Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Do Nut Luv

Z had class all morning (well, 9-15 anyway) but he was so sweet - he got up early and made me breakfast at 8. He's awesome!

Victory for today - I hand-kneaded and baked a batch of yeasted cinnamon buns. Why'd I do the work by hand? Easy. I made them dairy (milk and butter alllllll the way) so I didn't want to use my mixer.
In extremely exciting news - late yesterday afternoon (as the sun was setting) I went outside to admire my little garden. Imagine my amazement (after a week of inconsistent watering) when I noticed that my adorabubble little pepper-plantlings (who are actually about a foot and a bit tall) seem to be budding, which means they're going to flower, which means - we might actually grow some sweet bell peppers!!! Well - I'm over the moon about the news! I mean, who knew I could actually grow stuff?! Especially after the Fred&George fiascoes of 2005-2006.
This morning I went out to double check on the plants (to make sure I hadn't been seeing things) and not only was I correct, but I was even more excited to see that our baby orange tree is actually putting out fruit too! I was sure it would never produce again after the weather-shock it got last year. Suffice it to say, I'm very excited.
I found a few more random photos from our week-and-a-bit-long vacation - so I'm sticking them in here too...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Toffee Matters!

It's been almost a week since my last update and I wish I could say that I've been busy doing productive stuff but truth be told I've spent most of that time trying to force food into my system. (Sounds like fun, doesn't it?)

Last Thursday I finished up my mandatory 12-hour driving-refresher-course (which my amazing father graciously accompanied me to - to help me keep my sanity and to be my part-time translator.) This afternoon I received a highly anticipated SMS from the driving school which let me know that my worrying could now come to an end - by the grace of G-d and much patience from my father I passed the driving refresher course. (Now in theory I shouldn't need to take another one for at least the next decade.)

Shabbos last week was a lot of fun. On Friday afternoon Z and I visited with S&S for a little while. We couldn't stay long because candle-lighting was quickly approaching but it was great to see them. Saturday was Phil's 18th (English) birthday so we partied it up! Her friend Chavers came for the weekend and we all had an awesome time hanging out.

Sunday came way too quickly and not too much happened on it. As a matter of fact - I can't remember anything that happened on Sunday.

Yesterday was super busy. Z traveled back to Ariel in the super-early morning because he had class. Yo'Abba washed our car (because it was covered in ickiness and berries.) Timmy moved to Jeru - he's got an apartment with 2 friends in a super-convenient location smack-dab in the center of town.

This morning started off with a faux rainstorm/hurricane, a power outage and some vampires - but not all at the same time. Then we came back to the-middle-of-nowhere.

Hard to believe that this summer's vacation has come to an end. Frank McNugget & the Dibble start school at the end of the week. The weather is even cooling down.

Z is being amazing. He's actually washing out the fridge (because I got annoyed at the gross icky sticky spots all over it.)

As a reward I'm making him some super-delicious manicotti for dinner.

Not sure that it balances out - but maybe I'll make him an awesome breakfast tomorrow too...

Welcome back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Robert...

I know - I know. I've been missing for (over) a week. Hard to believe it's been so long.

The good news is that you haven't missed much of anything in my life. Last week wasn't much fun at all. I spent every day on the couch wondering whether it would be allowable for me to go into a coma or die. My stomach hasn't been acting quite up to par and nothing seems to make it better. Nausea coupled with excruciating gut-pains were highly uncomfortable.

To make things a bit easier we decided to move into the Fambily Place in The Sun House for a little while. That way there's a somewhat climate controlled environment (a/c) and I don't need to be scared of being home alone. (Yup, you read that right - it's happened again - I felt so miserable that I was actually scared to be left home alone.)

Anyway, we've been in The Sun House since last Thursday. I'm not feeling significantly better but at least I've started eating again. (Or rather, I've reached a point where I can force-feed myself food so that I'm actually taking in calories on a daily basis.)

In addition to the ridiculousness of the stomach problems - I'm spending 12 hours this week taking that mandatory driving refresher course that I wrote about back in June. It's a government scam but it's legit and failure to attend a course and pass the exam at the end will result in a moratorium on your drivers license next time you need to renew it. (Meaning you need to repeat the entire 'licensing' procedure that most people do at the age of 16-18 - theory test, 30-something lessons, road test...) Anyway, all things considered it seems easier to just take the stupid refresher-course. It's just annoying because it is only offered in specific cities, in Hebrew and the hours are from 5pm-9pm. So far I made it though the first class (of 3) and I'm hoping I'll manage to sit through the next 2 - they're Tuesday and Thursday night.

Z is being a real saint. He bused to The Middle of Nowhere today to go to class - he had to be on a bus at 6:20am to make it to school by 9. Then he came all the way back to The Sun House. He's incredible.

In other news:
The Freddies are in Swissland.
Timmy is officially out of the army and is currently bottle-feeding a hummingbird with broken legs.
Phil bought me a new pre-tied bandana to replace my destroyed black one.
Frank McNugget is expanding his musical repertoire - he's branching out to bass.
Dibble made a new friend (Liron from across the street) he spends a lot of time there, because Liron's family has a wii...

That's about all I can think of for now. So I guess I'll be back when I'm feeling better, when I've got something else to report or if another weeks goes by before either of those things end up happening...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hematoid for 23 points...

Shabbos was delightful. Yehuda & Nirit Solomon joined us for the weekend and I know I really enjoyed.

Friday was wonderful and relaxed. We made early shabbos with a few hours to spare.

We played a couple of games of Settlers, Phase 10 and even some Quarto. There was plenty of time for reading and naps too.

All-around a highly enjoyable weekend!

Friday Night: roasted garlic, chumus (Abu Dushi), matbucha (homemade), chicken soup with matzah balls, white rice, zaatar chicken, couscous, roasted root vegetables (red onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, zucchini & carrots)

Shabbos Lunch: roasted garlic & cherry tomatoes, chumus (Abu Dushi), matbucha (homemade), chicken & rice salad, savory meat roll, sliced vegetables

Seudah Shlishit: leftovers from lunch

Desserts: FF PB CC Cookies, FF (oil) brownies, root beer cookies (from the freezer stash)

They cause the first bus back to Jeru. Z straightened up the apartment and after some tv catch-up we went to sleep.

Today was pretty boring. We took a walk on campus to drop off an assignment in one of the teacher's boxes in the office.

On the bright side - the weather has been incredible - a cool 73F in the apartment for most of the morning and evening, not really going much above 78F in the hottest hours of the day. This is weather that I can deal with!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"K'fotz on Pop"

Yesterday was somewhat productive. After Amo left (at around 11) I counted down the minutes until chatzot (which marks the time when post-9-days laundry can be started.) Finally the clock ticked the time and the first load went into the washing machine. 4 loads later Z got Home from school. He didn't even come inside to get some lunch. Instead I met him in the parking lot and we went straight out to the grocery store to pick up almost everything that we needed for Shabbos. While we were out we stopped off in town to pick up an assortment of nuts and some more barley flour (and strawberry extract for whenever I go meringue crazy again.) We also stopped off at one last place to pick up a bag of briquettes for the bbq.

For dinner last night Z grilled up a storm. Za'atar chicken breast for me and saucy wings for him with a huge helping of french-fries on the side.

I was up bright and early this morning and had the chicken soup at its post-scumming lazy-boil by 8:30am. At a little after 9:00 I got a call from Yael. She wanted to know if it would be alright to drop by with her sister. They were on a mission to get some nice scenic pictures of the city. I quickly put together 1/4 batch of challah dough and mixed up a batch of barley rolls for myself. I was just putting the barley rolls up to rise when they arrived. The 'quick visit' turned into a few hours but it was really nice to catch up with her and meet her sister. They invited me to join them at the pool but I declined - hopefully next week I'll get a swim in though!

I shaped 3 nice-sized-loaves of challah and baked them then I drove them home at around 1pm. After dropping them off Z and I popped into the 'chumusaria' to pick up some of there superb spread for shabbos. (We bought a big container so that we have plenty for all 3 meals.)

I didn't really do much cooking today which means I'll have to do it tomorrow - but so long as I start bright and early I'll be done with plenty of time to spare...I hope.

Today I ate a barley roll with margarine, a serving of rice pasta spaghetti with a little tomato sauce, 50 grams of potato chips, 1 cup of chicken broth with 1/4 cup of cooked rice and 1/2 cup of fruity pebbles cereal!

Yup - you read that right - Fruity Pebbles Cereal!!! How much fun is that!? Turns out that all that's in them in puffed rice (cause they're gluten free), sugar (ok - a lot of sugar), food coloring (yeah yeah - I know), and (completely synthetic) fruit flavorings! Anyway - although they'll probably kill me faster than eating apples and honey - at least they won't give me a stomachache in the process. So - overall - I'll take 'em!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Mike & Harvey

Monday was long and slow and relaxing. Waffles for our guests for breakfast, calzones for lunch then some serious baked-ziti (with homemade chunky tomato sauce) for pre-fast fill-up.

Sarah Leah caught a bus back to Jeru in the mid-afternoon. I spent the rest of the afternoon sort of bored.

Eventually we all changed into flip-flops and I drove everyone down to the shul at the Nezarim caravans.

Back at Home we went straight to sleep. Well sort of, I actually spent a couple of hours reading the first part of "A History of the Jews" by Paul Johnson. I figured the subject matter was depressing enough to be appropriate material for the annual day of mourning.

I slept through the night (probably thanks to the earplugs I shoved into my ears as far as safely possible) but I kept waking up every hour from 3am and onwards for no apparent reason. Finally at ten minutes to 8 I woke with a jolt and proceeded to wake Z up so that the guys could get to shacharit by 8. 

After shacharit I drove back down and picked Z up from shul, then at 1:15pm I drove him back down for mincha (rather than making a pointless trip home I sat on a bench near the shul and read a bit in the shade. I figured it counted as my vitamin D for the day.) The last trip was the trip down for ma'ariv - again I waited in the car while they davened. (This is another perfect example of why Z really really really needs to get his license already.)

Between mincha and maariv I was quite busy. I baked up a batch of oatmeal rolls (part whole wheat) and cooked up a big pot of tomato vegetable soup. I also prepped the ingredients for a batch of 1-hour cinnamon buns which I mixed up and baked with perfect timing so that they were done and glazed right before heading out to ma'ariv and still warm by the time we got back to break our fasts.

Dinner was much appreciated by both of the guys. (I wasn't quite as thankful for my bowl of rice and potato chips - but trust me - you wouldn't have been either.)

Tomorrow is grocery shopping day and 'health-food-store' shopping day and I'm quite excited about it!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Measured Craziness

Shabbos was fun. The meals were enjoyable - the perfect roast came out really perfect. We played a lot of Settlers and a whole bunch of card games. We played some musical chairs and Freddie got a personalized mug with a dolphin-shaped-handle as a birthday present!

Saturday night I picked Sarah Leah up from her friend's house in Nofei Aviv and after some random silliness we all went to sleep.

Sunday morning dawned bright and early for me. (Why do I keep waking up - for the day - at 5:30am?) We did some errands around town with The Crazy Lady & Phil. Then we took a fun little tiyul with S&S and Yo'Abba. Back in The Sun House we packed up the car and headed back out to The Middle of Nowhere. We made very good time (even with the traffic) and stopped at Yesh to pick up some groceries on our way into the city.

Amo arrived a few hours after we got Home and I threw together a delightful pre-pre-fast dinner. Broiled tilapia, vegetable moussaka and pasta (huge ziti shaped noodlea which I had the foresight to snap in half prior to boiling but which could've benefited from being even smaller.)

We partied for a while, watched Men in Black (for the heck of it) and those who could enjoyed ice cream (I'm pretty sure the peanut butter and mint are now finished up.)

Now I'm thinking it's time to get some sleep. The temperature is delightful (mid 70's) and there is the slightest most pleasant sort of breeze blowing through the apartment.

Hard to believe that tomorrow is Monday and erev-tishka-bob.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Fredrick?

Same old craziness in The Sun House...
Thursday we celebrated Freddie's birthday with a bright and early birthday surprise.
There was a late sort of lunch then homemade pizza and FF rice-wraps for dinner.
Friday morning was busy as usual. Cooking, cleaning, having fun.
I got to shape the challahs (they turned out enormous even though there was the same amount of dough that I usually make.) I also got to peel vegetables, see a decapitated worm, helped make soup, cleaned & washed dishes, helped make matzah balls and did a whole lot of overseeing. (I'm very good at overseeing!)
We had a nice big 'fancy' breakfast. Toast with butter and Swiss jam, salmon, hashed-browns, omelets & scrambled eggs, and freshly squeezed orange juice...
All in all quite a busy day - but we've got all of Shabbos to recuperate.
Woohoo - Let the Summer Birthday Weekend fun commence!!!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

The Cheese is Trapped!

Copy & Paste yesterdays post except that today I ate a bowl of rice, a small bag of potato chips, 2 pieces of oatmeal cookie pizza and a barley roll with margarine.

At 9:30pm I decided to bake a batch of cupcakes for Freddie since her Hebrew birthday is tomorrow and we're going to see her in The Sun House tomorrow. I tried a new recipe for chocolate mint cupcakes and they smell delicious but they're flat-topped in the messy - all over the pan way. *sigh* I hope they taste good cause there's no way frosting will fix this mess.

We're off to The Sun House bright and early tomorrow morning. I'm mostly packed, hope I don't forget anything.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Chocolates in Stranger...

Today I watched 2 movies and so many tv shows that I lost track of how many.

I also ate 3 pieces of oatmeal cookie pizza, a bowl of french fries, a bowl of rice pasta with some 100% tomato sauce and a bag of potato chips.

Gosh it was a mind-numbingly boring pointless waste of a day of my life - I'll just toss it on the pile with all of the others.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Watch Out For Nuts!

I know today was Rosh Chodesh and the beginning of the 9-days but I was itching to get things accomplished today. I started off washing the dishes that had been accumulating on the counter. Then I moved on to cleaning the guest bathroom - toilet, sink and bathtub. Z left for school and was kind enough to take out the trash so the next thing I did was put the kitchen garbage can into the bathtub and clean it out with bleach (man that thing gets disgusting sometimes.)

I then figured that Z would be hungry when he got back from school so I decided to make something nice for him. However, I was completely out of mushrooms. I got dressed and headed out to the grocery store when I picked up a 2-pack of mushrooms for 10shekels and 2.5 kg of beautiful, red, firm, plum tomatoes for 5shekels.

Back at Home I mixed up a batch of pizza dough and while it rose I sauteed some onions and mushrooms. I assembled 8 perfectly sized calzones (filled with half a slice of gilboa cheese, some of the vegetable mixture, 1.5 Tbsp cottage cheese seasoned with S&P, a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and finally the other half slice of Gilboa to hold it all in.) I made a tiny hole on top of each one then brushed them with egg wash and baked for half and hour.

Once the food was made I took a good look around the kitchen and realized that more cleaning was in order. I cleaned the stovetop, counters, sink and then even did a complete job scrubbing the drying-racks that we dry the dishes on. Once everything was dry I decided to bake something to make the house smell good so I put together a pan of 'Oatmeal Cookie Pizza'.

At around 6pm our landlord arrived. It's that time of the year when we settle our accounts and sign a rental contract for the next year. We sat down around the table and I offered everyone a cold drink. Once the paperwork was done I offered some of the desserts I had prepared - then I realized that it was 6:30pm and that it was very likely that our landlord had come straight from work and was hungry - so I offered him dinner and that's how we introduced him to calzones. He was extremely appreciative and his visit was quite delightful - we spent about an hour sitting and shmoozing then he had to leave.

I made some 'Kaskasoon' for Zsh for dinner (p'titim with sauteed onion and chickpeas) and we watched some tv while he ate. (We're watching Season 11 of Good Eats - we love this show!)

Overall a very busy and productive day.

So far so good and in just a few days we'll be in The Sun House!