Monday, December 6, 2010

On The Sixth Night Of Chanukah

it is 6:30 p.m. on the sixth night of chanukah in the holy city of zefat. we were blessed with a few drops of rain today. it is suddenly cold here. we have been both, enjoying summer like weather and suffering from the exreme dryness. we are all itching and walking around with dried and cracked hands.

last night i made a chanukah latke night for a select few. i had sahar with me all day long so i missed yoga. zvi was home with a stomach bug and couldn't cope with the baby. i hadn't had sahar with me for the entire previous week. i was recovering from a really bad flu and didn't really have the strength to take care of him. i missed him, never the less. his other grandmother wanted him with her all week long.

he really changed in just a week. he seemed less happy and more fearful. he was hard to please and he cried a lot more, than usual. i put together a house warming party for the kids on thursday night. i spent hours straightening up the laundry room, after i did all the laundry, to make it look like a family room. i set up all the tables and did my best to make it look festive. i made chocolate coins, chanukiahs and draidels for the kids. i bought some awesome, laizer draidels for the boys.

we needed a minyan( 10 men) and only got one at around 9:30 p.m. the meal was called for 7:30 p.m. i put a vat of mini potato berakas in the oven at around 6:00 p.m. earlier, i made a batch of fried bow tie cookies and smothered them in powdered sugar. i also bothered baking a coconut cake which never got touched. it's in the freezer.

i ran to the supermarket to buy berakas, cold cuts, drinks, chumus and olives and pickles. i made an israeli salad and cole slaw. i ran back to the local super because i forgot to buy the chumus in the large supermarket. of course, i bought more berakas, because i got paranoid that there weren't enough. gal's mom made pitas, potato salad and a large chocolate cake. a few of the neighbors came in with their wives, because we were searching high and low for a minyan. the couple of women that came, didn't eat anything. everyone was in shock over the disasterous fire that was still burning in haifa. the evening seemed so surreal. we all just stared at the flames on the t.v. news.

i had tons of cold cuts and berakas left over. i froze the cold cuts and brought the berakas over to my sister, the next day. she thought about bringing them to the shul for the daytime kiddush. it was the second anniversary of our mother's passing. i picked up my sister at 11:00 a.m. on friday morning and we went to visit her grave. i only stayed for about 15 minutes. i read some psalms, cried for a bit and left. i still had to buy the challahs and cook the shabbat meals. it's a good thing that i had the taxi wait for me. my sister stayed on and was stuck there a short while later, while there was a huge funeral procession for a local resident who had died in the fire. the street was blocked off to all traffic and she ended up walking a great distance back to town to get a taxi.

i watched sahar all day long on shabbat and again on saturday night. he cried for almost two hours while i tried everything to put him to sleep. he finally passed out in my arms. yesterday, he was in a much calmer mood. i think the 'ruckus' at the other grandparents' home is too much for him. here he gets to have some quiet time and some t.v. time. they are not that thrilled with his watching t.v. or his playing with the dogs. what can you do?

he seemed like his old playful and smiley self yesterday. he hardly cried and he slept for nearly three hours. thank the Lord! while he slept, i washed all the floors with buckets of soapy water. i made some applesauce and peeled the potatoes for the latkes. i also made a greek salad with diced cucumbers and tomatoes, olives and cubed feta cheese. i even managed to clean up the stove and the small kitchen area. i still hadn't cleaned up after the thanksgiving dinner i made.

i had to go out and buy eggs so i took him in the stroller when he woke up. i gave him some lunch and then gave him a bath and got him into his warm p.j's. he played nicely in his crib for a while and then i put the crib into the t.v area so he could watch his 'baby luli'. i asked one of my friends to come a little early to help watch him so i could fry up the latkes.

while he watched his show, i started to hand grate the potatoes. he was fine so i started frying up the latkes. i totally, forgot what a 'potchka' it is to make latkes. they take forever to fry up and the entire house gets smokey. i opened all the windows but it didn't help. i was simultaneously frying up potato latles and making little fried greek donut puffs. i was still frying latkes when the guests arrived. i usually have them made already, and warming in the oven. i was red faced and working hard. the house was reaking of fried oil. it was not my most shining hostess memory.

i quickly threw in some slices of eggplant to fry up in the remaining oil. i then sat down to join my guests. everyone loved the fried eggplant, donuts, greek salad and the home made applesauce. the latkes went pretty fast and i was apologetic that i hadn't made more. in the past, i would have marched back into the kitchen to fry up some more. i was tired. i made a batch of hot chocolate with steamed milk and added a jigger of rum for each cup. i topped it off with marshmallows. we had a very fancy chocolate layer cake for dessert, that someone bought.

everyone left at 8:00 p.m. and i watched sahar until 11:00 p.m. he fell asleep in my arms without crying. i carried him downstairs and put him in his crib. he went to his other grandmother today and i stayed in bed all day long. i think i have him tomorrow.

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