Showing posts from July, 2010

Travel and Colds

I have an unfortunate propensity to develop a cold after traveling to the US for any length of time.  My wife believes it is because I sit on the airplane for too many hours.  I think that there is something to that, since the enclosed space is perfect for the transfer of germs.  Regardless of how it happens, I arrived back from the US and promptly fell under the spell of a head cold.  At least I think its a head cold so far.  Bummer.

On better news, we have guests from Cleveland this weekend.  My nephew is still here and will be joined by three young ladies; My cousin's daughter, An old friends daughter and someone we have yet to meet.  Other than that, we have no other planned guests.  My son and his wife will join us for lunch, but that's not guests, that's family.
Shabbat Parshat Eikev Dinner - 11 Onion Soup with Homemade Beef Stock Hamburgers Au Poivre
Chicken and Garlic
Brussels Sprouts
Lunch - 13 Corned Beef
Roast Chicken
Traditional Stuffing (mushrooms, onions, etc.)

Books I'm reading

Whenever I travel, I go to the local bookstore and pick up new reads.  My preferences is for hard science fiction, but as this genre is rather weak these days, I'll read anything in the Fantasy and Science Fiction shelves.

Recently, I read "Off Armageddon Reef" and By Schism Rent Asunder (Safehold), part of a series by David Weber.  These are some of the few books that I just could not put down.  They cover a setting where for reasons good or bad, a church was created to keep people from having technology.  Some 750 years later, certain events are put into motion that will incite a holy war.  The politics of government and church are interesting to watch, particularly as the church is corrupt, but still based on religious zeal.

In comparison, I read A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1), which has a very good reputation.  It was hard reading, but cause I just could not get into the story.  Its very complicated and that in itself is not a bad thing, but it de…


I am terrible at remembering to post while traveling.  Last week, I visited the US for business and pleasure. I spent the weekend at my parents house and as a result, didn't cook anything for Shabbat.  My family is well, but aging.  I'm told that this is normal, but it is still hard to watch.  My brother lives near my parents and has taken responsibility for watching over them.  I cannot thank him or praise him enough for this act of chesed.

While I was gone, my family ate ate one of our friends house.  Here is his menu for Shabbat lunch.  My wife tells me that there was WAY too much food, which is a tribute to my friends passion for hosting guests.

·First Course: oGefilte Fish oBread deep-fried Fish oHumus oTehina oIsraeli salad ·Main Course: oTibeet (Iraqi Cholent – Overnight cooked whole chicken stuffed with meat, tomato paste, cinnamon, Hale, salt & pepper, with 2.5 cups of rice, 2 onions, and topped off with 16 eggs that will brown overnight) oSweet & Sour Meatballs oPlum b…

Family and Friends

Slow, fast, slow, fast.  You never know how a weekend is going to shape up until it happens.  For most of this week, we thought that we would have a very small crowd, with just our immediate family.  Then, all at once, the tsunami hit.   My sister is staying over with two of her kids and one of our nephews from the US. For lunch, we invited a family of 6 and got 8, plus one friend whose family is away for the summer at camp.  So 19 for lunch.  Arghh, but its good to have company.

Shabbat Parshat Bamidbar
Dinner - 10
Chicken soup
Beef Burgundy
Roast Chicken
Streamed Broccoli
Roasted Asparagus
Sweet Potato Pie (from my sister!)

Lunch - 19
Stuffed turkey breast (mushroom and apple stuffing)
Beef and Cabbage
Prepared Shnitzel
Roast Potatoes
Green Beans
Roast Acorn Squash with Cumin and paprika
Israeli Salad

Slow Down

We are slowing down for summer.  This weekend, we have only one guest and we are eating out for dinner.  Our lunch table will be 7 people.  I'm not sure what we will do.  7 is so small that we usually finish within 30 minutes.  We will try and find a way to make the meal last longer.

Shabbat Parshat Matot
Dinner - eating out
Beef Pot Pie (similar to this recipe)

Lunch - 7
Corned Beef
Chicken Wings
Roast Tomatoes
Green Salad

Seudat Shlishit - many
 Stuffed baby eggplants

Rav Amital Z"L

I have studied at exactly two yeshivot.  The first was my high school in Cleveland.  The second was in Alon Shvut.  At the time, there were two leaders who shared responsibility for the focus and direction of the yeshiva; Rav Lichtenstein and Rav Amital.  Rav Lichtenstein is/was a model of scholarship and poise.  He was somewhat aloof and intellectual.   Rav Amital was the opposite.  He enjoyed singing traditional songs on Shabbat and invited the foreign students (like me) to come over and sing.  I learned from Rav Amital that you should never sing a song only once.  It is only during the repetition that you begin to understand the song and its meanings.

Rav Amital passed as last night.  He will be missed as a personality and a leader.

Company and more company

Some weekends are slow, others are not.  This one is not slow.  #3 son has gone off to be a councilor at a summer camp up north.  So our base number is only six, but we figured out a way to fix that.

Usually, we receive guests who are studying in Israel for a year.  This weekend, a young lady who was here two years ago at a seminary has come back for a summer program.  She is bringing two friends with her.

Two of our friends arrived back from a trip to the states this week.  My study partner and his wife arrived today, but they have family in the community who will help them this shabbat.  My wife's business partner was in the states for a week, and she is very jet-lagged.  Her family will be eating with us tonight.  (That's 6+3+3 so far).

Another of our good friends in the community are also eating over.  Their son is with #3 son up north.  So that's another 4 for dinner (total: 6+3+3+4 = 16)

Shabbat lunch is another story.  Begin with the base of 9 and add two divorced w…