Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What Hill? I Didn't See Any Hill.....

I am not getting old.
I am not losing my hearing.
Kids today just mumble, that's all....

This certainly accounts for a recent exchange I had with Jennifer while leaving the house for work. She was holding some sea shells that she had thoughtfully brought back from camp for me to join the other junk toys/treasures that I keep on my desk.

"You know, these are from Lake Michigan"
"Yes, I did remember to turn off the air conditioner"
{Blank confused teenage girl stare}

Am I becoming my father??!?!?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bryant Park Summer Film Festival - It's Not About The Movie

Avram and I went out last night and enjoyed the lovely summer air at the annual Bryant Park Summer Film Festival, which will run on Monday nights through August 23rd (Anyone else up for the August 16th showing of Twelve Angry Men?)

I must tell you that it's definitely not about the movie. If you want to watch a movie in peace, this is definitely not the way to do it. If you want to sit outside on a lovely night in New York City, admiring the skyline while sharing a unique visual experience with 10,000 friendly strangers then get to it!

Just one caveat - if you think that the weather is stunning and it makes for better viewing, it pays to consider any torrential rainstorms that might have occurred on the previous day. Let's just say that the lawn holds substantial moisture - until of course someone's posterior hits a blanket and then it releases substantial moisture ;) But hey, it's not about personal comfort either.....

(If you a wondering what the balloons are scattered across the first photo - it is NOT anybody's birthday. That is how people find their groups in the crowd. As technology advances we saw more and more innovative ways people come up with to stand out in the crowd. From "low tech" balloons and dance sticks to higher tech iPads flashing "Over Here" signs...)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Food Photo Friday - Chick Peas Again

I received a lot of positive feedback on my last chick pea recipe, so I thought that I might continue the theme. Chick peas are very nutritious and I find that children enjoy them despite this fact. They are high in protein, dietary fiber, vitamin B6 and folate. They are very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Did I mention that they are also delicious and very snack-able?

This recipe is very flexible and contains a lot of yummy ingredients. Feel free to substitute and change quantities to suit your tastes. This recipe can handle that.



    • 1 1/4 cups canned chick-peas
    • 1 cup coarsely chopped tomatoes
    • 3/4 cup hearts of palm
    • 3/4 cup pitted black olives
    • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
    • 1/4 cup chopped parsley


    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1 small garlic clove, pressed
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Toss together all salad ingredients.
  2. Whisk dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Toss vegetables with dressing until thoroughly combined.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What Are They Feeding Those Birds Anyway?

WARNING: Major Rant Ahead

OK. I've HAD IT!!!
Really I have.
The kosher food industry in my mind has hit an all time low.
I want you all to know that I waited a FULL WEEK before posting this in order to give those involved a chance to ameliorate the situation, but apparently those with the power either shop elsewhere or have money to burn.

Kosher chicken in my neighborhood has gone to $3.29 a pound. You heard me! Seriously!!! What is WITH THESE PEOPLE?!??! What are they feeding those birds? What are they feeding those mashgichim??!?!?

Sources have informed me that the manufacturer of the chicken that is under KAJ Hashgocho, market their product under three separate labels, which are priced differently, IN ORDER TO CREATE THE ILLUSION OF COMPETITION!!!! You heard me again! Then why, pray tell, is my local supermarket ONLY carrying the most expensive option? While I'm not even sure that I find this practice so ethical for a Jewish company, where's the competition if only the most expensive brand is on the shelf? Illusory or not? Don't I get a choice????

I refuse to pay 3.29 a pound for chicken. I simply refuse. You can only push a girl so far! (I've gotta get myself to Brooklyn, grumble... grumble....)

(Time for a little competition of my own. Higher standard of Kashrus? I say time for a higher standard of YASHRUS...)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tisha B'Av - Mourning, Yearning and Circles

We eat an egg for Seudas Hamafsekes, and at other times of aveius, because the egg symbolizes the circularity of life.

A quarter of a century ago, I sat with an aching back on a hard step on the floor of my shul, unable to find even a marginally comfortable position, listening to Megillas Eichoh with my arms wrapped protectively around my expectant belly, which mere hours after, would help usher forth my bechor - my firstborn son. Last night, two and a half decades later, I once again sat low, though substantially more comfortable, listening to that very same child lein Megillas Eichoh for those assembled. A very small circle was complete.

There are far larger circles for us to ponder. Last night as I listened to the painful, aching words of Eichoh and read the haunting Kinoh written by Rav Schwab, lamenting the horrors of the holocaust, I longed for the completion of this larger circle. We are mandated to mourn the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash on this day and to yearn for its rebuilding. I wonder if both the mandate and the journey wouldn't be easier if we could glimpse the destination.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

Food Photo Friday - Presentation Matters

I think that by and large people "eat with their eyes" to some extent. "Packaging" and "presentation" can spruce up a ho-hum dish and make people feel like they're feasting.

I usually try to make tricolor gefilte fish when we are having company over, but last week was just too hot (and I concentrated all my energies on the Blueberry Raspberry Tart and Chick Peas). So when the time came to plate the gefilte fish, I decided to go with a little bit of whimsy. I can't honestly tell you that every member of my household appreciated it, but hey, it keeps me entertained and out of trouble.... :D

Oh, and speaking of chick peas.... Since I got a lot of positive feedback from last week's recipe, I'm making a new salad this week. If it turns out well, keep your eyes peeled on future FPFs.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mom’s First Yahrzeit - Guest Post By Avram

It’s hard to believe that one year has passed since we said our final goodbye to our dear mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Not a day has passed since that I don’t think of her. Out of the fifty years that I was blessed to know my mother for thirty five of them she suffered from the progressive effects of Parkinson’s Disease. And yet, in spite of all her suffering, I can only picture her face with a big smile. Her courageous spirit and positive outlook never left her and was an example that we can all learn from. I can hardly remember her ever complaining. She showed true determination to make the best of her situation and never to wallow in self pity. Her sense of humor never left her and even in her last days when speaking was difficult she would always smile or laugh at a humorous story.

My mother was a very modest woman who always put the needs of others before hers. Whether it was the Kibbud Av Vo’Aim which she showed her parents, the devotion which she had to my late father, the care and respect which she demonstrated to her parents-in-law or the motherly love which she showered upon her children, she always put herself last. One example of the many which stands out in my mind was the concern which she showed for her mother-in-law, my grandmother. My father pre-deceased his mother by a year and a half. Although my mother was physically no longer capable of helping her mother-in-law, every time I spoke to her or visited her she would ask how my grandmother was and whether she was being well taken care of. As my grandmother lived in an apartment down the hall from her she asked that every Shabbos when we visited after shul that we take her over to visit my grandmother. This could sometimes be a bit of an ordeal but she insisted.

Although my sisters and I were able to fulfill our mother’s wish that she should never go to a nursing home her final three days were spent at Mount Sinai Medical Center where she received the most wonderful care. She was admitted in the early hours of Friday morning. Shuli and I had the privilege of spending her last Shabbos together with her. Looking for a shul to daven in I found Congregation Orach Chaim on Lexington Avenue and 95th Street. It was a beautiful shul and the members were very friendly and welcoming. Something about the shul rang a bell and then I realized that it was in this very shul that my mother had davened on the first Shabbos after she arrived in the United States with her parents, brother and sister seventy years before in February 1939 before they moved to Washington Heights. Of course I didn’t realize it at the time, but how symbolic was it that she was to spend her final Shabbos in the same neighborhood. She had come full circle. I actually think it was a bit ironic as my mother told the story of how for their second Shabbos in this country my grandparents along with my aunt and uncle were invited to spend it in Washington Heights. Unfortunately they somehow forgot to invite my mother. She always said that she was so upset at the time that she said she would never want to move there!

My mother was very proud of her heritage and was always cognizant that she would be seen as a representative of her illustrious family. She always told how her mother would always tell her and her siblings before leaving home “MME” which stood for the German saying “Mach mir ehre” which translates “Make me honor (proud)”. After my grandmother passed away my uncle had small gold pins which had MME on them and gave them to his siblings. My mother truly fulfilled her mother’s wish. I hope that my mother is now looking down at us from the Olom Ho’emes as she sees us continuing her special legacy and she can say with her ever present smile MME.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Face Your Pockets


While I have seen several bloggers open themselves up to ridicule scrutiny by emptying out the contents of their purses, pockets and sometimes even dresser drawers for the world to see, I was more intrigued by a photography project entitled Face Your Pockets.

The concept is simple. Empty the contents of your pockets and/or purse on to a scanner bed. Lay your face on the scanner as well, and scan away.

Anyone care to join me? I'll post the results of those brave enough to make the attempt {or not, if you request otherwise}. (send photos to Remember... for those shy folks, faces are easily obscured to varying degrees. BLD, where are you?


We have our first "player", folks. efrex sent in this submission while grumbling that I had to post this during the three weeks, didn't I .......
So who's next?


Blog reader tembow has joined the group. She's a bit shy and only included a bit of her hair in the scan, but I can tell you that we both have a lot in common. We both like our candies/gum sugar free - we both love chocolate - and we use the same brand of makeup. Oh, and my daughter has the same siddur in pink ;) . Thanks for playing tembow (and thanks for the lovely compliment at the end of the email {blush!}).


Gavi sent in the contents of his backpack.

Keep on playing everyone!!!

(Note: This is by FAR not the entire contents of my purse. My scanner is not nearly big enough for that...)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dinner Plans

Nine days menu planning is not really very difficult for me. You see, I prepare a lot of dairy meals during the week anyway and my repertoire could easily stretch beyond this period without repetition. Dinners in my house this week look very much like dinners in my house on any other week (except for the "Hot Dogs & Roast Potatoes Thursdays")

My only dilemma is what to make for dinner this coming Monday evening - the final meal prior to the fast of Tisha B'Av. According to folklore (if you ascribe to it) "fish need to swim", so fish dishes are eschewed by many. Spicy dishes can cause too much thirst. Watermelon and grapes are the secret weapon of legions because they contain a lot of water, but they are certainly not a main dish. Ideally, I'd like something flavorful and filling.

So I am throwing this out to my readership... WHAT WILL YOU BE MAKING FOR DINNER?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Yes, Folks... Now I've Done It All

I'm one of those people who genuinely believes that everything is possible.
Well, I think I've finally done it all.
I didn't quite manage to get my elbow in my ear, but while preparing cookies yesterday to send to Jennifer at camp, I managed to burn my forehead.......on the oven rack. "How?", you ask. I'm not quite sure. The last thing I remember doing was leaning over to check on their done-ness. While I am the "Queen of Burns", this is a new one even for me.

On a more serious note, today is the 9th yahrzeit for my dear father (how time does fly). I thank everybody who emailed me privately and commented publicly on this blog with their own very comforting personal memories.
If anybody would like to dedicate their learning or acts of chessed today, Rosh Chodesh Av, to my father's zechus, I would be most grateful.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Food Photo Friday - Blueberry Raspberry Tart

We're still very much entrenched in blueberry season over here at the G6 house. I love to cook and bake with seasonal foods because not only are they more economical, but you then have the "taste of summer" on your palate. This week (yes, in the sweltering 100+ degree weather!!!) I baked The Kosher Pallete's Blueberry Raspberry Tart. So who's coming by for dessert tonight? :D

For those of you who prefer healthier fare, I'll try to photograph the roasted chick peas when they come out of the oven later.
Here' the recipe if you want to start without me.

Crunchy Roasted Chick Peas

1 can chickpeas (15 oz)
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 tsp chili powder

Preheat oven to 425. Rinse chickpeas with water. Drain well. Transfer chickpeas to a bowl and add oil and spices, stirring to coat. Spread the chickpeas on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Check on them and remove them when they are just crispy but not burnt.

Fresh out of the oven... mmm.....

Good Shabbos to all.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wednesday's Wacky Signs

In keeping with the shoe theme of yesterday's Ruby Tuesday post, I present you with today's wacky sign.
This one comes all the way from Denmark - either the home of the badly cobblestoned roadways or the home of the high heeled shoes (or both).

And also in keeping with yesterday's theme of including bonus photos, I hereby give you what I personally consider to be a wacky sign. Why, you ask? Because in light of this story, detailing the loss of FOUR GUNS from JFK airport, I sure am glad that La Guardia airport is safe from the evils of snowglobes!!! (sorry didn't mean to drip that glob of sarcasm all over you... it washes right out)
That TSA - - - they're so on the ball.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - Where In New York?

One of the things that I love about New York City is that no matter where you go, novel surprises meet you around every turn. The landscape is always interesting and changing. I passed this little gem of a sculpture over the weekend. It reminded me of a quote that Erica once told me (and I still remember in what context...) "Nothing takes your mind off your troubles like an ill-fitting pair of shoes".

Can anybody tell me where in the city it can be found?

Oh, and in honor of July 5th (grumble, grumble), I'm including a bonus patriotic Ruby Tuesday shot for your enjoyment.

I'm also including a photo of Central Park boating (even though there's no red in it) because that's what we did today and I think it's one of the most relaxing, reasonable and enjoyable ways to spend a day in the city.

See more Ruby Tuesday photos with a little or a lot of red in them here.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Three "F"s of a Fun Fourth

Happy July 4th to all my fellow Americans. I simply refuse to celebrate on the 5th, as our nation will be doing this year. While I do understand the need on occasion to switch some timing around - after all, I am the grandmother who bought Kayla a bike for her birthday nearly 2 months early so she wouldn't miss out on prime cycling season... but let's face it - she's TWO! She doesn't know the difference. I think by the time you're as old as the United States, you pretty much can't be fooled that way. And besides, Sunday is A GREAT day to celebrate a national holdiday. Do we really need to be so childish and try to get an extra "day off school" out of it???

But I digress. This weekend at the G6 home had all the makings of a Fantastic Fourth. The three "F"s of a Fabulous Fun Fourth if you will:


We began by having the whole crew - lock stock and grandkids - move in for Shabbos. We followed that up with a Sunday outing to the zoo. In the 95 degree heat, trust me when I tell you that I never envied the penguins and the sea lions quite so much as I did today! {Family: check}

We then sat down to the requisite July 4th repast of grilled hamburgers {Food: check}

And finally, we dragged our tired bodies out to the George Washington Bridge after dark to catch a glimpse of the famous Macys Fourth of July Fireworks - enhanced by a few (illegal?) local shows to boot ;) {Fireworks: check}

Oh, and suddenly I DO KNOW why we need the day off tomorrow.... to RECOVER from today!!!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Food Photo Friday - The Season's Bounty

Some of the nicest family memories that I have, are of blueberry picking with the kids. They looked so cute with the little pails hanging from cords around their necks, picking berries from bushes created to be the perfect height for little ones - one berry in the bucket - two in the mouth - one in the bucket - two in the mouth.... (of course the car crash with the huge Tupperware of freshly picked berries in the trunk that the kind policeman salvaged from the wreck for our tearful children is a whole other story...)

My blueberry muffin recipe is actually on the healthier side and it's so simple that it doesn't even require dragging out the mixer. It was given to me by the kindly old proprietor of the pick-your-own farm.

Blueberry Oat Muffins

1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup oats
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
3 Tablespoons oil
3/4 cup milk -- or parve milk
1 cup blueberries

Mix together all dry ingredients. Add eggs, oil, parve milk and blueberries. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes.

If you've never gone picking with your family, I highly recommend it. If you live in the New York area, and don't know where to begin, this is a good place to start.

UPDATE 7/4/10:
It appears that Iceberg Carwash and some others have taken me up on my suggestion. Send in your photos and stories people and I'll try to share them.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Just thought I'd share with you a few pretty photos I took of the sky. Sometimes I think that if my shul could have a retractable ceiling and it would be open on days like today, my kavana would be improved markedly.....

(See other bloggers' sky themed photos here)