Monday, June 13, 2016

Modern Family

it is 12:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  the little kids are watching a movie downstairs.  I snuck away for a bit.  the big kids went to work.  the holiday finally ended last night.   we had a blowout on Saturday evening.  my son was drinking way too much throughout Shabbat.  he loves his whiskey.  after lunch they all went downstairs to the pool.  my son eventually went to sleep and the daughter-in-law stayed in the pool with the kids.  earlier, the kids were acting awful.  they were screaming and whining for hours.   on Shabbat morning the granddaughter wanted lasagna and the grandson wanted the pool.  it was most annoying.  my friend eventually complained.  I told my daughter-in-law that this was a recent behavior where they demanded things that I didn't have.  she said that they didn't do this to her.   I was blamed for not setting limits.

I was also blamed for overfeeding my grandson.  I gave him a few cheese latkes before lunch.  usually the kids eat way too much sweets in the morning.   he asked for more and before I could give him any, he grabbed a huge fistful of latkes from the serving dish.  before I could intercept the latkes, the daughter-in-law did.   I let my granddaughter, who is very skinny, have some ravioli.  my grandson also took some.  I gave my granddaughter a few more because she hadn't eaten anything the day before.  my grandson also got a couple but I was told that it wasn't fair to give one child and not the other.  I am being educated by my daughter-in-law who is 40 years younger than me.

my granddaughter got stung by something at the table.  the mother went into a bit of a panic and couldn't find anything.  I asked my daughter-in-law to bring her into the hallway, where there was more light, so I could see.  my son, who was drunk, told me not to interfere.  I was able to find a definite bite mark on her leg.  after lunch, I went to my bedroom to nap.  it had been a rough morning.  I was awakened by the noise downstairs.  the kids were in the pool and let's just say, they weren't being quiet.  I managed to go back to sleep until around 5:00 p.m. when the kids woke me up by entering my room looking for scissors.  I eventually got up to supervise the little kids.  my grandson was being very rambunctious.  he didn't nap.  my friend, who had been playing board games with him, finally lost it on him.  she told him to go downstairs to his parents.

I also lost my patience but I was able to get it together.  at 7:30 p.m. I called down to my son to ask if he wanted to come upstairs to have some coffee and cheesecake before the holiday began.  usually, at that hour he comes up for a third meal of salads and tuna fish.  the daughter-in-law usually showers the kids at that time, too.  my son came up in a rage.  apparently, I woke his wife and daughter up.  by that point my granddaughter was upstairs with me having chocolate milk.  I was about to read the kids a story when my son started a tirade against me.  my friend entered into the fray and I told her to bud out.  I was caught in the middle of a storm.

my son told me that there was 'bad' energy here.   I tried to explain that we were all overtired but he truly lost it on me.  he began screaming at me that I had coerced them into staying for the holiday when I clearly didn't have the patience.  something snapped in me and I screamed at him to leave my house and stop disrespecting me.  my son ordered his kids to go downstairs with him.  they in turn, started screaming and crying.   he may have physically removed them.  I wasn't looking at that point.  they had been sitting quietly waiting for me to read them a story.  it was a mess.

I have never hosted them for a Shabbat and holiday back to back.  they should have gone to the Sephardi family for Shabbat.  and of course, I never coerced them to be here for the holiday.  I simply asked my daughter-in-law if she was planning on going to her parents for the holiday.  she said that she preferred being home and wanted an all dairy menu.  I usually serve meat for one of the meals.  that conversation took place on Thursday night, a week before the holiday.

on the following Saturday afternoon, my son announced that they were planning on going to the in-laws for the holiday.  after all, they had been here for the last two Shavuots.  I replied that it was fine and that I would be joining my friends for the holiday.  I was truly not upset.  I was perplexed but relieved not to have to cook.   I was frustrated.  I should have kept my mouth shut but I didn't.  I told my son that I didn't appreciate these last minute switcheroo's all the time.  I guess he took that as coercion on my part.  I just don't get them.  it's true I don't set limits with them.

after the fight I sat outside for an hour.  I was broken.  I wanted to tell them that I wanted them to move out in the fall.  I decided then and there that it was the last holiday that I would host for them.  I couldn't see straight I was so upset.  it was very cold outside but I couldn't budge.  my son went off to synagogue with my grandson and muttered a happy holiday under his breath.  I didn't want to come out of my room.  my girlfriend went to sleep.  I got myself up and dressed.  I went inside to prepare salads and set the table.

it was not a pleasant meal.  my daughter-in-law hardly spoke except to ask if one of the cheeses was goat.  she hates the smell of goat cheese.  my son happily drank wine until it was time to go to the synagogue.  I tried to talk civilly to him.  of course, my son asked if I had lox.  I had indeed, gone to the supermarket to buy some but couldn't find any.  there is always something missing no matter how much I prepare.  is there any wonder that the small kids mirror this behavior.  I always go for perfection but no one is ever totally satisfied here.

I served ravioli but the kids wanted lasagna.  my grandson was having a meltdown during the meal because he was overtired.  at 10:30 p.m. the kids went downstairs.  I was wiped out.  I did the dishes and thought about washing the floors.  my grandson had totally trashed the floor while he ate his watermelon.  only downstairs, you are not allowed to spill a drop of water.  up here anything is allowed.  by 11:30 p.m. I was in bed.  my head hurt.  I hoped it was the brain tumor.  I truly wanted to die.

I woke up on the morning of the holiday and had a up of tea and a piece of the tiramisu.  it was truly decadent.  it was my best one ever.  I had added true almond extract and it tasted like marzipan.  it wasn't soupy because I had only dipped the fingers in half a cup of coffee.  the texture was excellent.  I got ready to go to synagogue.  I didn't call down to my son.  I learned my lesson.   the kids didn't come up for their morning hot chocolate.  my son came up around 9:00 a.m. and made two cups of coffee to take downstairs.

I guess the daughter-in-law was still mad.  I heard the front gate open and saw my son leaving for synagogue with my granddaughter.  I asked if my grandson wanted to go to synagogue and was told to ask the daughter-in-law.  I called down to ask her if my grandson wanted to go with me to shul.  on this holiday everyone, traditionally, goes to hear the reading of the ten commandments.  she asked him if he wanted to go and she got him dressed.  a moment later he came upstairs and told me that he couldn't go with me.  he had to go with his mother.

I thought he misunderstood so I asked her if he could go with me.  I heard her ask him if he wanted to go with his grandmother or wait for her to get dressed.  he wanted to go with me.  I heard her yell something, like, 'you have a mother'.  he started crying and she let him go with me.  what a witch to play head games with a 6 year old!  she decided not to go.  the women in her family, traditionally do not go to synagogue.

the kids didn't even want to go inside the synagogue.  they were happy running around outside.  after services my son ran home with the kids.  I walked home alone.  how lovely!  I dreaded the meal.  I didn't know how it would go with the daughter-in-law.  I had invited my married friends to join me for cheesecake and lasagna after services.  I wanted to go to their house and cancel.  I also didn't have any veggies to make a salad.  I had wanted to shop on Friday but the kids didn't want to go with me to the supermarket.  I knew I'd  hear something from my son.  I told him to open some can goods.  I didn't care at that point what they ate.  I had had my fill of pleasing them. 

the lasagna took longer to heat than I had anticipated.  of course, I felt inferior.  I left to go back to synagogue to say a prayer for my deceased parents.  I told my friend to take over and serve the lasagna.  when I got home the kids were downstairs in the pool, after having lasagna and my friends were there being served by my friend.  my friends left and I went downstairs to watch the kids in the pool.  I made peace with my daughter-in-law.  my son drank beer until he passed out.

I offered to take the kids to a synagogue to hear the ten commandments with a lot of kids at 5:00 p.m.  we then went to a playground for a while.  we came home and I made omelets for everyone.  the big kids eventually came up for coffee and cheesecake and the world was at peace again.  they both agreed it was a great holiday.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Countdown To Shavuot Epilogue

it is 11:30 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  finally fell asleep after 4:40 a.m.  I was wired.  my son finished assembling the ladder and covered the pool this morning.  he also fell asleep at that time.   he took a 'test drive' swim and it looks great inside.  you can actually do laps.  the ladder is a bit tricky and I'm terrified of being alone with the kids.  I have to find a spandex swim outfit next week.

I spoke on the phone with a friend and I am now feeling really tired and a bit dizzy.  I managed to put up the cheesecake.  I am now going to assemble the tiramisu.  I got a 'divine' inspiration to serve the tiramisu in the 10 commandments mold.  I think that will make a grand statement on Shavuot night.  I have to pick up kids in an hour or more and still need to wash the floor and make the fish.  I think we are all going to be extremely tired this evening so I will skip the fish course and serve it at Shabbat lunch.

I need to go to the supermarket but I don't think I have the strength to stand on a long line.  all is well and all is good at har gilad #8 in the holy city of zefat.   may we all receive the Torah in love and peace.  Shabbat shalom!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Countdown To shavuot II 2016

it is almost 1:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I have been working all evening cooking for Shabbat and doing prep work for Shavuot.  I managed to make a broccoli soufflĂ©,  pot of fricassee meatballs and chicken wings, and a white cake for Shabbat.  the cake was a colossal mess.  it was supposed to be in the shape of the tablets of the 10 commandments.  I bought the mold years ago when I could still successfully bake.

once again, the cake looked done on the top but was a bit raw in the middle. I managed to flip it over and put it back into the oven.  it stuck to the cookie sheet and totally fell apart when I tried to remove it.  I was going to chuck it all into the garbage bin but I didn't.  I thought about the 2 cups of sugar, 4 eggs, 3 oranges and cup of oil that went into the cake.  I cut it into huge chunks and dowsed it heavily in powdered sugar.  I will serve it tomorrow night.

I went to the large supermarket at noon and bought a bag of frozen broccoli, a few bitter sweet chocolate bars, 2 packs of minced turkey, 2 focaccia breads, a huge bottle of American grape juice and 10 rolls.  I had wanted to buy fresh cauliflower but there wasn't any.  I should have bought a nice lettuce but I thought about going to the supermarket near my house to buy a cauliflower.  I thought that I had bought some chicken bottoms but I couldn't find them anywhere in the kitchen when I got home.

the big kids were starving around 11:00 p.m. so I fried up some chicken cutlets.  I guess I won't be serving schnitzels tomorrow afternoon.  I have some franks in the freezer that I can give the little kids when they come home from gan.  tomorrow is a big day.  I need to make the tiramisu desert, bake a cheese cake, and make the lasagna.  at least I cut up all of the cheeses today.  I was hoping to make the sauce tonight.  oh well....

my son is still downstairs filling up this gigantic pool that he bought.  they also got a swing set and 'designer' patio chairs and table.  all the plastic chairs and two plastic picnic tables got schlepped up stairs to my courtyard.   interestingly, there are only 4 chairs downstairs now.  I guess I'm not included in my own backyard anymore.   the kids scooters are also up here.

downstairs is now a designer 4 star hotel and my place is a storage dump.  I told my son not to fill the pool to the top because it's way too deep for the kids.  you have to enter the pool by way of a ladder.  there is no way that I'm climbing a ladder and jumping in.  there is also no way that I am going to let the kids go in when their parents aren't home.  I think the pool goes up to my neck and I'm 5 ft 6in. 

the kids spent well over a thousand dollars and I am so hard up for money it pains me.  I blew a small fortune on food for the holiday.  entertaining my friends is going to be awkward now.  I truly don't like the kids attitude at all.  they live here rent free and deny me making any money on my property.  forget paying me for babysitting.  and now it's their backyard.

if I do decide to use the pool, I will need a proper bathing outfit.  long tights and a very long top.  I can't imagine climbing out of the pool at all.  the old pool, that is still in the storage area, was easy to climb into.  it was only thigh high.   we live next door to a public staircase and have absolutely no privacy.  I told my son that I was concerned with people seeing the new pool, furniture and swing set and thinking we struck it rich.  my son says I'm a downer and he doesn't want to speak with me.

meanwhile, their door cannot be locked because the daughter-in-law broke the key in the door last week.  they of course, did not call a locksmith.  I replaced the lock the last time they moved out.  similar story, bent keys.  they also need to call the plumber to replace a sewer pipe in the boiler room before the rats begin to climb in and a water pipe under their sink before the cabinets rot away.   they made the outside look luxurious but I'm the one who pays for the gardener on my own.

I already steamed the cauliflower for tomorrow.  I am going to melt a combination of creamy Greek cheese and camembert.  it will be topped with bread crumbs and baked.  I already made cheese latkes and they are in the freezer.  I couldn't find any salad greens except for curly lettuce at the little supermarket.  it limits my presentation of the pear, walnut and goat cheese salad I planned on making.  I also didn't buy a pear so I might use grapes or the mango I bought in the maul at the hospital in tel aviv. 

I still need to boil the cheese ravioli and make a sauce.  I made a caponata for the first time in many years.  this recipe only called for eggplant, onions and capers.  I remember the first time I made this it called for a dozen ingredients that I didn't have.  I have a bit of heartburn from tasting it.  I haven't had any real solid food all week and especially nothing oily. 

I don't think I dropped an ounce this week.  I hardly ate anything to day at all.  I had watermelon, and a few grapes and a cucumber and a tomato.  I feel like I'm on a fast.  I even walked home from the large supermarket.  I actually flew home.  I guess when you are only eating fruit and veggies you get a high.  I am beyond tired.  my son got the swing set put together and it will take a while for the pool to fill up.  he's been working on this since 8:00 p.m.

I just went downstairs to see everything.  my son called me to come down.  it is freezing downstairs.  I guess the heat wave broke.  It feels like winter.  oy veh!  I have to admit the swing set is really comfortable.  it's facing the pool, which is very high so you can't see who's in the pool.  it is also white and I commented that it will get filthy.  I can't help it, I'm practical.  my son is assembling the ladder as I blog.

my biggest concern at the moment is : should I use the packaged golden breadcrumbs or make my own out of stale bread and butter.  the recipe calls for golden breadcrumbs.  I also can't decide if I should make a cream sauce for the ravioli or a tomato sauce.  my grandson asked for a cream sauce. my daughter-in-law doesn't go for the cream sauce.  I'm using the plain cheese ravioli and not the mushroom and cheese kind because my friend doesn't eat mushrooms.  she also doesn't eat sweet potatoes.  the daughter-in-law prefers the sweet potato ravioli but without a cream sauce.

I am going to sleep.  I have a long day ahead of me.  I have to wash the kitchen floor again because we are having a major ant infestation.  I ran out of ant spray and have been killing these hard working pests with windex.  I will finish my cup of tea and sign off.  it's already 2:30a.m.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Countdown To Shavuot 2016

it is 1:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  it is really hot.  I have been staying busy all morning with cleaning the bedrooms and living room for Shavuot and catching up on laundry.  needless to say, I don't have the little kids to deal with today.  I do have to go to the old age home to be with my elderly friend.  she was taken out of the assisted living floor, where she has been residing for a few years.  unfortunately, she was moved to the top floor where the patients are virtually helpless.

I decided to fry up some cheese pancakes this morning, in between cleaning.  I froze them and am hoping that they will be okay on Saturday night when I defrost them.   I will not have an oven on to reheat them.  I am relying solely on an electric platter to heat up all of the food including the lasagna.

I am planning on buying some imitation maple syrup for the kids to squeeze on the pancakes.  if I can find frozen blueberries I may make a sauce.  I think that I am getting carried away.  I have already spent a small fortune on cheeses.  I still need to buy a dozen things at the large supermarket.

 last year I wanted to be 'arty' and made a salad of beets and greens with goat cheese.  my daughter-in-law freaked out.  she hates the smell of goat cheese.  I also didn't make a lasagna.  it turned out that everyone was expecting lasagna.  and to make matters worse, I didn't make the tried and true cheesecake that I always make for birthdays and special occasions.  I opted to make a tiramisu dessert instead.  it was not a welcomed  dish.  it was also super runny.  oh well......

this year I am making the much desired lasagna and the cheesecake with vanilla pudding.  I am also making a tiramisu.  it turns out that the daughter-in-law loves tiramisu now.  go know!  I've decided to make a package of mini cheese ravioli with a light tomato sauce topped with parmesan cheese.  I saw an interesting recipe for deep frying breaded cheese ravioli but I think I'm afraid to try it.  I also have a recipe for breaded cauliflower with several types of melted cheese.  I'm sure the kids will go wild for it.

I plan on serving the usual Shabbat lunch.  I will have chicken.  I will save the lasagna for Sunday lunch and serve a Greek salad with it.  I plan on making a salad of greens, goat cheese, cranberries and walnuts for Saturday night.  I might make a cabbage salad with cranberries and nuts for Shabbat lunch.  now that I figured out the menu, I can proceed with some of my food preparations tomorrow.

I might offer a fish course for lunch on Saturday for those who don't want to eat chicken.  I was thinking of a nicoise salad.  I am also going to prepare a honey mustard salmon fillet.  as I type, I just figured out what to make for Shabbat evening.  i'll make couscous with tons of veggies and chicken.   i'll serve chicken cutlets for lunch for those who want to be fleishig.  I think that I'm still confused.

I am very wiped out from my trip yesterday to tel aviv.  my brain surgeon did not like the look of my MRI and sufficiently scared me into seriously thinking about elective brain surgery.  I still have a few months until my next scan to decide if I don't seizure out before that.  I have to see the gyn oncologist  next week so I will discuss the situation with him.  I seem to trust him the most.

I have been on a semi starvation diet since Sunday to try and scare my belly fat away.  I have been eating only watermelon and some other fruits and green salad with olives for a bit of satiation.  I will keep this up until Shabbat.  I really got fat lately.  I'm hoping that I will not hit the desserts on Shavuot because I can't show up at my doctor next week being truly overweight.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Dairy extravaganza 2016

it is 11:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  my son just told me that the kids will be here for Shavuot.  the holiday starts on Motsei Shabbat.  I was racking my brains about what to make because the kids told me on Shabbat that they were planning on going to the Sephardi family for Shavuot.  they also requested dairy food for Shabbat.

last week as I shopped for Shabbat food I realized that Shavuot was coming up very soon.  I guess the huge assortment of dairy items gave me a clue.  I bought all the ingredients to make a cheese lasagna, cheesecake, cheese platter, tiramisu dessert, and 3 types of prepared ravioli.  no one here wants to eat meat on Saturday night.  we discussed the Shavuot menu and we agreed that the entire Shavuot would be dairy this year.  I usually make meat in wine for one meal.

the next day the kids pulled a switcheroo on me and decided that they wanted a dairy Shabbat.  I felt strange about serving lasagna for Shabbat lunch.  let's just say that it isn't the most traditional food.  it looked like that I was going to be alone for Shavuot this year.  my friends on the next block pooped out and decided to stay home.  I didn't really want to make a lasagna for just me and a gal pal.  I invited a friend to join me for Shabbat and Shavuot.  she always comes with her old dog who spends the entire time scratching and ripping out it's fur.

I decided  to make a cheese and fruit platter for me and my friend for Saturday night.  I was all over doing lasagna at one point.  I jotted down recipes for cheese blintzes and cheese latkes.  in the old days I would also make a sweet dairy noodle kugel as well as savory spinach and broccoli kugels.  those days are gone.  we just don't have the numbers anymore.  I ran out today and bought cherries and grapes and more cheese.  it doesn't end.

now that I will have guests it's back to plan A.  I will bake a lasagna for Shavuot lunch.  I might make some tomato soup for Saturday night although it might be too hot for soup.  I think for Saturday Shabbat lunch I will keep it non dairy.  I have 2 types of fish to prepare and sweet potato ravioli.  I might also make a broccoli casserole.  I can serve left over chicken to whomever feels like having some.  I want to make honey mustard fillet of salmon this week.

I want to make a goat cheese salad with greens, craisins and walnuts for Saturday night.  I might make savory cheese latkes, too.  I'd rather serve the lasagna for the daytime meal.  I might still go out and buy some lox.  I will have both cheesecake and tiramisu for Shabbat and Shavuot desserts.  I think I might just have to make cheese blintzes for Saturday evening.   I need something that the little kids will eat.

I don't know how and when i'll be able to prepare all of this food.  I travel tomorrow to tel aviv to see the brain surgeon.  I don't look forward to the return trip.  I need to clean the entire house on Wednesday and do a lot of cooking on Thursday.  the tiramisu and cheesecake will have to be made on Friday.  i'll also make the chicken wings and schnitzel on Friday.  I think the fish should be made on Friday. the ravioli takes 3 minutes to cook up.  I thought about also making eggplant parmesan but I need to draw the line somewhere.

perhaps i'll find prepared blintzes in the large supermarket.  I need to sit down and really prioritize my holiday menu.  I need to get centered.  I'm rather scattered all over the place right now.  I gained a ton of weight and look immense.  I have a huge spare tire under my breasts and above my huge stomach.   I have been taking desperate measures to shed some of this weight fast.  I only ate watermelon and salad yesterday and today.  I was planning on doing a fruit fast this week but when push comes to shove I couldn't.

I spent all of last week in bed binge watching the entire 5 seasons of Breaking Bad and stuffing my face.  I haven't been this overweight in 50 years.  I hope that this veggie-fruit diet will help lower the belly by Shavuot.  if it doesn't it doesn't but i'll be truly embarrassed when I see my gyn oncologist  next week.  he told me to lose weight about 8 months ago.

I hope