegetables on a Bed of Sweet Potato Puree. Yes, I do love vegetables!
Makes 6 medium-sized portions

This is one of my favorite dishes. It’s got eye appeal, it’s low in calories, and it boasts an interesting duo of textures: crisp vegetables and creamy sweet potatoes. I first stir-fry the veggies in a frying pan and then quickly grill them. Cooking them briefly lets the vegetables retain their crispness.

Sweet potato puree:
2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 handful fresh or dried rosemary
1 small onion, chopped and sauteed
in 2 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons soy milk (optional)

Caramelized vegetables:
1/2 small head broccoli, preferably fresh
1/4 small head cauliflower, preferably fresh
2 zucchini, sliced on the diagonal
1/2 cup sugar snap peas, fresh or frozen
2 peppers, different colors, sliced in thick strips
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bunch fresh thyme (optional)

Sweet potato puree: Peel sweet potatoes and cut into thick slices. Place slices in an 8 x 12 inch baking pan. Season with olive oil, salt, and rosemary. Cover and bake at 400°F until sweet potatoes are completely soft. Remove rosemary and mash sweet potatoes well. Add the sauteed onion and soy milk and mix.

Caramelized vegetables: Separate broccoli and cauliflower into small florets. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan. When oil is hot, add all the vegetables and stir-fry 3–4 minutes, mixing with 2 spoons. Season the vegetables with sugar, pepper, salt, and thyme (reserve some thyme for garnish) and stir-fry 3 more minutes. Transfer veggies to a baking pan and grill at 400°F for 5 minutes until golden.

For an elegant presentation, place a 2- to 3-inch food ring in the center of a plate. Fill ring with sweet potato and remove ring. Arrange vegetables on top.

For a simpler presentation, make a mound of sweet potato in the center of a serving platter. Put
vegetables on top. Garnish with thyme.

Tip: Caramelized vegetables also make a wonderful side dish when served on their own without the sweet potato base.

People who are familiar with Efrat Libroind's recipes probably find it strange that I'm praising her vegetable recipes when she's best known for her absolutely spectuacular desserts, like Cream Cheese, Chocolate, and Peanut Butter Mousse Cake.
Makes 1 7 x 11 inch pan

On one of my visits to New York, I studied alongside the proprietor of a large Brooklyn bakery. At the end of the course she approached me and offered to share “a wonderful recipe: cream cheese–peanut butter mousse.” I thanked her with a smile, even though inside I was cringing from the mere thought of a cream cheese–peanut butter combination.
When I returned to Israel I found the recipe, along with detailed instructions, in my inbox, and I decided to try it. To my surprise, I discovered that it really was wonderful, and I made a few additions that upgraded it to a must-try recipe.

2 tablespoons cocoa
1/3 cup boiling water
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
1/4 cup softened butter
3/4 cup raw cane sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 heaping tablespoons sour cream

Chocolate mousse:
7 ounces milk chocolate
1 8-ounce container heavy whipping cream

Peanut butter mousse:
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1 8-ounce container, minus 4 tablespoons, heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar
5 tablespoons butter
¼ cup milk
4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons corn syrup
3½ ounces white chocolate

Base: Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix cocoa with boiling water. Add remaining ingredients. Transfer to a 7 x 11 inch baking pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Chocolate mousse: Heat chocolate with heavy whipping cream and stir until completely combined. Refrigerate for 8 hours. Beat mixture for a few seconds until the color lightens. Spread mousse over the cake and freeze for half an hour.

Peanut butter mousse: Beat cream cheese with confectioners’ sugar for about 4 minutes. Add peanut butter. In a separate bowl, beat heavy whipping cream with sugar until stiff peaks form, and fold into cream cheese mixture. Spread over chocolate mousse and freeze for 2 hours.

Topping: Cook all topping ingredients except white chocolate, stirring until well mixed. Add white chocolate and stir until completely combined. Chill for half an hour. Pour topping over peanut butter mousse and freeze for 3 hours. Slice cake into squares or rectangles. Serve partially frozen.

Tip: For an extra chocolate garnish, melt 3½ ounces bittersweet chocolate and spread in an even layer on 3 x 1/2 inch acetate sheets, 1 sheet for each mousse square or rectangle. Place the sheets on an upside-down egg carton (for hygienic reasons, make sure it’s plastic) to create chocolate waves, as pictured. Freeze for 10 minutes, leaving sheets on egg carton. Remove chocolate waves from acetate sheets, place atop cake, and serve
I have no doubt that some of you readers are overjoyed that I included that lucious cake recipe in my review.  If you try any of the recipes, please let me know how they come out by commenting here. I'm sure many of you will enjoy owning and reading and following Kosher Elegance by Efrat Libfroind.

Chatting on Miriyummy!

Mirj, of Miriyummy fame, interviewed me on her blog.  I hope that I don't sound dumb or silly. 

Since her blog is about food, recipes etc.  she asked me questions about food.  I had to think before giving answers, but I was in a rush.  And when I said I'd need "a few minutes," I really did get up and do something else, taking a break from the computer.

I think these interview series/posts are very interesting.  I wonder who else in on her list.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Aliyah Stories

West Bank Mama very suitably celebrates her aliyah anniversary by posting a round-up of aliyah stories.  Check them out.  Everyone took a different route for sure.  Living in Israel is easier, in so many different ways than living abroad, חוץ לארץ Chutz la'Aretz, outside of The Land.

There's a joke that ends with the punch line:
"G-d's a local call."
It's so true.  You just need to sign up with the right "phone company."

Good luck!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Memories... Israeli Folk Dance

Last night was my last teaching session at the Mercaz Lemida, Study Center, in Rimonim, southeast of Shiloh.  The young man who drives me home* and I always have interesting conversations.  Last night he told me that his eldest goes to a school in which the children dance during the breaks/recess.  They don't run around wild like in most Israeli schools.

בית ספר רוקד  Beit Sefer Roked, The Dancing School ... wow!  That sure brought me back to another time...

Twenty-nine years ago a favor was asked of me by the people running our local elementary school, which was about to enter its second year in existence.  Would I be the Girls Gym Teacher, just a "temporary job" until we can find someone with actual qualifications and training?  Well, I held that "temporary job" for thirteen years, the longest I've ever held any other job.  It was a very part-time job considering the size of the school at that time, so during those thirteen years I simultaneously worked in other positions in Shiloh, like English Public Relations at the Yeshivat Hesder Shiloh and Cook at the Day Care Center.

After a few years, the authorities must have heard about me and invited me to the annual "gym teachers summer training sessions."  At my very first one, I sat down feeling terribly out of place among all the "jocks."  I was also about the only woman with her hair covered.  Men with kippot were also rare.  And I was also one of the oldest there.  Then the program began.  They introduced Shalom Hermon to talk about בית ספר רוקד  Beit Sefer Roked, The Dancing School. I almost fainted.  I hadn't heard his name for almost twenty years!

Shalom Hermon had been on Fred Berk's staff for the Israeli Folk Dance Festival when I led the NCSY Dance Group.  I hadn't worked directly with him, but I did remember his name, also because he was listed as choreographer of some favorite dances on Fred's albums.

No doubt that Shalom Hermon and Fred Berk, now both in Olam Haba (Next World) are dancing and leaping with joy to know that young Israeli children are still dancing their dances.

*When I was first called about teaching there, I told them that if they can't offer me transportation, there's no reason to continue the conversation.  Thank G-d my recommendations were sufficiently convincing.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Good View of A Tuna Salad

Tuna Salad Plates are available in almost every Israeli eating place, even the meat ones.  And each restaurant makes it their own.  This one was my meal in a branch of Cafe` Cafe`.  Sorry, but my camera isn't near-sighted, so the photo is a bit blurry.  It was very tasty, part of a "business lunch" for ns49.  This chain raised their prices on the business lunch since last year.  I remeber being able to order something for ns39.

Today, another friend and I tried another place, which I'll review later on.

Great Start to the Week!

Hat tip: Tikkun Olam


Dance, always my favorite art form, sport etc.

Sometimes we forget that life is supposed to be fun. Over my many decades I've had to reteach myself about what's important and what just isn't worth getting upset about. I hope I've mellowed out.

Have a great week and more...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I'm Curious. What's Your "Red Line" As A Jew?

As a jblogger and very much part of the Jewish blogging community, I've been wondering about something.  I grew up in a Jewish but non-observant home.  My parents always considered themselves "good Jews."  Maybe that's one of the reasons they reacted so badly (angrily) when I became more religious, after seeing a "different Judaism" at the OU's NCSY events.  I became an Orthodox Jew.  After over forty years in Israel, I now reject that label, because Orthodoxy is an American term and means nothing to Jews in other parts of the world.  Now I call myself a Torah-observant Jew

My question is mostly to Jews like my parents, or the Jew I was raised to be.

What's your red line?  Which Jewish Laws or customs are most important to you?  What wouldn't you stop doing? And why?

If you're a blogger, please blog about it and send me your link and summary in the comments here.  Please share this post around.  Thanks

Friday, June 17, 2011

Winter Mist in Late Spring

Tired as I was, I knew there was something wrong in the valley below.  The winter-like mist looked like a set for Brigadoon.

You can't set your seasonal clock by the calendar. Almost every year has its surprises.

PS the lack of perfect focus is due to the fact that I didn't miss a step walking down to the bus stop.  There was no need to stop while pulling out my camera and shooting a few pictures.

The "Mad Dogs Club"

I really do my best to stay out of the sun. Yesterday when I prepared myself to go to work, considering that I was pretty sure that I had missed the bus (which would have gotten me to work almost an hour early) I dressed in a long skirt and long sleeves, slathered sun screen all over, wore a scarf around my neck, a large hat and sunglasses.

I walked to the Shiloh bus (tremp) stop and immediately caught a ride to the junction of Shvut Rachel and Shiloh where there's a better chance of getting rides. I didn't take any of the offered rides to the main road junction, because there isn't any shade or place to sit. After futilely waiting a half hour, I called the guy who (works with me and) lives in Eli to ask if he had left yet. He said he'd be leaving soon, so I told him that I'd get to the main road junction. And so I began walking. It's about a kilometer, over half a mile. I walked and walked; yes, it was almost 2:30pm and the sun was powerfully strong.

When I made it to the main road I called him again, to make sure that he hadn't already passed. He arrived about six minutes or so later.

By the time I got to work I was a mess. I realized that my small bottle of water wouldn't be enough to properly rehydrate myself, so I got permission to go into Rami Levi Supermarket and buy a larger bottle, 2 liters. After I got about 3/4 of it into me, I began to feel more normal. Night shift is hard enough, but last night was even worse. I spent more time in the air-conditioned part of the store than usual and took a real break to eat the dinner I had packed. B"H, I got through it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Real Treat Was Not Breaking a Tooth

A friend and I had lunch in a branch of a chain of dairy restaurants, to remain nameless.  She believes in free parking, so we didn't go to The Lion's Den, HaGov, because she avoids town.  Ever since HaGov opened for the late lunch, early dinner crowd I've gotten all of my "food dates" to go there.  And all have been very happy with the food and service.

I ordered a large salad, as usual, and since we were busy catching up (talking) I was eating slowly.  Good thing, because suddenly I realized I was biting on something very hard.  There was an olive pit mixed in the salad.  There hadn't been any olives at all, only a large portion of pickles which I don't eat.  (If I ever eat there again, I must remember to tell the waitress to "hold the pickles.") 

I took the olive pit out of my mouth and put it on the napkin and reported to her when she next came over.  She asked me if I wished to speak to the manager, which I did.  He apologized and said that he'd complain to the kitchen staff.  I told him that I was grateful that I hadn't done any dental damage.  He offered to treat us to a free dessert.  Even though both of us are trying to keep weight off, I couldn't say "no."

My friend ate the cake; I ate the ice cream and we both took some swipes at the whipped cream.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Extra Treat At The Playground

I don't know if the planners/designers of our new neighborhood playground realized that there's an extra treat for the kids.  The first time I saw the way it was being "walled in," I wasn't very happy.  I'd rather see kids playing than see a wall.  Then I noticed what shape it was taking.

Look carefully, and you'll see that the "scalloped" wall is an added attraction for the kids.

Homemade Challah, Actually Easy and Totally Delicious!

I considered this the best challah I've ever made, but the kids complained.

"It doesn't taste like your old ones."
"It's not like we remember."
I had my husband help with the kneading;  that's always the hardest part for me.  I used Demerara sugar, rather than the dark brown I used to bake with.

This challah is very easy to "shape," since all it did was roll lots of balls and place them, with room to expand/rise in the baking dish.  A friend reminded me that I had once lent her a heart-shaped baking pan in which she baked one of those "ball challot" for a special occassion.  This "shaped" challah isn't to be sliced/served with a knife.  Everyone is supposed to just grab a ball, making it lots of fun for kids and those young at heart.

Years ago, probably during my Stern (SCW) days I remember hearing at the Shabbat table that challah tastes better when ripped.  My husband never went for that idea, so years ago, when he wasn't home for a Shabbat and I was alone with the kids, we'd enjoy tearing pieces off the challah for ourselves, rather than being served knife-cut slices.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Blogging A Bit Less

You may have noticed that I've been blogging less.  I've made a conscious decision to try to get more sleep, so when I get back home late or watch Law & Order before going to bed I don't return to the computer "just to check" things.  I'm also very busy.  Even part-time work, studying, grandma-ing etc (plus transportation/traveling) take up many hours in the week.

Blogging may reflect life, but it isn't a substitute for living.  I don't get paid for it, so when prioritizing it shouldn't get top billing.

Yes, blogging on multiple blogs is fun.  My blogs are my writing and photography media.  I no longer have to wait in suspense to see if some editor is willing to publish my writing.  I'm the editor, yes, the editor-in-chief.  I've given blogging rights to a few other people.  Generally, before I travel I send them reminders that I'd appreciate their helping me to keep the blog going and updated when I'm sans pc (my personal home computer.)  I'll have to do that pretty soon.

So, if you've been wondering, Baruch Hashem, bli eyin haraa, everything's fine here in "me-anderland."  I'm just too busy living to blog about it at times.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Baruch Dayan HaEmet, Manny Winston

I just received this and am in shock. Manny's mailings were brilliant. He was a great man and will be missed in This World. G-d willing, he'll be effectively fighting for the Land and People of Israel in the Next World.
Dear Friends,
Manny Winston was niftar this morning at 8:30 am CDT after an 11 year battle against cancer. We will miss his presence in this world but, perhaps HaShem wanted him back.

North Shore Chabad of Highland Park will hold a brief memorial after morning davening at 7:30 PM, 847 Central Avenue, Highland Park June 13, 2011. You are welcome to come before we take off for Israel.

The levaya (funeral) for Manny will begin Tuesday, June 14 at the Sanhedria Funeral Home, hopefully around 5 PM after the 3 planes bringing family arrive. From there the levaya will be at Har Zeitim, Mount of Olives – through the gate to the left of the Intercontinental Hotel. Please come if you can.

May we all be blessed with simchas and also be comforted among the mourners of Jerusalem.

All the Best,

Gail Winston & all of Manny’s family and friends
Winston Commentary Mid East Analysis

More About "Persian Food from the Non-Persian Bride" by Reyna Simnegar

Just like a great meal that leaves flavor memories on your tongue and mind, I hope that you're hoping for more about the Persian food I wrote about in my cookbook review of  Persian Food from the Non-Persian Bride by Reyna Simnegar.

I've just received some pictures and recipes for you to sample, adapt in your kitchen.

Chicken with Eggplants
Joojeh Bodemjune

You should have seen how long it took to make this chicken the “authentic” Persian style. Momonbosorgue (my husband’s grandma) taught me this dish and it took us the whole afternoon! She is the sweetest little lady and she really knows her food. I closely watched her while tending to this dish and measured her every move while she sang basunak (wedding songs)…. However, there was no way I was going to spend all that time in my kitchen making just chicken! So, here is the non-Persian-bride-friendly version. It tastes the same!
Tricks of the trade
If you don’t want to fry the eggplants, feel free to broil them. Although it is optional, gureh gives this recipe a great tangy taste and a very exotic look. Gureh is available at Middle Eastern shops.

1 chicken, cut in pieces
1 onion, finely chopped
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon salt, plus extra for the eggplant
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 garlic cloves, pressed
½ cup water
1 eggplant, peeled and cut lengthwise into ½ inch slices
2 potatoes, peeled and sliced into ¼ inch rounds
¼ cup canola oil, for frying
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
¼ teaspoon saffron powder
½ cup gureh (unripe grapes) (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a 9″x13″ roaster, place the chicken pieces skin side up and sprinkle with onions. Rub the chicken with turmeric, salt, pepper, and garlic. Add the water, cover with foil, and bake for 1 hour.
3. In the meantime, sprinkle eggplant with salt. When they have sweated (about 15 minutes), rinse and dry them. Fry the eggplant in a medium skillet until browned. Set aside.
4. Remove the chicken from the oven, uncover, and use food tongs to transfer the chicken pieces from the roaster to a bowl. Add the tomato paste and saffron to the chicken juices in the roasting pan and mix well. Add the potatoes, covering the bottom of the roaster. Return the chicken pieces, skin side up, and drape the fried eggplant slices on top. Drizzle with gureh, if using. Return to oven and bake, uncovered, for another hour.

Yield: 6-8 servings

This seems like a great salad, though in Israel I'd cook the beets myself. I don't think I've ever seen them canned:
Beet Salad
Salad’e Chogondar

An easy salad that can be put together in a blink! I also use this salad for the Persian Yehi Ratzons in the Seder for Rosh Hashana.

2 (14.5-ounce) cans sliced beets
1 bunch scallions, finely sliced
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine all ingredients and toss well.

Yield: Approximately 3 cups, depending on the size of the slices.

This "one pot meal" is very tempting:
Yellow Split Pea Stew
Choreshte Lape

Probably one of the most popular Persian stews, Choreshte Lape is a meal in itself! It has an extraordinary texture and a delicious tangy taste. It is sublime on a canvas of white rice and sprinkled with very thin French fries (which you can make from scratch if you have the time…but since I don’t, I use canned potato sticks instead).
Tricks of the trade
Remember how a Persian’s cook reputation can be ruined by overcooking basmati rice? Well, if a Persian cook’s yellow split peas are all mushy and shapeless, that reputation is down the drain as well! But there is nothing to worry about, since the trick of whole-yet-tender split peas is simply sautéing them in a bit of oil with a dash of cinnamon. I know what you are thinking…don’t try it with the rice…the trick doesn’t work there!

1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, pressed
¼ cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon extra to fry the split peas
2 pounds stew meat
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 cups yellow split peas
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups water
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 large tomato, diced
5 whole dehydrated limes (lemon omani) (3 pierced and 2 crushed )
½ cup bottled lemon juice or the juice of 3 fresh limes

½ cup canned potato sticks or narrow French fries (optional)

1. In a 6-quart saucepan, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until the onion starts to become translucent (about 1 minute). Add the meat; cover and cook until meat no longer looks red, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper.
2. In the meantime, sauté split peas in 1 tablespoon of oil for 1 minute. Add the cinnamon and mix well. Set aside.
3. Uncover the browning meat and add the water, tomato paste, diced tomato, dehydrated limes, lime juice, and sautéed split peas. Cover and simmer for 1½ hours or until meat is tender and split peas are soft but still whole.
4. Serve hot in a casserole dish. Garnish with potato sticks or French fries, if desired.

Yield: 8-10 servings

Here's a basic recipe for Persian Rice. It's not like the rice my now-Tunisian daughter taught me to make:
Persian Steamed White Rice

Many people become extremely intimidated when it comes to making Persian rice. You have to trust me when I tell you it is really not a big deal—just don’t tell anyone Persian I said that! All you need to do is to imagine that instead of making rice, you are making pasta. Most of us know how to make pasta; it is probably what you ate everyday when you went to college! You are going to cook this rice in boiling water with oil and salt, just like pasta. You are going to wait until the rice is “al dente” (when you bite a grain of rice it should still have a white dot in the middle), just like pasta. Do not overcook Persian rice or your reputation as a Persian cook will suffer! And last, you are going to drain it, just like pasta.
The difference comes next: Persian rice has one cooking step that pasta doesn’t have. Persian rice gets steamed. Think of it this way: since this rice is fancy it requires a “spa treatment.” What is the result when you pamper yourself at the sauna? A new you! What is the result when you treat your rice to a “spa treatment”? Each and every grain of rice becomes its own entity and a pearl from heaven! What is the best after-effect of a “spa treatment” for a woman? It makes her a better wife, a better mother—and a better cook! What is the best after-effect of a “spa treatment” for Persian rice? The most scrumptious, crunchy, golden crust: TADIG!
To make this rice you will need a colander—and the smaller the openings, the better. You don’t want your precious rice to slip out! Also, many Persian cooks wash and soak the rice as if it were dirty laundry…I am sorry, I keep my laundry in the basement and I don’t have time for all that soaking, so trust me when I tell you that you don’t need to do it!
The quantities in the recipe below might seem large, but considering that Persians breathe rice, it goes really fast. If you want to make a smaller quantity, try only 3 cups rice, 8 cups water, ¼ cup oil, and 1 tablespoon salt. Also, any basmati rice will do. I prefer using Deer brand but other brands, like Tilda, are also good. Basmati rice is also available in whole-grain brown; although it is a little stickier, it is absolutely delicious and healthful!
Tricks of the trade
Chelo cooks very quickly. Therefore, when I make Chelo, I always make sure to have a colander ready in the sink to drain the rice so I do not overcook it. Also, when you steam the rice by placing the paper towels between the lid and the pot, make sure these are safely away from the heat. After this rice is steamed, it is important to tilt the lid to allow any extra steam to escape so that the crunchy bottom does not become soggy.
I often cook this rice on Thursday and have it ready to steam on Friday a few hours before Shabbat.

Part 1: Cooking the rice
5 cups basmati rice, checked and rinsed
12 cups water
½ cup canola oil
3 tablespoons salt

Part 2: Steaming the rice and making tadig
¼-inch canola oil poured into the bottom of the saucepan
2 tablespoons water
¼ teaspoon turmeric or powdered saffron (optional, for a more authentic flavor)

To cook the rice
1. Fill a large nonstick saucepan (at least 6 quarts) with 12 cups water; add oil and salt. Cover and bring to a brisk boil over high heat.
2. Add the rice and continue cooking over medium to high heat, stirring occasionally.
3. After 3–5 minutes, use a slotted spoon to scoop some grains from the water. Break one grain in half to make sure it is “al dente” (see above). Turn off the heat and pour rice into the colander to drain; set aside.

To steam and make tadig
1. Place the empty 6-quart saucepan back onto the stovetop over medium heat. Add ¼-inch canola oil and 2 tablespoons water. Add turmeric and/or saffron powder. Stir together.
2. Add the drained rice and shape it into a pyramid. Cover the pot and cook for 5–7 minutes until rice begins to steam.
3. Uncover and place 2 paper towels (one on top of the other) over the rice. The ends will extend outside the pot. Replace the lid tightly.
4. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Turn off the heat and tilt the lid until ready to serve.
5. With a wide spatula, scoop the rice from the pot, making sure not to disturb the crust (tadig) that formed on the bottom of the pot. Serve the rice on a flat serving platter, mounding it into the shape of a pyramid. Turn the tadig out onto a flat serving platter by inverting the pot, as you would invert a cake pan, or cut it into pieces and serve around the rice.

Yield: 8 servings

Now, aren't you hungry? If you try out the recipes, please let me know!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Havel Havelim #319 Kisses a Mezuzah

To Kiss A Mezuzah is one of the blogs that has taken on more than its share of hosting the JBlog carnival, Havel Havelim.  As usual, Susan B. has done a great job with this HH #319.

Most probably due to the Shavuot Holiday, many of us blogged less and if like me also forgot to send in links so, this edition of Havel Havelim is a bit smaller than usual.  Quality doesn't need quantity.  There are some really interesting posts for you to read.  And please don't forget to share this HH around.

Have a wonderful week!  Shavua Tov!

Small JBlog Round-Up

I just visited a few blogs from my sidebar.  It's amazing what they have in common.  Check them out, please and tell them that I sent you!

This isn't a regular feature.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Feeling The Pain of Others

Tikkun Olam has been blogging about her daughter's serious health problem, chronic pain.  Her daughter went from young, active and healthy to young and pretty much paralysed by pain, chronic pain.  Her daughter blogs about it in both Hebrew and English.  Here's an excerpt:

Four months ago, I didn't have RSD. I could walk, run, jump. Now it's hard for me to go to the bathroom or take a bath. It is hard for me to focus enough on my hand-eye coordination when I eat to not make a mess and get crumbs everywhere. I don't pity myself at all! Life deals bad hands a lot of the time. What makes me feel bad isn't that I have RSD, it's that everyone else has to learn to cope with it.

RSD, takes your life and your family's life. And that's what it is like to live with RSD - to not be able to live.
G-d willing she will "get her life back," and her family will go back to their usual things.

Tzipi, Refuah Shleimah

Friday, June 10, 2011

Unbelievably Easy, Baked Veggies With Salmon

This was the main course of Shavuot Lunch and I took the left-overs to work for lunch the next day.  It's amazingly simple to prepare and can be made in all sorts of ways.

  • The baking paper is optional.  If you're using a "bake and serve" pyrex, ceramic or whatever dish for a fancy meal, then the paper ruins the elegance, though you can try to remove it before serving.
  • Place portion size pieces of frozen or fresh fish.
  • Add lots of raw vegetables, including onions and whatever herbs and spices you like.  If the fish is fresh it will cook very quickly, so the vegetables must be cut small or thin for quick cooking.
  • Dribble some oil on top.  I use just a bit of soy oil.  I've never gone for canola and rarely cook with olive oil, because cooking is the great equalizer when it comes to oils.  The heat makes them almost all the same, nutrition-wise.
  • Bake in a hot oven until almost fully cooked, then turn off the oven and let the remaining heat finish the job.  That is unless you have more things to bake and then cook until really cooked, so it will be healthy, bacteria dead etc.
Yes, it's that simple!!!

Which vegetables?  Almost any:
  • carrots
  • squash
  • cauliflower
  • eggplant
  • sweet potato
  • and more...

Thursday, June 09, 2011

A Great Persian Cookbook

For sample recipes and pictures, click here, please.

I read cookbooks as if they're reading books, fiction, romance, history etc.  I look at the illustrations like others look at coffee table art books.  I store ideas, suggestions, food combinations in my head, and they become the inspiration for my cooking experiments.  I don't like taking orders, and that includes strictly following recipes.  Recently I've been devouring the food shown in a cookbook I was sent for reviewing:

Persian Food from the Non-Persian Bride-
and other Kosher Sephardic recipes you will love
by Reyna Simnegar

The most special and delicious meals I've eaten in kosher New York restaurants have been Persian. I'm sure that many of you know just the restaurant I'm referring to.  So, as I look at the pictures and read the recipes, I find myself tasting the food.  I'm hungry just thinking about it (and I've just eaten dinner.)

Even worse, I've been showing the book off to guests who must be very disappointed when I serve them my very ordinary meals. 

No doubt I will be incorporating flavors and recipes from Persian Food from the Non-Persian Bride.  The recipes are not only irresistible, but the graphics are excellent and instructions are clear.  I love reading all of the extra information, Simnegar's stories and information about Persian Jewish culture,  history and her family.

Rice does feature a lot in Persian meals, but there are plenty of other dishes for low-carbohydrate eaters like myself.  I've been very tempted to try (and of course to eat) Joojeh (Chicken) Kabab.  It's illustrated with some salad greens and tomatoes.  Best of all, it looks really simple to prepare.

Not all of the recipes are Persian.  There are some Moroccan vegetable dishes, like Spinach Salad and Moroccan Carrots.  Considering how foods like pizza, hamburgers and felafel have conquered the world, I have no objection to finding Moroccan salads and other international dishes in this great Persian Jewish cookbook.

If you love cookbooks, either for discovering new recipes or reading for ideas and inspiration, Persian Food from the Non-Persian Bride-and other Kosher Sephardic recipes you will love is the cookbook for you!  It will also make a great gift.

Please Pray -Refuah Shleimah- Complete Recovery

A very dear, special friend feel down some stairs a couple of weeks ago.   According to the doctors nothing is broken, but she has been in severe pain ever since and can't function. 

-Refuah Shleimah- A Complete Recovery
Esther Malka Bat Etela Devora

Those Delicious and Easy-to-Make 1, 2, 3 Cookies

Due to popular demand I made two types of 1, 2, 3 Cookies for my kids' visit on Shavuot.  No, not the grandkids, they've never even eaten them.  I'm referring to some of my other kids, the Jerusalem ones, the oldest and two youngest.  The boys made the menu requests of chicken and cookies.  Yes, one is permitted to eat chicken on Shavuot instead of cheesecake.  It's not like chametz on Passover.

I dug up the kitchen scale.  Luckily, I remembered in which closet I had hidden it away.

Batch #1 was cinnamon, very simple.

And the second batch (from the same dough) had vanilla and chocolate chips added.)

Once the cookies had cooled and hardened, I packed them off in their cookie tins, wrapped them with protective (so nobody--especially me--could take a nibble) plastic and stored them away on the top shelf.

Having gotten my fill, sampling them straight from the oven, I had no trouble resisting them when the kids ate them and praised the taste.  Before the kids left, my son packed the remaining cookies in a plastic container so he could take them to Jerusalem.  Temptation is now gone far away, thank G-d.  I sampled enough, too much!!!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Nice To Be Helped, A Pleasant pre-Shavuot Post

Whether I look my age or younger, I never mind being offered a seat in the bus.  B"H, there are still some very thoughtful and polite passengers on Israeli buses.  And there are bus routes that fill up with many older than I am, so I can't always expect help.  On the whole, my experiences are good here, except on buses with a lot of chareidi men and young boys.  I've had more Arabs get up for me than chareidi males of all ages.

One of the perks of working for Yafiz-Rami Levi is that personnel (employees) can check out on the express line, even if he/she has two full wagons of food etc.  I don't think I've ever bought more than ten items, because we use very few processed foods, do most of our shopping in the local store and my husband loves Machane Yehuda market.  Yesterday Rami Levi was selling vegetables for much less than even in the shuk (market) so I asked my boss for a couple of minutes' break, since express was empty and quickly grabbed a few kilo of salad.  But when I got to the line I saw that another employee was just about to start a double-wagon load.  But thank G-d he noticed me and signaled that I should get ahead of him, which I did.   People are nice.

That small purchase was the second I had done that day. The first was before I had signed in and started working.  After we closed the store for the night, I grabbed my shopping bag and discovered that I couldn't lift the combined weight of the two purchases.  Everyone waited for me as I quickly removed the light stuff and put some heavy things in my backpack.  As I hoisted the backpack onto my shoulders, one of the younger (ok, everyone's younger) workers grabbed my bag and wouldn't let me hold it.  She handed it to the guy who gives me rides to the Shiloh junction.  Then when we were on our way home, another young employee in the car reminded the driver that I had very heavy bags and he should take me all the way home and not leave me to wait for rides and walk to my door.  I never would have asked.  I'm grateful enough for any ride.  Yes, of course, he took me home.

People really are nice.

Chag Shavuot Sameach
Have a wonderful holiday, and look for the good.

Monday, June 06, 2011

As The Shavuot Holiday Approaches

This post is included in a Shavuot round-up on the Real Food Digest.

  • The good news is that our kids want to visit and probably bring some friends. 
  • The bad news is that our neighborhood keeps having water problems; that means that water isn't flowing in the pipes to our homes.
The kids have requested that I cook chicken for the evening holiday meal.  They love my simple chicken.  To cook the chicken I need lots of flowing/running water.  My cooking time is limited because of work.  I called Mekorot, the Israeli Water Company.  News is not very encouraging. I could hear the guy's tv as he manned the emergency line at 5am.  He certainly has an easier job than I have.

My older son also requested demanded 1, 2, 3 Cookies one of my legendary recipes.  I haven't made it for years, not because it's hard to make.  It's really very easy. The reason is that they are absolutely irresistibly delicious!  He even wants a few varieties.  Yes, that simple basic cookie recipe can be anything from cinnamon to chocolate chips to granola and more.  There are just three basic ingredients, flour, margarine and sugar.  Yes, no eggs.  He promised to take all the left-over temptation away from the house.  But when my daughter heard that I'd be making the beloved cookies, she requested that I keep some for the grandchildren who will be coming for Shabbat after Shavuot.

We may eat fish Shavuot lunch.  And in the afternoon we'll be hosting, as we do every year, a Torah shiur class in English.  I plan on serving fruit.  I'll slice some up, arrange on platters and stick in toothpicks.  I only serve water to drink.  Juice isn't on our menu.

G-d willing the water maivens will fix the problem very quickly.  B"H, we have an emergency tank so I can still flush the toilet and wash my hands.  Years ago water problems were much more frequent, and emergency tanks were the norm.  Newer homes don't have them.

I may as well end the post here, or I'll just start complaining more and more.  No time for that!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Frume Sarah's HH Jerusalem Day Celebration

The latest Havel Havelim is the Jerusalem Day celebration at Frume Sarah's blog.  She has done her usual great job giving us a tasty taste of the latest jblog posts.  I'm sure you'll find plenty to read and enjoy.  "Share" the link to HH and the links to any post you find particularly interesting.

Frume Sarah, thanks so much!

PS I just realized that this year I didn't write much about Jerusalem Day.  I guess that part of the reason is that my mind is in too many different places.  And I feel that Jerusalem and the State of Israel won't survive unless we become totally sovereign in all of the Land of Israel.  But this isn't my political blog.  Sorry...

And It Suddenly Appeared....

I just found my missing ring, yes,  less than a minute ago.  I had looked for it in the exact same area for the past day, knowing it had been on the table with its "partners" just over that spot.  Then it was gone.  I wore two, rather than three rings on Shabbat.  It felt missing.  I could feel its lack on my finger, even though it's the thinnest of the three. I would take pictures of my hands to  illustrate, but my nail polish needs redoing.

Suddenly, after pouring mug #2 of morning coffee, I looked down, and there it was on the floor, just waiting for me.  Yes, like magic.

One can make a very spiritual inspiring story about it.  I had rationalized to myself that "it's really not all that important."  It's only a ring, and it's rather bent out of shape.  Having lived so long on my middle finger, it has adoped the shape it needs, sort of like a sporty hat, rakishly off-center.

The ring was a gift from one of my kids.  Actually, all of my rings have some sort of story attached.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Pre-Shavuot KCC From Jewish Boston

It's the Jewish month of Sivan and the latest Kosher Cooking Carnival has been brought to you by  David Levy of Jewish Boston.  Please check it out, visit the links and "share" it in the media.

KCC is a monthly collection of blog posts on the subject of kosher food, kosher recipes, Jewish Laws of Kashrut, kosher restaurant and cookbook reviews.... yes, anything kosher.

If you have a post to submit, just send your link to blog carnival.  And if you'd like to host an edition, please contact me.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Next Week Shavuot? I'm Not Ready!

I go from Shabbat to Shabbat, getting my spiritual and physical breathers, rests, input of energies...  My life has gotten so busy, and next week it will get even more so, since the pool is opening.  The following week will have everything:
  • work at Yafiz
  • tutoring in Rimonim
  • classes in Matan
  • and the pool
  • family and friends
But soon after that, the year of learning at Matan will end, the kids will get their vacation from learning in Rimonim and I'll just have to juggle Yafiz, the pool, family and friends and the rest of life.

Did I mention that the pool is opening?  I have permission to be a little late to the store on pool days.  Otherwise it wouldn't pay to pay for membership.  I'm terribly out of shape compared to recent years, since I didn't go to a pool even once this past winter.  Walking with a backpack is good, but there are muscles I can only work on in the water.

Back to the kitchen...  Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov

Teaching Torah, Me?

This year, since I've had the wonderful opportunity for studying the Bible in Matan, I'm sometimes the featured speaker/teacher at our Shabbat Shiur Nahshim Women's Study Classes.  I, also, sometimes give the short Dvar (Words of) Torah at our Rosh Chodesh Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh.

Unless there's another volunteer, I'll give the Dvar Torah this morning.  It'll be a short "taste" of my Shabbat one, connected to Shiloh, Chana, Shmuel, clothing and education.

I have no doubt that our move to Shiloh, thirty years ago this summer, has contributed greatly to my spiritual life.  It's hard to believe it; I've spent almost half my life in Shiloh.  Yes, I'm THAT old!

Where you live does have its influence.  In some ways it's obvious and in others it's subtle and takes a while until you really see it.  I've definitely metamorphised into a different person here.

This is a very busy Friday.

Chodesh Tov and Shabbat Shalom
Have a Good Month and a Peaceful Shabbat

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Fear and Danger of The Trains on Jerusalem Streets

It seems like forever that downtown Jerusalem is in "transition" between buses, cars, taxis, emergency vehicles and pedestrians sharing Rechov Yaffo, Jaffa Street, the main street which starts at the Jaffa Gate of the Old City and leads us to the Central Bus Station and the road to Tel Aviv and the trains, the Jerusalem Lightrail.

In recent months, there are practice, training runs of the trains and all other vehicles are banned.  That includes ambulances and fire trucks.  So, if you're going to need those, plan your emergency for another location.  Yes, I'm serious.  Another problem is that people with hearing problems don't hear the little whistle that announces that a train is moving.  An elderly friend told me that she's terrified.  Oh, and one more "minor" problem.  The trains can't stop quickly, even in an emergency.

You can thank Ehud Olmert and his cronies.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Jew or Muslim? You Can Tell By How It's Tied

Last week my husband received his diploma, a masters degree.  It took over thirty years from his first attempt to the ceremony last week.  That's even longer than the twenty-two years it took me to get my bachelors degree.  I started at Stern College, NYC, and I finished in the now-closed Jerusalem branch of Empire State College, SUNY.

I got a real kick out of observing the other attendees at the ceremony at Hebrew University, Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem.  You had Jews and Arabs and probably other nationalities/religions who didn't dress in such obvious costumes.  My camera zoom caught two styles of women's hair-covering.  Both a scarves, the religious Muslim and the religious Jew.  The big difference is in how they're tied and wrapped.

PS At Yafiz I've been noticing more and more Arab women with Jewish style hats and scarves.  To be honest, if I had covered my neck like the Arab women do, I'd have a much younger looking neck at this age.

Recycling, Reaching Record Heights in Shiloh

Here's the neighborhood plastic bin-

People are catching on!  Look at all those plastic bottles!!