Sunday, December 16, 2012

Chinuch vs. Shalom Bayit

This past Shabbat we had my daughter, son-in-law (SIL) and grandson over. When it came time to prepare the chanukoyot for lighting on Friday, my unmarried daughter and I saw that my SIL had prepared his incorrectly, so my daughter switched things around. When it came time to light, my SIL switched it back the way he had it and lit and then proceeded to tell up for the next 15 minutes that HIS way is correct, our's is wrong and that he had 4 different rabbis tell him his way is the way to do it.

Apparently he did the same thing last year when they spent Shabbat Chanukah with us and slept (and lit chanukiyah) by friends' of ours. And he did the same thing when he was over at my ex-husband's house.

My married daughter, I assume in an effort to keep the peace in her house, simply says that there are different ways to do it. And despite MULTIPLE people (and different people on different occasions) telling my SIL HE is doing it incorrectly, he insists he's doing it the right way and everyone else is wrong.

For the record, the proper way to set up and light a chanukiyah is facing you, start at the extreme right for day one. On day two, you prepare the two candles from extreme right to the left, but light from the left to the right. And you carry that pattern through the 8 days. My SIL does the exact opposite - starts preparing from the extreme left and goes to the right (I didn't see which direction he lights from).

So... where do I go from here? Their son is going to learn the right way and then get 'corrected' by his father... and we're talking fulfilling a Halachic obligation here. It's like putting Tefillin on wrong or hanging a mezzuzah wrong... if the execution isn't right, it's like you've never done it.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chewy granola bars

Here's a delicious somewhat healthy snack...

Chewy granola bars

1/2 cup butter or margarine (oil also works quite well)
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 T. honey
1/2 tsp PURE vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup oats
1 1/4 cup crisp rice cereal
1 cup chopped nuts*
1 cup chocolate chips or raisins*

In a mixing bowl, cream margarine and sugars.
Add honey, vanilla, and egg. Mix well.
Combine flour,cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
Gradually add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture.
Stir in oats, cereal, nuts, an chocolate chips. 

Press into a greased 9x13" pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until top is lightly browned.
Yield: 2 dozen bars

 * I use 2/3 cups chocolate chips, 2/3 cups chopped craisins and 2/3 cups almond slivers. Feel free to use whatever you want.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Family Sukkah Project, 2012

That smudge of green, third from the left is my grandson's 'hand print'.

Wonder what next year will bring?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Five Generations

We got back from our 3 week long US vacation. It was the first time my husband, older son and I were back State-side in 5 years. My younger son, obviously, had never been.

About 2 months before our trip, a cousin of mine sent me a link to a photo a professional portrait photographer had done of 4 generations of women (the youngest photo was of the three year old daughter). It was an amazing idea and I immediately set out to do the same for our FIVE generations.

I took the photos of my grandson, daughter, and myself here at home and then when I was in NY took the photos of my mother and grandmother. Then using Photoshop I layered the photos one into the other, did a bit of additional photo editing on the background and here is the final product:

Thursday, July 19, 2012


The grandson! Yosef Aryeh, heretofore known as YA.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

So much going on!

Baruch Hashem there's a lot of good stuff about to happen in the Pesky household.

My oldest daughter is pretty much due any day now with her first, so I'm about to become a grandma for the first time(I'm not old enough for this!).

My husband, younger daughter, a couple friends and I started a start-up a few months ago and we're about a week away from going live for beta testing. If anyone would be interested in participating in the beta testing, well, if you're on Facebook and like food, let me know!

And we're going to be heading to the U.S. for a few weeks for the first time in 5 years. On the one hand I''m looking forward to it; on the other hand it'll be exhausting. I've been loading up my Pinterest with food ideas.

I made two no-sew wraps and well, made it into a sew project when I added front panel pockets to them. One will go to the #grandfetus and the other will be a gift to a good friend who is also due any day now with her first.

In September I'll be making mei-tais for them... most likely make the colors a bit more gender-specific. And I've been commissioned to make a mei-tai for someone. I may have been commissioned to make a wrap too... I told her she can just go to a fabric store and buy 6 meters of a certain type of fabric and ask them at the store to cut it so she can have 2 6 meter long wraps.

Well, there are dishes that need to get done and then I want to get started on tuna-veggie croquettes for dinner. I'll post the recipe later.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Being chicken

Happily enough, the Ariel Anglo community is experiencing a baby boom with 2 babies born within a week and at least another 3 due over the summer (and then of course I'm awaiting the arrival of my first grandchild).

One of the things the community provides are meals for the new parents and siblings (and whatever visitors they may have). The community also helps with meals on less happy occasions such as hospital stays (my family and I have been the recipient of several meals and invitations out during my many hospital stays over the past 2 years) and we also provide meals for a family in mourning. It's all voluntary and of course you do what you can afford.

Many times several families will split a meal; one or two will make side dishes while another makes a main dish. And it's about the main dish I want to discuss.

Making a whole roasted chicken looks nice, but isn't practical when you're dealing with more than 4 adults (and by adult, I mean anyone older than 13). So the trick is taking one chicken and having enough to put on several plates.

My favorite lately has been chicken pot pie. And since I use frozen veggies and frozen pastry dough which I thaw first, it's REALLY simple and pretty quick.

I take a whole chicken, skin on and poach it in about 3 or 4 cups of water. I have this steaming thing that expands (looks just like this but without the center pole ) which I place the chicken on, so it doesn't sit in water.

Once the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the pot and set aside to cool. Take out the steamer and then add a 700 gram bag of frozen veggies (my favorite mix are carrots, green beans, corn, potatoes, and peas), diced onion, and whatever other veggies you might want (zucchini are always good) to the pot with the concentrated chicken stock. Let it simmer. Add salt and black pepper.

Then shred the chicken and add to the pot.

Now comes the tricky part. You want to thicken the whole thing up so you need to start adding flour a bit at a time. First add bout 1/3 of a cup and give it a good stir. Let it simmer for a bit and if it's not thick enough, slowly add more flour. You don't want to add more than another 1/4 cup.

Roll out your dough and place in your pans. You can use loaf pans, or really any size pans (the recipe makes enough for 2 generously filled 10 inch by 6 inch pans). I've even made individual sized in muffin pans as appetizers and once when I sent food over to a family of 9 after the lady of the house had a baby. I don't bother placing a layer of dough on top, but any dough that's hanging over the side is folded over the top instead.

Then pop into the oven and bake until the dough is a golden brown. The advantage of all this is the filling is entirely cooked through so you don't have to worry about raw chicken and burned dough.

They freeze well, although if you plan on freezing, I would recommend to NOT cook them first and make sure you label them as such. I didn't and much to my embarrassment on a Shabbat lunch with 15 guests, I was suddenly 6 appetizers short. Thankfully I was forgiven.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Another Purim Post

This time, it's of my daughter in her costume:


So I had sinus obliteration surgery on Monday. Since there was a possibility of my being in the hospital over Purim, I'll admit, I didn't make any preparations and wasn't very 'into' the whole thing.

But thankfully the surgery was much more endoscopic than originally planned so I was discharged on Tuesday. Which meant that I had a whole lot more time for some making Purim. Oh sure, we were still going minimum, after all I had several holes drilled into my skull.. but it suddenly became something I was participating in.

Thanks to Pinterest, I found a recipe for salted caramel and chocolate popcorn and decided to put them into chocolate chip cookie cups. Then simply wrap the whole thing in plastic wraps and viola! Simple, pretty, yet relatively easy to make (to be fair, making caramel is a science).

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Shame on them!

Mega b'Ir in Ariel is selling strawberries at 50NIS/kilo. That's about US$13.50/2.24 lbs. What's even more obnoxious is they're selling wonderful strawberries in the shuk for under 15NIS/kilo ($4/2.24 lbs) but they know they have a captive audience in Ariel since many people don't have cars and can't get to Petach Tikvah or Hod Hasharon to the less expensive supermarkets.


Sunday, January 08, 2012

Stumbling blocks

A few friends posted this to their Facebook and I refrained from commenting on their space, so I will in mine.

While I certainly don't agree with certain fanatics trying to erase women from the public, and I firmly believe that every man should be responsible for his own Shmirat Einayim (guarding your eyes), the above 'protest' is a perfect example of the prohibition of Lifnei Iver Lo Titen Michshol (do not put a stumbling block before a blind person).

I personally think flash mobs for a cause are silly and are usually not well done with regard to promoting the cause. And in this case, the vehicle of their protest.. well, I don't think they could have picked a worse way. I'm sure it was intentional.

What's next? Having them stand across the street from a shul during Mincha and sing?

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Forgetting our history

My timeline for anecdotal evidence is fairly short since I've only been in Israel for 14 1/2 years. However the Tanach is rife with lessons we seem to forget every seven years or so...

What the heck am I babbling about?

About 3 years after we made Aliyah, the 'Second Intifada' started. Six years after that, 'Lebanon War, Part Deux' flared up.

While I don't remember any details, I do know that just before these two escalations in Arab violence occurred, there was a HUGE amount of Jewish in-fighting and Sinat Chinam (baseless hatred) going on in the Jewish communities, both here in Israel and abroad.

I remember thinking, people... read your Bible. Whenever the Jews would turn against one another, God would bring in some conquering nation to enslave us or prevent us from practicing Judaism.

The stuff that's been happening here in Israel lately is Sinat Chiman on a level I've NEVER seen before.

People, Second Intifada was pretty bad. The Lebanon War Part II was devastating to the Land... Shape up because I shudder to think what God has in mind for us now...