Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Smallpox pie

Since I'm not allowed to read from James Loewen's works at the family Thanksgiving dinner, perhaps I will show my true feelings about the day ala Marge Simpson, via my food prep:

Smallpox pie

  1. Prepare one recipe Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle
  2. During assembly, insert small plastic dolls/figures and fresh cranberries into the trifle
  3. Dot top with fresh cranberries
Present with a flourish, announcing that the one who raids the most native graves (ie., finds the most doll parts) while avoiding contracting smallpox (eating a cranberry) wins.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Circle of Life

Last week, just before Shabbat, I finished a really beautiful rock garden in an empty space between our living room windows and the carport.

I moved roughly 500 pounds of stone (pavers, rainbow pebbles, three river rock - which has lots of purple in it, Mexican black pebbles, and frontier river stones) 3 or 4 times each - onto the pallet, into the car, out of the car, into the right place in the garden, then lifted and reset flat/etc.

I was very proud.

And very tired.

Roughly 15 hours later (Shabbat morning) the outside cat who thinks we belong to her decided to throw it a garden-warming party.

She brought the entertainment.

Which also quickly turned into the food.

Needless to say, the todder and I spent a chunk of Shabbat talking about carnivores, life and death, where meat comes from, hunting instincts, why we don't eat the feathers (and neither do the cats), what bird feet might taste like, etc.

He was very cool about the whole thing.

Bad Cohen, on the other hand, was a little unnerved, and quietly read the newspaper in the other room while we watched the feast.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Jewish Mama Meme

Amy Meltzer of Homeshuling tagged me with this, so I finally have something to write about. ;)

One menorah, or several?

So far, one modern glass menorah for me, a really ugly old one that belongs to Bad Cohen that I keep meaning to "misplace," and one unassembled train menorah for the toddler, which will remain unassembled (used as a train, instead of a menorah), because Bad Cohen pointed out - "fire, on wheels?" Oh. Yeah. Duh.

Do you buy your children gifts for every night of Chanukah?

Nope, but what with all the relatives, he generally gets at least one per night. Don't know how to make that stop, wish I could. Relatives. Ugh.

Do you and your spouse/partner or any other adults in your life exchange gifts?

Yes, small things for the whole extended family, which is really, really, big now so we have to get creative to save money.

Special family chanukah traditions?

Ooh, that's a good question. I've been trying to institute the annual Hannukah Smorgasbord but it's been slow to catch on. Herring! Beans! Rye bread! Booze! (sounds like Shabbat in Monsey)

Latkes or sufganiyot? If latkes, sour cream or applesauce?

LATKES, baby, latkes. Applesauce only for me, but BC sometimes adds sour cream, the lactose-intolerant hypocrite. (Or is that masochist?) HOWEVER - we did make tiny donuts last year for the first time, and oooohh, SO yummy. May have to repeat it, if I can find a way to keep the house from smelling of oil for days afterwards.

Favorite chanukah book?

"Chanukah Lights Everywhere" by Michael Rosen came from the PJ Library last year, and the toddler has wanted it as a bedtime story about once a week ever since. I love it that each day has the correct number of lights in some form (stars, lamps, flames on the gas stove), as well as the right number of CATS to match the night (with a partial cat - ear, tail, etc. - moving in or out of the picture standing for the shamash). So freaking fun.

Do you actually play dreidl? If so, what do you use for counters?

Haven't since BC's cousin was 4, but we might now that the toddlers are getting older.

What relationship, if any, do you have with Christmas and all things Christmas-y?
Grew up with it, love the family-ness (in my family, it was all about Jul - Yule, to you non-Swedes), and miss some parts. We usually have X-mas day dinner with my parents, and let the toddler help them decorate. We're about "helping" other people we care about celebrate their holidays, just as we invite non-Jewish family members to our Sukkah, etc., but I try to keep December holiday crap to a minimum. Have been wrestling with feeling assaulted by X-mas stuff for several years now. Less grumpy about it now than I was the first two years after converting.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


How to turn your dining room table into a playhouse


PERFECT for those rainy Oregon days.