Looooong time no speak

September 18, 2011

I think one of my last posts was about the “sound of silence” and from me. All “you” (if anyone has been attempting to follow my sparse little blog) have heard is silence! I can assure you, it means i’ve been realllly busy. My home has been really loud. Baby is no longer a baby! So I suppose we’ll now call him “kiddo”. He’s almost 2 and he’s a big talker. Those of you who know me, are not surprised. Any child of mine, would be just that. A talker. A jumper. A climber. A prayer. A singer. A learner. A laugher. And more more more. Who can sum up a human being into just words.

It has been now over a year since I’ve updated this blog. I thought about writing posts, but made a conscious decision NOT to. I just wanted to enjoy each moment. There have been times when kiddo was just tooo cute and the camera was IN my hand. And I DID NOT take the picture. I wanted to see him. Look and marvel and enjoy him. With my own eyes. I wanted to be present in the moment and I pray to G-D that I’ll remember the joy he gave/gives me with each new day. And enjoy him just as much when he is a grown man as I do now.

And so for me, I haven’t kept in touch, because I’ve been in the moment. And what an amazing year it has been!!!! I became a doula. I empowered women to have safe, normal, intervention free births. I watched new life come to this world. And I can appreciate the miracles that we experience EVERY day.

I also recently became a mikvah lady. This was a big surprise, and a huge privilege. I cannot express the amount of gratitude I feel to Hashem for choosing me for such a job. To assist women in purifying themselves to re-unite with their husbands. To be with them as they silently pray and open their hearts. To see the transformation from a tired wife, mother, sister, friend to a reborn, fresh, shining woman. It is my fortune.

Amazing. As a mother, wife, doula, and mikvah lady. In each, different role. I am witness to transformation. The transformation of my baby into a child. The transformation of my husband into a father. The transformation of the birth of a baby into a family. The transformation of a woman into the mikvah waters into Hashem’s womb into Hashem’s own baby. And it makes me think. We are all Hashem’s children. We are all miracles.

What a great year. May this Rosh Hashana bring more beautiful moments. More sacred moments. More blessed transformations and more miracles.

And with that note. Here’s kiddos favorite songs. All day long. over and over. I get to hear and dance to it.

The sounds of silence

August 23, 2010

Before Baby I used to make snarky comments about how much I hated battery required toys. Toys that make noise. Elmos that screech “that tickles” in the middle of the night or Barneys that incessantly tell me they love me.
Well, dear readers those days are gone. Bring on the noisiest toys that go BANG and CLUNK and say all sorts of ridiculous things to make baby laugh and mommy wince. WHY? Because while I was never a whiz on the logic questions, I have mastered a new equation, silence = danger.

Fridays are my busiest day in the kitchen, which means I usually leave baby to roam around the kitchen banging on pots and pans or play in the living room with toys. Usually things go well, I hear loud noises and babbling and I know that everything is under control. Then there is that moment when the house is still. I no longer hear baby babbling, the toys are in their place, and I KNOW that Baby did not decide to go and just take a nap on his own. (that would be a miracle) So I go to check out the situation, and here are some of my discoveries: Baby is tasting new things! Not food, but rather kindling for the fireplace, or licking the radiator. Our books have all been taken off the book shelve. Baby is black from soot and has discovered a new place to play. Baby found the tools and is doing some home repair. The list goes on.
But the lesson learned is that silence is no longer golden in this household. I need noise. Constant noise. I want to hear him laugh and babble and scream and bang his toys. I want to know he is safe. The disclaimer here is that baby is RARELY out of sight, but you know all you need is five minutes.
And so, while I crave some time to myself. And I do crave a moment of stillness and silence. I gladly give that all up for a happy and safe baby. Laughing out loud to my pretend circus. Screaming at the safety gate of the kitchen for some attention. And the most blessed sound of all, peacefully snoozing with his sweet little head on my shoulder.

Well. I’m a mommy now. My little boy is 3 months old today. I took some time to get the hang of the whole parenting thing. and truth is … I think it will take me a LOT more than 3 months. So until then, I’m grateful to the one above for giving me two hands, two feet, and a more patience and strength than I knew I had.  Also having helpful family is the most precious gift.

Things I’ve learned in the kitchen as a mommy.

1. It is possible to cook standing several feet away from the stovetop. while baby snoozes in the sling.

2. Nothing ever really needs to be chopped, sliced, cut evenly.

3. Babies don’t mind raw onions being cut as much as grown ups do … I mean they’re crying anyways, regardless right? (i was grating onions by 4 yrs old so I’m not the best  judge on this matter)

4. The crock pot is your best friend. Just throw ingredients in whenever the baby stops crying for a minute or two. By dinnertime you should have a meal of some sort ready.

5. There is very little a newborn can do to help in the kitchen. But your 3 yr old niece can be an excellent Sioux chef.

6. Your husband will be so grateful you remembered to cook dinner for him that as long as you serve it with a strong drink he won’t realize it doesn’t taste the way it should.

7. The mommy will never eat a hot meal again in her life … yet life never tasted soooo good.

8. OH! and how could I forget … the newest thing I could say I’ve tasted! URINE! Try not to smile a big open smile while changing your baby boy … unless your ready for a mouthful.

I’ll try to get a new recipe out there for all of you. In the meantime. Wishing you all dreams of saffron, cardamon, rose water, and honey.

Another not very Persian dinner. But still yum.  One of the most exciting things about life is living it to the fullest. We all have ideas of what living life to the fullest is. For some its traveling to remote and exotic places, or the thrill of jumping out of a plane, or trying to cram everything imaginable into your life from work, family, travel etc. For me, living life to the fullest is being super aware of everything. I mean everything, the pretty, ugly, smelly, sticky, yummy, sweet, quiet, loud, and even seemingly empty moments. So when I cook and Husband comes into the kitchen staring at how I move around the kitchen. I know that I’m living. That my Husband is watching me so carefully, because he’s in awe of how easy I make it seem and even more so because he’s afraid his reckless wife is going to break, burn, or cut something that isn’t meant to be harmed.

Being an observant Jew, you have no choice but to live life to the fullest.  Every step of your day requires so much careful thought and attention. In the kitchen, where you prepare your food. Your life source. Its even more so. You have to be aware of what foods you’re buying, how you’re cleaning them, preparing them and serving them. And then finally you have to be aware that it all comes from G-D and you count your blessings. Nothing excites me MORE than cooking dinner, working hard, wanting to please my eaters (ok fine just Husband) and then seeing them (him) elevate your creation with a blessing. Husband looks at his dinner. One of his favorite dishes. Sesame noodles! He hasn’t had them since he’s become kosher(a lot of years). He can’t wait to dig in. He stops. He picks up the fork. He forks up some noodles. He looks at it. He softly makes a blessing. Elevating the food straight up! And from then on every bite. Really, truly, is “heavenly”. :-)

Open Sesame Noodles

Open Sesame Noodles

I call these my open sesame noodles because it’s catchy and because tonight when Husband made his blessing the Open Sesame noodles opened my heart. (OK fine that was mushy, but I’m allowed)

NOW!? Can I hear and AMEN!???

AMEN!

AMEN!

Recipe for the Sauce: No measurments here because I don’t know how to do measurments.
Mix this all up cold. No cooking required.

Soy Sauce
Sesame Oil (toasted)
Peanut Butter
Tehina
Cayenne
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Apple Cider Vinegar
Honey

For the Noodles: I use an Israeli brand that makes great Kosher Chinese noodles. But you can use whatever you like.

So its been a while since I’ve posted. Why? Because I’m a reckless housewife. I cook. I clean. (although some (eeeehhhhhem) might say I’ve missed a few spots) And we stay busy. It turns out there are lots of things I want to do before life changes forever. A quick 3 day vacation would be nice. Anyone have any suggestions for Montreal? Gardening took a backseat for a few weeks what with all the rain. But the sun is out now! Lots of walking and swimming lately which has made my very tight muscles feel nice and loosey. BUT as often, I digress … A few months ago my picky eater husband was telling me how much he missed pierogies. It was his favorite treat as a teen and since he’s gone kosher he hasn’t found a brand that he can trust. WELL, since I LOVE pierogies and don’t have the stamina to make them by hand I was on the lookout for some good, Kosher, Parve, Kemach Yoshon, Pierogies and best of all they were made by a Jewish company. We like to support smaller companies that work hard to provide kosher goods at reasonable prices. Its not easy being the little guy. SO I found! And then I made. My sister-in-law jokes that I eat like a boy. After this recipe you’ll see why.

Ingredients:
1 Sliced Onion
1 Can of Saur Kraut
1/2 Bottle of good dark full bodied Beer
Pierogies
Dash of Cayenne Pepper

Step 1: I start by caramelizing my onions in hot oil (I use canola oil for this one, as I don’t want the flavor of the olive oil in there).  There are lots of great instructions on the internet. I don’t go too hard core on this one. I like to do a light caramelization. Add onions to hot oil, don’t touch them, stir them or anything on medium high heat. Once they brown do a quick stir and let them sit again. If you’re patient and not too scared … it will work out.

Step 2: Add your MOSTLY drained Sauer Kraut to the onions and let caramelize as well throw in a dash of Cayenne

Step 3: Add 1/2 bottle of beer. We used this one.

I'm not much of a photographer, huh?

I'm not much of a photographer, huh?

Step 4: let it all simmer and brown and stuff … it should look like this.

Another great photo that makes this blog so interesting.

Another great photo that makes this blog so interesting.

DON’T DRINK AND COOK. OTHERWISE YOU WILL LOSE YOUR CAP FOR THE SALT

Another day in the reckless housewife kitchen.

Another day in the reckless housewife kitchen.

Step 5: Cook the pierogies in boiled water and once they float add them to your beer and kraut sauce. Let it simmer some more.

Your Pierogies should look somewhat like this!

YUM

YUM

AND if you like to eat like a boy. You add some sour cream and pickled Jalapeno and its a real treat!

More YUM

More YUM

So there you have it. Beer, potatoes in dough, Onions, Sauer Kraut, Cayenne, Jalapenos and Sour Cream … YUP! I eat like a boy! Last week I made potato skins and veggie chilli for dinner that was another manly meal you missed out on.
NOW if only he would eat a little meat! I would add some smoked sausages from our kosher butcher and lose the sour cream and we would have a very hearty dinner.

This blog is dedicated to my good friend and college room mate Leanne. Who taught me the joys of pierogies.

ANYWAYS this was last night’s dinner. Stay tuned for some improved photography (I’ve volunteered husband for this one) Some Sesame Noodles and some Persian Love Cake. I’ll teach you how to use those exotic spices in your gourmet market that you’ve been eyeing.

Peace, Love, And all that jazz!

I spoiled husband. He won’t admit it, in fact he’ll tell you he ate better before marriage. He thinks he’s funny that way. But I can assure you that there is NO WAY this guy ate during his bachelorhood. I saw his fridge and I saw his laundry (he saved me six months worth for after the wedding) There was no food in that fridge and there was no food stains on his shirts.

But I digress.

Until I was blessed with this cute little Bun in the Oven I cooked. I baked, and cooked and was always prepared for Husband’s arrival home. Until I started to REALLY I mean REALLY lose my appetite and find all smells of food absolutely repulsive. Husband would come home and the cupboard would be bare, I’d be sleeping or vomiting. And Husband along with his smelly food would be banished from anywhere near me. BUT Happy days are here again! And so the sweet sound of Husband asking “Honey, what’s for dinner?” returns.

Tonight! I really wanted to wow Husband. But it’s not so easy. You see he’s a vegetarian. He’s also a picky eater. But there are some things I know he loves. Pasta, tomatoes, cheeses, creams, SAFFRON, some veggies, and bread. So I figured that whatever I made would have Pasta and Saffron in it.

So I winged it and pulled the following out of my fridge and pantry.

Angel Hair Pasta
Frozen Peas
1 Lemon
Cream Cheese
Olive Oil
Butter
Cooking Sherry
Garlic
Tomato
1 Egg

And this is what I did with it.

Heated up some olive oil and butter. Added in 1 clove garlic and some lemon zest, 1 diced tomato, and some frozen peas.  Add in a little cooking Sherry. Let it all simmer. Add a little more butter and a little bit of cream cheese let that all simmer. Add in Salt. Then add the Saffron! It will look like this. (realistic photo as I’m not much of a photographer)

Saffron Sauce

Add in the Angel Hair pasta (cooked of course) (I’m not going to try to teach to make pasta) Make sure its just a little bit underdone. Also save some of the pasta water and add that in as well.  Let it all Cook down. Add 1 Egg Yolk and mix it up quickly so the egg doesn’t scramble.
egg

Wake Husband up from his nap. Tell him he must get up IMMEDIATELY to eat your creation. As this is a serve immediately kind of meal. (I took a picture of Husband napping but I know it would be not nice to post it … sorry)

dish
As your sweet little heart shatters into pieces, listen to husband declare “This is very good honey. I’m just not a big fan of peas” Well at least he finished all of it and went for seconds and thirds. Tomorrow night he’s getting Peanut Butter and Jelly (maybe)

For those of you who think this is a pretty decadent meal. Otherwise known as a heart attack waiting to happen … (G-D Forbid!) Rest assured this is not part of our daily diet.

Home Sweet Home

June 9, 2009

Home Sweet Home
Our new home is unfinished but we’ll stay for a while and make the best of it. The walls are freshly painted, new cabinets have been installed in the kitchen, fresh new granite and marble combine with faded hardwood floors in this ivy covered cottage in one of the most affluent suburbs of one of the most affluent cities in the world.

We are on our way to living the American Dream, a baby on the way, a new business we can call our own, a home being rented while we look for something more permanent, life seemingly becomes more settled and certain with each day. Yet our painters laugh as we ask them to leave a square measuring 2 feet by 2 feet unpainted, exposing the yellowed walls, the water damage, and the original state this house was found in.

This makes the house incomplete. You can look around at the antique chandeliers, the brand new furniture, and the well manicured lawns of our neighborhood. But our home is incomplete there is a square directly above the fireplace where you can see  that this is our temporary dwelling but it cannot be our home.

I light my Shabbat Candles at that same unfinished spot, a picture of my new husband and I under the Chuppah moments before he is told to break the glass under his feet. All these reminders of how we can try to complete each other but the spot where G-D joins is still empty. Our home is a mini sanctuary, with hopes of bringing down the holy spirit of G-D in each room, the kitchen where prepare our meals, the living room with our couch and our modest collection of holy books of wisdom, the dining room table where our growing family will share meals and sing praise to G-D, and the bedroom where we share our intimate dreams for a sanctified life.

So life goes on, and with each breath of prayer, and with each holy commandment, a silent prayer for the rebuilding of our permanent home is uttered. Our permanent home where our love is ultimately completed, where every expression is elevated directly to heaven and each blessing sends its ray of warmth directly into our lives. Each day look at the unfinished, the incomplete, with each glass shattered chuppah, with the wail of each child coming into this world we’ll remember our desire for completion through the divine.

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