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Showing posts from March, 2008

Just the Suppers...

Wednesday Supper:   I was out tutoring so Ted bought Sobey's roast chicken & made potatoes etc to go alongside.  I got home just at bedtime and had a nice supper with Ted.  Leftover Shabbos soup - squash & chicken mixed.  Nice!   Thursday Supper: (yes, I finally made supper this week!) ~ Salmon Croquettes ~ Mashed potatoes ~ Elisheva-made rotund rolly cake - mostly whipped cream but YUM!  :-)   Elisheva stayed home today, YM was off in the afternoon, Sara came over, GZ wouldn't sleep... busy day and I am exhausted.  Gnite!   <3 J   Oh - picture-less garden update:   Sprouting this week! ~ Lemon Bee Balm ~ Multicolour sweet peppers ~ New batch of coleus in the tinfoil coleus pan ~ New batch of dill because the old batch doesn't smell!   Oh - my parsleys also aren't smelling much.  I'm wondering if this is something I'm doing wrong?  I ought to taste one to see if I need to start those all over again, too.   Growing w

Wish I had a camera.

Just put Gavriel Zev in the swing with a rice cake.  He was reasonably content but because the temperature is +6, I decided to open the wooden door and let him look out.  I turned the swing to face the bright outside light & street scene and it's like a Wall of Wonder just opened up for him... he is staring, enraptured...   Supper   No idea.  I'm out tutoring - we'll pick up Ted at 4:30 and I'll tutor up north at 5 so I can be home by 8 at bedtime.  Everyone's on their own for supper.  The dishes are washed & I'm folding laundry and trying not to care.

Ha - Ted's out & we have SUPPER!

On my way out this morning, Ted said "there are perogies in the freezer in case you don't get a chance to make anything."   Well, ha.  To me, that sounds a LOT like a challenge! And I've been thinking about his idea that cutting wheat and dairy might be very good for Yerachmiel Meir, based on their experience on Taanis Esther, when by the end of the day, YM was calm & clear-headed, compliant and totally non-argumentative.  Unlike himself in every way, in other words.  I thought it was just due to hunger, but Ted thinks maybe there is something to the "wheat-n-dairy" thing.   I am more leery of it because a) how could so many people suddenly develop an intolerance to what has been such a staple of our diet for millennia???  And then there's b) how do you go about changing the diet of an opinionated 13-year-old???   Anyway, I figure I can start by offering a few non-wheat, non-dairy meals each week.  Last night was a rough start - no

Taking the boys (& Naomi Rivka) out!

How to entertain a red-blooded 13-year-old video-game addict, his 11-year-old history-buff friend, a nummy-interested baby and a squirrelly spring-yearning toddler? Bring them to see flowers!!! That's what we did today at the historic Allen Gardens. The boys were actually reasonably captivated by the warm temperatures - and the varying temperatures from room to room - as well as the numerous plant species. Doesn't that sound dull?I had a great time, loved seeing all the living stuff! But I wish they had labels for the plants. I seem to remember saying that last time, because otherwise, unless you're "in the know" all you end up doing, a lot of the time, is standing around going, "Oh, there's another one of them floppy things, Edna!" I seem to remember saying that when I went with Sara also. This time around at least I knew some of the more obvious things. Lots of fabulous spring things in bloom; the "spring" room was easily our favouri

Weekend without camera...we went MAPLING!

We didn't have a camera, but we DID manage to get out to the sugarbush - aka Kortright maple syrup festival! - before the maple syrup season ended this year. The only problem was, we got there before it started! With an expected high of -1 yesterday, there was no chance the sap would be running. Many trees had trickles of frozen sap running down them, but no signs of the "cold nights, warm days" that they need to get the sweet stuff flowing again. BUT the fun part is we all went! How, you ask? Well, we borrowed the parents' car. I drove the littles and one big (EC going, YM coming back) and Ted drove whoever was left. Everybody behaved reasonably nicely. YM started out kind of snitty but later cheered up a lot - maybe because he got a taste of maple syrup. One of the ladies stirring the pots at the old-fashioned mapling station (at left) mentioned something I never knew... when the pots threaten to boil over, which would a) lose precious sap and b) jeopardize th

OK, can't keep pouting.

Suppers:   Hmm... where to begin?   Sunday - pizza at parents Monday - hmm... what was Monday?  Oh, yeah... supper pout failure - matzah brei & macaroni-tuna casserole (which Elisheva made) Tuesday - Ted was off - Ted-made stir-fry!  (I was out tutoring & had stir-fry waiting for me when I got home) Wednesday - quiche night - tinned spinach w/fried onion, nuked veggies on the side Thursday - Purim - tonight!  Umm... oh, yeah, Shake n' Bake chicken   Camera still broken.  Lame-o "estimate" from Nikon people says it's too expensive to fix but they'll give us an upgrade to a new camera for $120.  Same deal they gave us last time.  Aargh.  Meanwhile, for Purim, I had Ted buy a disposable camera.  There are NO choices here, that's the lousy part.  Either buy an inexpensive film camera and spend a ton on developing lousy pictures, spend $100-120 for a digital camera and have it break in 6 months, or waste $10-12 on processing-included d

Fw: plants on Craigslist...

Stood up at a CL pickup today - almost a first for me. Waah. These would have been lovely plants, too. :-( What a bummy week. ----- Original Message ----- From: XXX (me) To: XXX (him) Sent: Monday, March 17, 2008 1:15 PM Subject: Re: plants on Craigslist... Well, honestly, that's just plain not nice. I hadn't heard back from you this morning, so I called him before going out to make extra-sure you guys would be there. Then, about 12:30 at the Convention Centre, I called his number to find that not only weren't you there, but that you weren't interested in selling at the price I mentioned in my very first email. I do apologize for not sticking around (did I mention the baby, toddler & friend waiting in the car?). The whole deal just seemed too complicated by the lack of clear communication at your end. Ultimately, we just came home. I'm sure this must have been an astonishingly busy week for you guys (I attended the show on Thursday & had a great time!)..

OMG, the camera broke

Waaaaaaaaah... How are we going to get along without a camera???  And why do these stupid STUPID okay DAMN stupid LCD viewfinders keep breaking? And why are the warranties so very, very bad??? I am not exceptionally abusive with cameras, but there is everyday wear and tear and in this case, one bump and they are DEAD dead DEAD.   Shabbos Food:   Dinner: Garlic/onion parmesan bread Canneloni with spinach/ricotta filling & ez sauce (2x tins sauce, 1x tin tomatoes) Bean salad (from mommy) Corn Fruit salad YM-made Tiramisu - he did a great job! 4-layer white-brown cake - I baked the layers, Elisheva iced with chocolate icing   My heart is SO not in this suppers thing at the moment... SO sad about the camera??   Lunch: Challah Steak salad Cholent Carrot salad pasta salad YM-made brownies - another great job, he used OJ instead of water.   Guests admitted to Ted this morning that they don't eat meat... WHY!!!?! don't people mention this ahead o

Eco Whatever Thru the Ages

We watched Star Trek IV:  The Voyage Home the other day - you know, the funny, spock-directed one where they save the humpback whales.  It was like a window into the 80s.    What struck me was how gentle and earnest environmentalism used to be... like, "here's a nice cause - let's think about saving whales!" These days, it's more like, "oh, my Gd, we're all going to die!  SOON!" I dunno which is more likely to be effective.  I mean, I understand that scientists have new information, and I know we all have to cut back on our consumption of the planet rather drastically, but... I suspect people may be either petrified into inaction or feel the task is too great for them alone.    My guiding principle comes from Pirkei Avos:  "Lo alecha hadavar ligmor, aval lo (ayn?) ata ben chorin l'vatel mimena" ("It's not upon you to complete the task, but neither are you free to desist from it.")   That said, here's a video

Gavriel Zev's Purim costume!

Oh, why, won't blogger let me post more than 4 pics at a time from Picasa??? Anyway, here are shots of Gavriel Zev's costume-in-progress. He's being a sock monkey. BEFORE shot: Actually not quite before as I had already cut the socks up before I realized I might want a picture. I have used 9 socks so far. They are all from Dollarama, $1 per pair, so if I use 10 socks, that'll be $5 for a costume!!! AFTER shots: Sewing is kind of the opposite of food photography... everything looks so masterful and accomplished even if up-close it looks kind of horrible. I am hoping people will see only the cuteness of my baby and not so much the flaws in his sock-monkey suit. Thanks to Big Purple Bunny as usual for his modelling prowess. NOTE: I haven't decided what to do for the head yet. There is a head-thing that I am deliberately leaving unformed while I decide - I originally wanted it to be a hood with monkey ears, and that's still my first choice. Right now, it's

No clue! Last night's supper!

How do they manage to get tantalizing photos of food for magazine & cookbook photo shoots??? These are the best I could do with last night's supper... The soup was a beef-based barley-mushroom soup. There's a tin of tomato paste in there also, but fresh onion, mushroom, barley and no artificial anything. Mmmmm... Ted says it was a meal in itself. Sticky chicken - chicken wings floured, deep-fried and then transferred to a pan of the same Teriyaki Sauce I made last Shabbos. And there was rice. It was all SO yummy together; I was very proud because I'd been feeling so thoroughly horrible just a few hours before.

Indoor garden update, Part 3

OK, this will be it about the garden and then I'll shut up. (today, YM got mad about something and said "if I was a plant you'd pay attention to me!") (oh, I remembered why - he was late going out to meet Sara and go to the NFB together, and he'd neglected to think about or ask for TTC fare... aargh) So here are the original 3 coleus who started it all. I call them (left to right) Frilly, Reddy and Orangey-Pink. The stems have gotten quite thick. They do look a bit mangy where I've taken bits off, but actually, they're really getting quite leafy now. I've left them alone for a good couple of months now in preparation for going back out into the garden. Close-ups of the three types (best example of each): Frilly Reddy Orangey-Pink

Indoor garden update, Part 2

This is exciting! Elisheva's spider plant is having a baby! I laid it gently on the soil of another pot - the one from her second spider plant that she divided badly (hint: roots go below the soil level). I haven't been able to see what's happening because it's on top of the bookshelf, so I held the camera high up to get a close-up... looks like new leaves are starting to form; maybe some roots, too! Here are the recovering coleus in their Coleus ICU - I took the sad-looking ones from downstairs and lined them up on the upstairs windowsill. I figured it would be less light but more warmth, and warmth, apparently, is what they need (okay, I also remember to water them a bit more often). All but the farthest-left one are now totally out of the woods. This may be my last wintersown container - found some of the Amaranthus Velvet Curtains that I have been dreaming of and stuck it in a soda bottle I found at a neighbour's curb last Thursday (recycling day). Ther

Indoor garden update, Part 1

Moved some parsley into an orange crate "flat" - this is an experiment. I hope it thrives, although I tried orange crates two years ago in the garden and they did miserably. This is only a temporary measure, and so far (this picture was taken five hours post-relocation) they're doing okay. They're in their little peat pellets still, so maybe the transition won't be so hard. Left: Double-decker echinacea; Right: Gaillardia; Background: Mystery Coleus. Coleus has true leaves now, as does the gaillardia. Echinacea is being slow to start; maybe I need to water with kelp again. Close-up of the Mystery Coleus. Leaves are looking promising - I can't wait to see their colours!!! And here are some baby petunias, FINALLY starting to leaf out a bit. Someone posted online that once petunias get started, they really go fast. The teeny-tiny ones in the background are my Butterfly Bush (buddleia davidii). Some have one true leaf, but they are slow starters as

Wooden spoons

YM lost his tefillin at shul but actually FOUND them today... so immensely relieved, since we definitely can't afford to replace them. I said he was supposed to label them before the day was out today, but of course, I forgot and they never did get labelled. Tomorrow. Supper! Oy... just realized I never posted the pictures I took of last night's supper: or did I??? Just checked - nope. Yummy chicken wings and a yummy beefy mushroom barley soup. Will post those next (out of sequence, but oh well). Here's tonight's supper: ~ Broccoli-Rice Casserole (yummy recipe here ) ~ Easy glazed carrots (* recipe below) ~ Slushies! I sent Ted out to finally buy Rosh Chodesh slushies for the kids. They got stuck in traffic & were gone over an hour... but at least everyone knows Adar is here. Too cold for slushies, really, but Adar is Adar. During the winter months, we are not so strict about observing Rosh Chodesh this way; we have to draw the line somewhere. Today was

A movie to miss...

Saw it already, urgh.  CanCon, but still... urgh. Nice that they email these instead of phoning, though! ---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: < > Date: Mar 11, 2008 4:10 AM Subject: Library Notice Tuesday, 11 March, 2008          JENNIFER M XXX          XXX AVE          TORONTO          ON          XXX 3R3                            HOLD NOTICE The following item(s) are being held for you until the date shown below. Please pick the item(s) up at the branch shown below. 1   Bon cop, bad cop [videorecording].      Canuel, Erik.      call number:FEATURE BON                                 copy:1        Pickup by:17/3/2008      hold pickup library:Maria A. Shchuka Library  

Feeling much better...

Out tutoring last night, then woke up SO painfully engorged at 6:30 - 12 hours since I'd nursed anyone: eek! Chills, fever, and a bunch of tylenol/ibuprofen later and I'm starting, STARTING to feel human again. Called mommy to beg her to make us supper, but she was out & hasn't phoned back, so I guess we're on our own, and I'm okay to make it as long as the littles don't bug me too much. Supper: Sticky chicky wings with same teriyaki sauce as last Shabbos Rice Umm... supposed to be beef/veg soup but no veges in the house. Urgh. Remembered today that I invited the parents for Shabbos dinner this week, AND Judy, and now Sara... oh, well; that's only 4 extra and Sara will be here to help cook! Oh, and guests for lunch, too. Can't just have ONE person; we have to invite a million at a time! If you think that's not a problem, well, you've never seen our living room. Dug up these costumes on Sunday. Mary bought them for YM & EC when they

The Sock Truth

Shhh... don't tell Sara... we buy mismatched socks BY THE POUND to save money! (and then have her spend hours on the floor trying to pair them all up) Bwa ha ha ha ha... Um, okay. I just had that weird thought as I looked at the laundry basket FULL of unmatchable socks. Supper: ~ Perogies ~ Potato Leek Soup from a tetra pak ~ Soy/sesame green beans Out tutoring tonight; joy! bliss!

Blog muse...I'm not telling...!

It's said that every writer should find his / her muse:  the person who you're writing for, theoretically, even if that person will never end up reading that particular piece of writing.  Because you use a different voice for speaking to different people in your life, and some are more formal, some are too informal, etc.  I realized the other day that one particular beloved person is the muse for this blog.  I have known for a long, LONG time that this person - who will remain nameless:  maybe it's YOU! - is an inspiration in so many ways, but I suddenly realized that (he/she) is also, subconsciously, the person I'm writing this blog to.  Or rather, "to" because he/she may or may not be aware that I actually have a blog.   Oy.  I guess it's confusing.  But it's nice to know who the muse is, because now I can just pick up the conversation easily where we left off... and I know exactly who my audience is, even if he or she (!!!) has no clu

More wetbag (aka zippered lined pouch) pics

Again, I know the zipper is wonky. Forgive me; I'm not perfect just yet. Oh... exciting! I have my birthday money from the parents and since the Sewing & Needlework Festival is smack-dab in the middle of Pesach this year, I decided I'm going to take the $$$ and go to the Canada Blooms garden show instead on Ted 's day off this Thursday (ok, no more links!) There is a workshop on "Vertical Vegetables" at 11:30 am - sounds like fun! I didn't want to go cuz I thought it would be mostly flowers, but now it seems like there might be something for everybody... except maybe crappola gardeners like me. Lucky you don't have to show credentials or photos of your past gardening successes to get in. Doubt my powdery-mildewed bee balm would pass muster. :-( OH, yes! The birthday money will more than cover cost of admission... leaving me with a certain cozy sum left over for just plain squandering !!!

Ohh, la la... wetbags, MASTERED!

Yay! I have at last mastered the art of the zippered lined pouch, a/k/a wetbag. Here's a small one - I made a pair and I'm giving one away to someone who's buying the stack of wipees underneath. (24 for $12 - bargain of the century, folks!) (makes a great new-baby gift!) Ignore how yinky the zipper is; I finally figured out how to sew it so the lining and the outer fabric are well away from the zipper so they don't get caught in the teeth. The lining here is Procare, a waterproof polyurethane-lined fabric. The pouch isn't truly waterproof because the procare lining is cut and stitched together at the sides and bottom. You couldn't fill it with water because it would just leak out, but I'm sure it'll do a fine job of holding some damp wipees for travelling purposes! Next up: a full-sized wetbag to hold icky diapers. Supper! Mommy-made Lasagna Mommy-made Garlic Bread Mommy-made Sweet potato oven fries Everything was amazing and I vowed to keep my

Erev Shabbos Snapshots & Shabbos Food

Seen here: challah rising under plastic, chicken soup brought in from the porch (Elisheva's inscription) Shabbos Food - traditional dinner! ~ Soup ~ Challah ~ Farfel ~ French green bean & onion casserole ~ Teriyaki chicken with homemade teriyaki sauce ~ Corn (of course) ~ Carrot Cake ~ Abba's Marshmallow Dessert Shabbos Lunch! ~ Gefilte Fish ~ Cholent ~ Steak Salad ~ Carrot Cake ~ Abba's Marshmallow Dessert And here are pics of everybody rushing around crazily getting ready... :-)))