Thursday, October 29, 2009
it is pouring here in zefat and i am so delighted for my garden and fruit trees! we really need the rain! i completely forgot about the picture of the 'zvi' and 'gal' dolls on the bottom of the blog. i did these the night before the engagement. basically, i didn't have anything to do for the 'henna'. it was the obligation of the kallah's family. the bride's family makes the initial vort or l'chaim. this is to announce the engagement. usually, a dinner is made for the immediate families, only. the parents discuss the finances and make a toast. later on, they have a small reception and serve drinks and cakes to the various friends and neighbors. i had the privilege of making a vort for my niece a couple of years ago. it was originally supposed to be a minyan of ten men but it escalated to over thirty people. her husband has ten brothers and one sister. she has two sisters and two brothers. and as you already know, i have one son. the sephardim make a huge engagement party in a catering hall and do a ceremonial 'henna' service. the kallah is given gold jewelry and the chatan is given a set of gemora and a silver watch. i also bought my kallah a set of silver candlesticks and tray. this was a throwback to the askenazi custom. the women dance to primitive sephardic music and balance baskets of home made goodies on their heads. they also wear traditional moroccan dresses that are quite colorful. the safta raba (great grandma) makes up the 'henna' and brings it out with birthday candles on it. some of you followers, may be familiar with egyptian 'henna' used to dye hair red. it has a religious connotation that i can't think of at the moment. it is a mud like consistency that quite frankly, resembles a cow paddy. you press a little bit of this glop into your hand and then you walk around for the next couple of days with a great big read stain . i needed an outlet for my creative energy. i decided to bake a cake in the shape of a wedding dress with a barbie doll in the middle as the bride. my friend had made one for her granddaughter's third birthday party at school. she borrowed my giant jello mold for the base. it looked and tasted stunning. i proceeded to make a smaller version, using my own recipe. it was a disaster.! i didn't want to toss it because it was still edible, so i frosted it and covered it with candy necklaces and put a little miniature doll on the top. it looked cute. i don't know if it actually, ever got eaten, but that's another story! i decided to make look-a-like dolls of zvi and gal. nowadays, there are many inexpensive bride and groom dolls. i think i paid $5 for each. at one time, you could only find G.I. Joe dolls or action figures. but now they have them all. i started with the boy doll. i immediately took out a black permanent laundry marker and transformed the plastic, orange hair to black. i then very carefully, darkened the eyebrows, and then drew a mustache and a little face hair. i took a gauze pad from my first aid kit and glued a small circle onto the doll's head to resemble my son's signature, white, knitted kippa. i then cut some white fringe or some old garment to create the strings for his tsitis. i drew a white line across the black plastic doll shoes with white out to resemble zvi's dress shoes, exactly. i even cut out the label from one of his versace shirts and glued it on to the suit jacket as a joke. because, everyone, knows about zvi's taste for designer clothes. i used purple marker to give the semblance of a lavender shirt, similar to the one, that zvi bought for his wedding. thank goodness, i was able to persuade him not to buy a white suit. gals' doll was a cinch! i blackened the orange hair with a marker and took a section of bangs and covered one eye. that was gal's signature hair style. i added the signature, black mole under the other eye and voila! the clothes wear modern and similar to what she wears. and i made designer tights with packing labels. i added tons of small gold jewelry and pasted a rhinestone on her finger for the diamond ring. i glued the shoes to a coaster which made a great stand and i placed them on a silver platter and covered the tray with tons of candies. it was a huge success! for the shabbat chatan, i transformed the gal doll into a bride, complete with wedding dress, and pearls and a bridal bouquet. and wouldn't you know , that i was still playing around with this on the night before the wedding. i used liquid white out to turn the red plastic shoes into white bridal shoes. i would love to do more customized dolls .