Sunday, March 28, 2010

Unenthusiastic Motorist...

Here we are. It's the night before vacation and I'm all packed up and ready to go.

This morning we picked up a package from the post-office, it was my new boots. They're comfy and wonderful which is just what was expected. We also took a stroll down to Yesh and picked up some kosher l'pesach chocolate bars - because what's vacation without some chocolate?

We were Home again in no time and after lunch I packed up my suitcase. It didn't really take very long and I was amazed that I was able to fit everything into my suitcase. I had been worried that I'd have so much stuff that I'd have to put some of it into Z's - but I managed - somehow.

I put a bunch of the stuffed-aminals in the wash (cause everybody needs a bath sometime) and though they didn't appreciate the ride, or being all bedraggled, they came out of the ordeal fluffy and smelling like fabric-softener - which I must admit is quite nice. (Aside from Frizzie - who now looks like he's suffering from a bad case of static-electricity.)

Dinner was the last of the Shabbat leftovers and I think I'm going to wrap up the last half of the cinnamon swirl cake and stick it in the freezer. (We sell chametz - and it seems silly to leave the freezer completely empty.) Plus, it was really good cake.

Tomorrow's adventure will be starting at around 10:00 AM - bus to the train, train to the cab, cab to the hotel. Ta-da. I just hope my motion sickness isn't too bad.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Don't get cocky.

It was 7:45 pm and I was waiting for the bus. While walking to the stop I watched 2 buses drive past but had been too far away to make it in time - so I was waiting for the next one. It was foggy and chilly but also quite warm out and I was wearing my winter coat and a pair of sandals - because it seemed like just the right kind of mismatched outfit to go along with the strange sort of weather we were having.

As I stood by the bus stop I noticed that the street-lamp above my head was flickering.

1...2...flicker...1...2...flicker

Suddenly a picture of Mickey-Mouse the cat popped into my head. That crazy cat sits at the window sometimes and his ears swivel forwards and back and he yowls something awful. It was like a signal. I wondered who was sending and who was receiving.

Suddenly the light blinked on - a bright blinding white light shone forth. I looked around nervously. The bus-stop is on the dark stretch of the road - just 1/2 a block from buildings but with the hill and the tall grass on both sides it seems almost deserted and quite far from civilization.

For a moment I wondered whether I'd stumbled into a magical world - maybe a strange looking creature would pop up and take me off to some fantastical place...

I'm the first to admit that I've read too many fantasy books and evidently they've left more of an imprint on my imagination than I care to admit.

I shook my head and snapped myself back to reality.

I glanced up and noticed that the light had gone out.

Maybe in my second of doubt I missed my chance...

It didn't really matter either way, my bus was pulling around the circle.

Five minutes later - I was Home.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Drowning in Holiness

So it's Wednesday again. Go figure. Considering we've only got 5 days left until we leave for Pesach I'm on grocery shopping strike. We're going to eat what we've got in the house and that's it. Never mind the fact that there are only 2 cups of flour and now only 3 eggs (someone decided to make French toast for breakfast without consulting me - even though there were still pancakes in the freezer.)

So what should I do today? Well, I can't clean the couch in the office (cause we still eat all over it) and I feel silly doing laundry since I might as well wait until tomorrow. I forced Z to 'pay the bills' cause I'm old fashioned and think that the guy is supposed to take care of the finances (insert laughter here) - even though paying the bills nowadays is pretty painless - it just means calling an automated machine and punching in a credit-card number.

I thought I might start packing for next week - but considering the fact that my favorite PJs are in the laundry (along with most of my white t-shirts) - I've decided to wait until Sunday.

We're still waiting for the bus company to post a bus schedule for Monday and we're hoping that the train will actually be running according to the schedule that they put out. We're going to have a fun trip to the hotel on Monday. According to our calculations it's going to take us about the same amount of time as it takes us to get to Bet Shemesh. The only difference being that not only do we get to take a bus and the train but we also get to take a cab. A whole lotta ground to cover in about 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Shabbos is going to be quiet and according to the weather-man it may or may not rain from Friday afternoon until Saturday night. I feel a little evil for telling a whole bunch of people that this weekend doesn't work for me to have guests. (Especially considering it's one of the hardest weeks of the year to make Shabbos plans for.) On the other hand - I've had guests for the last 2 weeks and as I mentioned earlier - we haven't really got much left in the house in the way of food and I refuse to buy more until after the holiday.

I've been up since 6:00 this morning - so that's going on about 4 hours now - and I'm not sure how to spend the rest of the day. I'm thinking aside from latch-hook that maybe I'll treat my footsies to a 'spa day' and deal with my callouses (yuck) and maybe I'll even add a splash of color - maybe that awesome red color I bought in Merry-ca.

In other news - I'm waiting for my new bootsies to get here! This past winter I wore my EMU boots from the year before and we decided that next winter I could get a new pair. As luck would have it, the other day I received a notification from the company that I bought my original pair from. They had updated their clearance stock. I figured it couldn't hurt to look - I mean, it's like window shopping. Turns out they had the cutest pair of boots on sale for $50 - oh yeah - and they only had my size left.
That's like 184 NIS for top-of-the-line Australian Merino wool lined boots. Best part is that this company is uber-reliable and did I mention that the price includes shipping? Seriously, they guarantee to pay for any VAT or import duties that get levied on the packages that they've shipped. Aren't they cute? I think so. Really really think so.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Late Again Watson...

Hello blogosphere! Happy Monday Evening! I've been super busy doing not-much-of-anything but as we all know - I'm extremely good at doing just that.

Shabbos was great. We had friends from the other side of town sleep over Friday night (The meal went quite well. Roasted Garlic, chumus, challah, chicken soup, meatballs, honey-mustard breaded shnitzel, white rice, green beans, roasted glazed sweet potatoes and a whole bunch of desserts.) We played some quarto and shmoozed until it was later than any of us are accustomed to going to sleep. Shabbos morning we all made our way to shul to attend the bris of another friend's new little baby. We also stayed there for the seudah which was a really nice gathering.

Sunday was a relatively lazy day. Z worked on a school project from 9AM until about 3AM Monday morning and I put in my 15 cents or so just for the heck of it. I was smart and went to sleep at 10PM just because I could.

This morning I woke up at 6 (probably because my body doesn't know what to do with more than 8 hours of sleep) and I wandered around the apartment trying to decide what to occupy myself with. I spent an hour and a half laying out a booklet for the 'never-ending-project' and after finishing that I wasted some time catching up on TV shows.

I decided early in the day that dinner would be extremely chalavi. (I haven't had a drop of dairy in the last 10 days - since the outbreak of the crazy instamatic flu - but since I've been feeling back to myself, I figured it was worth it. Cause for me 10 days without cheese is a really long time.) So I pulled a container of thick and creamy homemade broccoli cheddar soup out of the freezer and contemplated the perfect accompaniment for dipping purposes. Since the soup already had cheddar in it I figured that would be the best ingredient to include. I debated between homemade cheddar crackers (like little Ritz Bits) and cheese stuffed soft pretzels.

Obviously the pretzels won. Z actually made the dough and then we rolled and stuffed them together.
They got a quick HOT bath in boiling water and baking powder to give them their characteristically chewy exteriors. Then after an egg-wash and a salt-sprinkle we baked them.
They came out ridiculously delicious. Just the right size, and most of them were actually sealed well so they kept their gooey cheesy centers inside instead of all over the baking pan.
We're getting closer to Pesach each day. I'm pleased to announce that the freezer is just about emptied. Not completely yet - but we're definitely getting there. Even though we're not making Pesach I still want to empty as much as I can - it's a good chance to start fresh. (I figure this is a wise move since I found a bag of milk with an expiration date from July 2009 in there...)

Tomorrow morning I'm going on an excursion to the mercaz to get a key copied and run some other errands. I might even visit the library and pick up some books for next week.

Dinner tomorrow night will probably involve using up the last container of homemade marinara sauce that's in the freezer. I just have to figure out what else to serve with it.

G'night mush...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Jennifer Spotted Horse...

I know - 2 posts in one day. When's the last time that happened?

I had a few extra thoughts that came to me and wanted to jot them down - because you're my voluntary captive audience - so why not...

#1 - We have friends to keep us sane and help us de-confuse ourselves in moments of vast confusion and to remind us that when chocolate is not an option there is always lemon.

#2 - If you've got a pot of chicken soup boiling over a large flame and move it to a smaller burner but turn the heat up higher than it had been on the first flame then chances are the soup will boil over and make a mess of the stovetop that you have been hoping you wouldn't have to wash.

#3 - ALWAYS remember to shake out the tiny-little-shaving-hairs from your husband's undershirt before washing it. Especially if you're forgetful and are going to wind up washing it with your own clothing rather than with the towels the way you usually do.

#4 - Buy an icing kit. You know - a good sturdy bag and a set of tips. Cause cupcakes with frosting shmeared on top (cream cheese on bagel style) just aren't living up to their potential.

#5 - As a general rule - don't overfill. This includes, cupcake and muffin tins, bundt pans, washing machines, bottles, clothing closets and many many other things.

#6 - There comes a point when there are too many plastic bottles and shopping bags in the house.

#7 - If you haven't eaten it yet you probably aren't going to.

#8 - Eating really hot soup at a low coffee table while checking your e-mail and talking on the phone is much harder than it seems.

#9 - Nail Polish Remover and Isopropyl Alcohol both get glue-goo off of stuff - but Alcohol can not be used in place of nail-polish remover to remove nail-polish.

#10 - Sometimes you do strange favors for strange people because you know that at the end of the day there's a good story behind it - and if there isn't - at least you've done a strange deed for the day.

Sprytlee (sp?)

7 AM is the new 10 AM and that's why I get up then. Ok, not really - but the explanation makes me feel a little better about it. Ok, not really. Alright, not at all. I just wake up early. I can't help it.

I was feeling significantly better this morning so I walked Z down to school (after feeding him mini-quiches for breakfast and forcing him to take a deli sandwich for lunch.) Then I continued on to Mega and picked up the few groceries I needed for Shabbos. Said hi to a neighbor, chose out my potatoes and even snagged 2 Pesach cakes for 10 shekels each. (Don't tell Z though - he wants to go buy some next week - if he remembers...) A bus came after a '5 minute' wait and the front door of the building was (thankfully) not locked.

I unpacked the groceries, washed the dishes from dinner last night, put a load of laundry into the machine, cleared last weeks old leftovers out of the fridge and contemplated cooking for Shabbos.

I'm not quite in the mood yet.

I really want to make oatmeal dinner rolls for - I'll bet you guessed it again - dinner tonight.

Since I'm defrosting a whole tray of shnitzels for Friday night (since I'll probably need more than just 2.5 strips of pot-roast to feed 4 people...) I figure I can steal some for a nice nutritious dinner tonight. (Won't that be nice? I thought so too.)

Now I have to decide how to cook them all.

I'm kind of leaning towards a honey mustard and crumb coating for Shabbos and maybe just BBQ sauce tonight. (Since I've got a tiny bit of Jack Daniel's stuff left in the fridge...hehe - not that I'm letting that influence my decision. Ok, maybe I am. But just a 'little' bit.)

Actually that sounds great. BBQ chicken sandwiches with spiced potato wedgies. I'm liking the sound of this.

Thanks for brainstorming with me.

Whoops - the washer just sang its merry little 'I'm done with this load' tune, so I'm gonna go switch stuff around.

Till later...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

"Built-in Sharpener!"

This morning I popped out of bed at 7:03 hyper as ever.

I wandered around the apartment aimlessly for a while.

At 9:30ish Z decided to get up.

Then we colored in coloring books for a while.

He left for school at 12:45 and by 1:00 PM I was fast asleep on the couch.

I woke up when he got home at 3ish and did a little bit of latch-hook.

At around 5:30 I decided to put together some dinner. Suffice it to say dinner was an attempt to get rid of some leftovers. I added the leftover roasted garlic to the last few potatoes (in mashed form, of course) and broiled a filet of 'Amnon' fish for Z.

I'm feeling a bit better today and even snacked on some cornflakes this afternoon to prove it.

Tomorrow I hope I'll be up to the challenge of going grocery shopping. I've got to pick up a few things for Shabbos.

I thought it would be a quiet weekend, and we were going to go to a neighbor for a meal - but turns out there's a neighborhood bris and we're invited to the seudah - and since it's actually taking place on our side of town we'll be hosting a couple for a meal and for sleeping - which means I have to make more than just chicken soup and enough main-course for 1 person for dinner. I don't mind. Really, I don't. It just means I actually have to get some 'fixins' for the meal. Cause, we're kind of mostly already up to 'week and a half before Pesach concoctions' - you know - where you figure out what you can make with what you've got IN the house so you don't have to buy other stuff cause you want to get rid of what you've already got.

Gosh - this is a crazy holiday coming up. Seriously. Speaking of which - I have really got to vacuum out the couch. Why, the other day I found a whole...oh never mind.

Anywho - the menu is planned out, and tomorrow I've seriously got to do laundry (yup, again.) I guess it's about time to change the linens in my room and I've still got to decide what sort of yummy dessert to make for the weekend.

Tomorrow night I'm thinking of experimenting with some 'oatmeal dinner rolls' for dinner - the recipe looks heavenly, but I've still got to figure out what to make with them. Maybe I'll surprise Z and make something meat...

I guess we'll see.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Two Ate-y Sicks...

Just a quick and slightly kvetchy post (to vent some frustration and aggravation.)

I hate the 'instamatic flu' and don't understand why it's taking so darn long to go away. Not only did it steal an awesome motzash of fun and noshing with Sara, but it stole pancakes from my lazy Sunday morning and it just robbed me of an overnight trip out of town.

Yesterday afternoon I was feeling significantly better than I had been on Saturday night and this morning although I was still sort of icky-feeling I figured it would clear up.

Z rearranged his schedule and got permission to miss almost all of his classes and we figured out what bus we needed to catch in order to catch a train and go to Bet Shemesh so that we could join the family at the hachnasat sefer torah - and everything seemed great - we were packed and ready to go. Z went to his first class of the day and we were going to catch a bus at 1:15pm.

However - my stomach had other ideas.

Suffice it to say that now I'm moping on my couch eating an ice-pop so I don't dehydrate and I won't be going anywhere for the next little while.

I'm planning a big pot of relatively bland vegetable soup for dinner for myself. Z is welcome to add seasonings - but I don't have much faith in my tummy to hold onto it for too long.

Apologies if that was too much information or if you wanted a happy post. Today is just not shaping up to be that kind of day.

Hopefully we'll be back to smiles and sunshine tomorrow.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cashyous...

Somehow it's Monday again.

Quick weekend re-cap - boys for Shabbos. It was really nice. They sang some songs, played some games, got caught up on each others lives - it was a fun weekend all in all. (I'm also pleased to add that the food all came out great and that they polished all 98% of the baked goods and desserts without too much pressure from me.)

Saturday night Sara D. came out to spend the night by us. She had part 1 of the entrance exams at the michlala for next year. She stayed until Sunday afternoon and Z was really excited to have someone to make and enjoy some sushi with for lunch. We lazed around for most of Sunday - not doing much of anything.

There's a crazy heatwave going on here and it's been in the 70's-80's for the last week. On Shabbos morning when I woke up (at 7:00am) it was already 75F in the coolest room in the apartment and there was absolutely no breeze. When there's a breeze it's delightful - when the air is stagnant one wonders where the world's supply of oxygen has disappeared to. Of course, there are also the breezes (like the one that woke me at 4:00 this morning) which are nothing more than hot gusts of sand and grit. I'm not really such of fan of those either.

In other news - I've been on a tea and toast diet since Saturday afternoon. I might have caught the stomach bug that was going around town last week - although I can't figure out where I would've picked it up. I didn't hang out with anybody local and the last time I was in town was on Thursday. It's weird and annoying especially since it's so darn hot and the air is so icky. On the bright side - I'm feeling better than I was yesterday. So I'm going to say it's an improvement overall.

I spent most of the morning on the couch doing nothing of significance. Well, I did paint my nails an awesome shade of Barbie pink and watched 240 minutes worth of TV shows. I also separated all the dirty laundry into piles - I didn't put any in the washer - but I made the piles. Oh yeah, and since I was feeling a bit sadistic (in the heat and all) I decided to bake a single batch of chocolate chip cookies. I chopped up the leftover walnuts and threw them in too, cause I figured, why waste the opportunity to use them up? I used my smallest scooper for scooping purposes and wound up with 82 cookies - from a single batch of dough! How? I have no idea. Seriously - no idea.

Now it's 4:15ish and Z should be Home from school any minute - it's his 'short' day.

I guess I'll offer him some freshly baked cookies as an after-school snack.

Aren't I just the sweetest?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Burnt Nuts...

Where'd the last 2 days go? I blinked and they disappeared. Seriously!

Wednesday morning we did our Yesh shopping. We caught an 8:30 AM bus and were Home again with everything by 9:50. Z went to school to work on a project and I honestly can't remember what I did. Maybe I did some latch-hook? I can't even remember what we had for dinner. Gosh, I must be losing my mind. I do remember that we organized the guest room. Meaning, we took everything off of the shelves and organized, reorganized and then put everything back onto the shelves.

Thursday was quite the busy day. I started off with a trip to Mercaz Ariel. I mailed off all the letters and picked up my package, I bought some nuts at the health-food store, I did a quick perusal of 'Mega' but didn't see anything exciting and then I went back Home. I started cooking for Shabbos in an attempt to procrastinate cleaning the bathrooms. Suffice it to say - by the time 8 PM rolled around Shabbos was essentially cooked and I'd made a delicious dinner with the 'extras.' Dinner consisted of mushroom quiche, baked & spiced potato slices, and tomato soup (which I pulled out of the freezer.)

This morning I popped out of bed at 6:45 AM. I waited until 7 to turn on the Kitchenaid (cause I'm nice like that) and I made my chocolate mousse (which I put in a graham-cracker-crust and sprinkled with chocolate sprinkles.)

Despite yesterday's procrastinatory efforts I wound up scrubbing both bathrooms from top to bottom and I sanitized the kitchen garbage can while I was at it.

On a nice note - I really enjoyed pulling 3 kinds of cookies and brownies out of the freezer and knowing that I've got more than enough desserts for the weekend.

As I mentioned earlier this week, we're having 3 guys sleep over plus one local guy is joining us for the meal tonight.

Menu:
Friday Night: challah with roasted garlic, chumus, pickles, stuffed grape leaves. Non-chicken soup with matzah balls. Sesame chicken (or tivol on a bed of onion with mushrooms for the vegetarian), white rice, green peas and pineapple kugel.

Shabbat Lunch: Challah, Chumus, Potato Gratin, Mini Tomato Onion Cheese Quiches, Tossed Green Salad, Oriental Linguine Salad, Couscous Salad and Chickpea Salad.

Have a great one!

Til' next week!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Scotch - Tape

2 worthwhile days in a row. I'm on a roll.

This morning I 1/2 made lunch for Z, I walked with him to school and then went to the 3rd bus-stop on the route. The bus arrived right on time and I headed over to the mercaz of Ariel. First stop was at the library, then I picked up my package at the post office (it was my contact lenses alright.) Then I browsed around the health-food store (but restrained myself from buying anything) and picked up some cheese at Mega which I need for Shabbos lunch. (Mmmmm, the cheesy tasty goodness of potato gratin...I'll use 'kosher salt' this time.)

I had a quick 5 minute wait for the bus back and was Home again in no time.

The weather is heat-wave hot but it takes a couple of days for the sun to warm up the concrete walls of the building so although the sun outside was unbearably hot for a bit, inside it was delightfully cool. Then again, we also have that incredible breeze from the hillside.

I was a good worker-bee today. I finished up the download-able booklets #'s 9, 10 & 11. Which means that officially all of the 'official'-booklets are now finished. 3 cheers for being a step closer to being done with the never-ending-project!

I also did a whole lot of laundry today. Where does it come from? Seriously! I just don't understand. There are only 2 of us and I was caught up on Friday but by Tuesday there are enough dirty clothes to do both a light load and a dark load. (Not to mention that this week I have to wash the linens for the guest room - since they've been slept in by 2 sets of guests and have been sitting and getting dusty since we had our guests - which was more than a couple of weeks ago.) Anyway - suffice it to say that with dirty kitchen towels and all the sheets I managed to rack up about 4 loads of laundry today and I still have at least another 2 to do tomorrow. Sure is a good thing I've got a 'quick wash' cycle and that it's a 'smart washer' - at least I'm not wasting oodles and oodles of extra water and electricity.

I spoke with The Dibble on the phone earlier. He's quite a funny kid. I decided that I would send him a letter. So I typed up a funny letter, and concocted an envelope out of another piece of paper and I've got to mail it to him next time I go into town. Funny thing is - the paper I printed on is a pale yellow color and I made the envelope out of a piece of white computer paper so every time I think about it I can't help but think of a hardboiled egg and that makes me giggle uncontrollably for a couple of minutes, until I calm down and then of course I notice it again and the giggling resumes.

Can you tell I'm in a kind of funny mood?

Tomorrow morning Z and I are supposed to go out to Yesh to do our (bi)weekly shopping. The whole '3 weeks before Pesach' thing is making it very hard for me to plan my grocery shopping excursions. Really we just need stuff for Shabbos - and mostly fruits and veggies at that.

Alrighty - time to go make dinner. I just got 'the call' that class is ending a bit early today and that somebody is on their way home...

Pasta with homemade marinara sauce anybody?

Monday, March 08, 2010

Crickets!

This morning started off a little lazily. I lounged around for a bit and drank a huge mug of hot cocoa. When Z left for school I sat myself down and worked for about 2 hours straight. (Well, more or less.) I managed to finish booklet #8 (somehow) and even started booklet #9.

I called Mommy to kvetch because I was really in the mood to bake something yummy. (You know all about my erev-Pesach quandary. I know I shouldn't bake. I know I shouldn't bake. But still - I got so in the mood to make some English Muffins. Or maybe some cinnamon buns. Or possibly some rolls...) Mommy finally convinced me to forget about baking until tomorrow and a few minutes after hanging up the phone my cell phone rang.

It was a new friend from down the block. She invited me to go to the beach, but since I had relatively early dinner plans with Z, I declined. I still got my socializing in though - don't you worry. She came over and we relaxed and baked a full recipe of challah - which was super nice because we turned it into 'segulah challah' - since we got the mitzvah of 'taking challah' and she's in her 9th month. It was also nice because it was an opportunity for me to share something I love doing with someone else. We got 8 nice sized loaves (considering we're only feeding 4 people total - that's plenty) and they came out beautifully! We made 6 in pans and 2 free-form. They all baked up with a nice brown color on top and were soft and moist on the bottoms. Luck of the draw. Must've been the weather, huh?

While the challot were rising for the 2nd time, I decided to cut back the dill in the garden, suddenly the house phone rang. It was a wonderful surprise - Saba & Savta called wish us a Happy Anniversary. It was really special!

By the time Z got home from school the challot were almost done baking - so we waited until they were cool enough to pack up and then headed down the mountain.

We walked via the University and after saying g'bye to our guest, Z and I headed down to Cafe-Cafe for a special anniversary dinner. It was our first time there and we really enjoyed it. The service was good (no waiting 1/2 an hour for a pitcher of water), we got our food within 20 minutes of ordering, the staff was pleasant and the food was relatively delicious. (Compared to my cooking of course, ahem...)

As we made our way to the bus stop (being far too lazy to hike 3 km back up the hill) an 86 drove by. So I pulled out the schedule that I keep in my purse for times such as these and we ascertained that another bus would arrive some time within the next 3-25 minutes. (Real science, huh?) Luckily for us it was closer to 3 minutes than 25 and we were Home in no time.

We struck a bargain - I washed all the dishes while Z did some homework. Then we watched a movie and ate some ice-cream.

Now it's almost 11 and I'm thinking it might be time to go to sleep.

Tomorrow is going to be another busy day.

I've got to return a library book and pick up a package from the post-office. I reckon it's my contact lenses.

Exciting stuff.

Ok, not really - but hey, it's out of the house. Right?

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Jewel Blue...

So far so good.

At 10 AM I called the electrician. By 1:00 PM the dud was back in working order - new electrical switch outside and a new one on the inside and all we had to pay out was a cup of coffee. Works for me.

I've been listening to Billy Joel's Greatest Hits all morning for some inexplicable reason.

I even worked on the Snoopy latch-hook. I've managed to latch 100 strings and if I do another 350 I'll have finished the row I'm in the middle of. (Row #7 out of 11.3.)

Z made fluffy pancakes for breakfast this morning. Buttermilk is one of the greatest ingredients ever! Seriously!

Now I'm debating whether to go to Petach Tikvah / Cinema City with Z or to stay home so I can go to basketball later. No way I can do both due to time constraints. Tough choice, huh?

I'm antsy to go check the mail. I'm waiting for 2 post-office notices to arrive. One for the replacement clock for the guest room and one for my contact lenses.

There is leftover pot-roast with veggies and couscous from Friday night so I'm not worrying about dinner for tonight.

Also - I want a pedometer. I've narrowed my choices down to 2 'Omron' brand trackers. I keep telling myself that if I had one I'd actually walk - even though there's nowhere in particular to walk to around here. Sadly you can't buy them here and Amazon won't ship them to Israel.

I think that's all I've got to report for today.

More tomorrow - or maybe the next day...

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Darn Buzz!

Shabbos was a success. Quiet but not too quiet, relaxing and restful.

Friday morning we visited the mercaz to buy some flowers. As usual we ran into some neighbors and friends so we did a little shmoozing and hanging out. The food prep was quick and easy (considering most of the food came from the freezer.) The most labor intensive part of the meal was making a tomato-onion-cheese-quiche for lunch.

Dinner Friday night was easy peasy. Chicken stock from the freezer got boiled up with fresh onions, carrots, matzah balls (from the freezer) and a couple of tiny fingerling potatoes. The main course was pot roast (which I stole from leftovers from the bar-mitzvah last week) I (re)cooked it on a bed of the cutest little potatoes you ever did see along with some carrot rounds, I put some onion rounds on top and poured on a can of Hunt's tomato-sauce (yup, I've got some reserved for special occasions) and then let the covered cacophony bake for an hour. (It sat on the plata for another 1.5 hours and when we finally sat down to eat the stuff just melted on your tongue. Or so Z said anyway.) I can vouch for the fact that the sauce was really darn good - cause I ate the sauce and vegetables on couscous (which we decided to make at the last minute for the purpose of sauce-consumption.)

Shabbos lunch was light and yummy. A quiche (super tasty since I actually let the onions semi-carmelize, added a bit of extra salt to the 'goop' part and really packed in the cheddar-cheese layer on the bottom.) and a HUGE bowl of greek salad (ok, so it was nothing more than lettuce (sliced not ripped), cucumber, red pepper and shredded bulgarian cheese - but it was soooo refreshing!)

Friday night I won the weekly game of Rummikub and I didn't even cheat!! (I just had to mention this since I know that Z has been checking the blog.)

Shabbos afternoon a few minutes after Z left for Mincha there was a knock at the door. I vaguely recalled Z mentioning something about inviting the neighbors to drop by. A few months ago a couple moved in across the hall from us and they daven at the same shul down by the 'Netzarim Community' so Z usually walks home from shul with them (because I'm usually too lazy to make the 4 km round trip with an elevation of close to 100 meters.) Anywho - since we don't see them at all during the week and they seem like a really nice couple in our age bracket Z figured it'd be nice to spend some time with them. Especially considering they live just across the hall. So it was very nice to sit and shmooze. They checked out our apartment and then after a game of Rummikub we went over and saw their place. (Just want to add that their apartment is quintessentially charming. Most of the furniture is wooden and handcrafted by the Mr. - it was like stepping into a little inn. Wooden wall lamps, a rocking chair - super picturesque and cozy.) They invited us to join them for a 'pub night' - when they turn on some good music, have the wall lamps on for mood lighting and just relax. We'll definitely have to take them up on the offer.

This week should be pretty quiet. Z's got school and I've got 'the-never-ending-project' to work on. Monday night we're planning on going out for dinner to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary! (We missed the English one because it fell out last week smack in the middle of Purim and the bar-mitzvah insanity) but luckily we've got the Hebrew one on Monday night - Tuesday to make up for it. Considering it's the 'Cotton Anniversary' I expect I'll be getting a used undershirt as a gift or something - still - I suppose it's the thought that counts. Right?

My menu plan is all made up for the week and though I've got to do a grocery shopping (because we'll be having guests next weekend) we're going to start using up the 'freezer reserve' in an effort to get ready for Pesach.

I read one book over Shabbos and started a second. I wonder whether I'll finish it during the week or just save it for next weekend. I'm only about 20 pages in and I still have 1/2 a hook-rug to finish before Fredso's birthday. Yeah yeah, I know that isn't until mid-July but as a supreme semi-professional procrastinator I try to take things into account earlier rather than later. (So that I can put off doing them for that much longer - you understand there is a method to my madness.)

I'm so torn about baking and cooking this week. There are so many things I want to make - but I've got to use up what I've got already before I make more. Must control myself - well - must try to anyway.

I really hope that the hardest decision I have to make this week is whether to paint my nails pretty purple or princess pink.

Does that sound really shallow?

Yeah, I guess so.

Oh well - no harm in wishing things were simple.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Amicable...

So yesterday was a day of indeterminable success. On the one hand I did barely any physical activity, on the other hand I washed dishes, made a healthful dinner, and did a whole bunch of work for the never-ending-project. I also managed to write out my menu plan for the rest of this week as well as all of next week. (We'll be having boys next Shabbos, so I really have to get some grub.)

About that dinner (cause I do so love to share) - Although I don't eat fish Z does so I'm a HUGE fan of the individually packaged fillets of 'Amnon' (a little white fishy) and sometimes we can even get Salmon. They're a super awesome dinner because after they defrost you just plop them in a pan, season and bake for 15-20 minutes. Last night I made a fillet of 'Amnon' with lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and parsley. I also made a version of 'crash hot potatoes' - I don't own a potato masher, so I used a measuring cup to smash them down. I also mixed some fresh minced garlic into the olive oil that I spread onto the potatoes and in addition to the salt and pepper I put on a sprinkling of sweet paprika and a dash of hot paprika (cayenne pepper) you know - for some flavor.

Today the 'dud-repair-man' is supposed to come to fix our dud chashmal. Yes, again. In addition to tripping the electricity every time we try to turn it on it isn't heating up the water. Oh yeah - we thought it might be heating up the water because the little red light in the switch was actually on - but it turns out that the little light doesn't go off unless we turn off the switch in the electrical box. Hopefully they'll get that sorted out today. Hopefully!

This morning I woke up an hour before Z had to leave for school and realized there was nothing for him to take with him for lunch. I couldn't just let him go without food since today is his 9:00-21:00 day. However, my brain was on 'Dunkin Donut Lady in the Morning' slow-mode so I didn't get around to thinking of an idea of what to make for him until 10 minutes before he had to leave. Obviously 5 minutes before the baked ziti was ready he was out the door. So I guess after the 'repair-man' comes I'll walk down and bring him his lunch. Isn't he a spoiled one? (Bright side - I made a bit too much pasta so I get to have some baked ziti for lunch too!)

Dinner tonight will be Bubby's Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese! (An ultimate favorite of mine - hence the exclamation mark.) I should also probably start cooking for Shabbos. Since the matzah balls, chicken soup, challah and pot roast are all in the freezer there isn't a whole lot to do. The roasted potatoes and roasted garlic can be made tomorrow which leave just a tomato-onion quiche, couscous salad and pistachio sugar cookies to make today. Maybe tomorrow morning we'll even go out for a bit. That would be nice, wouldn't it?

Today I'm going to try to get the last 5 booklets of the never-ending-project finished and maybe I'll do the last 2 loads of laundry. I should really organize the guest-room (considering it's a mess and Pesach is coming) but I'm such a lazy bum.

I realize that I completely forgot to post a link to pictures from the Bar-Mitzvah, so here they are. Also - if you're interested, towards the end of this album are a couple of photos of our costumes from the holiday. (My mom sewed the dress for me when I was about 6 years old - so I decided to recycle it. There's even a cape in the back!)

Alrighty, enough for now - toodles!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Stilts and Bicycles...

I'm back from the craziest weekend in ages! All blame can be put on 2 small words - Ezri's Bar-mitzvah. Last Wednesday night The Crazy Lady & The Mad Man drove out to pick us up at around 11PM. Thursday morning was a fast day but we spent almost the whole day in the kitchen getting stuff ready. Ditto for Friday (I had my hands in a whole lot of the food including; 4 deli rolls, enough white rice for 50 people, oven-browned potatoes, chicken soup, green beans, assorted salads, assorted desserts and other stuff.) We made a trip to Lamed-Hey in the pouring rain to pick up salads and other edible goodies and by the time Shabbos rolled around we were all exhausted. No rest for the weary though - we hosted meals at the shul for 50 people both Friday night and Shabbat lunch and there was a kiddush after shul too.

Motza"sh was megillah reading and cleaning up the social-hall to set up for the purim seudah which we had invited about 50 people to. Following the meal the kehillah was invited to join us for desserts. The party got a bit rained out - so there were only about 80 people (instead of the 150-200 that there could have potentially been.) Nonetheless it was nice and festive. The dessert table was set beautifully and the meal itself was delicious.

On Monday we hung around Bet-Shemesh all day and I attended a 'sadna' given by Moonbeam's drum-teacher about African music and Jazz. At around 9PM The Crazy Lady drove us back Home.

Yesterday Z went back to school and I did a bit of work on the never-ending-project. For dinner I was feeling like a lazy bum so I did a quick rummage through the cabinet and fridge and found; 3 mushy tomatoes, a small onion and a couple of bags of mostly empty pasta. So I cooked up the noodles. While the noodles were cooking I sauteed the onion (which I had diced quite finely) until it was translucent, then I added the tomatoes (which I had seeded and chopped as small as I would chop them for Israeli Salad), I let everything start to cook down and liquefy and then seasoned with some salt, pepper, garlic powder and parsley. Finally I stirred in the pasta with the 'sauce' and dished it all out into bowls. I topped the whole shebang with some grated bulgarian cheese and we were good to go. It was quite yummy and the only comment we had about it was that I probably should've made some more.

In other news - our dud chashmal has gone kaput again. Since the last time that they repaired it - it whacks out and every third time or so that you try to turn it on it shorts out the whole apartment. However, since yesterday it's been impossible to turn on. So I contacted the company who installed it (it's still under warranty) and supposedly they'll come tomorrow to fix it. I hope they do because it's gotten cold out again and ice-cold showers are not the most pleasant way to start off a chilly day.

Back to the topic of food - I'm trying to figure out how to use up everything most efficiently before Pesach gets here. We're 1 short month away and my freezer is packed to capacity. I've got: 3 kinds of soups, 2 lasagnas, a bunch of baked goods, a ton of potato borekas, matzah balls, challah rolls and more...

Wait a second - Pesach is 1 month away?! Yikes! I have to schedule in some sort of cleaning-type-activity. Hahaha. Yeah, right.

Okey dokey, I'm gonna go do some more work.

Maybe I'll find a snack first.

What else is new?