Thursday, December 31, 2009

Congress Votes to Outsource Presidency

This one comes via Jron & Co. ...
Thanks for the laugh. Finally an outsourcing position I can get behind!
See my personal outsourcing experiences from this time last year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hello, Who Is This Please?

Here's a parenting gripe for a change of pace.

I'm totally torn between "It takes a village to raise a child" and "You can't raise your neighbor's children".

When did it become out of fashion to introduce yourself when calling somebody on the phone? In the days before Caller ID, it was truly confusing. Now it is merely RUDE.

As my dear daughter barrels towards her teen years - (you remember: the ones where you chatter incessantly to your friends all day long in school, run home, and immediately dash to the phone to call them up again) - our phone has been getting quite a workout.
Unfortunately, telephone manners are somewhat lacking.

Me: "Hello"
Caller: " 'z Jennifer there?"

Now, here's where my dilemma begins. "Who's calling please?" seems a bit trite, because I have Caller ID and often know exactly which young friend has not learned the appropriate, "Hello, this is ____, may I please speak with Jennifer?".

Upon closer examination, I realized that the problem is twofold. This, once standard pleasantry served the dual purpose of not only identifying the caller, but also as a greeting to the person who answered the phone. After all, if a young girl came to the door and I answered it, would she merely barrel past me without a "Hello"? I doubt that.

Any suggestions from the peanut gallery?

(Oh and remember.... it can't involve anything that might embarrass my sensitive pre-teen daughter.... like breathing.....)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Oh! Nuts - Oh, Wow!

Gifts, candy & chocolate from Oh! Nuts

Oh! Nuts, my favorite candy store, participated in Free Shipping Day last Thursday, and if you know me, you know that I love a good bargain! So I set out to order some of their yummy confections for "Shabbos treats". Now, of course when you get 'something for nothing', you usually expect the quality or standard to go down a bit. Not so this time. A mere 12 hours after placing the order, I received an email from Oh! Nuts, advising me that my order had shipped! Believe it or not, my order arrived the next afternoon! If that's Oh! Nuts' free shipping, I can only imagine how fast the stuff arrives when you pay for it.

The packaging was quite nice too. Everything came in its own thick, resealable bag, with all the nutrition info on the back (but we all know that calories on Shabbos don't count anyway, right...?)
As you can see I ordered, among other things, cherry sours and raspberry & blackberry jellies (I know what gets my son in law to come visit ;) ). My all time favorite, the coconut stars, are not pictured, because if my children find them, I'm going to have to share.......

(Full disclosure: Oh! Nuts offers a small discount to bloggers who blog about their experience, but if you know anything about me you know that "I calls it likes I sees it")

Sunday, December 27, 2009

I'm Just Sayin'.......

If all this liberal, politically correct, non-racial-profiling garbage keeps up, they may very well get us all to stop flying.......

You know how after Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, attempted to blow up a plane, security regulations were revised and now everybody has to remove their shoes at airport security checkpoints worldwide?

Well, as you probably know there was a new terror attempt aboard an airplane this weekend. The terrorist smuggled the explosives on board by having them sewn into is underwear. I'm not sure what this means for the future of airline screening procedures...... I'm not sure I want to know.......

Thursday, December 24, 2009


The new edition of JPIX, the blog carnival of Jewish photo bloggers is now up at Leora's site.
She did a wonderful job of highlighting photos from blogs around the world.
She kindly included three of my own, along with some very lovely works of other Jewish bloggers.
Check it out if you have a chance.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Apparently Dibuks Don't "Hold" By The Internet Either...

As reported in this article over at The Yeshiva World (so you know that the facts are reliable) there is a "REAL" Dibuk in the Brazilian community.
The article is lengthy and goes in to much detail, but the one standout fact that I found most enlightening was this:

"...HaRav Dovid Batzri, a known Mekubal, tried to remove the dibuk via Skype, without success..."

So what can we learn from this?

Well... obviously that the Mekubal holds by the internet but the Dibuk doesn't........

Ruby Tuesday - Snow Day Edition

The first snowfall of the season is universally exciting, whether you are a cross-country skier or a little boy proudly building his first snowman......

(Photo taken in Ft. Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan)

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

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Scene Around Town - Snowstorm Edition

There's nothing like the "calm after the storm". Whereas last night, we were stranded in a snowbank mere blocks from the warmth and comfort of our house on the way home from a family simcha, today dawned clear and bright, with a fresh blanket of snow for children and adults alike to enjoy. The flakes kindly waited until Shabbos was almost over to make their debut, and since today was not a "work" day for most, it was the perfect time for a neighborhood excursion. Here are some photos that I snapped on our outing:

And my personal favorite..... our esteemed Rav enjoying the "good air" and watching the children on their sleds.....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Putting The Season's Bounty To Good Use

(Cross-Posted on Kosher Cuisine)

At least insomnia is good for something.

I was unable to sleep last night so I began trolling the internet at 3 a.m. (the internet never sleeps...) for something new and different to make for the shalom zachor of a very good friend who just had her FIFTH (!!!) boy. I chanced upon this post over at Life In the Carpool Lane: CHOCOLATE DIPPED CLEMENTINES. What a deceptively simple, yet elegant idea! And to make matters even better, clementines which are abundant right now, also happen to be on sale this week for $4.99 a box.

Here is my adaptation of her recipe:

semi-sweet chocolate chips
sweetened shredded coconut
  • Peel and section the clementines
  • Melt good quality chocolate over a double boiler and stir
  • Dip each clementine section halfway into the melted chocolate and then in a bowl of shredded coconut
  • Put the pieces on wax paper in the fridge to set
These taste as good as they look, and they look like something you might find in a gourmet shop.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sixth Night - Sixth Light: Chanukah at KAJ Breuer's

Chazzon Ezra Lasdun lights the menorah at K'hal Adath Jeshurun with dignity and distinction.

Why Facebook Should Be Banned....

Little Shprintzie thinks she's safe from the evils of the internet.
She's not on Facebook, or any other social networking site so her privacy and tznius are safe, right? WRONG!!!
Here is an actual exchange I saw today on Facebook. The names have been changed, but the quotes are verbatim.

Adina: it's a girl!!!!

Bleemie: who?

Adina: Shprintzie!

G6: Shprintzie's a girl? OMG! I'm so glad you figured that out!

UberYenti: Shprinzie who?

Adina: Shprintzie Dintsy

Uber Yenti: OMG!!!!!!!!!!!! She wasn't due till next month!!

Uber Yenti: Now this is why I love Facebook!

ummmm...... why exactly??? ... so that everyone can openly discuss the most private and intimate details of their friend's obstetrical history???

When I posed this question to Uber Yenti, her answer was "You got it!!"

Poor Shprintzie......

Oh, and it gets worse... a few minutes later comes this gem...

Shayne Yenti: Mazal tov!! We were just discussing that over Shabbos- how she was due next month but one of the neighbors thought she was due in like, March...

(sigh....) You can't make this stuff up folks!!!

Wednesday's Wacky Signs - Chanukah Edition

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gee Your Hair Smells.......

If you were born around my time or a bit earlier, you may remember this product. "Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific" was a very popular, albeit wordy, shampoo in its day.

I've been thinking of marketing a new hair wash especially for Chanukah. I think I'm going to call it "Gee Your Hair Smells Like Latkes". I may market it it with a bonus "latke scented" sweater thown in for the first 8 customers.

Yes folks, the scents of the holiday linger on and on and on and................

Ruby Tuesday - Happy Chanukah

Who's up for a nice game of Dreidel?

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

Monday, December 14, 2009

Blogger Pyramid - Chanukah Edition

OK folks -

Since the first installment of Blogger Pyramid was such a success, I thought I'd give you another category (again, don't mention the category in your comments or the game is over...).
Today's category is:

Let's see how many comments Avram needs in order to guess what we're talking about.

Happy Chanukah and may all your spins be Gimmels :D

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Welcome To Our Chanukah Home

(Notice how my "adorable fry pan" was put to good use....!)

We had a very lovely weekend, filled with bloggers & babies - latkes and lights - dreidels and doughnuts.

Ilana, who ate with us Friday night with her friend Ellen, confirmed with us that every child's antic that her sister Shosh blogs about, is in fact 100% true and not in the slightest bit exaggerated. (Sorry Shosh, but I just had to ask....)

Stay tuned all week for more Chanukah updates, a Chanukah edition of Blogger Pyramid and a Chanukah edition of Wednesday's Wacky Signs.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Wishing Everybody A Glorious Shabbos Chanukah

I know I'm sure getting what I want this year....
Actually TWO things.
1) Erica, Moshe and Kayla came in yesterday already to spend Shabbos with us and we will be joined Motzoei Shabbos by Michael, Chana and Eliezer. Ahhhh, everyone gathered around hearth and home.....
2) In my continuing quest for more and more bloggers at my Shabbos table, we will be joined by Ilana, whose blog positively cracks me up!!! I can't wait to meet her in person.

Now, in an effort to "give back", I'm going to offer you all a pre-Chanukah treat. This is one of my favorite Chanukah parodies, performed by Cantor Eric S. Freeman, who took the time out of his busy schedule to record it for me because I couldn't find it anywhere on the web. (I also suspect he had a little help from the talented and kind folks over at Granger Musikwerks, so thanks guys!)

Each Hanukah We Glorify

Words: Ben Aronin

Music: Folk melody “Oh Chanukah, Oh Chanukah”

1.Each Chanukah we glorify Brave Judah Maccabeus

Who had the courage to defy Antiochus, and free us.

Yet it is not fair that we should forget

Mrs. Maccabeus, to whom we owe a debt.

She mixed it

She fixed it

She poured it into a bowl

(You many NOT guess

But it was the LATkes

That gave brave Judah a soul)

Repeat last three lines

2.The Syrians said: “It cannot be that old Mattthias

Whose years are more than 83 will dare to defy us.!”

But they didn’t know his secret you see

Mattathias dined on latkes and tea.

One latke

Two latkes

And so on into the night

( You may NOT guess

But it was the Latkes

That gave him courage to fight)

Repeat last three lines

3.Now this is how it came about—this gastronomic wonder

That broke the ranks of Syria like flaming bolts of thunder

Mrs. Maccabeus wrote in the dough

Portions of the Torah and fried them just so.

They shimmered

They glimmered

Absorbing the olive oil

( You may NOT guess

But it was the Latkes

That made the Syrians recoil.)

Repeat the last three lines

4. Now these little latkes brown and delicious

Must have hit the spot ‘cause with appetites vicious

All the heroes downed them after their toil

Causing in our temple a shortage of oil.

One latke

Two latkes

And so on into the night

( You may NOT guess

But it was the Latkes

That gave us the Chanukah light)

Repeat the last three lines

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Blogger "Pyramid"

In my recent post entitled "Blogger Jeopardy", commenter Staying Afloat suggested that I begin a new game for the enjoyment of my husband, who doesn't read my blog posts - only the comments.
The way "$25,000 Pyramid" works is that you get a category and your partner (my husband) has to guess the category based on the answers offered that fit the category.
So, we'll start off easy and if this works out, I might make it a regular feature.
Today's category:

Go forth and comment!

(P.S. Make sure not to mention the category in your responses or it will ruin the game...)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Blogger Jeopardy!

If anyone has any experience with the television game show Jeopardy!, they know that the questions are posted in "answer" form and the contestant has to figure out the correct "question" that would elicit the posted "answer".
For example - the question might be: "The Father of our Country, who didn't really chop down a cherry tree".
From this, the contestant must deduce that the answer (in the form of a question) is: "Who is George Washington?".

Avram has been playing what I've come to refer to as Bloggger Jeopardy for some time now. You see, he doesn't actually check my blog. Instead, he has the comments automatically forwarded to his email. From those comments, he attempts to figure out the nature of the post. If you've read my commenter's offerings lately, you'd agree that they can make this very challenging!
(What does the Hebrew version of My Fair Lady have to do with an appealing work environment anyway....?)

I love my commenters, both on blog and off (though I wish you "off bloggers" would get "on" already ;) ). You guys make blogging so much more fun! Wishing you all an early Happy Chanukah.

What do I want for Chanukah? More of you at my table!

Monday, December 7, 2009

On Post-Its & Paper Clips...

I've always said that it's the "little things" that make me happy. I also feel very strongly that "presentation does matter". I think that people respond to their environment and pretty, happy, fun environments improve one's spirit and by extension one's work. It makes perfect sense. If you like your surroundings, you are more likely to want to stay there and produce.
I share my office with up to three other people, depending on the day. I've been inside homes with closets that are larger than the entire space I share. Needless to say, the ambience of my immediate workspace needs to compensate for the claustrophobic backdrop. Hence my affinity for colorful Post-It notes and paper clips. When I have enjoyable things to work with, my work is infused with positive energy.
We can all translate this over to other aspects of our lives. When tasks become difficult or unpleasant, we need to find ways to inject some joy back into them. Find a way to make the job "fun" (I can hear efrex reciting from "Mary Poppins" already...) and you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

Now don't get me started on the little "toys" on my desk... like my wind up happy smiley face.... who can be grumpy with him around?

Happy Monday everyone!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009


(Cross posted on Kosher Cuisine)

I've had readers ask for more recipes.
I've had other readers ask for more posts with German Jewish themes.
I've had different readers ask for more controversial posts (OK, you guys are out of luck this time...).
I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone with this recipe for lebkuchen, a traditional German spice cake with the consistency of a brownie.
Enjoy it this Chanukah courtesy of yours truly:


1 stick margarine
4 eggs
1 pound brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 package vanilla sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 package ground walnuts -- (7 ounces)

1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
hot water -- if needed

Mix together all ingredients. Pour into greased 9" x 13" pan.

Bake at 325° for 30 minutes or more until it looks like brownies.

Mix glaze ingredients and ice while hot! Sprinkle with nonpareils.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Feed The Beast?

The internet abounds with informative and educational articles on how to keep your blog fresh and growing.
"Create a blog on a topic about which you have a passion or interest". I can get on board with that. It runs along the same lines as the axiom "Write what you know".

"Set aside time each day to write your posts".
"Take your blog seriously".
"Provide helpful information".
"Take pride in your work".
All good suggestions.

"Controversy sells". Whether I like this one or not, it's a fact. People like to have their opinions heard and when debate is encouraged on a blog, commenters will flock to have an opportunity to express themselves. (You guys are my favorites, you know...)

But what happens when you start writing to your audience? As a blog cultivates an audience, the blogger is often faced with the challenge of staying true to themselves or writing to please their "following". Is "the customer always right" in this case? Should bloggers tailor their writing to the tastes of the readership or risk falling into obscurity by writing for themselves alone?
It's all a matter of degree of course, but I'm interested in your opinions, both from my fellow bloggers as well as my loyal readers.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's Time We Solved This Once And For All

Survey Results -

The widget seems to be acting buggy, so feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section if it doesn't work for you....

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"Tradition, Tradition!"

I'm a sucker for traditions - those that span the generations and those that are new but quickly become ingrained for future generations.

With Chanukah fast approaching, my thoughts turn once again towards ways to enhance the beauty of the days and to create lasting, warm memories.

I once read somewhere about a family who got together each year and the table was initially set the first year with a simple plain white cloth. Each guest, young and old, was invited to autograph the cloth at their seat. The hostess then embroidered over the signatures using a single color thread and then embroidered the year on one corner of the cloth in the same color thread. This practice was repeated annually, only a different thread color was used every time.
Over time, signatures changed (and matured). The seating arrangements shifted, and a priceless family heirloom was created in the process.
I've always imagined doing this with my own family, but since I appear to be handicapped when it comes to needlework of any kind, it never came to pass... (of course I'll always have my treasured linen closet door...)

I'm curious as to your family traditions, specifically those relating to Chanukah.
I'd love to try some of them out and incorporate them into my own family.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Cyber Monday...Or "Why Frankie Can't Get His Job Done"...

There was, as every year, a lot of hoopla on the blogs about Black Friday. As usual, some of my favorite writers made me laugh, cringe, snicker and groan. Members of my family did participate in the melee festivities and did quite well, but since I'm a blogger and spend far too much a lot of my time on the internet, I thought I'd wait until what is familiarly known as CyberMonday and blog about that instead.
I discovered something very interesting today about CyberMonday that I hadn't heard previously and I thought I'd share it with you. Do you know how CyberMonday came about? Several years ago, online retailers noticed a second spike in sales following Black Friday on the Monday immediately following. But why Monday, you might wonder... Apparently, buyers were waiting until they got to work following the weekend, to take advantage of the faster broadband internet at work as opposed to the then-more-common dial-up service that was the norm in most homes. Though most people now have broadband at home, this now traditional online shopping day has stuck in our culture.
Which brings me to my next thought. I find it interesting what people choose to do "surfing"-wise from work and from home. Many people check my blog only from work, which is why my stats tend to 'dip' over the weekend.
It's hard to get a good idea of what is really going on with people at work, ever since that guy got fired for spending 500+ hours in a six month period at work on Facebook, but I think we can all make certain deductions.
So to all you CyberMonday shoppers..... GET BACK TO WORK!!!!

(But first post your best deals in my comments section so we can all share in the joy of shopping in our pajamas ;) )

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

See You On Shabbos

I want to share with you the inception of a wonderful new website called See You On Shabbos.
See You On Shabbos describes itself as "a free and safe Jewish hospitality site which helps match guests with host families from around the world". It is a website that dedicates itself to bringing together prospective Shabbos hosts, who wish to share the beauty and joy of their Shabbos experience, and individuals looking to partake in a Shabbos experience.
It is user friendly and it is easy to jump right in and set up your profile as either a host or a guest. Please be patient as the site gets itself off the ground... not all features are 100% up and running yet, but they should be soon.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ruby Tuesday - Out My Apartment Window

I've learned in any "crisis" situation (not merely fires or the seeming threat thereof...) to judge the severity of the incident, not by the light and sirens, but by the speed at which those in charge are moving. (This is sort of like the credo that whatever scary noise you hear or turbulence you feel on an airplane, there's no reason to panic as long as the flight attendants are still milling about serving drinks...).
This was the scene outside my apartment window on Sunday night. I still do not know what the commotion was all about, but I can tell you that these two trucks arrived with great fanfare and screaming sirens. Several burly firemen climbed out and proceeded to have what I might describe as a "water cooler conversation" for several minutes. They then climbed back in to their trucks and drove off.
Disaster averted.

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

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Who Will Be The Next Blogger To Take The Plunge?

Regular readers of the comment section of my blog will be quite familiar with efrex. His insightful, humorous and often educational comments are an eagerly awaited complement to my posts. There have been those (not I!!) who have said that his comments are too wordy. Well, suffice it to say, I have found the way to render efrex speechless - and it comes in the form of two adorable small boys who can easily dominate the table conversation over and above their father Smiley Faces.

We had the great pleasure of having efrex, The Lovely Wife (tm) and their two young sons, along with Mr. Hollywood at our Friday night table this week.

I always knew we had a lot in common. We both consider ourselves "foodies". We both enjoy musical theater (although only one of us is obsessed....). We have similar ideology on certain aspects of Torah Im Derech Eretz. But Wait! There's more!!! Who knew that efrex's family, like ours, has the minhag to wash before kiddush on Friday night? But the crowning glory in this "separated at birth scenario" would be the discovery that The Lovely Wife (tm) doesn't stack her dishes either! Granted, she has a reason and I merely have an illness can't bring myself to do it, but the similarity is jarring nonetheless.

For those who are curious, I did manage to coax efrex into singing the entire verse of Harvey and Sheila (very, very impressive) and was even treated to a "bonus track" of efrex singing a "laugh out loud" song by Allan Sherman parodying Gilbert and Sullivan's "When I Was A Lad".

I think we've found new a "must have" addition to our annual talent night!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Poetry

My father ז''ל loved the work of Don Marquis.

For the uninitiated, archy is a cockroach and free verse poet, who roams the newspaper offices of the The New York Evening Sun after everybody has gone for the day. He wrote by hurling himself headfirst onto the keys of an old fashioned typewriter. Hence, no caps. (Until the day he inadvertently landed on the CAPS LOCK key, but that's for another time...)

Here's one of my favorite selections:

the lesson of the moth

By Don Marquis, in "archy and mehitabel," 1927

i was talking to a moth
the other evening
he was trying to break into
an electric light bulb
and fry himself on the wires

why do you fellows
pull this stunt i asked him
because it is the conventional
thing for moths or why
if that had been an uncovered
candle instead of an electric
light bulb you would
now be a small unsightly cinder
have you no sense

plenty of it he answered
but at times we get tired
of using it
we get bored with the routine
and crave beauty
and excitement
fire is beautiful
and we know that if we get
too close it will kill us
but what does that matter
it is better to be happy
for a moment
and be burned up with beauty
than to live a long time
and be bored all the while
so we wad all our life up
into one little roll
and then we shoot the roll
that is what life is for
it is better to be a part of beauty
for one instant and then cease to
exist than to exist forever
and never be a part of beauty
our attitude toward life
is come easy go easy
we are like human beings
used to be before they became
too civilized to enjoy themselves

and before i could argue him
out of his philosophy
he went and immolated himself
on a patent cigar lighter
i do not agree with him
myself i would rather have
half the happiness and twice
the longevity

but at the same time i wish
there was something i wanted
as badly as he wanted to fry himself


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I'm An Educated Consumer With A Twisted Mind

Without putting myself in the category of those people who check the obituaries first thing every morning (to make sure that they are not listed there, of course), I need to share with you the sad news that Sy Syms passed away at the age of 83.

I don't know why - and I hope it doesn't seem insensitive - but the song "The Ballad of Harry Lewis" is the first thing that popped into my mind when I heard the news and I cannot seem to get it out. I mean that as the highest compliment.

(By the way, the musical theater reference (Can Allan Sherman be considered musical theater?) is in NO WAY a reflection of the fact that we are gearing up to have efrex, The Lovely Wife(tm) & Co. for Dinner on Friday night.......)

{Rhapsody seems to be "buggy" this morning so I'm including the lyrics here for those who aren't well versed in the joys of Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah ;)}

Song Lyrics:
(Parody of "The Battle Hymn Of The Republic")
I'm singing you the ballad
Of a great man of the cloth
His name was Harry Lewis
And he worked for Irving Roth

He died while cutting velvet
On a hot July the 4th
But his cloth goes shining on

Glory, glory Harry Lewis
Glory, glory Harry Lewis
Glory, glory Harry Lewis
His cloth goes shining on

Oh Harry Lewis perished
In the service of his Lord
He was trampling through the warehouse
Where the drapes of Roth are stored

He had the finest funeral
The union could afford
And his cloth goes shining on

Glory, glory Harry Lewis
Glory, glory Harry Lewis
Glory, glory Harry Lewis
His cloth goes shining on

Although a fire was raging
Harry stood by his machine
And when the firemen broke in
They discovered him between

A pile of roasted Dacron
And some french fried gabardine
His cloth goes shining on

Glory, glory Harry Lewis
Glory, glory Harry Lewis
Glory, glory Harry Lewis
His cloth goes shining on

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Letting Somebody Else Rant For a Change...

There's a very interesting piece over at about parents who cannot seem to manage regular school tuition, suddenly being able to lay out exorbitant sums for Israeli seminary fees.

The writer makes a cogent point, though my objections go even earlier in the "game". Why are we letting these seminaries bilk us for usurious application fees, never mind the ridiculously steep tuitions, all the while subtly perpetrating the myth that only girls who go to Israel for seminary will get the "good" shidduchim (if the others get a guy at all)?

I've often joked that I was going to start up a new "seminary" of my own. I'll charge upwards of $100 in non-refundable application fees, collect vast sums of money and reject every single girl who applies (I'll be the most selective and therefore the most sought after institution!). I'll live from year to year on the application fees alone.

While I fully understand that seminaries feel the need to charge application fees to limit the number of girls who apply and choose not to attend, I say that some countermeasures would be fair. Supposing we say that all application fees from students who are subsequently accepted are non-refundable, regardless of which institution they end out attending. But girls who are rejected, should have their checks refunded.

In addition, the perpetration of the myth that the Israeli year is the only way to ensure a "suitable" shidduch for a girl and equally as offensive that this is a girl's "right" (the same feeling of entitlement causes parents to literally go broke outfitting their young kollel couple's apartments with all sorts of luxuries) is what keeps all these seminaries in the booming (apparently recession-proof) business that they are in, while bankrupting parents and creating ridiculous amounts of stress on our girls (Have you ever seen these girls when the seminary acceptance envelopes begin arriving in the mail??!?).

When do we stand up and say enough is enough?

Good Chodesh Everyone

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

French Onion Soup - The Conclusion

For those of you who just "joined the class", a few weeks ago I splurged at Amazing Savings on some bowls for French Onion Soup.
Between finding the time to tovel them, getting caught up in Jennifer's Bas Mitzvah and assorted other activities, I only got around to making the soup this weekend. Thanks to my friend (internet friend, not "eyeball friend") Brian, moderator of the Jewish Food Mailing List, I received a crash course in how to make the perfect onion soup. Hint: It has nothing to do with onion soup mix of any kind. Brian told me that the secret is the slow, painfully slow caramelizing of pounds and pounds of onions and he was spot on!

After three (!!!) hours my onions had taken on a rich brown color and amazing sweetness. The only additional spices needed were a little salt and pepper. A nice piece of crusty bread and my soup was finally ready for some cheese and a quick visit to the oven.

The finished product tasted as good as it looked ... and there were no bridge tolls involved ;)