Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Is Wednesday the new Monday?

It can't be Wednesday, but I know it is.  The calendar states today is Wednesday. The calendar wouldn't lie, right?
  • There are new sheets on the bed. 
  • The laundry is in the washer.
  • The dishes are done.
  • It's a quiet, sunny-grey afternoon.
  • It's just lunch time.
Surely Wednesdays move faster than this.

Mondays normally have a certain rhythm. 

  • The "I don't want to get out of bed" start to the day. 
  • The lazy feel to everything.
  • The sense of time moving like frozen honey.

Very strange...I wonder how to properly take advantage of this. What should I try to accomplish in this strange time warp. The mind boggles.

Not this kind of Time Warp

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Breaking Matzoh

2011 is an odd year for me in terms of holidays.  The Jewish holidays, to be specific. In a nutshell, and I really will try to be concise here, when I was young my whole family gathered at my grandparent's house on LI for the Jewish holidays.  Everyone. Relatives from across the US would fly/drive/bike in. Family friends would be there. I helped my grandmother prepare the feast, and we would eat.  There would be stories and laughter and food.  Seriously, a lot of food.  I remember one year my grandmother made gefilte fish from scratch, and there were fish swimming in the bathtub.  I was 3.  Really, that isn't something you forget. 

The feasts would go something like this: gefilte fish with horseradish, soup, chopped liver on a bed of lettuce with cherry tomato garnish, more soup or gefilte fish, platters of roast chicken and brisket, potatoes, spinach pie, cranberry or some other fruit compote, carrots, greens, have seconds or thirds or fourths of whatever you wanted, and lots of matzoh or challah, depending on the holiday.  After 2-3 hours of feasting we would clear the table  (we being the women) and reset it for dessert.  Dessert was always brought in since my grandmother did all the other cooking.  Dessert was fun.  There were cookies, coffee, cakes, tea, pies, and maybe some fruit. After 2 hours of schmoozing and dessert munching folks would leave the table and waddle to the various sofas and chairs to chat, laugh and tell more stories.  These were epic gatherings, ingrained in my young brain.  It's no wonder to me that when I moved out of my parents' home I tried to have that same kind of holidays.  Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't, but the fact remains that I love cooking for the holidays and enjoying them with as many people as possible.

Coming back to 2011, I say again that it's an odd year.  I don't have much blood family left, and my friends and chosen family are further away than in previous years.  Money isn't plentiful and food is expensive, so this Passover I didn't have a seder.  It was weird. I wanted to commemorate the holiday, however, so there was matzoh.  We had matzoh every day.  I made matzoh brei, and for the first time ever it turned out almost as good as my grandfather's.  I made matzoh pizza, which was a huge hit with DB.  I had open faced matzoh "sandwiches".  It wasn't seder, but it was a taste of Passover.  Then I got an email from my friend Mark. He was going to have an end-of-Passover dinner Monday night, and did I want to come.

I squee-ed.  Literally, I used my out-side voice and said, "SQUEE!"  I emailed him back immediately and asked what he needed.  I could make chopped liver, charoset, or some kind of dessert. I'd just seen 2 recipes for Passover kugel (one savory, one sweet).  He requested the sweet kugel. 

I made the apple matzoh kugel Monday afternoon.  Mind, I've NEVER MADE this before, so I had no idea how it would turn out. I changed the recipe slightly, as is my wont, packed it up, and drove to Mark's house.  A note: the dinner parties I've attended at Mark's have ranged from 5-15 people.  They're always filled with amazing food. Several of the folks who attend these parties are professional chefs.  To say that I was nervous about my kugel was an understatement.

I pulled into the driveway, and was a little surprised that I didn't see any other cars.  I went in, and it was just Mark.  There was soup bubbling on the stove, brisket bubbling away in the crock pot, and a jar of gefilte fish on the counter.  I asked where everyone was, and he said it would be the two of us and hopefully Leslie.  It was an intimate gathering.  That was cool.  Not what I was expecting, but cool. 

We caught up with each other (I'd been out of town for three months), and fought with the gefilte fish jar for about 30 minutes.  That sucker would NOT open.  I asked if Mark had run the jar under hot water, got a look of "Do what?" from him, and less than a minute later the jar was open.  Apparently he'd been struggling with the jar all week. 

We munched on matzoh crackers and cheese, had kosher wine (Not Manischewitz!!) and chatted.  Leslie arrived with some spinach, and we chatted some more. Leslie sauteed the spinach with garlic and olive oil, and then we sat down to eat. 

The feast was delicious.  Soup, gefilte fish with horseradish and matzoh, brisket, potatoes, sauteed spinach and salad. The wine flowed, the conversation was engrossing, and it was really wonderful.  Mark's retelling of the Passover story was fun and educational. It was lovely.  After dinner I dished out the kugel.  Did I mention Leslie is a professional chef? Did I mention she makes incredible desserts, has had her own bakery and her food is divine? Yeah.  So I serve the kugel and they both LOVE it. By the end of the night the 2 quart kugel pan was more than half gone.  To know that these two people with very discriminating tastes enjoyed a recipe I'd never cooked before made me happy.  To know that I helped feed people for Passover made me happy.  To actually celebrate Passover with friends, and have a small seder filled me with joy. It wasn't too big, it wasn't too small.  To quote Goldilocks, this seder was just right.

It was a pleasure to end the holiday by breaking matzoh with my friends.  You'll have to excuse me now, because I've got some brisket leftovers in my fridge that are begging to be eaten for lunch.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Insert Witty Title Here (AKA I haven't gone to bed yet and it's 6:15am)

I really want to go to sleep.  Truly.  Seriously.  But I would have to wake up in 3.5 hours.  I don't think that's enough sleep.  I've checked the usual suspects.

  • It's not the full moon.  
  • Mercury isn't retrograde. 
  • I didn't drink tea or coffee after 5p. (Make that tea, as I didn't have any coffee today/yesterday.) 
  • There aren't any freaky noises coming from inside or outside the house. 
  • I'm not in the middle of a gripping novel that I can't put down. 
  • I'm not engrossed in any of my "Stories".

What the hell, man?!?

Maybe it's time to back away from the computer and close my eyes.  Then again, maybe I should just start up a pot of coffee now and hope for the best.  Either way, I think it's a crap shoot.

I know... I'll flip a coin.  If I was going to be incredibly geeky about this I'd get my camera and document the coin toss.  I am now, however, feeling that ambitious, so ya'll will have to trust me on this.  WAIT!  I can do this in an appropriately geeky fashion!  Here we go....

Heads I get into bed. Tails I stay up. I'm using a 1913 Liberty Head Nickel as they don't have any NYS quarters or Sacajawea's.

And... TOSS!  OK then.... bed time it is!  Sweet Dreams.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Home & space

We've been home just a week now.  The trip cross country was pretty amazing, and I need to write about it.  I'm not sure how I feel being home.  I miss my Faire Family on the road.  I missed my ITown family while we were gone.  It's a give-and-take.

I feel like there is so much to do and not really a lot of time to do it.  The next officially booked show is VARF at the end of May, but I'm looking for more gigs.  I'm always looking for more gigs. :grin:

I will say that it's pretty awesome to watch DB run around the house and have more room to stretch her legs than when we're living in the Winne. That's probably one of the things that's really hitting me right now. There's so much SPACE. A separate room to priv, to cook dinner, to relax, to sleep, to play... it's CRAZY how much room there is here. :grin:

This is a pretty short post as DB is ready for snuggles and bed time. Bye Bye, Everyone! (for now!)

Friday, April 1, 2011

The timing of things

Who is it that figures out when things should open and close. Is there some secret committee that makes these decrees? Can you picture a darkened boardroom filled with cloaked figures wearing very expensive shoes as they make the decisions that affect the rest of the populous?

McDonalds... they shall be open 24-7 across the country
CVS... they shall be open 10-8 on the east coast and 9-9 on the west coast
QT... they shall be open 6-12, but only on the west coast
Target Pharmacy... they shall be open M-F from 9-9 across the country, except near Phoenix AZ where every pharmacy, minus one, will close at 7p.  That lone pharmacy will close at 9p.

I am not kidding.  I have never heard of a Target Pharmacy closing at 7p during the week.  Where's the convenience? Where's the consumerism? Where's the Love? Where's the freaking complaint box?

This is relevant, because tonight I needed to go to a Target Pharmacy to pick up an emergency inhaler. I posted earlier about the coughing. Really, it's the post prior to this one.  If you missed it, you should read it. I'll make it simple, here's the link.  I called the Target Pharmacy closest to AZRF to double check that I could pick up a refill, and they said yes.  They had the medication in stock, it would take 30 minutes to fill, and would be available within 45 minutes of the call placed by my doctor.  Julie, the helpful person on the phone, assured me that I cold pick the inhaler up tonight. This was at 6:35pm. Don't you think it would have been more helpful if Julie said, "We close at 7pm, so you may not be able to pick your prescription up tonight.  If you need it tonight, you should call the Pharmacy in Gilbert." Moving along...

My doc called me at 6:45, I gave her the number, and she called me back 10 minutes later saying the pharmacy was closed. Was I sure this was an emergency? Did I really need the inhaler tonight?

Never mind that I'm coughing like a whooping crane with a 10-pack-a-day cigarette habit, how could the Pharmacy be closed?   I just talked to Julie!  I reasurred my doc that I really did need the inhaler and she said she'd call me back in 5.

I looked up and called 6 Target Pharmacies in 5 minutes.  I shit you not, every single one was closed except for the one in Gilbert.

Gilbert is 28.5 miles away.  I drove an hour (round trip) because that was the only available & cost effective option. W.T.F.

The happy part of this story is that I was able to get my inhaler, and my breathing is less laboured.  I can take a full breath and not cough! Mind, I'm still coughing, but not as much thanks to the mucinexDM.  I am incredibly grateful that the Gilbert Target Pharmacy was open.  I'm incredibly grateful that my NY doctor called the refill in for me.  I'm incredibly grateful that my breathing is improving.

I am, however, still pissed at the boardroom of faceless decision makers. To them I say, "Fie! You are fools (and not the good kind with the silent E at the end)! You are miscreants who make others lives more difficult. You are PITA'S!!!!!"  I would say other things to these faceless decision makers, but my brain can't think of anything else witty to say.  I'm sure I'm also somewhat distracted by their lovely shoe-ware.  I do get distracted by the shiny things.

You know, I feel much better having gotten this off my chest.  I've only coughed a handful of times, too. That's Progress!


PS:  The SuperTarget is pretty snazzy.  Not only does it have all the regular Target stuff, but everything is laid out differently AND there's a supermarket area.  The best part of this, however, can be summed up in two words: Chobani Yogurt!  Yes, the elusive Chobani, that I crave and can find sometimes, but not every time, at Wal-Mart-o' Doom was there in full force.  They even had flavours I'd never seen before!  Lemon and Mango (two separate flavours).  Gotta take the good with the PITA'S with the yogurt, I guess.   G'night all!


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