Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy New Year Really

it is 1:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat. i just finished sponging the floors. the kids went to haifa to pick up gal's sister. she apparently, is very sick and couldn't get on the bus to come for the holidays. i am upstairs listening for sahar. he has been sleeping through the night lately.

i started my new year's preparations at 10:00 a.m. this morning. i didn't stop for a break. i ran downstairs to do some wash. i stripped the couches and beds and did the covers and sheets. it was sunny so i got to hang it all outside. i worked for a staight 15 hours. i hope i'll have some strength to watch sahar tomorrow.

i made most of the symbolic foods today. i still have to depit the pomegranate tomorrow. every year i say that i am going to count the pips to see if there really are 613. i don't think i'll even try this year. i roasted the pumpkin in olive oil and added a pinch of coriander. i also did the same for the leeks but they seemed too dry so i added a bit of water to revive them.

i fried up some onions to add to the tsimmis and added a bit of tumeric as well as the cinnamon. i also gtated a bit of fresh ginger for a bit of a zing. i cooked the carrots, sweet potatoes, raisins and prunes until they were nice and thick. i drizzled a bit of honey for fun.

i braised the beet leafs with fresh garlic, onions and basil. i steamed the long, skinny, string beans with a bit of garlic, too. i cooked the beets and added a lot of lemon. i resisted the old urge to add honey. i cooked the gefilte fish and two fish heads in water with a lot of carrots and onions. half way through, i added some of the pieces with a slice of niles perch to a pot of very spicy tomato sauce. i had frozen the left over sauce from the lasagnas that i had made for sahar's birthday. i added some chili powder and a lot of fresh cilantro. i hope it gets eaten.

i made a small amount of curried brown rice. i added carrots, onions, apples and raisins and finished up an opened can of coconut milk . i also made a paste like substance by adding too much water to the red lentils and onions. it is a really weird consistency but it tastes delicious. i ate a huge bowl of it for lunch. i bet there is a word for this in indian cuisine.

i didn't make a sweet noodle pudding. maybe i'll find the time tomorrow. or maybe i won't. i'm thinking about mashed potatoes. i think i still need something to accompany the meat. i don't know if everyone will eat the tsimmis. for sure, the celiac won't touch it. perhaps, i can just cook up some plain flat noodles, and not turn it into a kugel. i also have a bag of bow ties. who knows? the sky's the limit!

the kids told me this evening, that they were going to spend the second night of rosh hashanna at gal's parents. they will have lunch there too. they are planning on returning for shabbat. as i mentioned in yesterday's blog, i had already cooked 3out of the 4 yom tov meals. oh well! i guess i'll have it easy for the next holiday, as long as the freezer holds out.

a little while later, the kids told me that they were planning on making a barbecue with another couple for the yom tov lunch. perfect! i will stay late in shul and enjoy the davening. i was planning on leaving early so that the kids wouldn't be left waiting for me. the chabad minyan starts really late. i'll either have some of my leftovers when i get back or enjoy some of their barbecued meat. we'll see. i'll defrost some chicken wings, buy some corn tomorrow, and make them a huge green salad. and that's it.

i don't know if any of my friends are planning to be here for lunch or second night dinner. if i knew the kids weren't going to be here i would have invited guests for the second night, instead.

i am just going with the flow and staying calm. whatever is meant to be, will be.

have a really wonderful new year!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy New Year

it's 9:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. we are closing in on the jewish new year. the holiday starts on wednesday night. it continues until after the shababt. that's seven festive meals we must create. afterwards, we fast on the following sunday.

i already cooked 3 of my main dishes. they are in the freezer in cooking bags. i find it much easier to defrost this way. you just pop a bag into boiling water and a short while later, voila!

i made a roast in a sweet red wine, meatballs in tomato sauce that will be topped over artichoke bottoms, and some spicy sephardi chicken bottoms. i baked 4 honey cake loaves this evening, an apple cake, one pan of honey bars and another pan of date bars. i still have a carrot cake loaf with cream cheese icing in the freezer from last shabbat. i'm pretty sure that i have over done it. i plan to give a way a few of the honey cakes to friends and family.

the apple cake is still in the oven. i used white sugar and flour for a change and i don't really know how to deal with it. i bought all of the veggies and fruits for the holiday. i only need to buy challahs on wednesday. i put in an order for my girl friend to make me some round whole wheat challahs. yummy!

i'm still debating on making a sweet noodle kugel. i am planning on doing the rest of my cooking tomorrow. i have to babysit sahar on wednesday and it will be too hectic to do anything else except perhaps, make a green salad. i want to make gefilte fish with a spicy tomato sauce. there is no way that gal or zvi will eat the ashkanazi sweet kind of fish. i am too afraid that the fish will fall apart in the tomato sauce so i'll make it the regular way, in water, and then bake it in the sauce. maybe i'll add a chili pepper. i have some niles perch slices to add to the pot, too.

i want to make a sephardi carrot and sweet potato tsimmis. the secret is fried onions and a touch of tumeric. i have raisins and prunes to add to the concoction.
i have to make a pot of brown rice for a friend who is vegetarian and celiac. she also doesn't do sugar. are we having fun yet? believe it or not, she can have pumpkin. i always cook the symbolic foods for new year's in soy sauce. zvi loves it. not this time. my friend cannot have soy sauce with wheat and i never made it over to the health food store to check out the wheat free kind.

zvi complains that he doesn't like my ashkanazi rosh hashana food. i have never used lemon, vinegar, or anything else that is sharp. i have always drizzled honey over every single dish. not this year. i will make every dish hot and spicy.

i have been surfing the internet for days looking up interesting recipes. i simply, have to put myself on auto pilot tomorrow and work hard. i will need to do the floors, too. i was thinking about visiting the seniors before the holiday. i haven't seen them in over a month. it will be hard to go tomorrow. i guess i'll see where i am holding.

i finally went to see the doctor last week. i felt sure that i had bronchitis. i have been feeling fluish for a month. i lost my voice several times. i coughed non stop and found it hard to swallow. the doctor didn't see anything. he said it could have been viral. he called it 'saftas' disease. always watching a kid and catching his runny nose. go know!

wishing you all a good, sweet, new year!!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sick Again

it is 7:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i have been really sick for the past two weeks. my grandson was also sick. he supposedly has bronchitis. i don't have a clue of what i have. yesterday my throat was burning and i lost my voice. i spent the day coughing. i had a fever. i kept a cool rag around my forehead and throat.

i had the chills. it is rather hot in zefat but i've been lying around in a fleece lounging robe. i've been too sick to change. when i put the fan on i get too cold. i am too hot without the fan so i spend the day switching the fan on and off.

we had a party for sahar's turning 2 on monday night. it was requested that i make a couple of lasagnas and cheesecake for the meal and dessert. i was literally, in bed and found it very hard to function. i had run to the store on sunday to buy the noodles and cheeses. i made sure to buy the correct 'heckshers' because i had invited my family to join us for the party. i took the liberty of shopping for food for the upcoming jewish holidays, too.

the freezer is stocked with beef, liver, chopped meat and assorted fish. i even bought the traditional fish heads for rosh hashana night. the pantry is loaded with oil, honey and wine. i will eventually, need to buy grape juice and fruits and veggies. it is much easier planning holiday meals than shabbat meals. i try not to make anything sharp or tart for rosh hashana. i throw honey into every dish. i throw some rolled beef into a pot of sweet wine and voila! i guess i can always throw in some carrots, too. i probably, will throw the meatballs into the sweet wine, too.

i'm planning on sauteing half the liver with white wine and onions and using the other half to make chopped liver with boiled eggs and fried onions. this year rosh hashana starts on wednesday night and continues straight into the shabbat. that's 7 meals we must prepare. i have no idea who is coming yet for any of the meals. i am planning on inviting some adult guests for the first night. the kids are welcome to join me if they wish.

i was just told that they are planning on 'dining' with me this shabbat. i am not feeling well enough to go downstairs to shop. i'll have to shop, cook and clean tomorrow. are we having fun yet? so first thing tomorrow morning, i'll return the empties to the store and buy eggs, potatoes, milk, and veggies.

the kids have been, pretty much, living separately from me lately. it feels strangely, okay. they are beginning to raise their son, finally, by themselves. i haven't been called upon to babysit or put him to sleep. in a way, it's very liberating. they have to figure out what works for them as a unit. i'm always here in a pinch, but they are concentrating on managing on their own. i'm greatly, relieved.

a friend called the other day to implore me to stop blogging about them. she was afraid of the backlash/fallout if someone read my blog. i almost welcome all of them to read my blog and really understand how i feel most of the time. things have quieted down alot here since the big explosion. we are all pretty anxious about the new addition that will be arriving in december.

so i will simply focus on making shabbat meals and getting the house up to snuff. there is a lot of dog hair all over the place, as usual. i recently found a home for the little male chihwahwa, paco. it is a lot quieter and less smelly without him. he is well suited for his new family and we 'girls' are getting used to being the 3 'bitches' once again.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Quiet Tme

it is 6:45 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i am by myself. i just got back from town. i spent the day at the seniors' center. i hadn't made it over there in weeks.
it was a hot day.

i spent hours yesterday bailing out water from the pool. the grass already looks greener today. so does the remaining water in the pool. after a particularly, rowdy group of 20 or more paying guests used the pool for a few days, it was pretty much trashed for the season. there is just so much bleach you can add to the water. people bathing in full attire and velour robes, just isn't right.

i went to a sheva bracha yesterday for my suishi lady. i have known her for 18 years. i haven't been in a social gathering all year long. i was having a major anxiety attack. my carrot cake was dry and the cream cheee icing was melting. thank goodness, my gal pal had given me the day before, a lovely, dramatic looking, cotton shift house dress that was flattering on me and quite attrative. i had the perfect matching head scarf, to boot.

my dress and matching scarf, as well as my carrot cake, were the hit of the party. i had made one for shabbat. it was in honor of my daughter-in-law's upcoming birthday. it was the best carrot cake that i have ever made. it was very high and moist. the icing was perfection. i had a couple of slices by myself before shabbat.

the kids never got around to sampling the cake. zvi woke up late on saturday morning. he couldn't find his prayer shawl and rushed out of the house to catch the rest of the minyan. he didn't even have time to have a cup of coffee. my grandson came up at 7:00 a.m. i was in the process of making him a bottle. his mom didn't come up until after 10:00 a.m.

she couldn't tolerate the lack of air in my apartment and the excess dog hair around the furniture. she freaked out when she saw random dog hairs on her son's naked chest. i had removed his shirt because he seemed a bit feverish. i had left the windows closed to keep out the heat. i hadn't had the chance to change my dog hair ridden bed clothes yet. it was a mess. she ran off to her sister's house on the next street with sahar. she refused my offer of cake and coffee.

i had gone to her parents' house for the evening shabbat meal against my better judgement. i really had wanted to stay home and chill out by myself. we had hosted nearly 40 paying guests all week long and i had taken care of the grandkid all by myself. i was beyond tired. my legs hurt. my thighs hurt. i didn't want to walk the 30 minutes or more home. i had fallen down the day before and my back hurt.

the walk home was awkward. i followed the kids behind by some 10 paces. the kids had a fight on the way home. i was left pushing the sleeping kid in the stroller up hill all the way home, all by myself. it was most unnerving. i had bothered making an entire lunch for the kids. i had left the electric hotplate on to heat up the mashed potato kugel. i had struggled in the heat to shlepp down to the market and lugged home drinks, and a huge watermelon. i made several salads, cut open the entire watermelon, and rinsed a few bags of romaine lettuce. i made a carrot cake and frosted it, and baked a potato kugel for the kids. i even bought treats.

my son came home from shul at 11:00 a.m to let me know that they had made other plans for lunch. i was invited to join them but i declined their 'gracious' offer. i was not at all pleased with them. i was mourning the added expense of the groceries and all of the waisted hours spent preparing the meal. all i had wanted, was to hang in the pool by myself. i decided to catch up on my psalms.

the kids returned a little while later. my son felt guilty. when i didn't rush over to join them for lunch, there was a huge outburst. they ended up having a giant fight downstairs and i left home. i sat in the park for a couple of hours, reading tehillim.

no one had lunch. my son threatened to move out. i actually, wanted him to go, too. i was miserable and guilty. i got sick. i kept on rehashing the details leading up to the explosion. i kept on asking myself what i could have and should have done to keep the peace. my son didn't speak to me for a couple of days. i didn't see the baby or my daughter-in-law for a few days. i completely missed her birthday this year. the kids spent the day in haifa and there was no surprise party.

we finally made up over the phone. everyone told each other that we loved one another. we were all over tired from the herculean task of renting out the downstairs. i decided to start leaving the house again. getting back into a schedule and activities. i found my old cell phone and recharged it. i gave the number to the kids. instead of my always being home and on the couch 24/7, they can now call me on the phone whenever they need me.

i stopped off in town to buy gal a birthday gift. i didn't torture myself by trying to buy perfume for her. i bought a couple of expensive chatchkas. i spent about $40. i know that's cheap but she already got a very expensive gift from my son, her husband. i already spent my 'wad' of cash on repairs for the kid's apartment and the water bill. i didn't get any rent money from the kids this month, either. all in all, it was a rough summer.

i bought some good dark belgian chocolate to make bride and groom molds for my neighbor's daughter. her wedding is on monday. she is having a sheva bracha on wednesday. i also bought a plastic container that looks like a bottle of champagne, to showcase the chocolates. i bought myself a new top to wear to the wedding. i am tired of trying to squeeze into my old clothes. my stomach is really huge. i need subterfuge. i still may have to go out again and buy a skirt or long sleeve shift.

it's nearly midnite and the kids are in tiberius. they just called to ask me to make shabbat meals for them. here we go again! shabbat shalom!!! and chodesh tov and happy neaw year!!!!