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7 Quick Takes – 24

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— 1 —

Israel has a new president! President Peres is leaving office, and the 10th president of the State of Israel was elected by the Knesset (the parliament) this week. It is MK Reuven Rivlin. (MK stands for Member of Knesset.) He is of the Likud party, the current majority governing party. President-elect Rivlin promised to rise above factions and parties, and represent the people. While he will be no President Peres, I believe that while I don’t agree with his party politics, he will be a great president of this country. He is taking office on July 24th, and he is expected to be president for a single, 7-year term.

Source: Wkipedia

Source: Wkipedia

— 2 —

I’m writing this post throughout the week, as it’s Pride Week here in Tel Aviv. We have been busy attending various events. This year’s theme is Families, and there are various family friendly events… including parts of the parade. The parade on Friday will end at a park this year instead of the beach, so families can celebrate together (before moving on to the beach for some partying, of course).

This is what some of the crosswalks looked like two years ago in Tel Aviv:

crosswalk

Source: http://www.algemeiner.com/

— 3 —

 

Today (Thursday) we went to a rainbow family picnic at one of the local parks. There were many families, with over thirty kids plus us. 🙂 It was good to meet up with other gay parents, discuss some of the issues we and our children face, and it was great for the kids to hang out with other kids from similar families. Well, smaller than ours, but two dads or two moms…

We have known some of these families for several years. Some of them live pretty far away and we usually only see them twice a year, so we had a great time catching up, eating great food and playing with squirt guns. Because what else would we do? Of course as the only parent there who had not served in the military I was in a disadvantaged position and got soaking wet in a very short time… Twice. 🙂

— 4 —

Our congregation is not a gay congregation, but we are gay friendly. There are several LGBTQ members, including our rabbi and his boyfriend, and Pride Week is celebrated at our congregation with home made pizza and ice cream for kiddush after the Shabbat morning prayer. It’s cold home made pizza, by the way, that apparently everyone loves. We usually have tons of visitors for this event. It was started in our previous congregation ten years ago or so, and carried over to this one after we split up (due to size). Our previous rabbi said he’d come visit as he is going to be in town! We are excited to see him.

— 5 —

Last year I gave a friend Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi for her 37th birthday. This year, for her 37th birthday she is getting Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi  By Yotam Ottolenghi. Next year for her 37th birthday she is getting Ottolenghi: The Cookbook. Good thing Plenty More is getting published in October, or I’d be in trouble after that! 

Iown Plenty and Jerusalem. Jerusalem was written by an Arab (Tamimi) and a Jewish (Ottolenghi) Israeli from Jerusalem, bringing the real taste of the city of the book. It contains recipes that can actually be made with access to middle Eastern ingredients and a regular kitchen equipment. They also share about how the food fits in with the Jewish and Arab and Christian cultures of Jerusalem. And, of course, the books have a Pride week connection, too. Beyond the authors being gay, furthermore Ottolenghi being a gay parent, on several scenes of Orange is the New Black, Plenty can be seen in Larry and Piper’s kitchen.

To be completely honest, I started enjoying Ottolenghi’s recipes way before I found out his sexual orientation. I found it fascinating that he has a vegetarian column in one of the British papers (he started out as a journalist in Israel before starting to cook) and he can also make the best meat dishes as well. He has fabulous vegetarian recipes: he is not afraid to re-invent the vegetables, and what my vegetarian son loves about his recipes most is that they do not try to replace meat or recreate meat dishes from vegetables: he creates dishes that are independently awesome.

— 6 —


That’s Harel Skaat singing one of the traditional songs I first learnt in Hebrew. It is called “For All These Things” and here is a good, singable translation.

— 7 —

I am just fascinated by the things people are willing to believe. From Chemtrails to the White House now being dedicated to Allah to secret Zionist conspiracies to control the weather with the (now closed) HAARP… people would be entertaining if it wasn’t so darn scary that they can vote and raise children!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

 

7 Quick Takes – 8

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— 1 —

This weekend is the final of the Hungarian Eurovision Song Contest pre-selection show, called A Dal (The Song). Each of the 30 contestants who were selected for the quarter-finals made a promise to do something special in case they make the final. A capella group Fool Moon were to sing their song only wearing a sock. So they did. And you should watch this video, I promise it's totally safe for work. Or for kids who have parents with a sense of humour.

— 2 —

If talking about Fool Moon, they are the group I intend to vote for this weekend for the final. Here is the full song. Yes, it's in English.

 

I have this thing for a capella music, maybe because vocal music has such a strong tradition in Judaism. So I definitely hope they will represent Hungary in Denmark in May!

— 3 —

Since I've been writing these quick takes for three days now and it is now Sunday, here is the song Hungary will actually send to Denmark:

— 4 —

I baked this weekend. One of our shared favourites with Kevin is ministure powder donuts. While I don't have a miniature donut tin, I do have access to a miniature muffin tin, so I made donut holes. They were exceedingly yummy, and gone in like three seconds. We were assisted in devouring them by two teenage boys who have been friends with my kids online and came over to meet at last.

— 5 —

I still can't get enough of the video in #1. I think I have a Purim costume idea now! Of course walking might not be tgat easy in them, but at least I'll know where the kids are. And if we are still talking A Dal, last year's Hungarian entry, Kedvesem by ByeAlex was performed in an unusual way last night (Saturday) at the final. I was dozing off throughout the evening, but I was glad to wake up for this!

— 6 —

I heard Netflix is making an expansion! Woohoo! I saw Hungary and Israel both on the potential lists! I also found a similar service for Hungary, which works fabulously at home using my Hungarian proxy. I am tempted to buy Apple TV and downgrade our cable package. I am currently re-watching The Borgias because I love to love history's bad guys… Especially if they were turned into bad guys by their enemies without too much foundation. I quite like Richard III as well, and reall enjoyed the documentary on him… On Netflix.

— 7 —

In May my son Patrik is turning 13. He will be a bar mitzva, and he and his sisters who have turned 12 this past year will have a combined party (kids' choice: this way they get a bigger party, at a nice place, catered, fun… So they are smart). I asked what he wanted as his birthday and bar mitzvah present, expecting the usual cash or electronics. He said Yotam Ottolenghi's cookbook Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London's Ottolenghi. Yes, the very same one Piper and whatever the name of the guy played by Jason Biggs in Orange is the New Black have in their kitchen. I might not be able to wait till his birthday to get it, to be honest. Actually… If you are on your tablet, Patrik, make sure to synchronize your Kindle library.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

 

 

Random Thoughts

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  • I think this was the last ime Rosh Hashanah came this early in the Gregorian calendar. Because of changes (I think having to do with the no leap year in 2100, but most likely I’m wrong) in the calendars, it can no longer fall before September 6, so our September 5 was a special thing this year.
  • I made my first ever Pioneer Woman recipe the other day! I used her chocolate sheet cake recipe, aka Texas Sheet Cake and it was fab. Today I made one of her quiche recipes, but it wasn’t that popular. I saw she ad another one, so I might try that next. It’s just we are all very fond of mushrooms, so a quiche without mushrooms is like… Not good. But the pie crust was perfect, and the texture was awesome. Will continue working on it!
  • My kids have this idea in their head that if I’m around I will parent them. Kind of a weird concept, if you ask me. Ok, I’m kidding. But here are moments, like yesterday when the only way I can handle my Energizer ( or Duracell) bunnies is by ordering them into the pool, and letting them play for an hour or so. So yesterday aftnoon was spent in and around our pool, and we had a blast. I’d like to point out my 92-year-old grandma playing waterfights in the pool with my kids, nieces and nephews and having a blast.
  • That reminds me I read an article about Holocaust survivours living longer than members of their generations. My grandpa died at 94, his father at 91, and his mum at 97. So that seems to be true in my family.
  • Rosh Hashanah ended up being rather stressful. I got home on Tuesday, and Wednesday was Erev Rosh Hashanah. We ended up having my parents over in addition to the already big list. We had all three soldiers, two of the lone soldiers who often drop by, my grandma, Kevin’s parents and three of the kids’ boyfriends. Add my parents and the kids still at home, and it sent my anxiety level through the roof. I had the worst stomach ache, but then when I saw I was ready with everything, things got better. The second night Kevin’s brother and family annunced they’d drop by, and not to worry. That is when the cake baking happened. They brought falafel and turkey patties, so we had a nice time making random burger creations.
  • There is a new Richard Castle book coming out, the fifth Nikki Heat novel. I’m getting excited! Seriously, what’s not to love about a detective duo named Malcolm and Reynolds, and references to Storage Wars?

 

Monday Madness

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  • Kids were rather grumpy about having to go to school today when they have a baby sister they could have played with. I can totally understand that. 
  • Paperwork for said baby sister is overwhelming. It would be so much easier if we had decided to make her Irish rather than American.
  • In between taking muffins and juice to said baby sister’s mother for breakfast and taking her some home made soup for lunch today, I had several lab and imaging appointments, with a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon, and two more tomorrow, as I’m preparing for yet another procedure requiring an extended hospital stay.
  • That extended hospital stay means that I am doing laundry a lot more now: for  myself, and because of the season changes I am washing the summer clothes for the kids, and slowly switching out their wardrobes.
  • I often get amazed by what events get their own promos on Amazon. There are several for Easter, of course. There is one for April Fool’s. None for Passover. Actually, the closest I found to Passover is this one:


    And then I had to make an effort to make the connection withcleaning the chametz (levened foods) out of the house before the holiday. Amazon, you really could have put a little more effort in pleasing your Jewish buyers. Anyway, the chametz is mostly gone from my home, the matzah is purchased, and several bottles of wine for Seder are neatly hidden in the cupboard.

  • And now mentioning Amazon, I have two new books: a cookbook for kosher slowcooker recipes and Passover Made Easy. My only problem is the American measurements, but I’ll make it work.
  • The official video for ByeAlex’s song “Kedvesem” (the Zoohacker remix) debuted yesterday. It gave me a headache and a slight nausea with the text moving on the screen. 🙁 I still love the song, but won’t watch that video again. Maybe it’s better on TV, it made me disoriented watching it on YouTube. So I’m not linking it.
  • 1 Samuel 18:1And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 18:2And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house. 18:3Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul.
  • Why isn’t it this easy to come up with 7 Quick Takes on Fridays?

7 Quick Takes

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  1. So it’s now Sukkot. Another one of our lovely autumn holidays. This involves a sukkah, that is a booth outside, nicely decorated, where we eat and are supposed to sleep. My kids actually do that. Me… not so much. I spent Tuesday night and will do the same tonight in the sukkah. 
  2. When asked what Sukkot was, Ezra answered that is the holiday when we pet the etrog. The funny thing is, years ago Justin said the same thing! The etrog is a type of citron, that is part of the Four Species. We handle and wave them daily. And the kids pet the etrog. 🙂
  3. Wifi reaches our sukkah (yay!) and I’m blogging there right now. I am also having the best giggle at the below video. Of course to get the fun factor out of it you need to read the English translation copied from the video’s description and you also need to know that Harel Skaat seems to be invited to every patriotic or memorial day musical event to sing. 🙂 The other guy is Israeli comedian, actor, writer Guri Alfi.

    (Guri)
    when things are discouraging,
    and the country is under fire,
    there is always a singer who sings the “touching song”
    and this time,
    (Harel)
    that’s me.
    trembling legs, the heart is broken
    so they’ve also put a bar stool
    and that’s why.. the serious face.(guri)
    it will give an amazing effect
    if I’ll do a hoarse voice,
    and combine a windshield wipers move..
    it’s always cute(harel)
    to look like i’m sad and pensive
    I’ll pretend that I’ve seen here a mouse.(both)
    this is the “touching song” x2

    (guri)
    ooh how exciting it could be
    if we’ll add to the chorus a little bit of vo-o-o-ocals

    (guri)
    this is the “touching song” x2

    (guri)
    the crowd will light candles
    to make a sadness feeling
    and if I want to increase it
    I can always get out of the chorus, rhyme or.. rhythm

    (harel)
    and if that doesn’t help,
    I’ve got a huge trick
    I will think, like an absentminded, where did i put my wallet

    (both)
    this is the “touching song” x2

    (guri)
    It’s a long and fussy song
    so now we’ll do a modulation
    (harel)
    one more high note and i’ll be needing an inhalation.

    (guri)
    I gave everything I had
    too bad..(harel) we do not have a violin
    (guri)
    then, we’ll finish and I ask-
    hila, turn off the lights.

    (and keep one light on. ha ha ha
    she’s not my wife
    ..that’s somebody else! yes.. )

  4. I have been cooking a lot lately. I have been also spending quite a bit of time on Pinterest looking for fun recipes to try. I have done very known variety of breakfast in a  muffin tin, I think. We love them! I made soem English muffins and with the left over sausage and eggs, we replicated one of our favourite fast food breakfast items!
  5. Don’t be alarmed by the suddenly popping up Amazon banners on my sidebar. Their number will be greatly reduced, I’m just trying to find the widget I like the most. I guess I will stick with the carousel and a small current promotion banner… I just couldn’t choose between Fall reading and Halloween. While we don’t do Halloween here, I’m Irish and I have fond memories of that day from my chidhood. I can’t ait for Purim to dress up and be silly! I might actually bake some pumpkin muffins with the kids for Halloween.
  6. I was going to write about our new congregation, but this take got so long, that it deserves its own post.
  7. Shabbat shalom!

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