Sunday, September 28, 2014

Back To The Mundane

it is 7:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  my grandson joined me in bed a little while ago.  i let the dogs out even though they had already made in my hallway.  i was surprised to see that it had rained.  we had endured a hot and muggy shabbat.  i was delighted to see the entire courtyard wet.  i thought that it was a good thing and that it had washed all of the dogs' pishie from the courtyard.  i then saw tons of mud everywhere.  i quickly threw a bucket of soapy water down the stairs and sponged away the mud.  i guess that was all the dirt from the roof.

my gardener was here and i offered him a cup of coffee.  he reminded me that it was a fast day.  and i was just about ready to have some fish and salad.  i really should fast as i ate way too much on the holidays.  we had seven holiday and shabbat meals.  i ate everything but did not indulge in cake or chocolate.  i did have dried fruit and bread at every meal.  i actually ate an entire roll last night.  i didn't even remember about the fast when i ate some fish and salad before retiring.

the holiday was very pleasant.  i went to the in laws for the first night's holiday meal.  it was pretty 'active' as usual.  i made a couple of honey loaf cakes and about 60 chocolates to bring.  i made symbolic chocolate fish and apples for the new year.  i must have made about 3 dozen banana cupcakes for us.  we had tons of overripe bananas around so i added chopped dates and cranberries and voila!  my sour cream chocolate cake was a complete flop.  it was burnt and dry even though i topped it with my first chocolate butter frosting, ever.  my friend liked it so i sent it home with her.  i had lots of store bought cookies and wafers on hand, which got us through shabbat.

another friend brought tons of bitter sweet rum balls and colored licorice to our mutual host couple so i brought some home for the kids.  they were a big hit.  i think i'll buy some next week for sukkot.  we had a blast at our friends' home on thursday afternoon.  i actually got tipsy off of the sweet kiddush wine.  it was a pleasure to have adult conversation in english.  it was a welcomed change.  i'm always with the kids and don't get to talk freely.  the kids came back early enough to take naps while i made salads and got all the food on the electric platter.  i made a red cabbage slaw with apples and cranberries which was well received.  i added some chopped garlic to counter balance the sweetness.  my son was pleased.  he does not like sweet salads.

i was able to serve a different dish at every meal.  the first night we had meat in sweet wine and chicken stir fry in plum sauce.  the sheep head was a big hit with my grandson.  i managed to pull off some very soft lamb to feed him.  my son was totally grossed out and couldn't look at it.  he asked me never to do it again.  i guess next year it will be back to fish head for us.  we had turkey meatballs in artichoke bottoms and stewed chicken for lunch.  i served the sweet spaghetti kugel.  my grandson loved it.  he loves spaghetti and he loves honey.  it's a no brainer.

i made a lovely barley chicken soup for friday night.  i put it on the platter to heat up.  i then got the bright idea of putting it into two small pots.  i took it off the platter and managed to drop the entire pot of soup all over the floor.  i was mortified.  i had boasted at lunch time that i had made a soup for dinner.  i was desperate.  i thought about going over to my friend to ask her for soup.  my son said that it was a tikun (rectification of a sin) and that i should rejoice.  i didn't feel like rejoicing.  i felt really dumb and inadequate.  it was not like i didn't have any other food to serve and really in a jam.  however, i couldn't start cooking another soup because my electric stove top was turned off.  i had barbecue chicken wings and leftover stewed chicken and turkey meatballs,  piquant fish and a couple of salads, chumus and rice.

 i also had a special noodle kugel that my friend had brought from a caterer.  i told my son that i was saving the special kugel for shabbat.  i showed him the kugel and he showed me the mold that was setting on top of the kugel.  i was once again mortified.  i felt just awful.  the electric water urn was a bit low so i added a lot of cold water.  i decided to make some packaged couscous for dinner but it was a disaster.  the water wasn't fully boiled so the couscous was a mush.  i tossed it.  we had a nice shabbat meal and no one except me, missed the soup.  the piquant fish course was devoured.  the little kids loved the chicken wings and the adults ate the remaining wings and the leftover turkey meatballs.  no one went to sleep hungry or dissatified.

i got a bright idea for shabbat lunch.  i took the leftover rice and added a can of mushrooms and a bit of olive oil.  everyone here loves canned mushrooms.  it was like i made a fresh pilaf.  the rice got consumed.  i served chicken in sweet chili sauce and it also got consumed.  my daughter-in-law complimented me too, for serving a new dish at each meal.  my son came back from services really early.  we sat down at 11:00 a.m. for a change.  he usually stays for kiddush and we sit around waiting for him.  it was a pleasant shabbat even though it was hot outside.  after lunch the kids went for a short outing with the kids.  it was nice to see everyone  getting along.  even the 4 dogs were more or less content.

the daughter-in-law did the dishes and everyone went to take a nap.  the little kids fought over me but i ended having both of them in my bed.  i fell asleep with the granddaughter but the grandson woke me up right away with his noise.  so much for naps.  the rest of shabbat flew by and we had our traditional third meal.  i put out leftover egg salad, cole slaw, olives, pickles, capers and i opened a cople of cans of tuna fish.  i had some sweet  challah rolls left so it was easy.  i even put out some leftover salami for my friend who isn't a fish eater.  soon shabbat was over and everyone left.  it was just me, the two dogs, the sofa and t.v.  i don't even remember falling asleep.

next shabbat is yom kippur.  yes, we have to fast on shabbat.  there are two meals that we eat before the fast which starts at sundown.  the big kids have to work so i guess that leaves me with the little kids.  i usually go to the cemetery to visit my parents' graves.  i don't see that happening unless i take a taxi and schlep the kids with me.  i also go to the mikveh.  i don't see that happening this year at all.  the kids will be spending yom kippur at the clan's home.  that works for me.  i get to spend the day in synagogue alone and i don't have to watch and feed the kids.  one for my team!

i  guess that's enough talk about next week.  i still have to get through the fast today and pick up the grand kids from gan at 1:30 p.m.  i thought about washing the floors.  i don't think that i have the strength today.  it is also cold outside.  the kids were not dressed warmly today.  i don't know if i need to take a jacket for my grandson.  i will have them the entire day and evening.  the parents aren't fasting.  that means i have to give them lunch and dinner and baths.  i thought about going to the supermarket to buy milk.  i don't know if i have the ump to move right now. what a dilemma!

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