Showing posts from September, 2009

Followup - Erev Yom Kippur

We had a very nice shabbat. Our three guests, Elka, Sarah and Ariela were very nice. They participated in shabbat preparations and helped out the whole time they were with us. We even got them to play Killer Bunnies. They were real troopers, because while this game usually lasts about 45 minutes, our game lasted close to three hours. Kudos to their determination. Ariela almost won the game, holding 16 of the 20 carrots at the end, but Joey was the lucky recipient of the fated magic carrot and hence the winner.
On Erev Yom Kippur, we prepare to receive judgement for the coming year. I had a very visceral experience with one of the more odious sins, Spreading a Bad Name. This malady is specifically when people spread true stories about a person that cause that person hurt or loss. I inadvertently told someone about a conversation that I had, and that led directly to this sin. I'm disappointed that this happened and will try to work harder in the coming year. One person sug…

Starting the new year right

The students are back in town. We have three young ladies for shabbat from one of the Beis Yaacov schools. Its parshat Ha-azinu, so the conversation is likely to be on the safe side. Breshit is open to serious interpretation, but we have two weeks before that hits.
Its the Shabbat before Yom Kippur, and we are trying to prepare ourselves. Some years, we are very in tune with the seasons while in other years, there is less of a connection. This year feels like somewhere in-between. We have much to be thankful for the past year, and many good things to look forward to in the year to come (god willing).
My wife is back on the Atkin's diet, so starch items are clearly starch. I don't use thickeners or starchy additives (like carrots) in most of my dishes.
Shabbat Ha-azinu Dinner - 10 Soup Beef Tacos Turkey Fajitas Rice Green Salad with Cilantro, Jalepeno pepper and onions Soft Taco shells
Lunch - 13 Pargiot and peas braised in white wine Kol Dulce con Karne Mashed Potatoes Brussels Sprouts …

Shabbat Rosh Hashana - Happy New Year

Rosh Hashana is soon here and we are pretty much prepared. We are eating out the first night and the first lunch, so I'm free as a bird (cooking wise). For the second night, we are having hoagies and fresh salads, so no preparation is necessary. The final lunch is going to be milk based with salmon, jalapeno rice, cheeses and eggplant parmesan.
Got to run to a meeting for my sons upcoming wedding (date still unknown).
May you all have a healthy year. All else follows. Elliot and Leiah

Paris - Sept 09

I just got back from a university trip to Paris, France. I find Paris to be an easy city for a foreigner to navigate. The metro system is simple and goes everywhere in the city for 1.6 Euro.
I had a disappointing hotel experience this trip. I registered online using They have great last minute prices. The hotel I wanted was called the Glasgow. It is near a bunch of kosher eateries and is a nice three star hotel. Of course, I arrived in Paris, went to meetings, finished late and went to check in. About ten minutes from the hotel, the skies opened and it started pouring rain. I had a jacket, but no hood and I immediately got soaked. The hotel was easy to find and I walked in, expecting to have a good nights sleep. Unfortunately, the hotel clerk said: Sorry, we are all full, so we moved your booking to a place about four blocks away.
I re-entered the rain and walked the additional four blocks. The new hotel, the Hotel Residence Romance Malesherbes was not bad.…

What's a good title?

I'm better. Last week, I had the flu (or a cold) and this week, I recovered from the flu. While I was sick, I felt down and depressed. As I recovered, I felt my spirits soaring. Its good to be healthy. My wife suggested that I take a yoga class. I enjoy yoga, particularly the stretches and the slow, steady pace. I've tried Hatha Yoga, but my new class is based on Ashtanga Yoga. Its different, but still fun. I have learned that I am not very flexible. Yoga helps me to stretch and its really good for finding your center and relaxing. I am hoping to be able to continue on a weekly basis. Exercise is good for you.

I found a very interesting online comic today. Its called Hereville: How Mirka got her sword. The subtitle is: Yet another Troll-fighting 11 year old orthodox jewish girl comic. I purchased the paper book, because I think it would be very cool to have on our coffee table.
Have a great shabbat!

Shabbat Nitzavim - VaYelech Dinner - 7 Soup Beef Taco's and Green Salad Chicke…

School's in

Elementary, middle school and high school started this week. Universities start the middle of October, after the holidays. Its nice to have everyone back to a schedule. My ADD child is back on his medications and its a major difference. He is quieter, but he also gets things done! He is very smart, but the ADD makes it very hard for him to focus on anything for more than a minute or so. With his meds, he works quickly and finished the homework in record time. Without the meds, he also finishes the homework in record time, but its record slow, not fast.
Our army boy has a free weekend. We haven't seen him for about four weeks, so we were looking forward to some face time. Unfortunately for us, he wants to spend the weekend at his Yeshiva studying. He went to Eli, and they have an amazing connection with their students. I'm happy to support him and to lend him my car to get there and back...
Only one meal at home this shabbat because there is a major bar-mitzva luncheon …

Summer Book Project is complete

For the past three summers, we have run a cooperative fiction project. Functionally, each participant writes the first chapter of a book. Then the books are randomly sent to other writers for chapter 2, and so on until the book is finished. We use 8 chapters and allow one week per chapter. Writers never see the results of their first chapter until the book is complete.
The project started as an educational effort for our kids. We have 10 writers the first year, twenty the second year and twenty three this year. The writers ranged from 11 years old to 72. This year also saw the introduction of a web site You can read all the books from this year and last year under the "Browse Books" link at the site.
I you are a teacher who might be interested in using this tool, please contact me. I would love to turn this into an educational resource for middle-school through college. The site is scalable and you only need to ask me to open a…

Lunch time + the flu?

I came down with something this week. Don't know if its the flu, or just a cold. Started with a sore throat and low fever. Now its coughing, headache and still a low fever. Tylenol and Robitusin makes it almost better.
So, I'm home today and I'm hungry (which is a good sign). I had leftover noodles in the fridge, and this recipe caught me eye: Pasta with tuna and capers
I don't have capers, so I just skipped that part, but the rest is simple and easy. Its a nice way to eat pasta for a quick lunch. Total time to eat is probably ten minutes. Nice and simple.
Have a great day, Elliot