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Showing posts from February, 2008

Pre-Trip Weekend

I'm traveling on business next week, and the weekend before is always tense. My wife gets stressed out before I leave.  Once I'm going, its fine but the lead-up is painful.  I'm looking forward to this trip because I will get a chance to visit some of my relatives that I have not seen in more than a year.  Sometimes its hard to live so far away.
On the home front, our boarder is having a birthday this weekend and has invited six of her girlfriends over for Shabbat.   Thursday was interesting.  We had been expecting another three girls (unconnected to the birthday event).  Thursday morning, I got a call from Anywhere in Israel asking if we could take six girls.  Unfortunately, we could not take any of them.  Then a few hours later one of the three confirmed guests called to cancel because they had fallen sick with the flu.  There is definitely something going around.  A few hours after that, I was called by a young man who stayed with us some months ago.  He was looking for …

Recap: The calm before the storm

Win some, Lose some.  I had a bad cooking day last friday.  I was asked to participate in a conference call on 2pm Friday afternoon.  For whatever reason, I got a late start on my cooking and at 1:55 I was just putting up two pots of chicken to simmer for 20-30 minutes.  My conference call lasted 40 minutes and the heat was just a bit too high.  Walla, burned chicken.  I didn't look too bad, so we served it anyway.  I got what I deserved.  I think we ate three pieces between the two dishes.  None of our guests would touch it.  Must work harder.....
Speaking of our guests, we hosted five young ladies, Daniela Majer, Nechama Abramson, NAomi Diamon, Hadassah G. and Miriam M..  Some weekends, our guests spend some time with us and the rest roaming around our community, visiting friends or making new ones.  This weekend, our guests stayed home.  We had a rousing game of Carcassonne which was much noiser than usual.
Our gastronomic experience was not a complete bust. My wife made wonderfu…

The calm before the storm

This week was cold and wet.  Next week is supposed to be colder and wetter with snow in Jerusalem.  This weekend is like the eye of a hurricane.  Its sunny and warm (at least for two days).  We have five girls staying with us, three from Michlala and two from elsewhere (Seminar Jerusalem and ??).   One the girls from Michlala has been here already this year.  The question is whether we will remember her name.....
This week also marks an unfortunate milestone in my extended family.  My oldest cousin passed away after a relatively short battle with cancer.  He was 59.  The funeral was delayed until his mother and brother could arrive from the USA.  Their flight was then further delayed by four hours.  The funeral finally started at 10:30pm in Jerusalem on a cold and rainy evening.  More than 300 people showed up to pay their respects.  We have a very close extended family and his passing was felt strongly by all of us.
Shabbat Parshat T'Tzaveh Dinner - 15 Plain Chicken Vegetable soup Sha…

Recap: Half a Century

Last weekend was fun.  As I wrote last week, we have three boys and two girls staying with us (on different floors of the house).  Our assumption was that both groups were ignorant of the other and that they just happened to ask to come on the same shabbat.  Wrong.  Four the five are from Montreal and the fifth is one of their roommates.  Even better, there was a brother and sister pair.  It was nice to see them all together and to spend time with them.  Their names are:  Leah and Yaakov Gruszczynski, Ariela (last name unknown), Moshe Gottesman and Adam (from London).
Our conversations were interesting.  Leah and Ariela went to Beis Yaacov in Montreal.  They were very good exemplars of the schools teaching, polite, honest, and helpful.  They also learned that our forefathers were perfect and that our leaders never make mistakes because they have God's hand to guide them.   Our household is not so forgiving.   Ariela is a special person.  She sent us an SMS later in the week apologi…

Half a Century

This is my fiftieth post and that's something of a milestone.  Thanks to anyone who may be reading.  This blog doesn't get much traffic, but I know that those who do read are all friends.  May we merit many more blog entries in the years to come.
This shabbat, we have a full house.  Two ladies from Nevei, both from Montreal, one lady from Yehud and three boys.  One of the boys is from HaKotel and two are from Netiv Aryeh.  In addition, our best friends decided at the last minute to spend shabbat in Jerusalem.  Two of their children will be staying with us also.  All told, we will be sleeping 17 people in the house.  There's still a few empty beds.
Another close friend is currently in the states visiting a sick relative.  His family will be eating with us tomorrow.  That's his wife and seven or eight or their kids.  Total tomorrow lunch will be 25 or 26.  That's a full meal and it means opening a second table for the little kids.
I'm tired of cooking european stews…

Catch-up recap

Once again, I've been tardy about recapping our weekends.    Rest assured that its not because the guests were losers or duds.  Its just that after shabbat ends, we first make grilled cheese or pancakes and then have our guests sign the guest book and take a picture.  After everything settles, I'm not always ready to go back online.  By the time I remember its later in the week.
Recap:Birthday weekend - Parshat Yitro My oldest brought two of his high school friends for the weekend,  Amram Sherby from Modiin and Yossi Friedman from Jerusalem.  We also hosted three young ladies from Machon Gold: Abby Singer, Sara Lopez and Anna Abramovitz.
The food was pretty good (If I do say so myself).  The fried pumpkin was an experiment that I would like to retry.  We matchstick-ed about 1 pound of pumpkin and sauted it with cinnamon, cloves and brown suger.  The taste was great, but the pumpkin still have a crunchy texture.  Next time, we should par-boil the pumpkin.
Recap: Post-Snow weekend Lo…

post-snow weekend

The big news of the week was snow in Jerusalem and elsewhere above 500 meters.  Our community is at 250 meters, so we saw lots of rain and some sleet and hail.  The boys were very excited and played in the sleet.  Somehow, it seems much different than the days that my brother and I played in the snow at -2 Celsius.
This marks the first weekend that people actually reserved space ahead of time.  We are expecting two girls from Midreshet Harovah, two girls from Michlala and two boys who are pretty much family. 
This week also marks my second son's 17th birthday.  We celebrated during the week, but will continue to make his favorite foods for the weekend.  Given the cold weather, the food is also rather heavy and warm...
Parshat Mishpatim Dinner - 19 Roasted Red Pepper soup Beef Burgundy Creole Turkey Sweet Potato and Peanut stew Hot dogs ( for a picky 7 year old) Rice Garlic green beans Lettuce salad
Lunch - 14 Sweet potatoes Simon and Garfinkle Chicken (parsley-sage-rosemary and thyme) Stir Fried …