Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cold In The Middle East

it's 10 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. it is absolutely freezing. we are having another major winter storm. the wind is blowing the outside furniture around. i heard a huge crash before and i figured it was the highchair smashing into the wall. i later found out that a few of the roof tiles had blown off and the debris was strewn all over the yard. it is a miracle that none of us were outside when it happened.

i spent the day with my 2 month old grandaughter, shenhav. if you sit with her on your lap all day, while you watch televsion, it is fairy easy. she drinks her bottle, eventually burps, then poops and then goes back to sleep. she even smiles at you and seems to be really paying attention to your every word. i could almost swear that she told me that she loves me today.

as easy as the day seemed to go, i realized that i got absolutely, nothing done. i had great expectations of doing all my baking for purim. Ha! ha! i spent the entire day watching the boob tube and rocking my little shenhav. i was officially relieved of my duty at around 3;30 p.m. i went upstairs to cook up a batch of apple walnut relish. i read about this dish on a sephardi recipe site. it called for raisins so i ran to the store yesterday and splurged on a large bag of yellow raisins. i was going to make cranberry and almond couscous too, but i wasn't going to splurge on another expensive bag of dired fruit. the raisins will just have to get us through purim.

the apple relish called for mustard seed. of course, i don't have any. i actually went to town last week to seek out where to buy some. i was not suceesful. i went downstairs to see if the kids had any mustard about. that also proved futile. i ran next store in a near blizzard, to ask my english neighbor to lend me some. i figured that she would probably have some fancy dijon. as it turned out, she had dried mustard seeds. i guess she makes a lot of curry, too.

the relish is very tasty. i think it is something that will improve it's flavor by the time purim arrives. i also made an apricot filling for hamentashen. that's all i managed to do before i had to watch my grandson. i was really starving so i had two cans of tun fish. i've never done that before. i did lose a few kilos recently, so i have to be extra vigilent not to binge on or after purim. i came back upstairs and decided to make the chocolates. i used white chips and added a bit of irish creme essence. the white chips are a hassle to melt because they're not real chocolate. i made about 6 giant purim clown lollypops and a few dozen mini purim masks, groggers and hamentashen.

i also used a bag of dark chips and it was a breeze. i added coffee essence to the batch. i bought two really good 60% chocolate bars that i will use for the ladies' night. i wanted to complete the baking tomorrow, but it seems that i'm on call again with shenhav. i already made a poopy seed cake. i substituted rye for white flour, oil for butter and soy drink for milk. i think i also substituted healthy for tasty. someone in the crowd will appreciate a rye cake.

i can always bake on sunday or even monday. i'm going to a purim party on tuesday at the seniors' center. i was thinking of going as a nurse but that might frighten someone. i just might go in 'drag' as a chassidic rabbi. on wednesday, which is a fast day, i will probably cook. i do my best work when i'm not tasting it. after the fast is over, we go to shul to hear the megilah. then we women will party. on thursday morning we go to hear the megilah again. in the afternoon we have a feast and get drunk. the men go to hear the megilah at night, once again.

i decided to make persian style brown rice for the women. i want to make both, red and brown lentils; each a tad spicier. i decided to make hot irish coffee. i nearly froze today just reading the directions for making ice coffee. i am going to make a pitcher of screwdrivers and a sweet wine sangria. i don't think i will freezing anything. i simply, do not have the freezer space and it's just too darn cold.

i plan on serving humus, spicy canned tuna in tomato sauce, salmon spread, onion and sour cream dip and guacamole. i might make a spicy tomato relish too. i have potato chips, tortia chips, buckwheat cakes, and sesame crackers. i bought small quantities of everything, but i think it will be enough. i also will serve non gluten carrot muffins and hamentashen, yet to be baked. i am planning on baking tahina cookies and peanut butter snaps. i am also going to make peanut butter fudge balls and rice crispy clusters. are we partying yet? i figure, that with all these goodies, i'll be able to put together a few party bags for the neighbors.

i still have to make shabbat this week. in this weather the kids want to stay home. i'd love to be able to cook tomorrow. with shenhav on my lap, it soesn't look all that promising. to think that when i was a new mom, i could flip a pancake, or fry chips with one hand, hold the baby in the other, while i nursed him. those were the days! i won't even drink a coffee while i'm holding the baby now. memories!!!

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