Showing posts from April, 2010

Shabbat Menu: Dinner Only

My previous post told the story of this weekend, but this blog is also about food.  Here is what we are having this weekend.  We were invited out for lunch, so dinner is the only real meal.

Shabbat Parshat Emor Dinner - 15 Oriental Potato Soup Beef Daube Shabbat Chicken Twice baked potatoes Artichokes and Dip Spicy Green Beans Israeli Salsa
A Beef Daube is beef marinaded in beer, wine or stock with garlic and spices.  The whole mess is then cooked as a stew.  I used Murphy's Stout. It smells very nice!
The spicy green beans is a variant of this recipe, intended for spinach.  We had some spinach and I was intending on making the spinach version, but my wife preempted my attempt with a recipe for spinach dip.  Oh well, it works very nice for green beans!
1 package frozen cut green beans2 Tbs oil2 large onions, sliced4 cloves garlic, minced1 tsp dried ginger1 tsp cumin seeds1/2 tsp ground cumin1/2 tsp ground coriander1/2 tsp ground tumeric1 tsp chilli powder1 tsp saltSaute the onions until they …

One Year ago a miracle occurred

Its been one year since my son's transplant.  With thanks to God and all of his creations, he is healthy and well.  The donor seems to have suffered no ill effects.  It is hard to explain how pleased we are to have our son with us and healthy.  Those of you who have read some of my other posts know how hard it is to find a kidney, either from a live donor or a cadaver.   We are truly blessed that our friends cared about our son so much that we have not one but 7 potential donors.  The people we talked to in the medical profession cannot believe it.  For us, it is part of living in this wonderful community.  We take the concern and giving of our neighbors for granted sometimes.  It is events like this that expose the strength and depth of this community.

May we be honored to continue helping and caring for many good years to come.

This weekend, we will be having three events to celebrate this wonderful event.  Tonight, we are hosting the donor and her family for dinner.  Tomorrow, …

Fun with Jewish Music

It is fun to see how artists can take a popular song and transform it to fit a new genre.  Shlock Rock is a good example, usually taking songs from the 60, 70 and 80's and giving them jewish themes.

I just heard about another group called six13.  They took a bunch of recently popular songs and made a medley on jewish themes.  Check it out at Ynetnews.

company for a change

We have guests this weekend!  Two girls from a seminary and two men from Jerusalem.  The girls found us through out business cards.  The men were invited by my wife.  She knows one of them from a course that she is taking this year.  Add to that a few friends from the community, and we have a nice number of guests for the weekend.

I seem to be on an India kick.  I just finished reading Six suspects by Kikas Swarup.  Vikas wrote Q&A which was made in to the movie Slumdog Millionaire.  The book provides a window into Indian life.  I don't know if I would recommend this book as a novel.  It meanders all over the place and includes some sections which are just too unreal.  But, it certainly gets you "into" India.

To continue my India theme, I made saffron rice.  This is the first time that I have used saffron, and I do like the taste and color.  I saw a nice YouTube video about making saffron rice.  The chef suggested slightly heating the saffron, grinding it up and then …

Israel 1951 (courtesy of Air France)

I caught this on  The blog is one I read daily, but the video is priceless.  It comes from a time when Israel was surrounded by enemies and life was harsh.  What is interesting is that there is no "internal" conflict.  Everywhere, Jews, Druze, Christians and Arabs work together to build the land.  It is sad that we have lost this spirit of cooperation.  The Christians are almost gone from the West Bank and remain and very small percentage of Israel proper.

If you listen carefully, you can tell where the boarder is.  Bethlehem is referenced as a small town in the distance that cannot be visited because it is in Jordan.

Watch this with you family on Yom Haatzmaut.  What a picture it paints!

Admonishment to ADI

I am a supporter of ADI: The National Transplant And Organ Donor Center in Israel.   The work they do it critical to saving lives.  The organization is involved in education and raising awareness about transplants and organ donation.

This past week, I heard about a 5k run to raise funds in memory of three people who died in a car accident a few years ago.   ADI had previously agreed to participate in the event.  A week before the event, ADI pulled out because they realized that the run was in occupied territory, over the 1949 border.

I am disappointed with ADI.  As a medical organization, they should be oblivious to borders or politics.  The organization supports and provides services to Jews and Arabs alike, regardless of where they live.  By pulling out of the event, they politicized the issue and left a bad taste in my mouth.  As it happens, I am know that many of the people living in that community carry ADI cards and will continue to do so.  The only negative effect is on the ADI…

Weekend Recap - Better late then never

Mea Culpa.  I didn't post last friday before shabbat started.  The days are longer and brighter and I spent the morning cleaning up and driving car-pool.  My youngest broke his glasses.  He was wearing his backup pair, but needed both a checkup and a new pair that was not totally bent out of shape.   Strangely enough, his prescription has changed and his backup pair is only about 1/3 of the strength he needs to see the blackboard at school.  Oh well, one new pair coming up.

We had an unusual experience with our guests.  Two young ladies had called to stay with us for shabbat.  On Friday morning, they called for directions; what bus should they take, and where should they get on in Jerusalem.  One of my sons explained the details and told them that the last bus leaves between 3 and 4 in the afternoon.  They arrived just as the last bus had left the station.  The only option left was to take a taxi which costs about 140 NIS ($37).  They called my son and asked if we could help them …

ADI: Israel's National Transplant and Organ Donation Center

I've posted about them before, but ADI: Israel's National Transplant and Organ Donation Center (hebrew only) is definitely making progress on the education front.   A young woman suffering from diabetes recently passed away and her organs were donated to four patients.  An article in ynetnews reports:

Hilla Abramson, a social worker from the central city of Kiryat Ono, suffered from juvenile diabetes since the age of six. Due to the circumstances, she was certain that her organs would not be suitable for donation and therefore did not sign an ADI card...The family agreed to donate the organs after the woman's parents discovered that she was a fan of the ADI organization, which advocates organ donations, on her Facebook account. There are two interesting points to this story.  The first is that Hilla was probably not dead according to the recent Halacha standards.  The article states that she suffered from irreversible brain death, but not brain stem death.  Her family acce…

Back to Reality

The holidays are over.  Give a cheer and a sigh.  Its back to the regular scheduled programs; school, work and guests.  We have seminary guests again for the first time in many months.  Life is good.

Holiday's are usually cause for weight gain.   There are more major feasts and the food is traditionally richer.  This holiday, both I and my wife lost weight.   My wife follows a very low-carb diet, so most of my cooking avoids sugars and starches.  Passover food was good, but not sweet.  I love Matza and butter, but perhaps matza is less fattening than bread.  Whatever the reason, I'm very happy with our post holiday status.

We have two girls from seminary this weekend for both meals and a cousin and her family for lunch tomorrow.  One of my sons is off to a school weekend.  Nice smallish meals (for us).

The shabbat days are longer now that the clock has changes to daylight savings time.  As a result, we now need to feed a random crowd for dinner (seudat shlishit) on saturday af…

Transplants: The right to choose your doctor, commerce in organs and the National Transplant Institute

There is an interesting article in Haaretz.  The article touches on three different aspects of organ transplants in Israel.  The first relates to a family that needed to transplant a lobe of liver from the father to his 1 year old baby girl.

Two weeks ago, the Shaked-Hadad family from Jerusalem returned home from Belgium. The family's 1-year-old daughter, Elinor, underwent a liver-lobe transplant in Brussels last December. The donor was her father. The operation abroad followed a struggle against the Clalit health maintenance organization, under the aegis of Kav Lachayim, an association that assists seriously ill children.

When she was born, Elinor was diagnosed with severe liver failure; her father was found to be a suitable donor. The Clalit HMO wanted the operation to be performed in Israel, but the family argued that liver-lobe transplants have a higher rate of success abroad and insisted that the operation be performed at Saint-Luc University Hospital in Brussels. I believe th…

Once again into the meals

Last day of pesach is a holiday.  For reasons beyond my ken, we have no guests!  Dinner will be just our seven.  To avoid a double-whammy, we invited the young men and women who hang out at our house each weekend to eat lunch with us.  I have no idea how many are coming, so I just made lots of food.  In the worst case, we will have leftovers for the rest of the week.
Shvii shel Pesach (the seventh day) Dinner - 7 Matza ball soup (using Cooking for Engineers recipe for matza balls)
Beef Patties with celery, mushrooms and parsley (stir fry the veggies and add to the ground meat)
Left-over roast chicken
Spicy stir fried cabbage (and hot peppers)

Lunch - ?
Sautéed Chicken (marinated in garlic, ginger and fresh lemon)
Sautéed Chicken (marinated in cayenne pepper, black pepper, olive oil and red wine vinegar)
Beef Rolada baked with tomatoes, onions and mushrooms
Roasted potato slices (chips) (sliced thin, covered with oil and baked until brown)
Stir fried cabbage, garlic and ginger
Stir fried B…

Mid Pesach weekend and Recap

For the first time in memory, all of my children stayed awake for the whole seder.  In the past years, we usually lost one or more before the main meal.  Last year, one of my children fell asleep on the sofa and we woke him up to say "Pesach, Matza and Maror".  He then went back to bed.

My parents attended the seder with us this year.  I'm not sure how many more chances we will have to celebrate pesach with them.  The travel is harder each year and my father is visibly aging.  In past years, my father was the king of the seder.  He belted out the sing-song chant that we use for the hagada and he led the discussions.  This year, he was a silent participant while I took over the singing.

On chol-ha-moed, we first went off-roading with our friends the Moritz's down south, just below Hebron and within the 1949 borders.  The Jewish National fund has planted about 3 million trees in that area since 1956.  The location is just north of the desert line, but right there is a …