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Category Archives: Food

Nostalgia

Any freezepop that isn’t Leibers, is a tasteless knock off.

As a kid, blue was my favorite flavor, it had that extra sweet tartness that I’d suck out as I bit off a piece and press it against my palate.

I’d push the squeezed ice further back and crush it with my molars, the crystals of ice cooling my inner cheeks.

There would be nothing left to swallow.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on January 15, 2014 in Food

 

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Depressing Discoveries

I’ll write when I have time, is what I and every aspiring, but lazy writer says. I have ideas, I wrote 5 books – in my head, but pen to paper, never happens.

I’m different, I said. I REALLY don’t have time. No excuses. There is no time. Teaching, prepping, marking papers, cooking, cleaning, diaper changing and plain old mommying (just as I sat down to write this my son came with a Dr. Suess book “Mommy, read a ducky feet!”), make up my entire day, there is no time for jotting down a few epiphanies.

Then my sister got engaged, and is now married (Mazal Tov RL!!!) and I wanted to give her a special gift. Nothing you can buy in the store (Can’t afford that anyway), but something from the heart, practical, and hand- made for her – a cookbook, with a monthly menu, and tips for the kitchen (When you have no time – use the stovetop. No patience – the oven).

I remembered when I first got married how overwhelming the whole kitchen experience was. Forget about the actual cooking, where I had zero to little experience, what I found most frustrating and anxiety provoking was deciding what to make in the first place. Once I knew what I was making, everything was much easier and focused. My sister has about the same cooking experience as me, and I figured she’d probably fall prey to the same mental torture as me, hence the menu.

Of course, since I have no time, this cookbook seemed to be more like a pipedream than an actuality. But I really wanted to do it, just like I really want to write. The wedding got closer and closer, and one morning I woke up and the Shabbos Kallah was a less than week away. And it was the end of the term, insane marking, essays, quizzes, rubrics, averages – big pain, little time.

I really wanted to do it though, so I did. I just did. I sat down, and did it. I even went to Amazing Savings to buy a nice loose-leaf (awesome store!), and then the Dollar Tree for sheet protectors (AS didn’t have). It was done in a night and day. That was it. Probably took about 6 hours total. I don’t know where I found the time. Everything I usually do in that time was accomplished too.

It’s motivating to realize that if I want to do something, it will get done. Very depressing though to realize I maybe don’t want to write as much I think I do.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on December 23, 2012 in Food, Musings, Slice of Life

 

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Good Enough for Some, Isn’t Good Enough

I’m am amateur baker, if you can even award me with that title. When my niece was born and my sister in law and brother in law made a Kiddush for her, I was a good aunt (and sister in law) and sent something over for the occasion. I usually send biscotti, in a cookie jar. It looks cute, doesn’t require much patchkening, and best of all, it tastes good. I’m not sure what possessed me, maybe because it was after Purim, and I had just made all those black and white cookies, and I didn’t want my newly acquired skill to go to waste, I made pink and white cookies.

I worked hard on them, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to results. I didn’t have the right shade of pink, it was a bit bright, due to my food coloring packaging description of “NEON” (I thought it was fun colors to get at the time, I didn’t actually think about how I might use it, and that whatever I would be coloring, I’d like it to resemble edible food, not radioactive waste).

Also, it’s a pain doing each cookie, one side at a time, holding it between your thumb and index finger; I developed temporary carpal tunnel syndrome. But for a first attempt, they were ok. The place where the pink and white met up wasn’t always totally straight. The pink sometimes overlapped the white a little bit, leading to lighter shades of pink in some places. They were really pretty from a short distance though.

I made tons, so I froze most of them, and worked on the final presentation.

Exhibited on a trendy rectangular plate, wrapped in cellophane and tied with a ribbon, it was perfect – for Queens. And it was easily one of the fanciest things at the Kiddush. I beamed and blushed with all the compliments.

Fast-forward a month, and brother and sister in law were making a Kiddush for their newest addition. Pregnancy wasn’t being nice to me, and I didn’t have the energy to make something. I kept thinking I did, I even put up a cookie dough on Monday. Made the actual cookies three days later, but the decorating never happened (Pregnancy won that battle).

It was Friday, and I was getting a bit frantic, yes, my brother and sister in law would more than understand and forgive me for not sending something in celebration, but I wouldn’t be able to live it down for myself (besides I wanted my sister in law to send something when I would eventually be making either a Kiddush or shalom zachor – selfish motives, I know).

I remembered my pink and whites, pretty in the freezer, waiting to grace another Kiddush. I took them out, and looked at them scornfully. They weren’t good enough – not for a Lakewood crowd. I could never show my face and be proud of my confections here. Besides, these cookies in Lakewood would almost be insulting to Baal Hasimcha. She’d have to put them out, due to social dictums, but they’d most probably mar the balance and beauty of everything else presented.

Last minute I wrangled something together with my sister’s help (who I was hosting for that Shabbos for the Kiddush). Using the cookies I had yet to decorate, we finagled something that could pass muster in Lakewood and did not require great technical prowess. Shalom al yisroel, I can still show my face in proper society.

I ate those pink and white cookies with my coffee. They tasted great. My other sister in law in Queens is due soon. I might be making another test drive on the pink (or maybe blue) and whites, and see if I’m ready for primetime in Lakewood.

And for those who think I’m crazy, check out the cookies my sister in law sent over for my baby’s Shalom Zachor. This is what I’m up against, and she didn’t take this picture, I did. She thought they weren’t good enough to merit a memory.

It’s not totally about competition, and being good enough, but really doing what’s acceptable and expected in your community. For my ego though, I should maybe consider Queens.

On second thought, Queens is only 20 minutes from Far Rockaway – and my sister – who made these

 
9 Comments

Posted by on August 14, 2012 in Food, Humor, Jewish

 

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Another Reason to Diet

Rooster in grass.

Image via Wikipedia

I hate tree hugger sand the ASPCA. I believe that the world is in the dominion of men and that we are a superior being than other mammals – or any other creature for that matter. With our intelligent reasoning (not just instinct) and our ability to communicate thoughts, emotions, and creative ideas, there’s an obvious difference between the intelligent make-up of man versus other animals.

That being said, I think I’m going all organic, natural, and possibly never eat protein again. After watching Food, Inc, a documentary on the Business of Food in this country, I’m quite horrified. Yes, I was aware of a lot of the issues it raised about corn, high fructose corn syrup, subsidies, fast food, unsanitary conditions in the meat industry, but, as the cliché goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Seeing cute peeping chicken (and I hate animals), shut away in the dark, some of them keeling over dead, their bodies unable to sustain its tremendous growth spurt due to the hormones in their feed. Many chickens just being able to plod for 2-3 steps, their bones, unable to support their weight, was a bit disturbing. And then there was a gimpy cow being pushed along the line to slaughter, ragged on because it was moving too slow, and then a stubborn cow, who refused to move, being practically mowed down and prodded along with one of those tractors with pitchforks at the end, meant to maneuver pallets of products.

So maybe a melted on the a bit on the cruelty thing, but then the insanitariness, G-d save us! Putting a face to the e-coli break outs was horrifying. I cried, maybe because I’m a mother, and it was a little 2 year old that died, and my son’s just a bit over one, and it’s scary, and there’s not that much preventative regulation, more like a reaction when there’s a problem. And that’s a BIG problem.

Part of me feels a bit safer, because I eat kosher meat and chicken, and the market is a much smaller scale. But really, who am I kidding, yes, I may be marginally safer than the mass population, but marginally safer is not safe.

And what is this junk that I’m putting into my body, all this corn. I mean , I love it fresh, but then I wonder now if I even know the real taste of fresh corn. All this corn junk, and the subsidizing that goes on (I’ve been railing against subsidies for years, so this part was right up my alley).

I’m just ranting a bit here, without that much substance, sort of working on the assumption that you already know what I’m talking about (and possibly watched the documentary too) – which is writing mistake 101. But I’m really disturbed.

Also, when I watched it, I tried to be objective, see the other side, as a business, as a profit, as capitalism. And you know what, while I understand capitalism, and supply and demand, that should not come at the consumers safeties expense, other expenses of the consumer, yes, safety, no.

When I chose to watch this, like I said, I knew a lot of what it was going to tell me, and I really didn’t want to watch it, because I didn’t want to change anything about my life (but there were no other interesting documentaries to watch – or that there were proper free links to online). Now I’m in turmoil, I did this to myself, but never mind. It’s an interesting watch, may get you up in arms about a few things (If you’re a Rubashkin supporter, you may get very upset about the injustice of his raid, based on the information about illegal workers working for Smithfield) maybe think for a few minutes, and maybe maybe even do something about it.

Below are links to the film, and some issues that it raises.

Film: Food, Inc

Kevin’s Law - Congress

Kevin’s Law - Background

 Monsanto – Agricultural Company Response to Film

 
4 Comments

Posted by on November 8, 2011 in Food

 

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My Own Test Run on Old Age (or a Haiku about the last thing I ate)

 

Old lady in home

She dunks crackers in juice. Me?

Cookies in coffee

Powered by Plinky

 
1 Comment

Posted by on July 14, 2010 in Food, Poems

 

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Give Me Chocolate

I think SD and I should trade places.

My husband tells me that Purim is a man’s YumTif. And I agree. Women though won’t give up with out a fight and have turned Shalach Manos into their battleground.

I hate making shalach manos, I couldn’t care less about themes, creativity and the whole gesheft that it has become.

See when I was single I gave Shalach Manos to a few friends. It was really just a goody exchange, with a lot of chocolate involved. Life was good.

Now that I’m married I’m socially obligated to give a whole bunch a people. While single I fell under the Shalach Manos umbrella of my parents with regard to giving grandparents, sibling, aunts and uncles, and the like. Now I have to present my very own Shalach Manos and start my own umbrella, so to speak.

It’s pathetic how conversations with married friends all turn to “So what are you doing for Purim.” I’m still telling everyone I didn’t decide yet. (At least I have one less obligation of getting into coordinating costumes, you need to have a kid for that to kick in [as a side note, couples can coordinate their costumes, but it’s ok if they don’t. It’s only when there  is a child involved and the costumes, and themes don’t shtim that a stigma is placed])

But considering that there are few day left till Purim, I’ve finally come up with something. I call it my “Anti-theme”

The attached note will read,

There is no theme

And this is not a poem

(although it’s formatted like

One to fool you)

We just put stuff in here

That we like and

Hope

You did the same

 

Freilichen Purim

 

The TooYoungToTeach Couple

 

I got 16 square black plates for $1.50 at Wal-mart, some Cellophane paper and ribbons from Target (It’s all about the presentation) And I’m putting in Dipsey Doodles, Dr. Pepper, and Peanut Butter Cups.

Whaddya giving me?

 
7 Comments

Posted by on February 23, 2010 in Food, Jewish

 

Marital Fued (food)

I love pizza, yogurt, tacos, coffee, onions, hot pepper, cumin and tomatoes. My husband likes pizza and can tolerate yogurt (in theory) everything else on the aforementioned list is nuclear waste to him: dangerous and garbage.

It’s really normal for people to have different palates and preferences when comes to taste (and smell, we all know the chazal), and I’m not complaining about that…what I am complaining about, well not complaining, but raising a point. Why do I, and most women cook for their husbands taste and not their own?

Yes, of course we want to please out husbands and make them happy. Keep them contented and full, but seriously, I can’t remember the last supper I made with me as top priority. I’d like kid myself that I am just that giving of a wife, but honestly I’m not.

Maybe, I suppose it’s easier to make sacrifices on your own part then expect someone else to do it for you. (Yes, food is a big sacrifice)

I mentioned this to my husband, he heard my point and encouraged me to make supper for myself, this very night.

“Tacos?” I suggested brightly.

“Whatever you want,” he chided.

I perked up, wow, this was beautiful martial giving at work, I knew I married a great guy! “I’m not gonna be home for supper tonight, R’s sheva brachos, remember.” He finished.

Maybe it’s really just that the old adage is right, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” and deep down we instinctively know it’s true, and follow through accordingly.

Whatever the psychology is, I’m having cereal and milk for supper tonight.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on December 1, 2009 in Food, Marriage

 

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The Secret to a Successful Life (or at least parts of it)

We all want to lose weight. Most of us do nothing about it, but it’s one of those big things people want to accomplish in their lives, on par with Climbing Mount Everest and becoming president of the United States. It’ll be totally awesome and cool if you did, but the statistical likelihood of that happening is just above nil. Today, I would like to push the numbers a bit more in your favor and bring losing weight on the level of getting a PhD and buying a full set of Louis Vuitton luggage.

The answer: Eat JellyBellys.

Generally when people eat something that they like, the initial taste is great, invigorating and very pleasurable. After that, it’s all downhill. Yes, the food still tastes good, but the repetition of the taste dulls the senses and it becomes a bit rote, no matter how sweet, salty, crunchy, spicy or smooth the food is. And herein lays the difference in JellyBellys.

Forget about the sour flavored, tropical or fruit bowl assortment, I’m talking about the standard 40 flavor variety. First off, it’s only 4 calories a jellybean. Second there are 40 flavors. Third, every little bean is a different flavor, you have the pleasure of renewal with each bean, and even when have say, a bubble gum, then blueberry, then caramel and then bubble gum again, it’s like you never had the bubblegum so you end up appreciating the flavors a lot more than the given 40!

Finally, you have to concentrate when you eat the jellybean to figure out what flavor you’re eating. This is done in two steps. First you take the jellybean out of the bag. Then you turn the bag over and try to match up the jellybean color with the color and name on the back. This is very difficult as there are about 5 shades of red and another 3 shades of orange that on the back have a minutia of difference in shade. Next you have to eat the jellybean and thoughtfully chew and figure out if the shade of red you’re eating is cinnamon, or very cherry.

This takes a bit more effort than the mindless inhalation of a bag of potato chips, or shoveling a piece of cake down your throat, therefore you end up eating less, and also they say your supposed to eat slowly and give you stomach time to send the message to your brain that you are in fact full, and no, you do not have room for JUST one more cookie, so by eating jellybeans you give your stomach more time to process…and all you people who took A&P can fill in the blah blah blah’s of this.

Moral of the Story: If you want to reach the equivalent of Superman eat JellyBellys.

 
12 Comments

Posted by on February 2, 2009 in Food

 

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Coffee Contamination

My brother has ruined coffee.

Coffee is an experience, a lifestyle, small moments of pure pleasure cut out from a busy day to savor…

I start my day with coffee. My mug is massive; holds 2 standard cups of coffee. It’s purple, which makes me in style according to this season’s IT color. I got it from my sister who worked in a medical office who got it from a drug rep for Nexium (the purple pill, hence the color) Depending on my mood I’ll have instant or brewed, sometimes flavored, sometimes sugar (mostly splenda), and then I’ll sit down by my computer sip at my coffee a play a game of Mahjong. It’s a beautiful ritual which I thoroughly enjoy everyday.

I’m sure most of you can find yourself somewhere in the description above, Maybe you buy your coffee on the way to work and it’s in a Styrofoam cup, maybe your mug matches your dishes. You might drink brewed, or only instant, only sugar, or just a bit. You sip it intermittently throughout the morning, or you might be just like me, but you have a newspaper

The thing is, when you sip it, those few seconds of the coffee swilling around your mouth, running over your taste buds, soothing your olfactory nerves…are just pure Aaaaahhh…(deep sigh)

So my bother has ruined it. He actually drinks coffee for the effects ALONE (the energy ones, not bathroom, although he does say that in this generation of instant gratification, coffee is the paradigm)

He takes a heaping tablespoon of coffee, dissolves it with a drop of hot water. Fills the rest of the glass with cold water, mixes, and inhales/swallows it in 3 gulps.

I promise.

Every time I see him do it, I die inside. There is so much in life he is missing out on, don’t you agree?

 
13 Comments

Posted by on December 8, 2008 in Food

 

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Melave Malka Mincings

My school had a Melave Malka last night, fascinating sociological observations.

 

First off, there are a few rules concerning how one is allowed to procure food

 

1)     Never go alone. You must go with at least one other person, even if she just stands next to you without making any motions to take food herself. (If you go by yourself you must be a fat loser…or you will be soon)

2)     Figure out the proportions of your plate – the salad must be taking up more place than the pasta. You can spread the salad thin, and compact the pasta, so really you have more pasta than salad – it’s alright, as long as it looks like you have more salad.

3)     You cannot go back more than 2x’s. Period.

4)     If you go back more than once, you must take a new plate. Carrying a used plate makes you look gluttonous.

5)     Do not be over eager for food. This means waiting your turn, letting people ahead of you, even if they finish off what you really wanted.

6)     You must whine about how much you ate, and how fat you are before each food you serve for yourself

 

Second, I was able to identify the different types of personalities and their expression in the dance form.

 

1)     The uninhibited crazy dancer – she doesn’t necessarily have the best moves or grace, but she makes up for it in exuberance and shrieks.

2)     The overconfident cocky girls who know all the organized dance sequences and execute them methodically with perfection.

3)     The in-between girl. She’s relatively uninhibited, but she has little rhythm, and just following the steps a second after everyone else started it. She’s constantly looking at others and herself to make sure she’s keeping pace.

4)     The girls who dance and try, but they hold back, unsure and end up looking stupid because they don’t commit. They think they’re preserving their dignity and poise, but they really end up looking as self-conscience as they are.

5)     The girls who stand on the side- too cool, say it’s stupid, say they can’t really express/dance the way they want to because the principals are watching, but they really wish they could just let go of their inhibitions.

6)     The girls who clean up.

7)     The girls who stay home.

 

And then there was me, getting a premature experience.

 

I now know what it’ll be like in about 30 years, standing around at my niece’s, nephew’s, friend’s daughter/son’s wedding watching from the sidelines commenting.

 

Boring.

 
13 Comments

Posted by on November 16, 2008 in Food, Teaching

 

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