chaiya: (shul)
[ profile] hakamadare made blintzes for breakfast, and last night's homemade cheesecake (Steve's first!) was set for this afternoon's snack. It was amazingly tasty, particularly with my homemade applesauce from last fall.

This isn't the way I'd planned to celebrate Shavuot, but it is pretty damn nice, all the same. :)
chaiya: (shul)
Yom Kippur is just around the corner.

If you (reading this) and I have outstanding offense, hurt, or issue, please give me the opportunity to discuss it with you. I can be reached via email, cell phone, or LJ. Comments on this post are screened.

I know of two outstanding issues, where I've tried to reach out to the other parties involved, and I haven't gotten anywhere (in my opinion) with my attempts to discuss and make amends. But if that sentence is about you, and you've changed your mind about hearing my apology and/or further closure thoughts, I'd love the opportunity.
chaiya: (stars upon thars)
How I have missed thee! :)
chaiya: (cooking and medieval oddities)
... Because don't you all want to know what kind of food we've been eating? :P

The actual seder menu:
Ritual items (including awesome charoset made by [ profile] hakamadare)
Deviled eggs by [ profile] cintyber
Baby lamb chops (earthy-crunchy, grass-fed, organic, etc. via [ profile] malkaesther) with mustard-honey glaze
Roasted root veggies with fresh parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
Garlic quinoa
Orange-spinach toss salad with avocado
Baked sweet potatoes with rosemary
Matzah ball soup
Fruit compote
Flourless chocolate cake with strawberry sauce drizzled on top (a bit gooey, but tasty)
Homemade macaroons dipped in pareve chocolate glaze

Fri night menu:
Big lamb chops marinated in Teal Lake Shiraz and fresh herbs
Roasted brussel sprouts in salt and white pepper
Spinach-orange toss salad
Leftover garlic quinoa mixed with chopped roasted root veggies
Matzah ball soup
Screwdrivers made with Chopin potato vodka (upon request only)
Dessert was Failed Chocolate Mousse (very tasty) layered with fruit compote and strawberry sauce. Also there was a grilled pineapple dessert option, which was quite tasty.

Saturday night menu:
Matzah with apricot stilton cheese
Bell peppers stuffed with quinoa, apples, nuts, and raisins
Mojito borscht
Asparagus with balsamic garlic drizzle
Fried fresh coconut in Indian-style spices

The plan for Monday night is:
Beef kebabs with cherry tomatoes on the grill
French potato salad
Greens salad, possibly with avocado
Grilled pineapple for dessert

Sun Worship

Apr. 8th, 2009 06:22 pm
chaiya: (stars upon thars)
I said the prayer for the sun this morning, btw. Not at shul, but by myself on the front steps of my house. For a moment, the sun shined on me and I felt connected to Jews and God in a way I haven't much of late. I felt spiritually filled. I cried.
chaiya: (books)
Discussion of race has been going around a lot, lately. I think it's partly related to Obama's election, and I think it's important to talk about. However, I rarely know what to say. I'm absorbing a lot, and I'm thinking a lot, and I'm hopefully using enough sources of information that no one mis-reading will lead me astray. Not that there's a clear path to travel, of course.

I just this week finished reading Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama. I had previously read (during the election cycle) his book The Audacity of Hope. I recommend both highly. Obama has an amazing voice, as a writer, and I feel like I learned a lot about him as a person through both books. I enjoyed reading Hope because it inspired me and made me think about politics in the US today. I loved reading Dreams because I felt like I understood at least a little of what Obama is like as a person, if that's not too audacious a claim, and because I heard from his perspective a lot about what his racial heritage means to him. Dreams was an actual page-turner, which rarely happens between me and non-fiction. (I am a somewhat slow reader, and took both books in chunks, but stayed up reading later than I should have, which is the definition of page-turner to me. Also, I cried at some points of both books.)

My Harvard Bookstore book of the month is The Book of Night Women by Marlon James. It's got great reviews. We'll see when the next time I have time to read a book is!

I will say this: I hope to have discussion of race, slavery, and culture at our Passover seder next month.
chaiya: (stars upon thars)
Happy Rosh Hashana, may we all be inscribed in the book of life, and I'll see many of you in shul in an hour. :)
chaiya: (meeting of the minds)
I've been thinking a lot about what kind of home I want to have, to be a part of. This weekend went a long way to solidifying in my head what I like most about my home, the meaning of life, the universe, and everything.

We had [ profile] rosefox and [ profile] sinboy over for the weekend, essentially. They wanted to go to the beginning of the summer party ("Lefcon," as [ profile] ringel so aptly put it), and needed accomodations, and I love having a guest room that gets used from time to time. I love having folks in my own setting, where I'm comfortable, and making sure that they're comfortable too. I am either becoming a Jewish Mother, or a Homebody. Or both. :P

Socialization, home-building, and my brain. Yum. )

But mostly? I love my husband, I love my house, I love my housemates (including my imminent housemate [ profile] clara_girl), and I'm pretty fond of my life in general. I'm looking forward to improving the house, despite its impending doominess of construction dust, etc. In general, life is good. :)
chaiya: (thoughtful)
As I commented to [ profile] lyonesse tonight, I find myself, many months later, feeling less anger and hostility toward [ profile] arib. Definitely not none, but less.

Could be the weather improving. Could be my general life improving. Could be that I have decided to regain some brain cells and spend my energy elsewhere. Anger is time-consuming and exhausting to keep up. Grudges suck that way.

Could also be the conversations I've had with other Orthodox Jews in the past couple of weeks, who've gone out of their way to say that they're not like him, that he's not what all O Jews are like, and they're sorry I had such a horrible experience with him. One of my O friends made me cry tonight, with the support and thoughtfulness he expressed.

And, hey, if I hadn't gone through that crap, I might not be where I am today. Where I am today is demonstrably better than where I was a year ago, and maybe that's what really matters now.

He and Aliza can move out of our neighborhood any day now, though. Honest. We bought this house. We're not leaving, even if we could afford to do so.
chaiya: (stars upon thars)
There was this CD I wanted, which CD baby used to carry, but now I can't find it, and I can't remember who the artist was. It was a woman, I think she went by her first name only, and she sang Jewish (or possibly Kabbalah) yoga chants.

Grah. Ring a bell for anyone? Is your google fu stronger than mine?
chaiya: (stars upon thars)
How to Break Matzah Exactly in Half on youtube. I couldn't look away. And I couldn't understand a word of it. :)
chaiya: (cooking and medieval oddities)
In an effort to avoid my exploding inbox (which I've pared down from 700+ to 390, but I'm still intimidated), I must make chicken soup.

Chicken Soup:
duck stock from Thanksgiving (from the freezer downstairs)
fresh parsnips, carrots, and potatoes from the winter farmshare
saute'd in duck fat from Thanksgiving (from the freezer upstairs)
herbs (some of which are dehydrated from last year's herb box)
Bartenura Muscato wine (since there was still a bottle in the cupboard, and it's the only white wine in the house)
Aaron's chicken (from the freezer downstairs)

Since I have extra parsnips, carrots, and a beet from the farmshare (and want to use them fresh rather than freezing them), I think I will also make roasted root veggies.

Yep, we're gonna have a good Shabbat. :)
chaiya: (stars upon thars)
I'm trying to become more involved/aware of worldwide Judaism. One part of that, thanks to [ profile] cellio, is going to be a donation to Shira Hadasha, the only egalitarian halachic minyan that I know of which waits for 10 men and 10 women to do prayers that require a minyan. I think that's damn cool.
chaiya: (stars upon thars)
We at House Chai have overthrown the tyrrany of the kosher grape. We now accept any grape product in the house, so long as it is not mixed with some other factor that makes it non-kosher. We will no longer be stocking kosher balsamic vinegar or kosher wine, so if these things are important to you and you still want to eat in our house, please bring them with you. If this makes you incapable of eating in our house, please say so. We will not change this decision for your sake, but it would be good to know, nonetheless.

Why? For many reasons. The fact that kosher wine was used in an insulting manner during our conversions (even by my rabbi!) plays a big part. The Conservative movement's official ruling regarding wine is that US-produced wine is assumed kosher unless found guilty. AB and his actions have their roles in this decision, as well. In general, our friend [ profile] cellio's standard seems sound and fair to us -- grape products will be contemplated further if we're ever offered homemade grape product produced by a pagan, which could conceivably have been used in sacrifice to other gods. Other than that and grape mixed with pork juice, we're fine.

(This has the added benefit of allowing any of our friends to bring wine to dinner without worrying about it, which was not the case previously. Never mind the fact that all the good wine isn't kosher.)

Other items from the outside allowed in our house: fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, beverages that don't include bugs (red coloring is actually a problem in some drinks, yanno), and things made in a kosher kitchen (which includes food available in the grocery store that has a heksher on it). We are still figuring out where we stand on the cheese issue, and have taken to making cheese in the house whenever convenient. Kosher-certified cheese is not, generally speaking, very appetizing.

Things we are still quite firm about: only kosher meat shall be cooked in the kitchen or touch the dishes. Meat and dairy will still be entirely separate in our kitchen (despite the fact that we have two sets of glass dishware). When in doubt, having a heksher likely makes things acceptable for use. But when in doubt, please let us know so we can address it.
chaiya: (nonsequitur)
[ profile] malkaesther and I have been talking about doing this for a while, and now that she's going to be in town next weekend, we're gonna go ahead and do it! Malka is a Pampered Chef person with lots of assorted cooking experience. She's gonna make us food next Sunday, and show off some of the nifty gizmos PC has to offer. Malka isn't a pressure sort of person, so if you want to join us, you can count on some fun, laughter, and good food -- no salesman speak or anything like that. If you do find something you want to buy, that's cool, but not imperative. :)

Malka writes: Read more... )

She's also going to do a kosher kitchen demo on our kitchen Monday night, to show different methods for keeping a kosher kitchen and telling which set is what, some pointers for how to work with different situations and when it is or isn't necessary to rekasher the kitchen, etc. If you can't make Sunday night but want to take a look at Pampered Chef stuff, she'll also have it available for Monday night. I'm looking forward to Malka's hints on our kitchen, myself. I have a feeling we've been retoiveling when we didn't need to, or possibly not toiveling when we should have.
chaiya: (cute smile)
I need to finish planting tomato seeds. We set a deadline of the first week of April, and we bought the extra seed trays, and the extra dirt, and it's just ... time. Time is of the essence.

Stayed up late last night. Late late late. Talked with [ profile] arib for a long time, and [ profile] torquemada, and got some killing done in KoL. [ profile] cthulhia and [ profile] hakamadare, thanks for the heads-up on pickles. :)

I'm also working on a few other odds and ends. I need to make more soap again soon, some non-clove-cinnamon flavored. Maybe try some of the new essential oils. [ profile] goddessfarmer made me think about that again last night at [ profile] awfief's fun-fun-silly-fun party. Want to see if I can get together some soap to barter for homemade whole wheat. Whole wheat! But only after Pesach.

We're becoming such earthy-crunchy hippies. The farm share starts up again soon -- I can smell the plants growing outside. Yay, veggies!

Put in our reservations for Pesach seder (second night) at Tremont Street. That just leaves the first night to figure out -- do we have a small seder at home, or try to be someone else's orphans? Thoughts from the peanut gallery? I'd like to have a small seder-like-thing regardless, but it might be nice to have it not on a yontif, just for fun. Less pressure. I dunno. The nonconformist in me may be showing. ;)


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