Monday, July 27, 2015

The Heat Is On

it is nearly midnight in the holy city of zefat.  the little kids are sleeping in the blog room tonight.  their parents are downstairs making up the apartment for the renters.  my son is filling the pool.  I am beyond exhausted.  the first day of work was grueling.  I ended up being there for 6 hours.

I caught a ride to town and stopped off to buy a new filter, cover and chlorine tablets for the pool.  it came out to cost over $150.  that was most of my birthday money. we'll use the filter for years even if we buy a larger pool.

I went to get a key made but the guy in town's machine wasn't working.  oh well. I guess i'll have to go in the morning before work.  I truly dread going to work tomorrow.  it was horrible.  I took out three containers of soup from the freezer and threw all of it into a huge pot.  I added some fresh squash and onions and a few cups of frozen mushrooms. it took over 3 hours for the damn soup to heat up. I ended up scalding my entire arm in the process.

I made a salad with a huge beet, some sad looking carrots and a bunch of apples.  the food processor was nearly busted.  it had no safety switch.  I also made an Israeli salad out of the left over sliced cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes from breakfast.  I started off the day by making a huge amount of corn bread.  there were supposed to be 25 guys but I only saw a handful.  I could have made a smaller one.

I put the lunch out which consisted of tahini, melon, corn bread, salads and soup and leftover potato kugel.  they apparently do not like leftovers.  when I worked there the guys would eat anything.  I could give them macaroni three times a day.  I made up a separate dish for a guy who doesn't eat gluten, grains, lentils, beans, night shades or sugar and any kind of seeds.  I found a few ground beef patties in the freezer that the other cook had made for him.  I threw them in a pot with sweet potatoes, onions and squash.  I had the manager help me put the food out.  before I could intercede on this kid's behalf, someone had already eaten his patties.

I was exhausted.  I quickly sautéed some strips of turkey cutlets and made another concoction for him.  I do not feel like catering to him again tomorrow.  it's enough already.  I soaked some kidney beans for tomorrow's lunch. I hope to get to work early enough to cook up these beans.  another guy who doesn't eat meat or fish, wanted to know if I was making chick peas.  after all, he needs his protein combining.  like a fool, I cooked up a package of chick peas.  that only took about 2 hours.  I made a small salad for supper using sliced carrots, cucumbers and onions. I was left with only tomatoes for tomorrow.

I sautéed a bag of pre washed and sliced cabbage, lots of onions, carrots, red peppers and strips of turkey cutlets. it took forever.  I added some tamari sauce, garlic and turmeric.  I didn't taste it . I didn't want to be fleishig.  I don't even care if they liked it or not.  I am planning on serving the leftover soup tomorrow for dinner even if they don't eat it.  one guy had the nerve to tell me that even though I didn't make up the soup from scratch; he was looking forward to tasting my food tomorrow.  really now!

I am planning on making a dish of poached eggs in tomato sauce.  a true Sephardi delight for dinner. I will make up some kind of spicy stew with beans and chick peas and canned tomatoes.  i'll sauté a bunch of chop meat and inions and throw it into rice for the meat eaters and leave enough rice over for the veggies.  and to think I used to get off on this????

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Best Made Plans

it is 6:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I have been cooking since 4:00 p.m. because I thought my niece and family would come over for dinner. they are returning to India on Tuesday.  I got to see them once in two months.  they called at 3:00 p.m. because they were ready to visit.  I was waiting for the electrician to come.  we still do not have electricity in 3 of the rooms downstairs.

the air conditioner installer who played with the electric box for 4 hours on Thursday could not come today.  I doubt that he will ever come here again.  he clearly did not know what he was doing.  a local electrician form the local shul promised to 'jump over' at 3:00 p.m. 

my friend is coming here tomorrow around 2:00 p.m. hence, I invited the family for dinner tonight.  I don't want them to come tomorrow while my friend is here.  I washed the floors with plenty of bleach this morning.  we had 4 dogs here for Shabbat and it was awfully unpleasant.  I ran out of perfumed floor polish and the dish soap did not cut the smell of dog pish.  there was assorted dog hair all over the place.

I made bean soup, fried eggplant, fillet of salmon, cole slaw and  macaroni for supper.  I guess I can serve it tomorrow for lunch.  my friend is planning on staying the night and we are going to Netanya together to visit a mutual friend.  I haven't seen her in over 10 years.  I plan on coming back on Wednesday.

the yeshiva needs me to sub for their regular cook, who replaced me when I got sick two years ago.  the gig is for 3 weeks.  I really need the money.  I hope I can still get it together to cook for 20 people.  it's been a long time.  I hate people seeing me so overweight.  I gained 25 pounds since I last worked at the yeshiva.

I am getting really uptight about the electricity.  I have stayed home twice now for nothing.  I am planning on being out of zefat for two days.  this Shabbat ends in a fast.  tisha b'av starts on Saturday night.  it is a rough fast. I am not looking forward to it.  I do not know what to do with the giant puppy, either.  having paying guests downstairs is going to be a hassle with 3 dogs upstairs.  I know the dogs are going to make a lot of noise.

I am already too tense.   I simply cannot go with the flow. my son procrastinates about every thing.  he promised to paint the hallway but I know he won't.  if I didn't have the 3 dogs I would stay in Netanya for the week.

Epilogue: my good friend from America came to visit on Tuesday.  about an hour after she arrived my niece came with her family.  no one was hungry.  the kids played outside while their parents took some of their belongings from the downstairs closet.  I have been storing their belongings for over 7 years.  I said goodbye to them and spent the evening with my friend.  I helped her go through old photos until 2:00 a.m.  I've been storing her belongings for years, too.

we made up to go to Netanya on a late afternoon bus.  we had a ball with our friend and laughed our tushies off.  I headed back to zefat and my friend went on to Arielle.  I threw out all the food that I had made when I came home on wednesday.  I went off to the yeshiva on Thursday to check out the kitchen.  on Friday I spent the day cooking for Shabbat.

The Pressure Is On

it is almost 10:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  we just finished breaking the 25 hour fast of tisha b'av.  everyone has a headache.  we are in the midst of a horrible heat wave.  I stayed upstairs by myself today.  the kids didn't come up to see me.  I guess it was a special treat for them to have both of their parents home all day. I watched one holocaust film and a few videos.  I slept quite a bit.

we have renters coming on Tuesday.  we need to catch up on our laundry and make 'pesach' downstairs.  the daughter-in-law is at it downstairs.  my son is his usual nasty self after his fast and is threatening not to help with anything.  he needs to set up the pool tomorrow and we need to buy certain things for the pool.  we need a new cover, chlorine tablets and a new filter. we also need to to buy two florescent light bulbs for the kitchen.  I will probably have to stop off in town after work and buy these items.

I start a 3 week stint at the yeshiva tomorrow cooking for 25 American young men.  my daughter-in-law doesn't have anyone to watch the kids tomorrow.  she was depending on me even though I told them both on Friday that I have a job.  I told her many months ago to put the kids in day camp.  I refuse to get more hot and bothered than I already am.  I am already dreading taking the job.  the kitchen is hellish.  the poor full time cook needs 7 hours to prepare two meals there.  I used to do all 3 meals in 7 hours.  the old kitchen was at least air conditioned.

 I offered to call a friend to come by tomorrow to help me out but the daughter-in-law didn't agree to it.  I am officially out of it.  I just washed my floors because they were trashed over Shabbat.  we will all be sleeping on my floor tomorrow night.  I have 3 bedrooms on my floor and two working showers and toilets.  the main problem is the dogs. the puppy is still not trained and the house smells like a kennel.  I have been leaving the puppy on the porch on Shabbat so he doesn't get into fights with my two elderly bitches.

I might have to sleep with all three dogs in one of the smaller bedrooms.  I have to make sure that the dogs don't go downstairs while we have a family there.  it is all a lot of pressure.  I will need to put all of my stuff away in my bedroom tomorrow.  it is gong to be tense.  I hope that the family doesn't freak out not having air conditioning downstairs.  I told the kids months ago to install a small one in the master bedroom for the renters.  why should anyone listen to me.

I was hoping to be scarce.  I don't want to interact with anyone. I need to clean up the garden tomorrow.  it is covered in doggie poo.  I am getting extremely nervous.  we need the rental money but it is going to be intense next week.  if I didn't have the dogs it would be a lot easier.  I am seriously considering bringing the puppy to the pound tomorrow.  he is too destructive.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Sitting In The Dark

it is midnight in the holy city of zefat.  I spent the entire day yesterday washing the floors.  I tackled the herculean task of cleaning the upstairs roof top apartment. too.  I managed to clean up all the pigeon poo from inside the apartment and outside of the fridge.  I got the wooden floor to shine.  it took over 3 hours. 

I had gotten it into tip top shape before Pesach but sometime afterwards, a pigeon flew in and nested on the two burner stove on the top shelf and pooped all over the wooden floors.  I even washed down the porch area yesterday.  we are expecting paying guests right after tisha b'av.  I came downstairs at 8:00 p.m. and I was tired.

the kids got back around 10:00 p.m. and shortly after the electricity blew. I couldn't get the circuit breaker to work.  I tried until 2:00 a.m. and then went to bed.  I woke up very irritated and anxious.  the kids kept on blaming me for the power outage.  every time the circuit breaker popped I got yelled at.

I was ready to tell them all to pack a bag and beat it.  I woke up at 6:00 a.m. and the first thing I did was to try the electricity.  it seemed for the most part to come back on.  I think that all the water I poured onto the porch seeped into the walls causing a short.  I felt terribly at fault, once again.  my son called a friend who is supposed to be a master electrician.  they were taking care of it this time.

I was told to be home from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. to let the electrician downstairs.  I needed to get dog food at the local supermarket and I wanted to get mascarpone cheese and whipping cream because I decided once again, to make a tiramisu dessert for Shabbat.  I was afraid to start any projects before the repairman came.  I refrained from doing any cooking , lest, I be caught short without electricity.

I was going nuts.  I had so much I wanted to do but I didn't do a thing.  I wanted to finish the upstairs apartment and finally get rid of all the dried pigeon poo on the inside porch but I let it go.  I finally called my son at 4:00 p.m. to let him know how I had wasted my day by waiting for the electrician in vain.  he told me that the daughter-in-law was coming home and I could step out.  I ended up stepping out with the little kids to the supermarket down the stairs.

the granddaughter fell down a few steps on her rear end but didn't get hurt.  she cried for a while.  we found a small turtle and I automatically handed it over to the grandson.  I then realized that we didn't really have anywhere to house it.  with 3 dogs running around the backyard, it didn't stand a chance.  I knew that the daughter-in-law would never allow the turtle in the house downstairs.  I made the grandson give it up and, of course, he cried.  now I had two crying kids on my hands.

at the supermarket, much to my surprise, was a package of mascarpone cheese.  I couldn't find the regular  cream cheese that I had used once before.  the cheese was a small fortune.  I shelled out $4 for a cup of cheese. that's outrageous!  I never got to make the tiramisu because shortly after we returned from the supermarket, the electricians, mutt and jeff, arrived. 

at 6:00 p.m. all the lights were on.  as soon as they opened the circuit box and meddled with it we lost all the power until well after 11:00 p.m.  I don't believe they knew what they were doing.  the trouble with this generation of technicians is that they don't know how to fix things that aren't brand new.  I was told right from the start that the circuit box was a balagon.  my son wanted to know how much the insurance company would put out if we got a new box.  I shot him down right away.  the box has been updated throughout the years and does work.

the young electrician played around with the circuit buttons for hours before he left to get a 'machine.'  he came back an hour later without 'said' machine.  he fiddled with the buttons for another couple of hours and actually replaced the main button.  he left close to midnight.  the electricity was returned to part of the house only.  he will come back on Sunday. we can't do any laundry or use all of the rooms downstairs.  I'm scared to death of an electric fire.  and I'm worried about losing power on Shabbat.

the kids paid him $100 and he didn't fix the problem.  I am really feeling irritable.  I threw a small fit around 9:30 p.m. because I needed to get veggies for the kids' Shabbat meals.  they were supposed to shop for them today.  I took the rest of my charity $ and bought veggies and melons for Shabbat.  the daughter-in-law drove me to the store.  the kittle kids fell asleep in the car. I carried the granddaughter to her bed.

I would have gotten an electrician to come in the morning.  we all sat outside on the steps where there was street light for hours.  it was getting cold but the house was pitch black inside so we didn't have a choice.   I am pretty stressed out.  my son turned on me like he always does when he's stressed.  I wanted to tell them to hit the road today and don't come back but we've been down that road before.

I think that I was already freaked out after finding out that season 7 of 'Nurse Jackie' ended the series.  I was already at such a loss.  it is my favorite show. I have nothing to look forward to anymore.  I am so tired but I can't unwind.   this day was the pits.  I have to make Shabbat meals and watch the kids tomorrow.  I am pretty ticked off at the kids attitude, too.  I have to be thankful that we are all safe and healthy for the moment, I guess.  I don't look forward to tomorrow.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Hot Town In The City

it is 7:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  the grandkids are taking a bubble bath.  the dogs stink.  I really should bathe them afterwards.  the kids actually showered at the clan's house earlier and really don't need a bath. it's just another 'activity' for them.

the older kids, a.k.a. the parents,went to another town to check out a new supermarket.  I haven't had to take care of the kids lately.  I would love to be relieved of this duty for the rest of the summer.  I have very little patience for them.  just now I screamed at the boy to stop playing with the shower head and nearly lost my voice. it's exasperating.

I made a cheese sauce for the macaroni.  I thought I had turned off the gas.  well, I hadn't, so I had to make another batch.  lucky for me I used a non stick pan.  I really cannot stand being with the kids anymore.  can a grandmother actually say this?  I am hot and need a cold shower.  the big kids will probably come home really late.  once they are out of the house they run free.

there have been a couple of major scandals in zefat of late.  one heard about a city worker absconding with the allotted food from the animal shelter.  rumor had it that a dog had eaten another dog.  it is pretty barbaric at times here in zefat.  we also heard about a prestigious rabbi who 'absconded' with some wives here.  it is not looking so good for zefat's reputation.

a couple of friends are planning to make a ladies' nite in a few weeks.  it is to commemorate the 15th day of av.  it is the 'Sadie Hawkins' day for religious female Jews. it comes a few days after a grueling fast day on Sunday.  we are planning a mini concert and finger food buffet.  I am probably going to make some more sangria.  all we need is to bring in a crowd.  that is not easy here in zefat.

living up here in the boonies is not easy. people cannot commit to the 10 minute bus ride.  I usually pay people to come here.  I am not doing much for the evening.  i'm through with organizing and publicizing events. I am pretty much through with everything these days except for food.

I would like to ask my readers to write and email to the mayor of zefat encouraging him to straighten out the business with the animal shelter.  if he would hear from people in America it would really turn him around.  please drop an email to mayor shochat <> let him know that you follow life in zefat on zelda's blog.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Gone Fishing.

it is 1:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I have the little kids watching 'Jim jam' while I blog.  it is really hot outside.  I made them a kiddie pool a little while ago.  I did most of my cooking for Shabbat already.  I still have the salads to make as the fish cooks.  I don't think i'll wash the floors today.

I had the week off from dealing with the kids.  I truly crashed from taking care of them full time.  I was not a happy camper when I heard that they weren't going to day camps this summer.  the Sephardi grandmother offered to have them this week.  they went out of town for a couple of days to a family wedding.  I got lucky and didn't attend because Ashkenazim do not celebrate simchas  during the traditional 'three weeks' of mourning.

I found it a bit eerie to be alone in the house.  I binge watched 6 seasons of 'Sex and the City'.  I think I lost touch with reality.  I didn't leave the house for days.  I did make a shiva call to a middle aged married couple who lost their nearly 100 year old parent/mother-in-law.  that is the third elderly parent to have died in the course of a few days.  they do say that these things tend to come in threes. 

the kids told me yesterday that they would be 'coming' for Shabbat.  I called my son in the late afternoon to ask him if they had made plans for Shabbat.  of course, they were planning to eat here.  the Sephardi grandma is going away for Shabbat.  I had to turn off 'sex in the city' and get dressed and go to the large super market.  I bought a few veggies, a watermelon and some chicken bottoms and fillet of salmon on sale.  I grabbed a hand full of the remaining charity money and ran.

my son wanted me to babysit for the kids while he and wifey went to a bar mitzvah.  luckily, I returned home late from the supermarket.  the kids got one of the Sephardi sisters to take care of the kids.  I was very relieved.  I did not want to be downstairs last night with the kids.  I went to bed late but got up feeling refreshed.  I made a cheesecake first thing this morning.  I guess I felt guilty about not wanting to be with the kids this week. 

I spent about a hundred dollars at the supermarket.  I have been requiring the kids to buy the veggies  for Shabbat lately but yesterday there was no time.  I only bought about 5 potatoes and made a small potato kugel loaf.   I also bought two fillets of Nile perch because the daughter-in-law doesn't like fillet of salmon.  I cooked them together and I hope it won't ruin the taste of the perch.

I made about 6 pieces of chicken in a spicy sauce and threw in turkey meatballs to stretch the meal.  I don't  know if it will be enough for tonight and tomorrow.   I don't really feel like cooking any more.  I usually fry up chicken cutlets on Friday so the kids eat when they come home from work.  I didn't buy bread crumbs nor did I defrost the cutlets.  let them eat cake! cheesecake, that is.

Aftermath:  it is 4:30 p.m. and the kids just called to ask if I had challah.  I forgot that Sephardi grandma was going away for Shabbat.  she supplies us with challah rolls every week. thank goodness I had 5 challah rolls in freezer.  I don't think there is a bakery open now and I doubt there are any challahs to be had.