Saturday, April 1, 2017


it is 8:00 a.m. in the holy city of safed.  it is pouring.  there go all the windows!  it is a week before pesach.  I saw a neighbor do all his kitchen windows on Friday.  o well....  I need to do errands today. I got to sell my chometz at the rabbinate, pay my electric bill, go to the water company and city tax office in town.  I had an umbrella but I guess someone took it.  I stayed home this weekend because I was exhausted after the sheva brachos.  I couldn't stand up.

I ate leftover meatballs , rice and corn salad for dinner and a salami sandwich for lunch.  I slept all Shabbat long.  I didn't have the stamina to get dressed and go to the local synagogue.  I ate two chocolate bars and 2 bags of potato chips last night.  I guess you could say I was on an official food bender.  what a shame to blow up right before pesach.  I let loose at the wedding and after the sheva bracha.

my shoulder hurts and my back is tight.  I heard that there was a dirty rain coming but I thought it would pass over like the name of the holiday.  of well...  it is a bit depressing.  there are so many things I need to do.  I wanted to finish the kitchen today.  I managed to do one counter and cover it with heavy tin foil. 

I still need to put away the Purim costumes in the computer room and I need to clear the bed of all my clothes in the master bedroom.  I decided to not clean the downstairs apartment as well as the roof top apartment.  I am planning on locking them both for the week of pesach.  I couldn't stop thinking about all the work I should do during Shabbat.  I even took out recipes to plan my menu.  I didn't fall asleep until after 3:00 a.m.

I do the same menu every year.  I make orange and honey stewed chicken, mashed potatoes, beets, beef in wine, eggs with fried onions, and pears poached in wine.  I don't bake. I buy pesach cakes and cookies.  yesterday, I thought about making moussaka.  I had a recipe for eggplant roll ups.  I decided how to simplify the recipe and couldn't wait until Shabbat ended to get online.  I will have to pull out my pesach oven from a hutch in the living room.  this entails lifting a huge and heavy wooden panel.  I don't know if I will have the physical strength to do this.  I also don't know if anyone would even like this dish.  I don't use spices on pesach.  I stick to salt and peppercorns.

I wonder if the little kids will eat the orange chicken.  they tend to want barbecued wings.  I plan on making chicken nuggets.  I bought pesach ketchup.  I want to start cooking on sunday.  that entails finishing the kitchen.  that entails my feeling stronger.  the weather isn't conducive to work.  I don't even have cab money.  I want to throw my little couch away and buy a new one.  I doubt that I can swing this financially.  I can't imagine cleaning the couch. it is a mess and ripped everywhere.  the dog has eaten a lot of the leather.

what a miserable day!  I painted the guard rail in front of the entrance to the house.  I was planning on washing the large porch windows but I saw the rust.  I didn't have the strength to do the windows.  I truly over did it on the post bridal meal.  I set the tables alone and ran around dragging the chairs.  I stood on my feet for hours making the salads.  I spent two days on this.

I made a vat of turkey meatballs Sephardi style, a gigantic mashed potato and mushroom kugel, a fair amount of liver teriyaki with peppers and onions, a bulgur salad with minute pieces of tomatoes and cucumbers, corn salad with mayonnaise and minute pieces of red pepper and pickles, green cabbage slaw with dried cranberries, chopped apples and toasted walnuts, string beans in a Sephardi tomato sauce, and an american green salad with thousand island dressing.  the American salad didn't really go over well.

I finished setting up at 5:00 p.m. and put the food on two electric hotplates.  I made a mad rush downtown to see my grandson's play and party that started at 5:30.m.  I didn't have time to put on makeup.  we got back at nearly 8:00 p.m. and no guests were yet in sight.  earlier in the day, I managed to bake a huge chocolate cake.  I covered it with cherry pie filling and then whipped cream.  the cream didn't hold its shape and I couldn't pipe it on, so I covered it with chocolate shavings.  I had bought two cans of pineapple but the light syrup had a funny taste.  I added fresh ginger and some honey and refrigerated it for two days.  that seemed to do the trick.  I also bought some lemon and raspberry sherbet. 

I ran out to buy more assorted roasted nuts and rolls at the bakery.  I showcased the chocolate bride and grooms and white and black jelly beans on a three tier silver-plated platter.  I set up a table of desserts and hot drinks.  it looked amazing.  the Sephardi grandma brought a vat of rice and some Sephardi cooked dried fruits and nuts.  it was truly a feast!  another lady brought some homemade treats, too.  I  still haven't cleaned up the downstairs.  I struggled to get the upstairs kitchen, more or less, cleaned for Shabbat.  I washed up the serving containers and utensils.  I am hoping to put it all away today.  my back is very stiff. and my hands are very swollen.  I washed a wall with bleach and didn't bother to wear plastic gloves.

I had hoped to do laundry today.  oh well....  now I see why most of the neighbors haven't done their windows yet.  this happens every year.  I got to just go with the flow.  if I don't have the kids today, I should just rest until I feel stronger.  I'm really not in bad shape pesach cleaning wise.  the master bedroom is always the hardest challenge because it is so cold in there and I have all of my clothes scattered all over the bed and other furniture. my shoulder is killing me.  I think I have to count this day out.  at least for now.  I am mentally planning the menu for my niece's sheva brachas in june. 

it will be too hot to make the chocolate molds.  it may be too hot to have the meal in my apartment.  it may need to be upstairs in the rooftop apartment where I have air-conditioning.  that will demand a lot of schlepping of tables and chairs.  I also need an Ashkenazi menu.  I might make beef meatballs but it will have to be Italian style.  no cilantro or hot sauce for this crowd.  a stirfry or chicken teriyaki is always acceptable. so are string beans and almonds, sweet cabbage slaw, broccoli kugel as well as a sweet noodle kugel with pineapple and raisins.  perhaps a potato kugel, too. I guess I would put out chumus and I might go with a bulgur salad.  Israelis like this too. 

hopefully, my older sister will be here to help me make it look attractive.  I might go with the chocolate cake and cherry pie filling again.  I think it was a success.  at the engagement party, there were very gorgeous looking desserts.  a lot of them didn't taste that good.  the icing also had artificial colors that did not wash off the kids' faces. I will buy non dairy ice-cream .  I won't make any bridal decorations.  I doubt that it would be appreciated.  the young Sephardi bride loved the vase that I decorated as well as the white silk bridal bouquet that I bought.  my niece is more sophisticated.  I think i'll skip the bridal napkins, salt and pepper shakers, etc.  i'll go for elegant. 

I remember when I made the engagement meal for my other niece, nine years ago.  I ran out to buy a specific chabad heksher and all they had was turkey.  it turned out that the majority of the guests didn't eat turkey for a number of reasons and it was a bit of a balagon.  maybe I should hold off with my plans until I know for sure that they want me to do a meal.  this crowd is more uptight than the Sephardi clan.

Epilogue:  it is now noontime in the holy city of safed.  I never made it to town.  the kids are in pesach day camp and I am alone.  the sun came out for an hour and it was warm.  I washed the porch windows.  they were totally shiny.  then it began to pour. oh well.... perhaps, it will save the lives of a few of the birds, who every year, after I wash these windows; crash into them . and I won't have to dispose of the bloody carcasses and wash the floor after the pincher dog devours them. it's a win win!

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