Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pesach: The Abridged Version

Well, soon Pesach will be just a distant memory. If it isn't already. Yaakov has been celebrating Lag B'Omer for a few days now. And I know you are all still wondering - how did aliyahbyaccident celebrate Pesach?

Well, it's like the pictures. In America, I used to buy prints fairly often, and of course I would buy tons. Because the picture of Yaakov holding the lulav is cute, and so is the picture of him holding the lulav AND etrog. Here, I have found it very difficult to buy prints, so I end up buying them once or twice a year. And when you only buy pictures every six months, suddenly you realize that, really, the one picture of all the kids with a lulav is all you need. (Not that you're not adorable Yaakov, with the arba minim or without.)

It's the same with blogging. Now that so much time has gone by since Pesach, I realize I don't need to bore you with every excruciating detail of every day. But I don't want to leave you hanging. So I present to you:

ABA's Pesach in 100 200 Words or Less (Not Including the Title)

Shabbat Hagadol with extended Samson family in Ashkelon hotel. Family nice, but food Pesach. :P

Erev Pesach - Nadav scared of Bubby and Zaidy, so did prep with baby glued to my arms. Found and burned chametz. Goodbye chametz.

Seder – kids sang, very cute, had good time, everyone ate, drank and pointed (except when not supposed to.)

Wednesday – went to beach, big “happening” near beach. Lots of traffic – bad, but empty beach – good! First of many lunches of chips, veggies and ice cream. Left car lights on, dead battery, whoops. Steak and French fries for dinner. Mmmm.

Thursday – climbed Masada. Well, to cable cars. Climbed on ruins, Nadav played in dirt.

Friday – rained a little, went to Appalonia anyway. More ruin climbing and nice views. No one wants Pesach rolls anymore.

Shabbat – Yaakov turned 5 (English). “But we forgot to give out the invitations!” Birthday/birthday party confusion.

Sunday – Mini Israel. Climbed Masada again. Returned home for more cooking/cleaning.

Final – had matzah party as chag ebbed away. Then I sat on couch as Donny un-Pesached the house.

Tuesday – food shopping, bank, park Canada. Nadav played in dirt. Macaroni and cheese for dinner. Mmmmmm.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

More Pesach Thoughts

As much fun as it is to have to rid your house of matzah (and the fun quotient is indeed very, very low, pretty negligible, in fact), I am grateful that we do not have to rid the house of matzah before ROY (rest of year) begins.

Butt Cheerios are a pretty hardy and resilient species, but nothing clings to the clothes like matzah crumbs. There are crumbs residing in every inch (i.e. centimeter) of this apartment, despite the multiple sweepings and floor washings that occurred every day of Pesach. Every time I changed Nadav and unleashed an avalanche of teeny tiny matzah bits, I said a little "thank you" to God that He left it up to me this time to decide if I want to clean out every little crumb with a toothpick. (I do not, by the way.)

Although this switchover to ROY was confusing to some of the younger members of our household. Yaakov was aghast this morning that we drank the orange juice which stated very clearly that it was "kosher for Pesach."

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hello! We're down here, under all the matzah!

Oh Loyal Readers, we at aliyahbyaccident have not abandoned you. We are just buried under the crunchy stuff. And eggs. LOTS of eggs. And intense Family Fun.

We hope to extricate ourselves soon, and regale you with the exhilarating tales of charoset, dead car batteries, Momz and DADZ, defying the rain, and more.

For now, I will leave you with just one thought.

I am not one of those people who's all like, Living in Israel is perfect! America is a terrible place to live!

I mean, I like a lot of things about America. Those baby carrots. Chex. Free banking. And English.

But I am so very, very, very happy for only one day of chag. Very very happy. Especially for only one seder. Very very very happy. Kind of makes up for having to do the Ashkenazi Kitniot Squint. And even though less chag means less time to squeeze in all of our Favorite Pesach Treats, it's a compromise I'm willing to make.

Anyway, now we are going to try and stick one last Family Fun Outing in between the final cooking and chag prep. Enjoy your last day(s)!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Donny's Pesach Granola

Many (well, 2) of you asked for the recipe for Donny's Pesach granola cereal. This recipe comes from his grandmother on his mother's side.


Pesach Granola Cereal

10-12 apples, grated
3 pounds (packages) of matzah – some whole wheat, some regular
¾ cup oil (hazelnut adds a nice flavor)
300-500 grams shredded coconut (if you use fresh, you need less because flavor is stronger. But then you need a hammer and an ice pick. And lots of time.)
2-3 tsp cinnamon
2-3 cups honey

Crush the matzah into small pieces. Mix in apples, coconut, oil and cinnamon.

Add honey in layers. First, spread a layer of matzah mixture on the bottom of a pan. Drizzle honey on top – don’t mix it in. Keep adding layers of matzah and honey. Bake at 180. It takes a few hours to cook completely. During the cooking process, “baste” the cereal – gently toss the cereal every 15-20 minutes as it cooks. This allows it to cook evenly.

Enjoy with milk! Dried cranberries are good also (add them when you eat, not during the cooking.)

Be warned: Making this before Pesach is very difficult because the children enjoy helping, but then you have to tell them they can’t eat any yet. Oof!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Those Crazy Sorta Pesach Days

Well I did my pre-Pesach produce/dairy shopping at Rami Levi. I will be convalescing at home for the next week. Visitors are welcome, especially if they bring food.

Just kidding, of course! Who has time to convalesce when the contents of your kitchen cabinets are residing on your table, and you're trying to keep the chametz away from the matzah, the matzah away from the chametz, and Nadav away from everything?

Right now we are in Pesach limbo. The fridge has been cleaned, but there's still leftover non-Pesach food in there. The table is most definitely still chametz, but the kids come home and spread their beautiful Pesach projects on top of it. The toy boxes are cleaned, but Nadav crawls around with Cheerios stuck to his butt. There's Pesach food on the fridge, but don't put it on the counter!

And so it goes.

Alright, it is time to boil and burn our kitchen. See you on the other side.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


We now have NINETY ONE readers! Wah hoo!

Celebration happening NOW, at our place. Come on by - all the barley and croutons you can eat!

(Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day has got NOTHING on ABA's Free Cupful 'O Barley Day...)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Clothes Shopping: An Update

Well, folks, I know you are wondering how my sponge dress is coming along. And I am happy to report that I have halted production on my new invention. Because today, Loyal Readers (all 89 of you), I found clothing! That's right!

I went to this store called Discreet. I had passed it a few times before but assumed it sold, well, discreet things. You know, little tiny items made mostly out of lace and bits of string. So I never went in. But today I saw that it's actually a clothing store.

And, thanks to the wonderful world of blogging, especially the advice of Commenter Abbi, I went into armed with two bits of knowledge:

1. Get the ladies to help you

2. If you believe you can pull it off, you can (the look, not the clothing. The clothing itself, you have to be able to actually pull off.)

So I accepted help and the lady found me all sorts of wonderful clothing that I would have otherwise passed by, and much much much money later, I walked out with a bagful of clothing. I (somewhat) justified the expense by reminding myself that I am no longer five and do not grow out of my clothes every six months.

(Every February, Yaakov sports the "Oliver" look, because the pants I bought him in October are two inches above his ankle.)

I even bought a dress! The last time I wore a dress, it had a million tiny buttons down the back. And Donny had a lot more hair.

So this is very exciting news, plus we've regained our sponges for dish-cleaning purposes.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Loss and a Lack

Something unprecedented has happened. It has never happened before in the history of aliyahbyaccident, which is why I said that "something unprecedented has happened."

We lost a Loyal Reader. Yesterday, we had 90. Today, 89. That's right. Someone deliberately unReadered us! I was planning a whole celebratory 90-Loyal Reader post, but now, it is all for naught. Well, Loyal Reader #90, I hope you are happy out there, in Aliyaybyaccident-less Land. I hope you have found what you are looking for, something more fulfilling, perhaps, to read in your spare time while you should be working. We were glad to fill the role of "the thing I am doing instead of the thing I am supposed to be doing," for however long it lasted. Goodbye, and remember, if you ever come back, we will welcome you with open arms, because we, at aliyahbyaccident, do not hold grudges. For too long, anyway.

In other news, dinner for this week will consist of a quarter of a lasagna. That's all that's left after the kids ate tonight. Not quite enough left for Donny and me. Certainly not enough for leftovers.

Unless ....we supplement! With all the yummy things sitting out on the counter since we cleaned the pantry for Pesach!

How about lasagna with....
....a single frozen tilapia fillet? (Okay that one's not sitting out on the counter.)
....a peanut butter chocolate chip granola bar?
....croutons and a side of ketchup?

Is your mouth watering yet?

It looks like we did too good of a job eating up our chametz before Pesach. 'Cuz there's still one week to go and by the looks of it, we'll be slurping down tuna-popcorn shakes by the time we're through.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Clothes Shopping

I know, I probably turned many of you off right there, with the title. Clothes shopping! [Shudder.]

Well, recently I endeavoured to accomplish the above activity. Here's the catch - not for my children. For myself. I know! Crazy talk! But, see, I have only one skirt for Shabbat. I wear it every week, all Shabbat. I bought it around Sukkot time because I realized that post-Nadav, the choices were:
a. not breathe or
b. buy a new skirt

So, being such a big fan of oxygen, I bought a new skirt, but this beloved skirt has gone through a lot and now is all pilly and falling apart.

I thus set out on a quest to find a new skirt. A simple, straight, black/dark grey skirt. However, finding a new skirt that both fits AND looks nice - what can I say, I aim high - is quickly becoming a Herculean task. Only Hercules HAD skirts that fit him. Figures.

My go-to shop, Lord Kitsch, had nothing, though I doggedly check back every few days in case they suddenly receive a shipment of clothes with my name on them. ("I'm sorry, ma'am, I can't sell this to you. See here, it's clearly marked, 'Gila.'")

The other stores I went to had one of 2 problems:

1. They are, as my good friend David Silverstein would say, "dipped in chummus," meaning super-duper Israeli. You know the kind I'm talking about. Those big, swooshy skirts with layers and gathers and different fabrics and patterns that a Real Israeli can totally pull off and look gorgeous, but most of us imports try to wear it and it looks like we patched together an outfit using old wallpaper samples.

The other problem is the fabric. All these skirts are made of this clingy soft fabric. Now, I don't know about you people, but I am bumpy! And over the years, especially after the growing of and giving birth to 3 children (who, incidentally, have no problems finding clothing), I have only gotten bumpier. So this clingy soft fabric, it, well, clings. Am I the only person in Israel who does not want something clinging to all the bumps??????

2. Shop #2 is frummy. One needs to travel all the way to Kiryat Sefer to find these stores, but since one also needs plastic Shabbos sponges, one was heading there anyway. So I head into the store. Everything is all one color - black. Mixed in with a little grey. Perfect, I thought. Surely my skirt is hiding here. But these skirts all come with stuff. Belts, buttons, pleats, belts and pleats, buttons and belts, belted pleated buttons, you get the idea. These skirts are clearly meant to be paired with a button down shirt, tucked in.

And I am NOT a tucking-in kind of girl. Only in my Bais Yaakov days, where an untucked shirt led to a fine, did I tuck. Because if there's one thing I hate more than tucking, it's getting in trouble.

But lo these many years, I do not tuck. And if you do not tuck, you can't have belt buckles and buttons poking through your shirt. It just adds to the bumps. Remember those?

I'm considering fashioning an outfit out of the 6 packages of Shabbos sponges I bought. Thoughts?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Yay! Boo!

Some of the yays and boos of the last few days:

Yaakov had his gan birthday party on Friday. (5 years old, for those keeping track. He will turn 5 at least two more times before birthday season is out.)....Yay!

I got my wisdom tooth taken out....Boo!

But that gave me an excuse to buy an iced coffee (it's cold!) and a ma'afe (it's soft!) from Aroma....Yay!

We started Pesach cleaning......Yay!

Still so much more to do.....Boo!

We're being very good about using up all of our food before Pesach....Yay!

There's nothing to eat in the house.....Boo!

Yesh (the supermarket in Kiryat Sefer I visit once a year before Pesach) did NOT have those round plasticky Shabbos sponges....Boo!

The cheapy homegoods store in Kiryat Sefer DID have the matching fruit plates to go with our fruit bowls, so now we have milchig plates for Pesach....Yay!

After said Pesach shopping trip to Kiryat Sefer, with my Tired friend:

Tired,after filling up about half her cart, announced, "Well, I pretty much got everything [non-perishable] I needed."

Then there was me,throwing my entire body against the overflowing cart in the hopes that it will move under the weight of jelly, ketchup, matzah and sugar, and knowing I barely dented the list.....Yay! (for Tired)/Boo! (for me)

But I did buy MANY bags of KFPLLCHK* chips.....Yay!

Nadav found Bamba in the garbage and promptly began munching on it...Yay? Boo? You decide.

My shopping expedition today (for myself) was mostly unsuccessful.....Boo!

My shopping expedition today (for my children) was mostly successful....Yay!

*I hope you know what this stands for.