Sunday, January 31, 2010

Everyone seems to have this issue

Apparently 'Hot Fatimas' are an issue in Islam like Hot Chanies are in Judaism...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

KCC is up... number 50!

The 50th edition of KCC is now up.

Great job as usual Batya and thanks!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Need to breathe

I deal better with Events in my life by sections.

Up until Monday I couldn't think past EN's surgery (internal hernia and undescended testicle he was born with). Until Zach's case is settled, I can't think past February 22nd which we THINK might be the final decision.

But there are some fun things going on in my life... this Saturday we're having a pot luck lunch by us with a few of our friends. 3 single guys, a young couple with no kids, an older couple with a 19 year old daughter and the Rabbi and his family. They have a 3 year old daughter and a 1 1/2 year old daughter so that will keep NS nice and happy... and the noise level bearable.

This weekend is the Jewish holiday of Tu b'Shvat, which literally means the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shvat. In practical terms, it's the Jewish Arbor Day and since there are MANY Jewish laws pertaining to trees, fruits, fields, the vine, etc. it has significance. Less so now that there is no Temple, but it's still important if you're a Jewish farmer living in Israel.

Basically we take this day to celebrate the fruits of the fields, the vine and the trees. There are '7 species' that are commonly attributed to the Land of Israel and they are wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranate, olives and dates.

There is a somewhat common tradition to have at the beginning of the meal on Tu b'Shvat a showing, if you will of these and other fruits. Almonds, walnuts, peaches and berries to name a few, in addition to wine are served and each food has some sort of symbolism (mostly Kabbalistic) attributed to it. There are various passages said with regard to the particular food, a blessing is said and then the item is eaten. There are also 4 cups of wine. Starting off with a white wine, which symbolizes the fallow, barren fields, the second cup has a bit of red wine added to it, the third cup has even more red wine added and the final cup completes the seasonal cycle and we're in the full ripeness of harvest.

I searched online for a Tu b'Shvat seder that 'spoke' to me and unfortunately nothing did. So in the end, we decided that the food itself would have components of the seder. One woman will be making 'drunken pasta', which is pasta that is partially cooked in wine (although wine will be served with the meal), I'll be making a turkey breast cooked with a variety of dried fruits and almonds and I'll be making a tomato salad with olives and pine nuts. For dessert we'll be having peach cobbler.

So yeah... I'm looking forward to this. And then in a month or so is Purim and I've got some great ideas for that... even though it will be just me and the boys.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The internet for good

As proof that the internet is not the Devil's tool that many of the religious 'leaders' would have us believe, I'd like to offer this rather inspiring story that unfolded on Imamother in the matter of... basically an hour.

A woman wrote (at 1:47 a.m.... WHY was she awake?) The bag says Daniel Ephraim Gromis (gimmel reish vav mem yud samech). Do you know this person?
The tefillin are very damaged after being in the rain.
Found in yerushalayim in the rain by an arab cab driver last week who gave them to a friend.

She bumped it up at 11:31 a.m. (much more reasonable time) and several of us gave her suggestions to where she could advertise having the lost item (posting to Janglo, I suggested FaceBook) and at 11:44, a woman posted that it's highly likely that this person is her husband's student.

By 12:29 things were confirmed and the lost Tefillin will be returned to their owner tomorrow.

(BTW, my husband and I met through the internet... I posted to Janglo about starting the Society for Creative Anachronism ( in Israel, he had made Aliyah about a month previously and had been involved in the SCA in the US and the rest, as they say... is medieval history).

Friday, January 22, 2010

Tu b'Shvat Turkey

The first time I made this recipe was 2 Rosh haShanas ago. Next Shabbat is Tu b'Shvat and we're having a pot luck Shabbat lunch/Tu b'Shvat seder at our house. And I plan on making this. The nuts and fruit, even the seasoning lends itself to the holiday.

6 pounds Turkey breast
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
1 (12-oz) can frozen orange juice concentrate; thawed and undiluted
1 cup water
2 tablespoons Brown sugar
1 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon Curry powder
1 (8-oz) can pineapple chunks drained
1 (2-oz) pkg slivered almonds
1/4 cup Raisins
1/4 cup Currants
Cooked wild rice
3 tablespoons Cornstarch
1/4 cup water


Rub turkey breast with salt and pepper; brown in a large Dutch oven. Combine orange juice concentrate, 1 cup water, brown sugar, and spices, mixing well. Pour over turkey; add pineapple, almonds, raisins, and currants. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 hours. Remove turkey, and place on a bed of wild rice.

Combine cornstarch and 1/4 cup water; gradually stir into juice mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Serve sauce with turkey and wild rice.

Honey Barbecued Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

I made this for the first time a couple weeks ago for Shabbat. It came out fantastic! SO tasty... and I'm not a fan of ginger. But it was really good.

3 cups peeled and sliced sweet potatoes, about 2 medium-large sweet potatoes
1 cup (8 oz.) pineapple chunks in juice, undrained
¼ cup finely chopped onion
½ tsp ground ginger
2/3 cup thick barbecue sauce
4 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp dry mustard
4 to 6 chicken leg quarters, skin removed

In 3½ to 5 quart slow cooker, combine sweet potatoes, pineapple with juice, chopped onion, and ground ginger. Stir to blend well.
In a measuring cup, combine barbecue sauce, honey, and dry mustard. Stir with a fork to blend well.
Coat chicken generously on all sides with barbecue sauce mixture. Arrange coated chicken in single layer over sweet potato and pineapple mixture, overlapping if necessary. Spoon any remaining barbecue sauce mixture over chicken.
Cover; cook on LOW for 7 to 9 hours (or on HIGH for 4 to 4½) or until chicken is fork tender and juices run clear, and sweet potatoes are tender.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Um... I don't think so

I got an email in my FaceBook inbox from someone from a group called 'America Kan' (America Here)

I skimmed their website, who they are, what their platform is and frankly I'm left wondering why.

First of all the name annoys me. America is such a "goldena medina" (golden state/country) that everyone should strive to be like her? Puh-leze.

And second of all, IMO everything they seem to stand for is a giant bang your head against a brick wall. In order for pretty much ANY of their proposed reform to take place, you'd basically have to call a time out and then a do-over... of the past 70 or so years. Then take a match to the banking/financial system, the government, the judicial system... the whole shebang... and believe you-me lately I've had many a day when I wished I could do just that.

Look, there are things, many many things I'd love to change about how Israel is run and operates. And yes, there are some things that I wish were done 'more American'.

But there's also plenty I'm quite happy with and I LEFT America for many reasons. It was never about ideology.

ETA: 2 out of the 5 party members listed on their site... including the guy that plans to run for Knesset live in the US!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Investigating with Nana

Yes, that is my son with his diaper hanging out of his jeans. My mother in law is visiting us and she and the 2 1/2 year old were checking out the guinea pigs at the pet store.

Tomorrow we're all going into Jerusalem and I'll buy him a belt...

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Hump-day satire

This spoof is funny in a sad kinda way. It says a lot abut the sad state of things in the 'Jewish velt' these days...