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Purim 2014

You have seen the slow evolution. You probably predicted it. And it happened.

I went all out this year.

It came to me on Succos. My son was playing with cars and trucks outside when he wailed,

“I dropped my mordechaicyle!” turning the soft ‘c’ into a glutteral ‘ch’.

And it hit me, right then – a motorcycle gang – or Mordechai-cycle gang! Kids will be bikers, handing out beer and gum cigarettes. And throw in cupcakes for a carb.

So with a good idea, too many Google searches, and an awesome Graphic Artist sister-in –law, my shalach manos was well….you tell me. (Actually the final pics aren’t so good because the cellophane was too glare-ee, so I broke it down to parts)

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I think I’ve peaked though. It’s all downhill from here.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on March 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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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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The Dougie

I felt so powerless yesterday. And bewildered. And Unsure. With a good ole dose of horror.

My husband and I were watching our son play in our complex’s playground. He wasn’t feeling all that well, and ended up just sitting next to me, on a bench, beneath the shade.

He pointed out the tree, and the birdies, and the squirrel. He was happy, and so was I.

On the other side of the playground I could see a procession coming toward our area. There were about 12 boys ranging in age from about 4-8 and a girl, in a gorilla costume. Forget the fact that it’s Shabbos and she’s dressing up in Purim costumes, and forget that this is a lot of boys and one girl, but focus on my son. He saw the girl, or rather the gorilla and started whimpering

“Ah doogie, Ah doogie!” he pointed and started to cry. He pulled himself closer to me, and I waved my hands to the kids, indicating to stay away. They noted, smiled, and came closer.

I’ve never seen my son scared. He’s as macho as they come. Trips, falls, scrapes, he just brushes them off- literally. He brushes off the dirt, the blood the mess, and continues on. Sometimes he’ll come to me and say,

“Dooty” when his broad strokes don’t get rid of the dirt.

And now my son was cowering, crying,

“Doogie, bye bye, Doogie bye bye”

The kids came even closer.

“Please stay away.” I beseeched. “Don’t you see you’re scaring him, and making him upset. That’s not nice is it?” I reasoned. The gorilla hesitated, but the boys egged her on, and she came even closer.

My kid shrieked more and my husband growled,“Go away now! What do you think you’re doing!” The kids laughed, but dispersed.

My kid was now crying freely, clutching me for dear life, and I wiped away a tear, my own tear.

Later at home, while eating supper, my kid kept going on,

“Doogie go bye bye. Doogie go ‘way!”

And I reassured him that the doggie wasn’t coming back. A few moments respite, and he started on the “Doogie” refrain. This went on for a while.

And that wasn’t all that happened in the park yesterday. My kid was sitting a low ledge on the playground, little feet dangling slightly. A boy of about 5 approached him, stuck his face into his, and then without warning or provocation slapped my kid 5 times across the face. I jumped to my feet (as much as overdue woman can jump) and aggressively marched towards my son (about 20 feet away). The boy saw me approaching and backed off.

“We don’t hit people,” I scolded. “Especially not little kids, that didn’t do anything to you.” He just shrugged his shoulders and walked away. My kid wasn’t really crying, just whimpering a little; he was mostly bewildered.

“Da boiy… da boiy” he repeated. He couldn’t seem to make sense about what just happened to him.

“Da boiy’s” mother had been sitting on the park bench next to me, engrossed in a fascinating conversation about getting children into school. She missed everything. I didn’t fill her in. It didn’t seem worth it, but her lack of awareness seemed to explain the previous “Doogie” incident with my son.

Where are the parents watching their children? Most of them are not present physically. And if they’re there physically, that doesn’t necessarily include mentally.

And with the Gorilla incident, I really don’t get these kids. First preying on a little kid, for G-ds sake he’s not even 2 yet! And then in front of his parents? We were right there! That didn’t stop them for a moment, maybe even gave them more impetus!

And my husband and I felt so powerless. What were we supposed to do? My logical reasoning of “it’s not nice” fell on deaf ears, so did my husband’s. I wanted to do them physical harm, yell at them, but knew it wouldn’t do anything. I’d have love to have chat with their mothers, but they weren’t present, and I’m not totally sure whose children they were.

What should we have done, and how can I protect my child?

He’s such a happy kid, but I’m afraid a few more slaps and “Doogie” incidents and he may turn into them, as a form of self-protection and preservation.

What am I, his mother supposed to do?(Besides for write this post, to vent) What should I have done then?

 
4 Comments

Posted by on June 24, 2012 in Parenting, Slice of Life

 

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Evolving Themes of Life

I’m going to admit to something I would have never thought possible a few years ago. Looking back, hindsight, is as usual, 20/20, and there were indications that this might happen. Of course when those “signs” presented themselves I brushed them off as “just this once”, or “it doesn’t really count”, but it does, because look at me, it’s not even Channukah, and I have my Purim theme all worked out.

There were no agonizing nights, no tongue-in-cheek non-theme thoughts, no last minute hail-mary’s, but the idea just formed, I did a quick Google search,  and voila, we got ourselves a theme. Now I have to put it together, of course, but that’s not the point. I’m no longer teasing or flirting with the dark side as I did in previous years, I fully embraced it.

This is so embarrassing.

I almost feel like a sell-out.

But really, I am so excited to put this thing together!

 
3 Comments

Posted by on December 12, 2011 in Jewish, Yom Tov

 

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Joining the Dark Side

I have succumbed.

I had a theme this year. Not a conventional Lakewood theme, like M&Ms, farm animals or ballerinas, but a theme nonetheless. I considered doing an anti-theme, dumping stuff in a bag and writing “Just because I have a kid, doesn’t mean I have a theme to go along with his costume – here’s some nosh that was on sale.” A little too sardonic though.

Then my sister called me up, she went shopping for costumes for her kids, there were infant costume there too.

“You want a monkey, football, or bumblebee?” In true Lakewood fashion I answered,

“Whatever’s cheapest.” And that’s how I made the most important decision of my son’s first year of life.

I then considered being a cheerleader and my husband a football player, but we didn’t plan on being kicked out of Lakewood just yet. With no real thought, I just waited for Purim to arrive, and then I figured in an act of desperation I’ll put something together for Shalach Manos.

That’s basically what happened. I was considering what baked confection I could present, when I thought of granola, but what to go along with it? Then lightening struck, and the heavens parted and an unearthly voice rang out,

“Cut them into the footballs and decorate them with royal icing, Gatorade for a drink, and Chicago Bears napkins would be a nice touch”

Really, the voice said that.

I couldn’t manage the napkins  (didn’t have enough time for shipping), got football napkins from Party City though.

My next problem was what should I write in the little accompanying note? I considered writing the Purim story with football terminology (like Bigsan and Seresh threw an interception, or that Haman tried a Hail Mary approaching Esther after Achashveiroh left to clear his head), but that proved too difficult, and I rationalized, looked like I was too involved in the whole thing (I already was too much already)

Lightning struck again. And this time the heavenly voice said,

“You’re round one in the draft pick to receive Shalach Manos.”

“That’s first round draft pick,” corrected my husband. So our little note now read

“Congratulation, you’re our first round draft pick to receive Shalach Manos”

And  that was our Theme-based shalach manos

Oh and I threw in some chocolate that I bought for 5 pieces for a dollar before I knew what I was doing. Everyone likes chocolate.

Hope everyone had Freilichin Purim!

 

 

 
9 Comments

Posted by on March 22, 2011 in Jewish, Yom Tov

 

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I’ll Drink To That

A Freilichin Peedim Everyone!!!

My chosson, he really doesn’t like drinking, not even a shot Friday night between the fish and meat. I’m busy pouring shots for everyone (myself included) and he politely declined.

So, I thought he was just a bit interesting, retarded, and backwards when he said that even though he “zicher” doesn’t like drinking, “epes” on Purim, he’s “maskim” to get drunk.

He loves the feeling of being drunk, but hates the process it takes to get there. It’s a mitzvah on Purim, so the benefits outweigh the costs.

I’ve since learned to appreciate the mindset when I put on my rose-colored metaphor glasses.

There are just some things in life worth going through hell for it’s end result…shidduchim…childbirth…college…braces…awkward teenage years…an enemy, so you have an opportunity for the perfect comeback…and in my chosson’s case the high of intoxication…

To each his own.

 
10 Comments

Posted by on March 10, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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