Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Shabbos started nice and quiet. Our guests Friday night were a lot of fun and it was quite an entertaining night. The homemade pickles were a success, the soup was delicious, the boys played Settlers, we had a Dr. Seuss read-aloud-athon, Toffee & Co. made an appearance... All in all 2 enthusiastic thumbs way way up.
Shabbos day was quiet and relaxing. I didn't plan on napping but I fell asleep on the couch and before I knew it 4 hours had passed and Shabbos was just about over.
No dice. I was up by 7:30. (I guess 7:30 is still preferable to the old 6:30 wake-up time. And in just a few days 7:30 will be 8:30 again - so I guess it's better than sleeping the day away.)
In the early afternoon Z sent me a text-message asking if it would be alright if 2 of his friend came over after class. I figured it couldn't hurt and offered to make dinner. Thus the agonizing process of deciding on a dish commenced. I knew it had to be something with pasta (because that's what the menu-plan said) but in terms of sauces and sides I would have to 'mix it up'. I decided that I would make a big pot of Pasta Primavera with rolls on the side and a cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread for dessert. (I've been wanting to try the cinnamon thing for weeks now - people keep posting it on Tastespotting but there hasn't been a 'good' time. I figured 3 guys in the house was as good a time as any.)
Friday, March 25, 2011
After finishing the first stage of cooking I looked out the window and got fed-up with it being so darn dirty. Do you see that coat of dust and dirt? It's been getting worse and worse but I finally decided to do something about it. We popped the windows out of their frame and put them into the bathtub where we washed them. It's amazing what a difference a washing can make. Now the kitchen is sunny and bright again. No wonder my pictures have been dark and icky looking lately - the natural light was being kept at bay - thankfully it's back in abundance now!
While I was on a 'cleaning spree' I decided to re-purpose the zested-lemon from the fridge - I cut it into quarters and dropped 2 of the pieces into cups of water which I put in the microwave on high for 4 minutes. The steam loosened up all the gunk and I was able to wipe it all up super-easily - best part, my microwave was left with a lemony fresh scent (which is a vast improvement over tuna. - because Z has been eating lots of tuna-melts on the bagels that I made 2 weeks ago...)
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Thankfully the fix-it-guy showed up 2.5 hours after calling in the problem. The battery was dead, but he was able to switch it 'on the spot' - so we were on our way to The Sun House only half-an-hour later than we had planned on leaving.
Shabbos was a lot of fun! There were a zillion different fructose friendly desserts - including hamentashen (filled with brownie batter and peanut butter cookie dough - since we can't have jams.) Friday night was relaxed and amusing and Shabbos lunch was equally as entertaining - partly because the Dibble sat at his own table.
We played a lot of games of 'Settlers' and it was fun until it wasn't fun anymore. (The fun kind of ran out after playing 3 games straight during which only 12's, 2's and 11's were rolled. Talk about statistical anomalies.)
Shabbos ended and after havdalah everybody scrambled to find their costumes. I was a bubble-gum pink crayon and Z dressed up as 'Mr. Polly' - which was juuust fine because Daddy dressed up as a Hawaiin beach-bum type dude. Mean'ma was a purple crayon, Soldier-boy was a green crayon, Drummer-boy was a scary scary black-masked man (he switched to white for the day) and the Dibble was a spotted cow. (Z switched to a royal blue crayon costume for the day.)
We caught the early minyan and megila reading this morning. Then we delivered our shalach manot around The Sun House. Finally we got on the road (which was quite crowded considering everybody should've been partying.) We made it Home quickly and safely and wondered whether the overcast sky was portending rain. It was 1:20 and we had to go to the Seudah at 3.
The first thing I did when we walked into the house (after washing my hands) was juice an orange. I got 1/4 cup of juice out of it which meant that I could make a batch of hamentashen. So, I put together a batch of dough and stuck it into the fridge to chill. In the meantime I put the p'titim up to cook. I rolled out a chunk of dough and shaped 1 tray of hamentashen which I had time to bake right before we had to leave the house. Z was quite happy that he finally got a 'real' homemade hamentash on Purim. We packed up the kugels, p'titim, shalach manot, and everything else and made our way down to the other side of town.
The seudah was quite well attended. There were about a dozen of us there. Good company and lots of alcohol - definitely a good party. Truth be told everyone drank very responsibly and it was about having a good time and not all about getting completely sloshed - which I was quite happy about. The most exciting part of the meal (after the Turchicken - which was the main course of the meal - a whole turkey stuffed with a whole chicken with 'stuffing' layered between them. The whole shebang was cooked to perfection - with the help of a trusty meat-thermometer.) Anywho - as I was saying - the best part of the meal was dessert. Chocolate shot-glasses filled with 96% alcohol which was set aflame so that marshmellows could be roasted and strawberries could be dipped in the melted chocolate. Pretty decadent if you ask me - but also a whole lot of fun!
We helped straighten up after just about everybody had left and as we walked out to the car we got rained on. We offered a lift to the other 'last guest to leave' and dropped him off at Home so that he didn't have to walk in the rain.
Back at Home and trying to decide what to do tomorrow. Purim really isn't my favorite of holidays - so I'm not sure whether I really want to go into Jeru tomorrow and have a second day of it. I've still got more hamentashen to make - I'll send them to school with Z on Tuesday - I'm sure his classmates won't mind.
Shushan Purim Sameach everybody!
Here's a recipe for some hamentashen of your very own:
3/4 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Cream margarine & sugar. Add egg, orange juice and vanilla - mix. Add flour, baking soda and salt - mix until everything is combined. Roll the dough out relatively thinly and using a glass or a round cookie-cutter cut circles of dough out. Put a bit of jam or some chocolate chips in the center of the cirle then pinch the sides (sealing well) to form a triangle. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes (you've got to get them out of the oven just as they start to think about browning at the edges - it's kinda just guesswork)
- I like to chill the dough to make it easier to work with.
- If you want the edges to stay closed don't 'over-fill' seriously, there should be just a little filling and you should think to yourself - "that's so little filling" - but really it should be enough.
I can't say how many cookies this recipe makes. Partially because I made a double batch of dough and partly because we ate so many as they came out of the oven that it wouldn't be accurate in the least bit. Also it depends on the size cookie cutter you use to make the circles - I used a relatively standard drinking glass.
(Recipe Source: Madrichot of Afikei Torah '03-'04)
Friday, March 18, 2011
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
The problem is that change is hard. Like, really really hard.
The first part is that I tend to put a lot more effort into taking care of others than I put into taking care of me. The best example which springs to mind is my 'cooking habits'. As long as there is someone else around I am happy to slave away and cook/bake delicious things but if it's just me then I'll eat a bag of potato chips and try to pretend that I'm full. (Yeah, so it actually doesn't work too well and I generally end up eating cookies and/or another bag of potato chips - when in reality I should just buckle down and make myself some rice pasta or an egg.) Last week I baked 2-dozen bagels (which I couldn't eat) and although I did make FF crackers (which turned out great) I only made a small batch and was too lazy to make any more.
The second part is that I have a very hard time remembering that the journey is the important part of life. I tend to get stuck in 'routine' mode. My brain kind of blanks out and everything passes by in a blur. The 'day-to-day' stops mattering because in my head more time is coming. I neglect to pay attention and realize that the moments that pass are the important ones, because I'll never get them back.
Over the last 2-years I've been going through a lot of stuff and especially in the last year I didn't necessarily cope with everything as well as I should have. (Granted there were imbalances and chemical reasons - beyond my every-day control which I can techinically attribute things to.) The short of it was that I was completely out of control of everything from my emotions to my physical well-being. It was scary. No other way to describe it. Like a twisted-evil out of body experience. I wouldn't wish it on anybody.
Thankfully 4 months post-FructMal-diagnosis - I am feeling like a new person. I still have my 'off' days and am chafing with regard to my ridiculously restricted diet - but the bright side is that I am more or less back in control of my body. (Next step is getting control of my 'mind' - but that's a much tougher thing to do.)
Day by day my body heals and my energy returns. Now I need the motivation. I'm not posting this looking for 'you can do it' slogans in the comments section - I'm posting it because I need to see it, read it and internalize it. I need to do this for myself.
It's time for me to put my sneakers on and walk. It's time for me to dig out my yoga mat and stretch. It's time for me to get off my couch and move.
And while I'm at it I suppose it wouldn't hurt to be a tad less ridiculous about how I spend my time in the kitchen. I've been bookmarking recipes and concepts for weeks now for 'allowable foods' that I could eat - but I never bother making any. In that time I've baked a dozen new types of bread and two dozen types of desserts. Isn't it time for me to cook stuff that I can enjoy too? I think it is.
It's a pain that the foods on my 'ok' list like; nuts, alternate flours - (oat, barley, almond), rice pasta and meat are much more expensive than plain old flour and white sugar - but it's my health we're talking about. Physically - literally.
So - I guess I'll have to step up the serious job-search while I'm at it.
94.5 years left and counting...
So much to do - so little time.
Friday, March 11, 2011
I was brave for a while though. I trekked to the kitchen and shaped my Lemon Chiffon Truffles. Once they had chilled (which didn't take very long for some odd reason) I melted some dark chocolate and gave them a double coating. It's really not too hard if you use the right chocolate and add a little canola oil to it. It still requires patience and time - but I figured out the trick - the truffles need to be chilled but not frozen. That way the chocolate doesn't set-up before you can get them off of the fork that you're using to dip them with.
Thursday was equally as boring but I was slightly more productive. I put my chicken soup up to cook, made rice and baked 3 desserts. FF cookies for myself, cookie brittle for Z and caramel walnut brownies - because I had extra chocolate left over from dipping the truffles. I'm not sure how the brownies will taste - since I totally messed around with the recipe - but it's chocolate, sugar and caramel so I mean, how bad could it be?
I made sure that all of the dishes were washed before going to sleep - to save me time and frustration this morning. Then the tris-strap in our bedroom snapped - so I knew I'd better set an alarm or there was a risk of waking up super-late on a Friday morning.
Even with the trisim down I woke up at 6:30. It was cold and I had no interest in getting up. At 7:30 I woke up again. I tried to fall back asleep for 10 minutes, but it just wasn't working. Instead I got out of bed and started working. I turned on the dud, prepped the chicken in a baking dish, folded a load of laundry that sat in the dryer all week, put a load of laundry into the washer, rinsed the sushi rice and set it up to soak, switched the laundry and put in a 2nd load after half-stripping my bed.
There's still laundry to do. I really have to go out to town to pick up the salatim and a shabbos clock for the second heater - we're definitely going to need it this weekend. Especially because we're having the Lockermans over for dinner tonight. But first a nice hot shower - then the insanity can begin.
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
They need a bit of work - they're really cumbly due to lack of gluten in the flour, so a starch of some sort will probably get added to the mix. But overall they tasted really great!
Monday, March 07, 2011
Since today was Z's only real day of 'vacation' we decided to do some fun stuff this morning. Errands can be fun when they're enjoyable. Right? So we went to Yesh and I bought another 12 bags of potato chips (they were 4 for 10nis and had the ridged ones I really like in stock! I'm not crazy - it's just about the only snack-food available to me.)
The last leg of our journey was in 'town' - we bought white chocolate and lemons (because I'm planning on making those 'lemon chiffon truffles' - probably for Shabbos.) We popped into Mega for some other random items. We also learned that the only place in the city to get a watch battery changed is at the glasses store. Makes perfect sense. I mean, obviously you would go to an optician to have a watch battery replaced.
Back at Home I put the sour-cream into cheese-cloth in a strainer and let it start dripping. Yeah, I'm making cream cheese in my kitchen.