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Showing posts from December, 2008

Today's gingybread obsession...

I just took a series of pics of the gingybread house with candles inside... I have no idea why I love it so much. Here it is in total darkness, which probably suits it best. It is the world's homeliest, but it's mine, all MINE! The creepy eyes in the second photo are what Ted (or Elisheva, I forget) is referring to as the gingerbread zombies. Naomi and I made them this morning and gave them white-choco chip eyes... I didn't realize they would then look as though they arepossessed. Sigh... it's meant to be our family. :-))) I do love the fourth one here, with the light pouring out the door, even though you can see a bit of the candle, so it sort of ruins the effect... Supper: ~ Superstore chicken ~ Ted-tinned potatoes ~ Veg on the side (corn - yay!) Bad timing: Ted's sister Cheryl sent two packs of yummy chocolates and Elisheva is now begging me to have one because she can't after supper, because we'll be fleishik. She is sitting behind me on t

The Naked Gingerbread

Here, just slightly out of order, are "before" pictures of the gingerbread house, undecorated. Super-easy to make using this recipe . Won't be posting "before" or "after" photos to RecipeZaar this time around. The 17 photos people have uploaded of houses and cookies made with this recipe all look stupendous and professional. Mine, meanwhile, has a definite homemade, "smash & eat me SOON" pleading look about it. I do wish I'd made the windows bigger, though I love the way they look from the inside in this shot: Anyway, this is just a first attempt - and last, for this year, though I may use the recipe again for cookies. It's super-easy and rolls out nicely: thin and strong. Though it calls for butter, you can't really taste the butter because of the spices, so you could probably sub margarine or shortening pretty easily... G'nite, with lots of gingery hugs and teethy baby kisses! <3 J


I am so relieved: the actual, ORIGINAL divorce judgment is on its way from Calgary. In my single-minded quest to obtain a copy because my original was lost, I forgot: there was a second original, sent straight from the judge to my ex. Signature and all. Just lurking in a drawer waiting for me to mention it so my mother-in-law could fish it out. As she already did for the death certificate - this whole passport process must be killing her. Note to self: send her something lovely, immediately. I have no clue what. This literally just happened, a few minutes ago, after a rotten cold stuck-inside day phoning everybody (my MP,to speed up the passport office, my MPP, to get the original divorce paper) and otherwise neglecting my children. And then Sara wasn't sufficiently motivated to professionally decorate the lousy gingerbread house I made last night, so I had to do it myself tonight... pretty crummy job, but at least we won't feel bad smashing & eating it!!! (gaah

Fwd: Tonight's supper

Monday supper: ---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: Teddy G <> Date: 2008/12/29 Subject: Tonights supper To: "Jennifer" <> Tonight, we had: - those bread things that I rolled out (Chapatti) - white rice - the cottage cheese in red sauce?  Mattar Paneer - the potatoes in a greenish curry sauce - I made this myself, just curried vegs in yogurt - I had some pomegranate/blueberry juice with it that was a nice complement to the food   T

Card from Ted & famille

So here's what we all look like, in all our cartoonish glory. I especially love all that hair on the baby. I really must find clips or something to hold it all back!!!

No, it's not a shofar!

It is the BEST bagel I have ever, EVER made! They turned out so yummy, so easy - though a little more kneading than when I just made them as pretzels. Latkes were also delicious and homemade. You can see here that I added a bit of carrot... I figure it sweetens them up a bit, and adds a touch of flavour. And here's Ted shovelling yesterday, before the rain came and washed all the snow away and turned the world into a skating rink. We phoned my father's aunt & uncle in Israel today... now they're expecting us, or something. With the state of my fractured Hebrew, who knows who or what or when they're expecting?? :-))) Family fun day at the BJCC was a hit, once again. Took all 4 kids by myself, stayed for lunch. Baby slept in the stroller through lunch but is now wide awake. And now, both littles are in bed but nobody is sleeping. Gaah. Supper tonight is supposed to be me ordering pizza to eat at my parents' house. I am somewhat dreading it. We w

And now, from the Bad-Mama Dept...

I have been scoffing at the "dangers of the Internet" forces in the frum community because we have only one computer and it's very centrally located in our tiny house, so I figured nobody could access anything without our knowing. Until last night when I discovered that somebody had used my YouTube account to download not only fifty Hannah Montana video clips, but also a whole bunch of pretty nasty "hot teens" videos. :-o And no, it was not Ted. It was a teenager who had some sort of crazy story that I will not share here, but who claimed to be as innocent as the driven snow. Oh - I also never realized that YouTube has a "history" feature. Oops. I guess I have nothing to hide, but still: good to know. Gavriel Zev swallowed a Chanukah sticker today in the car, at least, I think that's what happened. When I buckled the kids in, I gave them stickers from a roll my mother gave me - little shiny metallic ones. Then, from the front seat,

From the Organized-Mama Dept...

I just washed Ted's kittel.  A few wine stains, but still.  Pesach?  Bring it ON!!!   Suppers:   Tuesday (yesterday) - Ted made lentil soup (from a mix), hamburgers (fried in a pan), roasted tinned potatoes, succulent delicious frozen corn on the side (no idea what he did that made it taste so good.   Wednesday (today) - Using my amazing soft-pretzel recipe (see 2 days ago), I will make Montreal-style "bagels" and serve them with soup and latkes.  Yay!

I love this picture...

Camping at Awenda, July 2008: (I had this blown up to 8x10 & framed them in clip frames, one copy for each person in the canoe) I hate this picture... But I guess that's understandable.

photo from the mall

YM took this with a demonstration iPhone on Saturday night while we were downtown seeing the lights (and ducking into the Eaton Centre because the lights were outside in the bloody cold weather)... took him 10-15 minutes to set up his gmail account on there, take the picture, email himself the picture, delete his gmail account so nobody else could use it after he left.  The whole thing while I was pestering him to go, go, go because we had five people waiting for him.   But it's just a fabulous shot - just about the best photo of my sister I've ever seen.  The kids, whatever, but she looks like a model who's just dropped in from Above to uplift their spirits at this holiday season.  The juxtaposition is a little weird, but still... fabulous photo!   Makes me regret pestering him, but it was quite obnoxious standing around while he fiddled with the insufficient iPhone keyboard. Maybe if I use the keyword iPhone a few more times, my blog will suddenly receive

Why is this pepper flowering - INDOORS?

Here's the bell pepper I brought inside to overwinter. Sure, there are nibble marks all over the leaves, but she's also - in December! - flowering like crazy. I wonder if it's going to start making little peppers? It only produced three tiny stunted peppers in an entire summer in my nutritionally-deficient square foot garden... and now it's going crazy. I think (but am not 100% sure) that this is one of the peppers I started from seed last March (?)... or whenever I started peppers from seed. Here we all are lighting candles - second night. Less chaos and spanking tonight, thank goodness. But then Ted had to go out to his work Chanukah party, leaving us all alone to eat... Supper! ~ Tuna patties (no eggs, so I used mayo and a seasoning pack that came from the egg marketing people and bread crumbs and the juice of half a lemon) - quite yum! ~ Multi-Veggie soup. Mostly frozen veg. ~ Bulgur "risotto" - stir 1 c bulgur in pan with 4 garlic cloves until

Mental Note

MUST TRY these homemade soft pretzels... Elisheva would love these when she came home from school one day... waiting for her with a mug of hot chocolate... I love having someone here who is so easy to please. The rest of us seem so much more complex. I hope this means she will have many of her wishes fulfilled in life. :-))) Chanukah party was absolutely exhausting... but a generally good time had by all. Except YM, who didn't want to be there because his friends were supposed to go paintballing, even though in the end, they didn't go. ECH kind of didn't want to be there, but then once she got started she spent an hour trying to get the stacking singing dreidl to spin. That's not exactly fair. She just wasn't having her favourite kind of leisurely Sunday: she'd gone from babysitting to laundry to babysitting again and running to my parents' house for eggs, etc. It was a lot of work for her, and overall, she held up very nicely. We have rented an apart

A new Chanukah tradition??? Churros!

Well, here's how they turned out... I'm pretty proud, actually. Here's the recipe I started with. However, I doubled the original recipe, then added 1/4 cup of sugar to the boiling water to make the choux paste. Had only a tiny bit of trouble with the piping bag at first, and then Sara showed me how to refill it properly and no more problems! I do wish I'd had a larger star tip, because I was hoping for a puffy donut-like centre, and these turned out looking more like sweetened french fries. Next time, especially if I have some notice, I'll definitely invest in a cookie press. As it was, I was happy I'd spent more money on a REAL piping bag, because the dollar store ones tend to fall apart and/or burst open if you have a thickish batter going through the tip. Instead of the traditional mexican-chocolate dip, we are doing a fondue of Cocoa Camino 71% melted with condensed milk. Mmmm.... The rest of supper, which is the Chanukah party at my parents'

Not Going My Way Day, Part 2

Oh...   15.  While in line at the post office (see Step 2 in my previous post), Naomi looked tired, so I sat her down in the corner (yes, on the floor) and gave her an elastic band to play with, because there was really nothing for her to see and do and I didn't want her wandering around the store getting in trouble.  When I was finished with the post office lady tallying the amounts (see Step 4, previous), I went to take Naomi's hand and noticed that three of her fingers were dark, dark cyanotic purple.  I quickly pulled off the elastic band and pocketed it, with a warning that she must NEVER do that again.  I think another couple of minutes and those fingers would have been in real trouble - I have never seen such an ugly colour.  And it didn't seem to be hurting or bothering her in any way.  :-o   16.  Just went to make the latkes (from a mix, no problem!), only to discover that there are only 5 eggs in the house... each packet of latke mix (there are 7)

Things NOT going my way today

1.  Having to take Ted to work at 8 am this morning.  Nothing but Xmas music on every single station.  Gaah.   A few things were okay after that, and I went out at 10 to go to the post office to take the xmas parcels I didn't get a chance to take because of the snowstorm on Friday.   Found a decent parking spot on the street behind Dollarama.  It was easy to get into because it was the first space.  There was a ton of snow on the street, but none behind me so I figured I could get out okay because behind me was a no parking zone.   2.  Waiting for a long time in line at the post office.  It was only one family ahead of us but they were SLOWWWW as they pondered all their options.  Canada Post should really simplify its pricing.  Gaaah.  I was about to strangle them.   3.  Got to the counter and the lady said the debit machine was down.  Gaah.  I made her write a sign then and there so others wouldn't be duped as I had been into waiting in line.   4.  Waited

Mango Sprouting How-To, Part 3

OK... so we're back with Mango Sprouting for Garden Dummies. Have you read Part 1 ? How about Part 2 ? After however-long the seed has sat in its paper-towel mummification, you can see (I hope) that it has sprouted a little tail. I have no idea which bit this is, the root or the shoot. I also still have no idea which side of the seed is supposed to go up. So now I take a pot - this is actually a Bio-Pot of some sort made of pressed miscanthus grass, but it was the only one I had in the house and I didn't feel like running outside. That means it will start to biodegrade in a couple of months and I'll have to place the pot inside a real plastic pot if I don't want the bottom to start collapsing where it gets wet regularly. I dumped in some bone-dry potting soil and rewet it with warmish water, stirring it around a bit to break up the icky clumps (it was nice, fresh potting soil but I let it dry out in the coleus greenhouse as the coleus

Mango Sprouting How-To, Part 2

OK, so you'll remember that in Part 1 (just a second ago, in my time!), we used a butter knife to crack open the husk of a mango PIT to reveal the soft SEED within. Here's a close-up of the seed itself. I have read that one side is officially "up" and one side is officially "down." I couldn't tell the difference, myself... sorry I can't be more helpful on that score. Anyway, what you want to do at this point with the seed is "wet it and forget it." Because it takes bloody forever for it to do anything - at least for me. Dampen a paper towel - I like it to feel wet but not drippy. Wrap it all around the seed; there's no special knack to it. Here, I've encased the mummified mango seed in a little plastic container sarcophagus - that's because I was trying to do away with baggies at the time - or at least, trying to use fewer of them than we had been; we are SOooo addicted to baggies. Howeve

Mango Sprouting How-To, Part 1

OK... here's how to sprout your very own authentic mango tree! No, I have never done this before . And yes, the last one I tried failed miserably. But here we go again. First, ignore my huge zit. Ew. I am finding it difficult. Let's move on, shall we! Here's the pit of a mango, scraped sort-of clean and left for a couple of days in a well-ventilated place to dry out a bit. This is the PIT of the fruit, but not the SEED of the plant. The seed is inside the HUSK of the pit. All these technical terms - aren't I brilliant? Look all around the edge of the pit to find the ideal spot to work in a butter knife - NOT a sharp pointy knife, or you could hurt yourself or the seed, which is actually kind of soft. I'm told this bit is like shucking oysters. Basically, you find a small gappish bit where the knife almost sort of kind of wants to go in. Then, you wiggle the knife a bit to enlarge the opening, until you feel the husk ready to crack open.