Food made. Clothes packed. Sleep had (though of course not enough, but that was due to insomnia, not unpreparedness). I just have to put stuff in the cooler, change into something halfway-decent to wear to this brit I'm going to on my way out of town, and perhaps burn a few mp3 CDs. There's a lot of driving ahead.
30 April 2004
29 April 2004
A gallon of chili and four small lasanges now dwell in my freezer. Fourteen loaves of challah are cooling on the table, next to a sticky pan of baklava. There are two pans of cheesecake brownies and a large yerushalmi kugel in the fridge. Two quiches just came out of the oven.
I never thought I'd say this, but I'm sick of cooking.
28 April 2004
This Friday I will be leaving for a weekend in the Poconos with 21 other women, many of whom I know only online. It will be only the second weekend since our wedding that Julian and I have spent apart...the first one was also a gathering of online friends, although those of you who know about that one should understand why I want to sort of block it from my mind.
Anyway, the upcoming gathering consists of people from the boards at Indiebride, which is a cringeworthy name for a web site, but not a bad place just the same. We'll be staying at several neighboring houses in the Poconos, and on the way down I'm stopping in NYC to pick up N and grab some food. (For those of you who don't know this already: the kosher restaurant options in the Boston area are pitiful.) Hopefully I'll see Adam and maybe Batya over lunch also, and of course Rivah is coming down from Boston with me. All in all, the traveling should be a blast. I'm a little more concerned about the gathering itself, as I haven't spent as much time on the IB boards recently as I used to. I'm worried that I'll get all cliquey with the ladies who've been in touch with me via email, and that no one else will know who I am.
In my excitement over this whole gathering (and really, as an excuse to cook, because that's one of my favorite things to do), I offered to make enough challah for everyone to sample, along with some desserts. That's in addition to providing real food for myself and N (who also keeps kosher) for the entire weekend. Two friends had babies in the past ten days, and I'm making meals to bring to one of them this week and probably some sweet thing to bring to the other next week. Out of the kindness of my heart, I'm going to leave some food at home for Julian as well. So, all in all, I am making: a dozen medium-sized challot; a pan of baklava; two, maybe three, pans of brownies; two quiches; a double recipe of pumpkin soup; three loaf pan sized lasanges; a huge pot of chili (to be divided and frozen); two pounds of green beans; broiled portabella mushrooms; a yerushalmi kugel; roasted potatoes with mushrooms and onions; spicy chickpeas in tomato sauce; and mustard-baked chicken. All in the next forty hours or so, plus I'd like to sleep. I'll let someone else sort out what goes where.
Don't believe a word of my complaints. I love to cook.
26 April 2004
It's amazing how involved we can get in hypothetical conversations. Batya and I have been discussing our commune for years now. There are several other parties knowingly involved (who shall remain unnamed until they tell me whether they want blog aliases or not), along with a scattering of friends who we're going to pull along for the ride, even though they don't know it yet. The whole thing started with our frustration with the education system--specifically Jewish education--along with some base desire to shut out the rest of the world. It occurs to me now that the commune has no name; we'll have to work on that.
The first big issue I remember us discussing was where to set up house. I like snow, Batya likes warm weather, and one of the nameless people wants to live in the trees. Not just in a clearing in a forest, mind you. In the trees. Like the Swiss Family Robinson in the summer, I guess. After years of debate and many discarded potential locations, I think we've decided on the Galil. Nice weather most of the year, a little snow in the winter, good vineyards, and lots of trees.
Tonight's discussion with Batya oscillated between dietary issues and monetary issues. Yeah, kind of free-ranging there, huh? It seems we disagree on the proper amount of animal-source protein, specifically dead-animal-source protein, needed in our diets. I'd like the commune to raise all of the animals from which we will benefit (milk and eggs, wool, plowing--along with meat, becuase we're not vegetarians). That makes it difficult to have chicken and beef every night, and considering that a diet high in dead animals is not exactl the healthiest in the world (no matter how lean the meat is), I'm OK with that. There are plenty of other protein sources (soy, quinoa, brown rice, other beans and grains), most of which are generally more ecologically and econimically efficient. I suppose we'll have to get fish from elsewhere--farmed salmon isn't the best thing in the world, after all--but ideally fish consumption would be limited to once or twice a week. High mercury deposits and all that. I suppose if we can get a good source of low-contamination fish, we'd have it more often. The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are wonderful for you, and fish protein isn't so bad either. Still, I think most of us are too enthralled with eating dead animals, and just haven't sampled a wide enough variety of vegetarian meals. (Watch this blog for a more in-depth discussion of my dietary views at a later date....this bit is getting too long.)
Anyway, Batya is worried about our children being malnourished, and she is further concerned that people who won't or can't eat dairy--like herself--will have problems as well. Looks like we'll have to bring a nutritionist on board to help me with the menu-planning (I've appointed myself in charge of the commune's pantry and kitchen). I also suggested having a few family meals each week, rather than only communal meals. That has a social benefit as well, since we all need a break from the larger group and could certainly do well to build up family intimacy. It would probably result in fewer food fights, though.
We've just started to tackle the financial stuff. To be honest, I don't have the head to get into it all here now, so it will have to wait for another posting. Still, Batya wants it known that while I will describe her as advocating modified communism, "it's not communism in a monetary sense." Gotcha.
Well, that kind of sucks. My last law school outline for my last law school final exam for my last law school test...will never be finished. I could blame my study partner but, really, it's my own fault. I managed on my own for many years, and I could have just done this one alone too.