Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I'm fweeky bwilliant!

Yay! I have the BEST, best idea for shalach manos this year. I decided already that the theme would be "FOREVER SUMMERTIME".

Dumb, if you remember that last year's theme was "SPRING AT LAST"... but who's going to remember?

Okay, most people will probably remember the poor, doomed sunflowers we left on their doorstep... and maybe the poem as well:

"It’s a great time of year to get outside & growing!
With raking and hoeing, with seeds we are sowing.
This Purim we’ve chosen a “gardening” theme:
Spring’s taken so long that it felt like a dream.
But soon we’ll see buds and branches and shoots,
Soon little veggies will spread out their roots.
May your flowers grow strong, may they cling to the soil,
Like the Jews cling to Torah in times of turmoil.
May your spring grow so bright & so easy and sweet…
And may the seeds of redemption soon “grow” complete!"


Yes, a little heavy at the end for such a lightweight ditty, but anyway... they were generally well-received. Even though I'm sure most people's did not survive. My mother's did, for a while, but got too tall in its window and finally keeled over. Dini's lasted - she's like that.

For those who don't know what shalach manos are, they are packages that we send out for the holiday of Purim coming up on March 10. The requirement is to send one package to one friend with two food items in it. From there, we've extrapolated and generally send out thirty packages to thirty friends and relatives with 2-5 food items... and a wild assortment of cheapo kitsch that in the past has included noisemakers, whistles, fake flowers and, last year, live sunflowers grown by me at home. Oh, in Hebrew, they're called Mishloach Manot... "shlach manos" is a Yiddish corruption of the same words.
(or, as my bubby used to say: "shalachamoonis")

Anyway, for this year, I decided the theme will be SUMMER.

Elisheva and I went to WalMart and picked up a bunch of cheesy "decoration-only" (ie no UV protection) sunglasses. And waterguns. And I have a tray of 30 petunias downstairs - I'll give them out in Dixie cups.

And then this picture gave me the final concept which makes me classify the whole thing as UTTERLY BWILLIANT: Lemonade. Instead of candy, I can put in a packet of KoolAid or CountryStyle or some other type of packet-based lemonade... to make the summertime theme utterly complete.

Sometimes, I am envious of people who give out big baskets of good stuff: whole packages of cookies, big bottles of grape juice. But like I told Elisheva at WalMart the other night, sometimes I am proud of our cheesy little family and our doubtless impovrished-seeming efforts. "Poor but cheerful," that's our family motto. Though "Frummie Trailer Trash" was a close second...
Rich in love and laughter, though maybe not enough laughter lately.

So yay, me! Now all I need is costumes for the ENTIRE FAMILY.
And HAMENTASHEN.
And for Ted to be off work that day so we can work out our megillah timing and delivery schedule.
I don't want Purim this year. I feel myself pushing, pushing to keep it away.

What a cliché, right? "It's especially hard at the holidays."
I thought they meant the serious, family-oriented holidays... not the ones where you're supposed to dress up as Elvis and drink 'till you're blurry. But my father did love a good l'chaim.

Supper tonight:
(ha! Did you think I'd forget supper?)

~ Chili with cornbread. Seems like we have it every week, but according to a quick blog search, the last time was January 27th! :-o
(Hey! What helpful ammo in case the kids try to tell me we always have something like pea soup or polenta...)

For chili, this winter I have been buying Tabatchnik FROZEN chili, which is tasty on its own but not enough for everybody, and then doctoring it with: tinned tomatoes, tinned beans and taco seasoning. More fibre, more veg, more flavour! The frozen packages are only about $2, because they've been on sale so much. Everybody likes it... well, except Naomi, but she doesn't like anything.

~ Refried black beans from scratch, because I tried tinned ones a couple of weeks ago and BLAH. Mine are so tasty they sing in the frying pan. Those were more like flavourless paste. I think they were Eden brand - NOT recommended, even with salt added (they call them "lightly salted" on the package).

Hmm... I think that's pretty much it for supper. Naomi has swimming lessons, so we eat late, and for once, Ted's home this evening. Maybe I'll mix it up while he takes her to swimming.

Garden Update:
Transferred some windowsill coleus to pots and stuck them under the grow lights.
Still no visible growth on the coleus in the Lee Valley self-watering "seed starter."
MUST get wintersowing some more - there are a few more tomatoes I want to sow before the weather warms up.
MUST start parsley and maybe other herbs... indoors.
But maybe it should wait 'till after the petunias go out with the shalach manos.
Oh, and just maybe ... I should wash some dishes while my kiddies sleep!!!
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