mamadeb: (Autumn Cup)
Father-in-law has been moved to a rehab for a few weeks, but he's much improved. Mom says she'll be with us on Monday night. So that's all good.

First night was lovely - just the four of us, but we had a terrific, relaxed seder that ended nice and early for a change. Second night had some fireworks before the main event, but all has been settled and the ten of us also had a fun time - and we even pulled a surprise bar mitzvah.

The young man in question was only vaguely interested in Judaic studies and his parents had other difficulties, and we, of course, were not going to push, since that would be wrong, but Jonathan was sondek at hs bris (he held the baby) and there is some sense of responsibility. Also, it's easier to get forgiveness than permission.

It was very simple, really. The purpose of the bar mitzvah celebration is to demonstrate that the young man is considered an adult in terms of Judaism and can therefore do things as a representative of other adults - lead prayers, for example, or say a blessing, and have others rely upon him that it counts - if they acknowledge by answering "amen".

There are lots of blessings in the Haggadah, including FOUR for the cups of wine. We simply had the young man read the blessing for the second cup AND the paragraph preceding it in English, and ensured the table answered "Amen." Then we congratulated him and gave him a book - Telushkin's Jewish Literacy. Still not sure about his father's reaction but his mother was thrilled. He himself was...thirteen. "Yeah, okay. Fine."

And that fifteen pound turkey? Gone. Four people on Monday night, four people for Tuesday lunch, a big hunk given to my mother-in-law, who LOVES turkey but didn't get to make one this year and the rest into a pot of soup. YAY!

And the real blog post: April 1, 2010 for realz
mamadeb: (Autumn Cup)
I have a dozen shopping bags filled with a couple hundred dollars' worth of produce and disposable goods in my living room. In about 40 minutes, that will start to become soup and beef stew and gefilte fish and farfel kugel and hardcookded eggs, but right now - well, I had had to do two shopping runs because only so much fits in the shopping cart.

Six of our proposed guests are not going to be there tomorrow, but we got four others, and one of the six was a baby, so we're pretty much at the same point. So. Three total strangers, my brother, my mom, her husband, his son and HIS exwife, [personal profile] hms42 and us. Gefilte fish, chicken soup, turkey, farfel kugel, asparagus, dessert.

Second night (Fannish night) - [profile] gimmeahand, her husband and son, [profile] fringefan, [personal profile] otherdeb, our friend Mark, our friend Zev M, and our friend Todd, and us. Gefilte fish, beef stew, dessert. Sorry, guys. You get the easy meal.

First day lunch, David and Ruthie - leftovers unless I run out, in which case roast chicken and potato kugel. Either way, broccoli.

March 26, 2010
mamadeb: (MamaCook)
I've been fighting a cold the last few days. This is a problem when you cook for people with less than robust immune systems. In fact, if Passover wasn't right around the corner, they would have sent me home. And I would have gone.

Instead, I wore a face mask (with tissues between it and my nose) and washed my hands a LOT.

However, being sick means that I had a limited number of spoons and I used them up at work. This is not good when I have a house to make kosher for passover and a large guest list to cook for. I did some the night I first got the cold, when I thought the leaky nose was a reaction to oven cleaner fumes from an oven left on too long. But I worked hard on Wednesday and collapsed that night.

I'm feeling a bit better today, thank goodness, although I still looked like a VERY oddly dressed surgeon at work. Poor Mendy couldn't even get his hugs - I only accepted blown kisses from him. And I stayed late, too.

BUT. My counters and stove top are covered in foil, I have kashered my soup pot and my gravy boat, and I have access to all my Pesach supplies. I'm not done - I need to clear off a table and cover it with a cloth, and I need to do the same for the dining room table. But I cooked some eggs tonight, so all is well.
March 24 and 25, 2010
mamadeb: (MamaCook)
I went to a convention this past weekend. It was a lot of fun, of course - bought books, hung out with friends, filked, went to a couple of panels. I did find out that a couple of friends had lost limbs (a foot and a leg) to diabetes.

This is why I'm taking care of myself. I intend to go out with all the limbs I'm supposed to. I feel so horrible for them.

But because we chose to go away this weekend, I had to start Pesach cleaning tonight. Thanks to my cleaning person, I now have a clean oven and fridge and empty drawers and cabinets. So, yay.

Meanwhile, the work pesaching seems to be complete.

New post:

March 19 and March 22, 2010
mamadeb: Writing MamaDeb (Default)
One of the things that governs holidays is that you're not allowed to do something on a holiday to directly prepare for the next day, and the next day begins only when it's fully night. So food for the second night should be things that reheat well or cook very quickly. And if it's a Thursday-Friday holiday, you have to worry about Shabbat as well - where you *must* prepare the day before. We take care of that with an "eruv tavshilin" - we set aside two different kinds of food on Wednesay afternoon with a blessing. These foods are designated for use on Shabbat, so you have already begun your preparations. This way you can do things like cook and light your Shabbos candles.

Lighting is also a special challenge - flame can only be transfered, not created or extinquished. I keep a candle, called a "nine days" candle, lit for the whole time. I use it to light my stove burners and my candles. I keep my oven on "warm" so there's always a pilot light. I follow an opinion that allows me to not only raise and lower flames but to turn them off - it's permitted to remove fuel from a fire, and that's all I'm doing when I shut off the gas to my burners. Sometime on the first night. someone tossed a dish towel over that candle, which is in a plastic container and burns very cool. The dish towel extinquished it. Fortunately, I had the oven so I could relight it.

First night )

Day One )

Second Seder )

Second Day )

Shabbat )

Now I need to figure out dinner tonight and tomorrow and then for the remaining days of the holiday. I hope all who are having holidays now are enjoying them.

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mamadeb: Writing MamaDeb (Default)
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