Monday, November 22, 2010

Something Worth Blogging About

after a self imposed ban on blogging, something happened today to cause me to rethink that theory.

There are times in our lives when something small happens, we see a particular activity taking place, and we step back to rethink our beliefs. There are times when a casual interaction or observation can force us to evaluate our concept of self and our place in the world, our pre-conceived notions of our position in society, our level of acclimation to the environment around us.

and sometimes following that event, observation, or activity, we just look at ourselves differently.

Wesley Kosher now does deliveries.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Didn't You Ever Take a Standardized Test?!?

I wonder if the poll worker volunteers ever took standardized tests as children. Or if they are aware that people take such tests. Or if they have ever had to fill out a form with little circles on it. I know I appear youthful at times, but do I look like an infant? Or do I have SUCH a vacuous and dull looking expression that these volunteers assume I am an absolute idiot??

I arrive at my local polling place, which doubles as a public school during regular hours.

ME: Hi, people, here to fullfill my civic duty!! Wait! what district am I?

(this happens every single time I come to vote. There are three tables set up, District 20, 86, and something else)

ME: Oh, nevermind, I remember now. I am district 20. Take the three digits of my house number, double it, add the number of drivers in my house, I got it
POLL WORKER: Just sign here (points to my name, in case I don't recognize it)
ME: okay, I'm off!
POLL WORKER: wait, Jim will explain what to do.
JIM: (rips off a sheet from a printed pad) This is a primary election.


ME: uh, yeah, I know, I am here to vote!
JIM: great! There are five positions with candidates running. (points to the five categories)

ME: uh, yeah, I know, I am here to vote!
JIM: so in each category, there are two or three people running for the position indicated on the top of the box. (Jim points to the top of the box)

ME: great!
JIM: next to each name is a small oval. (Jim points to each oval next to each candidate's name)

JIM: So you need to pick one candidate in each category and carefully fill in the small oval located next to the candidate of your choice's name. Only one per office! Then proceed to the private booths to fill in your choice. When you are done you may place your ballot into this privacy folder, and then walk over to that area and the gentleman there will assist you.

ME: I carefully fill in my ovals, walk over to the brush-inhibited and hair-cut challenged individual sitting near the computer thing (Scantron). As I approach he gets up and walks out of the room. So I follow the clear instructions and place my ballot in the computer.

okay. am I actually living in the 21st century? The entire country is progressive and now doing these kinds of ballots? The poll worker told me these new ballots are so they can be accessible to wheel chair bound voters. The ADA has created this change.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Can't afford to go to Uman? Don't like to fly? Wish you had a rebbe to visit in a cemetery in the U.S.? Tired of letting all that money go to some European country whose residents would have been happy to give you up to the Nazis?
The Solution Is Right Here in Your Neighborhood!!

Tickets now being sold to camp out on neighboring properties to spend Rosh Hashana at the Brick Church Cemetery, right here in New Hempstead/Monsey! There are so many advantages to staying at a local graveyard this Rosh Hashana:

There are different neighborhoods and different rabbanim buried here. Choose your grave from across the religious spectrum!

There is a lot of lighting from local homes. We have good street lights here in America.

No need to deal with foreign currency. If you need a pre-yom tov slice of kugel, run down to Meal Mart and pull out the ole' George Washington.

Why deal with catered or institutionalized food, when the wife can run over with warm homemade food you're accustomed to? Don't compromise on the meals you are used to getting every other Yom Tov! and Shabbos! Let your wife know how much you value her cooking and how important Yom Tov meals are to you! It's about the sanctity of the chag.

Your family can visit you Yom Tov Afternoon.

If you don't want to see your family, you can hide in the *other* cemetery nearby. The revolutionary war soldiers were great marksmen. America protects its own.

Local heimishe families are gracious to locals and needy Jews who pass by. They know the value of proper indoor plumbing.

Staying local affords you the opportunity to still attend your regular shiurim. You might appreciate a good snooze in an air conditioned building, too.

You might get some other passersby to join you in the davening.

Most of all, staying local shows your family how important it is to you to make sure you are around them for the chag. Special areas will be set aside for fathers to hear their children's divrei Torah!!

Shana Tova!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

It's time for jewish publications and letters to editors to find another expression other than
"no pun intended", one of the most overused expressions in recent history. As frequent as Pomegranate ads and Asifos, it has lost it's potency, and is just soooo tacky.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Observation #1

I"m embarrassed to say it, but here goes:

women really are awful drivers. and they don't know how to park in parking spaces with lines. (but chassidish men are pretty bad at that, too).

everyone except for my sister and I.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I recently saw a blog post somewhere (not sure where) in which a discussion ensued about women in some chassidish communities now wearing spring coats so they are not overly appealing in their regular summer clothes when out and about shopping or strolling on shabbos.

You heard me right, folks. Some very very clever businessman (emphasis on man) decided the level of tzniyus in his neighborhood, motivated I guess by the level of money in his bank account, was too low. Women walking around in their black shapeless suits or baggy zip up shirts and A-line skirts was too suggestive. So to protect eyes and thoughts from straying, women are wearing coats. in the summer. in 98 degree weather.

IT ISN'T YIDDISHKEIT, IT'S NARISHKEIT. (I have to trademark that comment)

it's like the expression 24/7 which everyone knows means "all the time". but some zealot somewhere was probably worried that it may be perceived as someone doing said activity on shabbos, so just to clarify (because how they live their life, daven, learn, where they send the kids to school, how they do business, what their family is like, blah blah wasn't enough proof that they are solid frum people) they modified the comment.

sick sick sick.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I Feel Newly Married!!

I had such an enlightening and youthful moment this evening.

I felt newly married.

I made a fresh supper.

It has been so long, I got reacquainted with my lovely dishes, pots, and utensils!

DIP1 and YBS are home, and I have run out of edible leftovers, hence something fresh.

actually, while scouting around for a specific Tupperware to put my lettuce in, I happened to glance upwards, and noticed it under some Tupperware cereal boxes. Upon opening the container, I discovered the fat free/whole wheat/splenda mini blueberry muffins (thanks G6, sorry I don't know how to link) I made a few weeks ago. I had wondered where they had gone, since I know I didn't eat all of them. I also looked at them for a moment or two, because I didn't recall icing them. with white, fuzzy icing. Oh well. I then decided I really needed to cook something new because the fuzzy white mini muffins are a testimonial to the food situation in our kitchen.
(I gave the cleaning lady two rolls on Thursday which DIP1 insists had mold on them, but luckily my lenses weren't in, and I shouted at Juana "YOU SEE MOLD??? LOOK GOOD??" and I just slapped on some tuna. her husband hasn't come to complain she is sick so I guess all is okay. whatever. mold=penicillin=free health care for illegals, so whose complaining??)

So I defrosted several half opened packages of chicken and made a yummy dinner. actually I just cut up carrots, sweet potatoes, onions, zuchinni, and red pepper, threw the chicken on top, sprinkled on seasoned salt, and baked. yum:

DIP1: Fleishigs? what is this, you cooked? something fresh? what's wrong?
YBS: I hate vegetables
DIP1: I had fleishigs for lunch.
YBS: I hate vegetables. But I like onions. I love onions. and Potatoes are vegetables. But not sweet potatoes
Me: Look at all those vitamins! swimming in chicken fat because I didn't have time to skin the chicken!
(okay, this is a little personal, but since I didn't skin the chickens, I also didn't remove the "end" of the chicken, like the "bottom" body part)
Hubby: yum, you left on the betzelshe, my favorite (gobbles it up)
Hubby: nu, nu!
DIP1: you made a bracha already???
Me: can you even make a bracha on that part of the chicken? it's fat and skin. fui
YBS: these onions are great, thanks ma
DIP1: I really wanted a pizza bagel. and when you spice chicken, dear mother, you have to put the spice under the skin so it has flavor.

this is a complaint of DIP3 who removes the skin on other occasions when I don't have time to remove it, and shmears the de-skinned chicken with skin reversed so the spices go on the chicken flesh.

at this point we are all milchigs already. thankfully. I found a string cheese.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Do You Prop or Not? BAAAD Mother

A good friend came over to my house this week- with her baby. She was busy while she was here (okay, she came to swim) and decided to prop up a bottle while swimming so her little cutie would be happy and she could swim for ten minutes. But apparently, she was a little embarrassed. MY baby is turning 14, so I have been out of baby culture for a few years (only a few. we treat him like a baby)

Friend: I'm actually a little embarrassed, I bet you never propped.
Me: Huh?
Friend: propped! propped! You are so the type not to do it! I bet you never did it with your kids!
Me: Did what?!?
Friend: You really don't know what I'm talking about? Propping! Propping your bottle for your baby!
Me: You mean, like propping up the baby's bottle? When you can't hold them? like now, when you want to swim?
Friend: YES!!
Me: Oh! you mean because they could choke if the hole of the nipple is too big, or they will get very gassy because if the liquid isn't tilted all the way to the top of the bottle, the air pocket grows and they gulp more air than milk?? that's why it's bad, I mean not bad, but not the best thing to do? right?
Friend: I have no clue what you are talking about
Me: propping up a bottle so a baby can drink!
Friend: it's not about the baby drinking or choking or gulping too much air. who cares about that! it's about propping up a bottle! Propping!
Me: Um, this a "thing"? it actually is a thing with a name? like, do you nurse? or, do you eat gebroks? do you go to the country for the summer? do you send your kids to overnight camp? do you "prop"??
Friend: you sound a little hysterical
Me: sorry. tell me about this new propping concept
Friend: well, it's like this. I met a friend who saw me with my baby and she said, I can't believe your propping, aren't you embarrassed, to be out in public with your baybala in the stroller propping!!
Me: um....I am really sorry, but this is actually an activity that is viewed as wrong?!?
Friend: Propping is what you do when you can't hold the bottle. what mother isn't available for her baby? what mother can't do a natural thing like take care of her own baby?

if this seems like we were going in circles, we were.

My friend is chassidish. and apparently, with the chassidish women, "propping" is something they are very judgemental about.

I actually meant this to be a funny post, but as I write it and read what I am writing, I am deciding it is not funny. it is so, so sad. A woman comes to swim in my pool and doesn't want to pay for a babysitter, so she brings her baby in the carriage, props up a bottle and feels guilty.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Boiled Skin for Dinner

So DIP2, who is now MD (married daughter) had a slight dinner emergency. So she called me;

MD: hey ma, the chicken cutlets I have in the fridge for dinner tonight smell funny
ME: uh, how do they taste?
MD: GROSS!! I am not tasting raw smelly chicken cutlets!
ME: ok, ok, chill. are they slimy? do they smell chickencutlety? Or stinky, like a chicken coop?
MD: I dunno, they! and Hubby is coming home in like 40 minutes! any ideas?
ME: um, you can come over here and get some stuff!! I just defrosted, well actually, like ten minutes ago, took out a tray from the freezer and put it on the grill! It should be ready in like ten minutes (as long as you eat the outer regions, the middle is still frozen stiff).
MD: what is it?
ME: pepper steak! Yum! meat! your Hubby likes meat, no?
MD: He doesn't like leftovers
ME: hey! this is from HIS wedding! from the AMAZING shmorg! good once, good twice! who wouldn't like that??
MD: come on, ma, I'm married like three weeks, I don't want to serve leftovers! and they aren't even mine!
ME: (not willing to argue that technically incorrect point). okay, gotcha. you gotta serve something he'd like. I'll check for chicken cutlets.

I then run to the freezer drawer and move aside and shift around and fling about 12 ziplock bags with
-frozen peanut butter cookies
-3 frozen chocolate crinkle cookies, leftovers from what was sent by my sister in the midwest for -my new nephew's shalom zachor then used for the shabbos kallah
-a frozen fish fillet
-melted and refrozen ice cubes (homemade icepaks)
-some loose ice cubes
-havdala candle (somewhere someone once said havdala candles drip less if you freeze them. they do not drip less. they leave black ash in my ice cube trays. people think they are drinking icecubes with fresh herbs. disgusting)
-frozen cranberries
-frozen, defrosted, refrozen, refrosted blueberries. I think. it's the only purple thing in there.

ME: okay, sweetie, I found chicken cutlets! your'e in luck! It's a big bag, though.
MD: okay, I only need, like, two.
ME: no problem!! I will soak them in hot water then boil them for like five minutes and you can pull off what you want! you can fry them. oil hides all taste.
MD: fine, I'll be right over

when she arrived, she prodded the frozen mass in the pot.
MD: uh, the outsides are white. they look like pale skin. feh.
ME: slice off what you want.

I can't believe that I actually encouraged my three week married daughter to use one of my tricks that took me years to develop. hope her Hubby liked his supper and doesn't read this

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Summer Cooking

My goal this summer is to use up all the food in all my various cabinets, as well as all frozen food in both freezers, and have cleansed cabinets, freezers, fridge, and digestive systems by September.

The problem is that the people who live here are less than thrilled by my clever dieting/frugal tactics.

DIP is thin, and loves carbs. Preferably the white type.
YBS-NOT is too busy being active outdoors to notice no food. Until ten p.m. when he eats anything with salsa. And leftovers from plates left out on the counter. There is always a lot of noise when he returns to the kitchen after his sporting, swimming, and disappearing activities. The ball game is on at full blast, the microwave is beeping, fridge banging open and closed, and occasionally something falls and breaks. Usually a jar that has briny smelly liquid in it. Or I smell a sickly sweet scent, and I see him roasting marshmallows over the open flame.

So far suppers this week have been BBQ hot dogs, BBQ hot dogs and chicken, BBQ chicken. Tonight was Main Course Leftovers From The Wedding, round 1. This past shabbos dessert was Leftovers From The Main Course round 3. (a LOT of runny chip cakes to get rid of). YBS already took four trays of Leftovers From The Shmorg back to yeshiva, and I foolishly thought it would last him a few weeks. He put all four trays out on the table one night and the starving bored chulent eaters polished it all off.
Tomorrow will probably be Contents of Mysterious Zip Lock Bags, round 1. The problem is I am going to have to wait until they all defrost to figure out what they are. I have some categories already to reduce the intrigue of what we will be eating:

bony things
reddish things
possible soupy things (those take up the whole bag, and are usually ridged on the bottom of the bag, indicating a liquid that froze over the bars of the freezer shelf)
whitish things: This one is a real challenge, and quite exciting and high up on the Unknown Mystery Food scale. white can be fish fillets, cream cheese frosting, old whipped whip cream, or partially cooked chicken cutlets. They become partially cooked when I take them out of the freezer 8 minutes before I need to serve them, (because I took out a different whitish bagged thing which turned out to be devil dog filling) and dump them into very hot water. quite untasty.

Of course, on occasion, any item in a zip lock bag can look whitish, because if the bag wasn't sealed properly it develops a crusty almost glacial beauty. Kind of like the Cave of Crystals in Mexico or wherever.

Next I will move on to my cabinets. Baked ziti can really be any pasta at all. So all the mostly empty lasagna noodle boxes will be removed from the cabinet, and I will break up all those pieces into macaroni sized portions. How elegant.
Every rice type item gets boiled altogether. If they look too different, I will throw them all under some bony thing from a zip lock bag, cover it with the combined contents of the half empty salsa/tomato sauce/pasta sauce/mustard containers and jars and cans.

I may even serve a savory concoction of herbs and spices. no more bland food around here!!

lastly, an ambrosial soup cooked with all the canned fruits and bumped objects in the fruit drawer of the fridge.

you're all invited, I will reach my goal much quicker

Monday, July 5, 2010

Profiling is a Good Thing

I had a nice little chat today with the mother of a friend of DIP1. She said she does her shidduch research differently than I do. Considering she has four daughters married and I have one, I ruminated on that for a while. She also has a much larger family than I do, older kids, and I think she is a very articulate and intelligent woman.

So of course I started second guessing everything I do to find out about a potential suitor.

i have actually never heard that a boy is ugly, obnoxious, unliked by friends, missing most minyanim or sedorim, not nice, nasty to his parents, shunned by family, resented by co-workers, you get the idea.

However, I do ask a lot of the typical type of questions. And then I listen to How they are answered, and What Is Not Said. And I totally stereotype- I will assume a certain haskafa from his home if he attended a particular school or yeshiva. Doesn't mean we write him off if he is not the standard model we think we are looking for, but there is some value to profiling.

And still nothing is a guarantee.

One Woman I Know (based on her comment she was demoted from Acquaintance) told me "your daughter goes out to much. I only approve two or three guys a year". How idiotic. Does she think her 25 year old daughter appreciates that??

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What No One Told Us

(Disclaimer: We are thrilled our daughter got married. We love our son-in-law. We are grateful she found her Ezer Knegdo. This is not a complaint post at all.)

No one told us that the most stressful part of making a wedding is...... finding gowns- IF you want a color besides white, off-white, or black. Which I don't think are colors. But Jewish rental places do.

No one told us about the endless lists and lists and shopping and returns.

I guess it's a good thing that everyone focuses on the fun, and the planning, and the excitement, and the wedding.

When you lock up the front door at night and you know that all those who now live at home are in- and one isn't.

How you are still on a high from a beautiful and fun wedding, from the simcha, from knowing you have a wonderful son-in-law who is good to your daughter and whom she is crazy about - but-

No one told us how great the void is when one of your children doesn't live at home anymore.

Monday, May 31, 2010

My Hands Smell Like Brine

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not tell me that analogy of the pickles in the pickle jar. One comes out, albeit with difficulty, and the next ones just come out quickly.

To start with, I use canned Israeli pickles. You flip open the can and voila! Out they all come, garlic slices and all.

And if I buy the jarred pickles from Costco, you open, take one, and close.

And who thought this was a clever little story to repeat? If another individual pulls me over and quietly mumbles this brilliant story in my ear, like they invented it, I'll...I'll...I'll...
fling a jar of briny pickle juice in their face.

DIP1 will find a mate without any yanking and fighting with pickles, I'H.

The Reb Yaakov Quote

throughout DIP2's engagement I meet people who remind me of that wonderful statement attributed to Reb Yaakov: when asked what he expected from him Mechutanim, he stated, "I want whatever they want". Clearly a Gadol and Tzadik would be easygoing like that, to keep shalom, etc.

I am not like that. You know what I want? The same thing- whatever the mechutanim want. Except that they should want whatever I want.
I like things to go my way.
I don't like giving in to other people's opinions.
(I have been very easy going, as have my Mechutanim).

I wonder what kind of a mother in law I will be. ha ha ha.

Actually, future Son In Law, henceforth known as SIL1, loves coming to us for Shabbos. So far so good!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Only because the name of the blog is Daughters in the Parsha....

One of the daughters is engaged!!

Mazel Tov!

One down, One to go now, one to go in a few years.

May the brachos we see for this one continue on for all the girls who are in the parsha.

I have a new empathy for people. This dating period has been an exercise in being dan l'kaf zchus. For example, the next time some distracted woman smashes her shopping cart into my ankle at Wesley Kosher, I will not feel annoyed and think "I bet her car is pretty banged up, too."
Instead, I will think, "Oh, I bet her daughter is deeply involved in a shidduch, I hope it goes well for her, abigezunt".

Boruch Hashem!!