Sunday, July 31, 2011

Professional Crazed Fan

Woke up early this morning. It was already HOT outside and inside.

I did all of the laundry (we even changed the sheets) so that I wouldn't have stuff sitting around for the duration of the 9 days.

I ate a barley roll with 1 Tbsp of fresh chumus for breakfast, Rice & Chicken Salad for lunch, and chicken soup with rice for dinner. That's 3 meals in 1 day - first time in about a week and a half that I could stomach that much food.

I forgot to water the plants (though I watered them well on Friday) but I did remember to take my multi-vitamin.

I shmoozed with Freddie on the phone for a little while and then we spent about an hour 'skype-ing' while she made chili for ''Mexican Night' - mmmm, tacos and tortillas!

Tomorrow is another day - I'm ready for it.

Really though - the heat can go...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cows Say 'Moo'

Well - it wasn't quite the Shabbos I'd expected but it turned out alright in the end.

After a decidedly bad hour and a half leading up to leaving the house and candle-lighting we ended up cancelling on our hosts. I felt horrible about it but was really not feeling well enough to walk all the way back up the mountain. They were completely understanding about the whole situation and told us that if anything changed we should still feel free to come.

Thankfully when it was time to drive Z down to shul I had managed to pull myself together and stand upright. I dropped him off then zoomed off to our would-be-hosts house to drop off the desserts package that I had made for them. (I packed up some of the almond meringues, lemon meringues and a batch of caramel corn.) When I knocked on the door she was so surprised to see me - I apologized profusely, and she was amazingly wonderful, gave me a drink told me to sit - I reckon my not-so-healthy-pallor worked in my favor. Anyway - 'early minyan' takes about an hour to daven and then a 35 minute walk home so I figured I had some time to get back to the house and light candles. I spent a delightful 45 minutes shmoozing and meeting a whole bunch of one of the daughter's dolls. She sent me home with rice and a container of soup (a 'temani-esque' chicken&beef stock).

Shabbos passed by so ridiculously slowly I felt like I lost 2-3 weeks instead of just 1 day. It was a whopping 90F inside the apartment today and even with the fans going we were hot. Stupid heat-wave - it wasn't like this last summer or the summer before either! It was too hot to sleep last night and today was worse than the night-time so no restful naps for me. I am absolutely exhausted.

We played Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble and Rummikub to try and pass the time but nothing really helped. Finally at around 8:30pm the temperature (finally) dropped to the mid 80's.

This is going to be an interesting week. I just hope my stomach can keep up...

Friday, July 29, 2011

Mannitol Hatred

Thursday was hot and long. Z & I walked all around the lower campus dropping things off and saying hello to friends. Then we went out to Yesh to pick up some groceries (since I hadn't done that in about 3 weeks.) They finally finished paving by the new traffic circle - which we found amusing, because they could have done it weeks ago but the sign said that the project wouldn't be finished until August so they actually waited until the project was supposed to be done to finish it.

I haven't been sleeping well for the last 2 weeks. I'm not sure if it's the heat or the dryness or something I'm eating or what. All I know is that I am beyond exhausted and never feel rested. I have an impossible time falling asleep during the day and when the night comes and I crawl into bed I find myself staring at the dark blank wall - even if I'd been falling asleep on the couch 5 minutes earlier. Maybe it's my bed? I don't know.

Anyway - I woke up at 5:30 this morning with a pretty bad stomachache. Not a clue what it could be from considering I haven't eaten anything 'bad' or even 'questionable' this week. I tried to be really careful with my food intake so that I wouldn't have any problems since we're eating down out 'in the city' tonight. (Yup - just like 2 weeks ago - except we're eating by different people - and then the same 45 minute walk home - in the pitch blackness. Juuuuust delightful. *sob*) I spent about an hour sitting on the floor next to the toilet feeling like garbage and wishing I would just die.

I don't want to cancel our plans to eat out (mostly because I feel obnoxious cancelling a few hours before we're supposed to show up and because she tried so hard to make food that I could eat - another thing that makes me worried it's going to be an awkward "eat eat eat" meal even though I KNOW that I won't be hungry.) I also feel bed because they've been inviting us to come for a meal for about a year now. *sigh* There's really no 'easy' way out of it. Also Z refuses to make the call and insists that I'll be OK once we 'just do it' - I'm really not so optimistic (considering it's 2pm, I've barely eaten and what I did eat is still sitting in my throat and threatening to come back up.)

It's been 6 weeks since we had a nice simple quiet shabbos at home. Next week we'll be in The Sun House and the week after we're having guests - so chalk up another 2 months to 'noisy' weekends.

I really just want a peacful and quiet Shabbos - and a little bit of restful slumber wouldn't hurt either.

For now - I'm going to lie down - I doubt I'll actually be able to sleep, but maybe the world will stop lurching around and the stuff in my throat will miraculously go away...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

People Soup?

I seem to have gone on some sort of insane meringue making binge. Mostly because we had some 18 egg-whites sitting in the freezer in disposable cups that kept falling on my toes every time I would open the freezer to forage for FF food.

I woke up at 7:00 this morning when they started making noise out back. It was a delightful 78F and the air was pleasantly moist. I decided to bake myself some barley rolls before the heat kicked on for the day. I ate 2 of the rolls as they came out of the oven. They were delicious.

I let the oven cool a bit then whipped up a batch of lemon meringue cookies. I piped them, sprinkled them with a little colored sugar (cause 1/2 a cup in 2 eggs whites whipped into a stiff foam didn't quite seem like enough.)
I baked up a big tray of french fries for lunch and split them with Z when he came Home after tutoring in English class. He was only Home for about half an hour before heading out to meet up with some classmates to work on a project which is due next week.

Left to my own devices I weeded in the 'porch garden' and watered the plants. Then I whipped up my third batch of meringues. This batch I flavored with mint extract and tinted green. I figured that if I was going with a mint-chip theme that I might as well go 'all the way. After piping them I sprinkled them with chocolate sprinkles.
For dinner I'm thinking we'll enjoy the last of the food that we took from The Sun House when we left on Sunday. I guess I'll cook up some rice or pasta or something else starchy and delicious.
Tomorrow I should probably go out to the grocery store - considering we've actually run out of potatoes and potato-chips.

I also really have to figure out what to make for Shabbos lunch. The temperature is supposed to rise and we're supposed to go eat dinner down in the city on Friday night. I feel too bad cancelling (since the people have been trying to get us for a meal for close to a year) but I'm kind of dreading the heat. Especially on Shabbos when we can't move fans around and/or change the settings on them. Not to mention that the heat is wreaking havoc on my already-sensitive digestive tract. *sigh* really don't know what to do.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Peanut Butter in Bed...

For today's experiment we played around with the 'trissim' - all of our Israeli neighbors claim that if you shut the light-tight window-covers in the early afternoon while the 'morning cool' is still wafting through the house (and spend your entire day in darkness) that you will be rewarded with cooler temperatures inside the apartment. I'm not sure whether the tris is doing its job or whether the weather is actually cooler today - but yesterday afternoon it was 88F and today it only got to 84F. At a certain point I gave up and opened the shades because I was feeling claustrophobic and really wanted some fresh air. (Sadly none of the air outside was 'fresh' it just sort of stank of burning-garbage - wafting in from a neighboring village I'd guess - as well as dust, a lot of it - thanks to the construction.)

I pulled pesto rolls out of the freezer for Z for breakfast and then pulled manicotti out of the freezer for his lunch. He went off to school to take him moed bet for physics and to go to his Tuesday afternoon 3D modeling course.

I know I said I wouldn't be turning on the oven this week - but I really needed a snack to eat. There are an overabundance of egg-whites in the freezer on account of all the ice cream we've been making. I decided to use a few up and whipped 2 of them into a batch of almond-meringues. I honestly couldn't decide whether it would be better to have the oven on at 350F for an hour or at 100F for 2.5 hours. Decisions, decisions. On a bright side - thanks to the ridiculously low humidity the meringues came out deliciously crispy.

I ended up cooking up about 1&2/3 cup of persian rice (quick fried in canola oil with some salt, pepper, turmeric and a tiny dash of garlic powder) then I threw in a chicken breast (diced into small cubes) and about 1/2 cup of frozen baby peas. Finally I added the water, gave it all a quick stir, slapped on the lid, turned the fire down to low and let it all simmer for around 16 minutes and 30 seconds. (I'm very precise when it comes to timing - can you tell?) It turned out pretty good - inspired by that amazing chicken and rice salad that I've made for shabbos the last few weeks that we were home. We enjoyed the first half of it as an 'early' dinner and then polished it off for a 'night-time snack'.

We deserted the office at around 6pm. It was just too hot to sit on the couch anymore. Instead we moved onto a cloth covered surface and waited for the temperature to drop. By 8pm the thermometer was down to 80F (and though it still feels hot and somewhat hard to breathe it's decidedly better than it was earlier in the day.)

I'm feeling sort of jealous of The Freddies - they're in SwissCheeseLand and rumor has it that the temperature last night was a little below 50F. Though it makes me sad to not be able to feel my toes for months at a time...deep down I really do favor the cold. (Especially if there's central heating, down quilts and hot water bottles.)

Here's to hoping that tomorrow is better. Man I wish we were going to be somewhere with air-conditioning for the weekend.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Next Week Will be Wednesday...

Wandering around my apartment in short shorts and a tank-top seems to be the only way to beat deal with the ridiculous heat. It's 88 degrees in my kitchen (with the oven off - and I refuse to turn it on even though I am totally out of barley rolls and crackers.) As a matter of fact I refuse to cook until it cools down and if that means only eating potato chips and whatever half-melted chocolate that we've got in the cupboard well then - so be it.

Last night I crawled into bed at 8:45pm exhausted. Somehow I was unable to actually fall asleep until close to 10. I managed to sleep until 7am -when the crazy construction people decided it was a good time to start hacking away at the mountain behind our building again.

We're signing on to rent the apartment for another year which is news. (Good for the people who are happy to have us feed them - Not-as-good for the people who wish we were closer to them so that we could be feeding them instead...)

We took a stroll down to the sales-office for the building project that is going on behind our current haunt. Turns out the noise will be continuing for the next 3 years or so. They are building in 3 'waves'. The first wave (mostly 6 and 7 room cottages) are supposed to be ready in 2 years from now. he last wave is due to be completed in 3 years from now. We even got to see the plans - nice looking homes - front & back yards - the works. When everything is said and done it will be a nice little neighborhood in a clean and green city - about 15 minutes walking from the 'Anglo-shul', 8 minutes walk from the 'netzarim' community, 10 minutes from the university campus. Not too shabby if you ask me. (So if any of those old pals of mine want to move to the middle of nowhere - here's your chance. Though the asking prices are pretty steep (what else is new in The Holy Land nowadays?) The smaller cottages are going for about 1.5million shekels and the larger are going for 1.6million. Still - if anyone has a small fortune and wants to move...here's your chance!

Just in case you wondered how loud the noise is from the construction outside...our neighbor knocked on our door and we didn't hear the knocking - so he called us to ask if we were home and screening people at the door. Z opened the door and apologized but he was completely understanding about the whole situation - after all - he lives right upstairs, it's not like it's any quieter up there.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Gingybiteus...

Friday was super busy. I went to the dentist in the morning then The Crazy Lady & I went up to RBS (where we bought all sorts of fun disposable foil-pans in all sorts of fun single-serving sizes.) Back at the house we cooked and baked up a storm. I made the roasted garlics and baked up a double batch of the FF barley rolls. (They turned out quite nicely - 18 rolls with a 'bread-like' texture. Very very exciting!)
Friday night was delightful and relaxing. We played a game of Settlers after the meal (to give Phil some time to digest before going to sleep.) Shabbos morning started early but lunch was nice and we spent all afternoon playing games too. Settlers & 'Categories' (a new game which was introduced to the fambily by The Freddies.)
Little Brother came over and we were a little too enthusiastic about presenting his birthday cupcakes with some serious flourish. Bob and his gal-pal came over to visit too - thanks to the card game I'm still trying to list various pieces of furniture found in a house and keep imagining road-signs in Israel.
After Havdala Phil, Z and I all watched a movie from 2006 called 'Flushed Away' - Phil & I enjoyed it immensely. Z was less amused, but laughed a couple of times nonetheless.

All was good until around 10:30 when the lights all sort of flickered out - then came back on at 30% capacity - then flickered down to 20%, up to 60% and finally sputtered out along with all of the other electricity. We lit some candles and pulled out the flashlights. Timmy had just passed around (army-issue) 'glow-sticks' for taking to bed or to the bathroom (much safer than candles after all, and less bulky than flashlights) but within 10 minutes power had been restored. For the fun of it I took my glow-stick into bed and the little stuffed animals had a pow-wow around it.
Sunday morning started an hour earlier than planned on account of the power-outage resetting the clocks in the house. (We thought it was 7:30 but really it was 6:30.) We lazed around for a while before packing everything up, gathering all of our stuffs and heading Home. The drive took us an hour and 10 minutes (but we stopped to fill up on petrol and to put air in our tires too.)
Sara D happened to be in The-Middle-of-Nowhere taking care of a few 'end of year' loose-ends. So when she had finished everything she came over to visit. We already miss her and I can't hardly wait for the summer (and hot weather) to fly on by. I say, let the fall semester begin already!!!
In other news - did you know that as a Jewish female you will be unable to be actually fulfilled in your life until you have had a baby? That doesn't work for you for any reason - regardless of whether it's physical/emotional/financial...? Well, that's just too bad. That's just the rule.

(Haha, and you thought you'd be able to be 'fulfilled' when you got married - well, that's just what they told you to get the process started...sucker!!!)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Not Italian?

I woke up bright and early this morning to the sounds of heavy machinery clanking around outside. After about 45 minutes of aimlessly rearranging all of the attachments they turned off the big machine and left - for the day. Utter stupidity.
I had a long list of things to accomplish but only got about 3 done. Thankfully Z was great and actually did his chores in a timely manner of sorts.

In the meantime I baked up a couple of things and had a brainstorm with regard to a fun project.
As you may or may not recall - we'll be in The Sun House for Shabbos. I assumed that we'd be heading over there early Friday morning but at a little after 4pm we got a call saying, "S&S and The Freddies are coming for dinner. Maybe you want to come too?" I briefly freaked out, threw my clothes into a suitcase and tried to straighten up the stuff I'd been leaving to clean when it cooled down - then by 5 we were in the car zooming down the highway.

It was more or less clear sailing (aside from the last kilometer and a half on the major-est highway) and we made it to the fambily Home smack-dab in the middle of dinner. There was still plenty of food though so we just pulled up chairs and dug right in.
I completed my fun project while team-effort of Phil & The Crazy Lady did the first steps of FF Milano Cookies. I had free hands by the time the cookies were ready to be glazed/iced and sandwiched. We did half with chocolate/mint and the other half with chocolate/almond. They are pretty darn tasty!

Tomorrow there's loads to do - hard to believe it's Friday again.

If you're trying to get in touch with me - don't be sad if you can't. I'll be on a screen-diet until some point late on Sunday afternoon (if not Monday morning.)

Life without technology is so very relaxing.

Except for air-conditioning - of course...

Monday, July 18, 2011

SecretKeeper = RiddleMaster

Yesterday was a decidedly quiet Sunday. Z & I walked down to the mailbox then I trudged Home while Z went to print out physics notes - a lot of physics notes.

The most exciting thing to happen was when Z called Freddie at around 9pm and asked her what her plans were for today. She said she'd be willing to come and visit if we'd make her favorite things.
And so it came to pass that at 10:30pm on a Sunday night, Z & I slaved away in the kitchen preparing ice-cream custards of the French Vanilla & Mint Chocolate Chip varieties.
I was up bright and early (a little before 7) this morning. I kneaded up a batch of bagel-dough while Z churned the ice-cream.

Fact: When it is over 80F at 8am your KitchenAid ice-cream-maker attachment will not stay frozen long enough to churn 2 batches of custard into delightfully dreamy ice-cream...
Z had to 'teach English' this morning so he was out from 8:30 until a little before 1pm. While he was out I went out to the grocery store (to buy some whipped cream - because what is an ice cream party without whipped cream?!) I also shaped/boiled/baked 1.5 batches of bagels. Then I mixed up and piped a batch of milano-cookies. Z got Home and put up the birthday sign (all spazzy-like) and I wrapped up the super-useful present.
Finally The Freddies arrived. HaPpY EnGlIsH bIrThDaY FrEdSo!!! We lunched on fresh bagels with all of 'the works' and washed it all down with some delightfully refreshing homemade unsweetened lemon-nana iced tea.
Eventually the cookies cooled completely, so I was able to sandwich them with their chocolate and mint fillings. After lunch and ice cream nobody really wanted cookies - so I sent most of them home with the birthday girl. (In the meanwhile - about an hour south of Home -Phil baked up a FF batch of milano-cookies using barley flour in place of wheat-stuff. it worked amazingly well - so I'll be making myself a batch in the not too distant future.)

We all relaxed for a while and enjoyed the (cross)-breeze for a couple of hours. Then The Freddies had to go. We said out 'goodbye-for-now's and they were off. Z helped me straighten up and even washed all of the dishes.

I was a super-nice-wife and made him an amazing (smelling) dinner of pasta primavera. (So that he'd have a nice filling meal pre-'fast' - like I said, I'm just too nice sometimes. There's even enough leftovers for 2 more meals which will carry him neatly right to the end of the week.)Really not looking forward to this whole 'fasting' business... Nothing planned for tomorrow since it's supposed to be a real 'scorcher' and we're not 'allowed' to drink. I'm thinking bed and a nice cool towel on my neck and forehead. Yeah - see - there are perks to not having kids after all.

Must remember to water my plants bright and early in the morning though. They're going to need it.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Tiny Turtles...

Thursday was really hot - weather-wise I mean. We stayed home and tried not to melt. We consoled ourselves by keeping in mind that it's only July and that the heat will continue to be the same (or worse) until sometime around November (though if it's anything like last year the heat could last until March or so...)

Friday morning was extremely relaxed. Z took a bus into town to pick up the last minute groceries. I put together a super-easy lunch and had more than enough time to scrub down the bathrooms and do a complete wash&scrub of the kitchen counter and stove-top.

About 15 minutes before Shabbos we drove down to Ora&Shlomo's house. I handed over the keys and gifts (a late wedding gift, which was a copy of the cookbook in its 'new format' and a nice big bag of caramel popcorn.) The guys headed out to shul. Dinner was a cute affair, they have such a cozy little home. All food was FF in my honor and Ora was awesome about the whole 'might or might not actually eat' thing. Honestly it was a really nice 'change of pace' for me. Even though we made 'regular' Shabbos, we finished the meal by 10:15. Then Z and I 'dined & dashed' with apologies so that we'd make the walk Home before I bottomed out on energy reserves. The walk itself wasn't too bad all things considered. We walked up the 'security path' along the fence, there were enough lights to see where we were going (and the full moon shed a lot of light on the situation too.) We made it Home (from the 'inner' traffic circle at Sheshet Hayamim) in just 40 minutes and we walked at a relatively leisurely pace. Thankfully the weather had cooled off significantly so the walk was actually quite enjoyable.

The cooler weather continued on Shabbos day. We enjoyed a nice lunch at the 'late' hour of 12pm. Then we had the rest of the day to laze around and read a lot. It was amazingly relaxing and delightful. We played a game of Scrabble at some point but the rest of the day was spent deep in books.

Shabbos ended and we made havdala. Then Z straightened up whatever he could (there wasn't much to do) and I sliced up some vegetables. At around 10ish, Ora&Shlomo arrived for some Saturday night fun. We decided to watch 'Despicable Me' (since Shlomo hadn't seen it yet.) It ended shortly after midnight so I gave them a ride Home to spare them the shlep down the hill.

Lunch this Shabbos included:
Roasted garlic, chumus (Abu Dushi), challah/barley bread, sauteed chicken breast (FF), honey-mustard crumb shnitzel, chicken&rice salad
Z made 4 liters of iced tea and 2 liters of lemonade
Dessert was a FF oatmeal cookie pizza baked in a 7x11pan. (I think I'm going to bake it like that from now on - it's more like amazingly good oatmeal blondies (which I stirred crunchy-peanut-butter into) - even Z enjoyed them. A lot.

Gosh now I'm in the mood for a piece of that oatmeal deliciousness...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Scrapzanya...

For some funny reason Manicotti always makes me think of my Savta - so do salmon croquettes, unbelievably amazing omelettes and matzah balls. But for today - it's the manicotti that matters.

As you may (or may not) know - there was a cottage cheese strike for a while here in The Holy Land. Consumers refused to buy the dairy staple after dairy-companies raised the price to about 8nis for 250 gram containers. (That's about $2.30 for every cup of the stuff.) As a result many stores started having crazy sales to get the cheese off of their shelves before the expiration dates passed. The dairy companies finally agreed to lower the price to something 'more reasonable' but the sales continued so that the back-up could be cleared out.

I picked up 2 containers for 10 shekels last week. I always figure I'll make yummy stuff like lasagna, calzones and savory tarts, but I somehow never seem to get around to it. (Must be because I can't eat them.)
Anyway - I didn't want the cheese to end up going in the garbage so I decided to use it up. Unfortunately I was out of Parmesan cheese and didn't have any mozzarella to grate. Luckily I had a package of sliced Gilboa cheese.

I cooked up a big pot of chunky tomato sauce and even decided to use one of my boxes of 'American Lasagna' that I've been holding onto like a crazy miser.

I diced the Gilboa cheese and mixed it in with the cottage cheese and 2 eggs. Then I seasoned the mixture with some salt, pepper, parsley and a dash of nutmeg (the best-kept-secret lasagna ingredient) and also mixed in about 1 Tbsp of seasoned breadcrumbs (because the mixture looked a little too liquidy to me.)
After rolling everyone up I ended up with 6 tiny-tins of 'mini-cotti' which I wrapped well, labeled and stuck in the freezer. Z loves lasagna and manicotti so it's great to have these single-serving tins in the freezer stash.

Have I ever mentioned that I'm a huge fan of tiny tin-foil pans (especially ones that come with cute little tops? I can't help it. I know - I have issues.
The day was pretty boring. I gave myself a delightful at Home 'spa-treatment' but aside from that and a couple of hours of graphics work I didn't do too much.
Z had his first day of 'teaching English' today. He's essentially a TA for the summer - it's the same job he had all year - and now it's paying for his summer course. Wednesday is his 'long day' he has class from 9am-3pm. So - he was hungry when he got Home.

Luckily for him I made a little lasagna out of the extra scraps which I didn't use for the manicotti.

He claims it was a good lunch. All I know is that it smelled amazing, so I'm willing to assume it probably tasted pretty good.

Though truth be told - I don't think you can really go wrong with noodles, sauce and cheese.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What's a Hond Brayik?

I was up bright and early this morning. The whole house smelled like french toast and I thought I'd died and gone to Heaven - then I remembered that I couldn't eat any - which kind of made me wonder how bad H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks could really be... and all before 9am on my birthday.

Yo'Abba and Z came with me to the 'auto-test' place were I took Ceed-y for his very first inspection as a Nemoy. He passed with flying colors (even though I was convinced I was doing the wrong thing at the wrong time since I couldn't hear what the technicians were telling me to do in an echo-y tunnel, over the roar of machinery and car engines.) We dropped Yo'Abba off at Home and before leaving he did a super-awesome favor and scraped off the old inspection stickers to make room for the new one. After applying it we hopped into the house to say good-bye one last time then got on the road.

The ride Home was relatively quick. It took us 1 hour and 2 minutes from when we pulled out of the gas-station parking-lot on Rt. 38, right across from Tzora. We ate some delicious Chicken & Rice Salad leftovers for lunch then Z had to run out to his very first summer-class. I spent about 9 hours on graphics work and when Z got Home I told him to enjoy some meatballs and twisty-pastas for dinner.

We're all playing around with Google+ now. It's like a newfangled version of Facebook (except that it's rudimentary like old-school-FB) but it's convenient because it's Google-driven... I'll have to decide what to do with it.

Tomorrow is another day. I've got big plans for it though.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Peehil & Roscoe

"Glitter is the herpes of the art world."
Because it's been an interesting few days.

Shabbos Menu (just so I don't forget) -
Friday Night: roasted garlic, chumus, matbucha, chicken soup with matzah balls, meatballs with pasta (white & ww), white rice, green beans, savory roasted root veggies, 'simple roasted chicken' wings
Shabbos Lunch: roasted garlic & cherry tomatoes, chumus, matbucha, lemon-pepper & basil chicken wings, roasted chicken breast with potato slice stuffing, chicken & rice salad, sliced veggies, broccoli salad
Seudah Shlishit: vegetable sushi, sliced veggies, chumus & matbucha, pesto rolls & ice cream
Desserts: barley chocolate chip cookies, chocolate almond torte, brownies (a'la Ita) & ice cream

Shabbos was really nice, though the weather was really hot. It was very relaxed and enjoyable. Ita brought her 'Knights & Cities' expansion for 'Settlers' so we got to 'test-it-out' (it was really intense.) We also played Phase 10 and Scrabble. There was a nice long 'rest' period and we had a late lunch which turned out really great.

Sunday morning I was woken up at 5ish thanks to a pesky mosquito. I watched the sun rise before making a batch of chocolate chip cookies for A&E's 'wedding night survival kit'. At a little after 10 I took Z down to the local hair-dresser for a pre-3-week hair-cut. We were home again half an hour later then I wrapped the presents, we packed up and headed out to The Sun House. We stopped off at BIG to pick up a 'bedtime story' for A&E's gift then made our way across town to the fambily house.

A&E's wedding was in Jeru (right by The Old City) - it was a small affair - but funnily enough I knew a whole bunch of other people who were attending. (Must have something to do with her having gone to Afikei... Go figure.) We stayed until the very very end and dropped Ayala off at her dorms before heading back to The Sun House. It was a little before 2 by the time we went to sleep.

We were all up bright and early Monday morning. Z & Yo'Abba took our car into Jeru to get the '75,000 km tune-up'. In the meanwhile Mean'ma and I went out to Super-H and to check in on Patches and the fishies including the little one named Sam. Phil made 'baked-oatmeal' for breakfast and I spent a whole lot of hours agonizing about where to begin with this graphics project (another instance where Lorelai bit off slightly more than she could chew...taking on a 'rush-job' with 2 other jobs not-quite-finished when she's not even going to be home for 3 days of the 5 given to get the project done...yeah, just a bit silly on her part - but what else is new?)

In the late afternoon Phil and Mean'ma dragged me out to the clothing store at Tzora (where I bought a pretty new top for Shabbos) and then to BIG (because it's always fun to go to bookstores and arts-n-crafts places.) When we got back to the house there was a big surprise waiting for me - streamers and a pretty (awesome) sign (with glitter) wishing me a happy birthday.

Z took charge of grilling all the meat for dinner and there were potato wedges and rice too. Then the Freddies arrived (another surprise for me!) and we all had an amazingly delicious birthday dinner together. Dessert was also a surprise - for me anyway - an amazingly moist and decadent FF chocolate cake and delicious cinnamon-spice muffins garnished with a whole pecan each and oh so pretty! There were also a whole lot of candles involved. I suppose turning 26 will do that to a cake...

After The Freddies had left and everything was straightened up we watched some of our favorite cooking show. Z, Mean'ma (the amazing) and I learned all about the art of cinnamon-bunning. Then I went upstairs and organized the suitcase and all of the goodies that I've accumulated in the last day and a half.

Tomorrow is another busy day. Car inspection, drive Home, then some serious buckling-down and working - because that graphics project needs to be in the client's inbox by tomorrow afternoon - the earlier the better. Wish me luck - oh yeah, and a happy birthday!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Free For All...

For anyone interested - I finally uploaded ~THE~ cookbook to 'Facebook'. I uploaded in high-resolution so right clicking on a photo will give you an option to save the high-quality photo wherever you choose. You can then print the photos (10x15cm here in The Holy Land) - I'd recommend printing them 'glossy' so they don't lose any of their awesome shine. Then all you need is a 200-slot album to stick them into. TaDa - cookbook!

In other news - Today I spoke to a guy about a job and will actually be making some money in the coming days. (Round of applause people. It's about time.)

We've got 2 guests coming for Shabbos. Ita is coming (for the first sleep-over at our house ever) and SL is coming back again (cause she knows Ita and cause I'm just so ridiculously awesome and she misses me so much when she's not here. Well, she either misses me or the awesome tasting tap-water - but between the two of us - let's pretend she comes to see me.)

I made chicken wings for Z for dinner tonight and he finally finished the couscous from last Shabbos. (Just in time to make some more tomorrow. Just joking, we're having rice and pasta this weekend. Menus will be posted after the food is made.)

Summary of the day:

I asked Z to please wash the dishes that had accumulated over the last 2 days - since I last washed dishes.

He agreed on the condition that I would clear the dry dishes off of the draining-racks before he started.

I put the pareve pots in their cabinet and tossed the plastic containers onto a shelf.

Then I thought of something interesting - it was so intriguing that I wanted to look it up online straight away.

As I walked towards the office I heard Z ask, "are the rest of the dishes on the rack still wet?"

I walked back to the kitchen completely confused - thinking I had completed the task at hand only to realize that I hadn't.

Is ADD contagious?

I think I might have caught it from - oooh look - shiny squirrel!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

fml ftw...

At 2:30 this morning a rowdy gang of teenagers were throwing glass bottles and all sorts of scrap metal around the construction site behind the building. Needless to say they were yelling and shouting too. It woke me along with a horrible stomachache. I took 4 max-strength pills and managed to fall back asleep by 3:45ish.

At 6 I was up again. Still feeling sick though better than I had felt earlier.

I proceeded to cancel my fun plans for the day (meaning that the car won't be getting looked at this week and messing up my entire schedule.) In addition it means I don't get to go anywhere or do anything fun this week. I'm beyond bummed and I hate myself for it. Kind of depressing if you ask me.

I think the very worst purchase I have ever made might just be the car. It's a financial drain, an added pressure, and it kicks up my anxiety level exponentially. I can't even use it reliably when I need to - which is totally my own fault. An even worse investment than that year in voodoo school or that second year of seminary.

On that note - I have no clue how the heck I'm going to drive us to that wedding on Sunday in Jeru.

Cause it's not pathetic enough that I can't eat (at home or otherwise) now I can't even get more than 30 feet from a toilet - again. Yeah - life is absolutely awesome.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Jeremiah

Yesterday I did something silly. I decided to trial eating dairy with some lactaid. Only after downing the pill did I realize that it contained mannitol. Silly me downed the pill with the ice cream though - so when the reaction hit 16 hours later I wasn't sure exactly I was reacting too. It wasn't too pleasant. I think it's just easier to stay away from dairy. Oh well - I tried.

On the bright side - I'm considering the sweet potato experiment a success. Now it's time to see how much of it I can eat at once. Since the 2 Tbsp went down ok - I'll up it to 4 - and that's 1/4 cup (which is about how much broccoli I can tolerate in 24 hours.) Isn't this fun?

Today I just about finished the layout of that book cover that I'd been working on. There are a couple of other random things to finish up in the next few days. On Thursday I'm meeting with a new/old client about some work that he's been holding for me. It should be fun to work with him and I'm rather looking forward to the opportunity.

Z and I had a marker-war this morning. I'm not sure who won - but we both got drawn on. Funnily enough the ink on my arms has been scaring me every time I see it out of the corner of my eye. I'm sure it'll come off in the shower with a little scrubbing. (Though, the stripes I landed on Z's arm didn't completely wash off...)

I've got to go to Petach Tiqwa one day this week. The car needs an over-haul type check-up before 'inspection' (which also needs to be done this month) and the closest KIA place is in PT. I figure I can drop the car off early and then hang out at the mall for a while. I could always visit Freddie if she's not busy.

Not sure whether we're having a guest for Shabbos this week. Hopefully I'll find out by Wednesday night so I can figure out whether I need to go shopping or not.

Why does it always smell like smoke outside? Cigarette smoke floating in from the neighbors downstairs, BBQ smoke from the neighbors downstairs, shnasty smoke from the surrounding willages burning their garbage... It's gross. Just in case you were wondering.

Hopefully I'll get out of the house tomorrow. I've been bad for the last 2 days, sitting around on my lazy tuchus.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Paul?

Phil left on Friday morning and I was sad to see her go - but she claimed that clean undercloths were an integral part of shabbos to her and that she had to get home.

The cooking didn't take long at all and I even took SL into town for a little bit.

We made 'early' shabbos which was great and I picked Sara up at the campus on my way Home from dropping Z off at shul.

After the meal Friday night Sara left to study with some friends and a friends of Z's came over. We played 2 games of Settlers - because what else is there to play on Shabbos?

The Menu included:
Friday Night: roasted garlic, salatim, chicken soup, spice-rub chicken, white rice, peas, roasted vegetables
Shabbos Lunch: roasted garlic and cherry tomatoes, salatim, sliced veggies, zaatar chicken, couscous, white rice
Seudah Shlishit: melon, veggies and salatim
Desserts (all FF though not all dairy-free): chocolate chip cookies, mint thins, ice-cream (pb &/or vanilla+)
Drinks: 6 liters not-quite-snapple

The food came out great and we stuck to 'few' desserts (since both guests were on diets.)

Shabbos day was quite long but it passed pretty quickly. We read a lot then played some Scrabble and some more Settlers. Naps help pass the time too - but they also result in inability to sleep on Saturday night...

After havdala SL ran to catch a bus back to Jeru. Z straightened up the house and then we watched a completely pointless (yet amusing) movie.

Tomorrow Z's friends might be coming over to study for an upcoming physics final. If they're actually coming I think I might bake a batch of pesto rolls just for the heck of it. I mean - guests means that they'll get eaten and they just smell so good!

Not quite sure what's going on this week. I should probably try to figure that out...