Rosh Hashanah menu

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 05:04 pm
chanaleh: (sleeping)
This Rosh Hashanah I've done something that I usually do for Passover, namely: say to myself for the last few weeks/days, "Aah, I'm not going to really do too much in terms of preparations, I'm just going to go to the thing [usually seders; in this case shul] and plan a little additional grocery shopping and that'll be it," and then wake up this morning going "OMG HOLIDAY IS COMING! MUST DO RITUAL THINGS!"

So I got up and frantically baked two raisin challahs and a honey cake and started a pot roast, which will stay on the stove until we get home from shul around 8:30pm.

[livejournal.com profile] etrace said, "Busy day!" I told him that is standard pre-holiday practice. :-) I just... didn't fully plan on it ahead of time.

It turns out that food matters; that in particular, holiday food matters for holidays; and that something in me yearns for that, even being here now, especially being here now. So it may not be [livejournal.com profile] ablock's brisket dinner with 18 of my closest friends (one of which was the source of this userpic)... and I admit I do miss that. But it's me making some kind of yomtov in my new home, in my new family. And that's the sweetest thing there is.

L'shanah tovah u'metukah!
chanaleh: [Erica and Aaron] (etrace)
Heavens defend me from ever being one of those proudly-incompetent "LOL I let my husband handle that" women.

However... it is at times wonderfully strange and reassuring to find myself partnered with one of the few people in the world genuinely more smart and capable than I am.

This insight brought to you by the pizza I tried to make on the baking stone the other night, where a confluence of factors* meant I hadn't a prayer of sliding the thing off the peel onto the hot stone, in any condition. When I came and fetched the experienced pizza-peeler, he immediately came up with four or five different approaches to try... a couple of which I wouldn't have thought of at all, none of which I had thought of yet, and at least two of which were needed in combination to do the trick. No condescension, no panic. Just "okay, let's see what we can do with this."

A small example, but it made me feel well taken care of. :-)

* The previously frozen (homemade) dough was too wet and sticky; I stretched it out too thin; I hadn't put down enough cornmeal (especially around the edges) despite using twice as much as on the previous attempt; and I then put on too many heavy toppings (spinach, mushrooms, and turkey sausage -- I didn't regret that choice a bit).
chanaleh: Snoopy at the typewriter, pondering (snoopywriter)
Last night was the second-and-final performance of my opera group's Le Médecin Malgré Lui (Gounod, based on Molière), on which I was assisting/stage-managing (and which I kept wanting to call Le Médecin Sans Merci, which I guess would fit just as well with the overt S&M overtones in the storyline, but ANYway!). I was in kind of a crap mood due to angsty conversations earlier in the day, and only trading chocolate for hugs from the wicked-cute Israeli lead tenor brought a smile to my face. So, but after the show, I bagged on the beer-and-burgers outing with the cast in order to come home, have a proper drink, cook some chicken, and finish up the Book Project of Doom for today's deadline.

I said to myself, "I must be getting old."

Totally worth it, though. First thing this morning I shipped the complete revised text and cover files, so pending the second round of proofs, it should actually get printed in the first half of April, yay! The author tells me the Boston Globe just did an interview with him that should come out on April 13 for Patriots' Day, which would be very very good timing to release the book. I will post more about it then.

And the chicken was roasted with herbs on a bed of collard greens, onions, and sweet potatoes, and oh was it good. Before bed, I took most of the meat off the bones (just in time to feed some to [livejournal.com profile] justom when he got home), and then this morning I put the bones into the crockpot, where they are merrily souping away. I also made a kale-onion-mushroom-Brie frittata for lunch. With what I've learned about the whole paleo thing this year, I am looking forward to Passover more than ever before, foodwise.

And since then I've been nattering around getting stuff done on the computer today, including writing a post to the pro blog (reminder: [livejournal.com profile] eschultz72, go and follow) about the music of Mark Ettinger, a.k.a. Alexei Karamazov of the FKB. I've shared songs of his in two completely different contexts this week, with people who liked them a lot, so it seemed an opportune time to write up something public about the backstory.

Lastly, I leave you all with this video gem:
The Maccabeats' Les Misérable, A Passover Story

and from my other fangirl favorites, Six13:
Six13 - Pesach Shop (2013 Passover Jam)

Off to get changed for seder! Chag sameach!
chanaleh: Muffin the Vampire Baker: "It's him, Muffin! You have to protect him at all costs!" "I'M ON IT!" (i'm on it!)
10 goals from 2012 ( cf. original list: LJ | DW )
A mixed bag, but overall, progress was made. )

10+ additional achievements of 2012:
It was actually a good and stabilizing year for me, despite the ongoing crises in the world at large. )
11. ... And, oh yeah, turned 40 and had an awesome celebration to mark it.

10 goals for 2013:
Some that build on last year's, and some new ones. )

Wishing all of us a year of physical health, emotional growth, and spiritual abundance.

Low-carb update

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012 08:29 am
chanaleh: (tigerstudent)
After about 4 weeks, I basically ditched the Primal regime (LJ | DW) as of a week ago Sunday, making fantastic banana-cinnamon-walnut-flaxseed-chocolate-chip pancakes and sweet potato home fries for brunch, and ending later with a fantastic burger from the Harlem Tavern which was (if slow in coming) exactly what I wanted.

So now I've had about 10 days off, to compare with 4 weeks on.

Things I have noticed:

Groceries: Expenditures up about 50% from past few months' average, no joke. My previous set of normal cooking habits has been heavily based for years on BEANS AND GRAINS ALL THE TIME. Guess what? Fresh vegetables (especially nice salad greens), fish and meat, and organic eggs? Cost a lot more. At, like, Passover levels -- not by coincidence, of course, since Passover is also a meat-and-vegetable-heavy time period.

Conversely, my impulse spending on outside snack food (not proper meals out or actual groceries) went way way down, because guess what? 90% of grab-n-go food options are sugar- and starch-based crap. And I'm including pizza and burritos in that basket as well as pastries and Clif Mojo bars. Which brings me to...

Planning: Again, this approach requires Preparedness at near-Passover levels. I have never been so scrupulous about bringing exactly one day's worth of meals and snacks to work every single day (rather than keeping the usual stash of chocolate, nuts, and Luna bars in my desk). And I have a new appreciation for the convenience of pouring out a bowl of Cheerios every morning, or pulling a quart of homemade bean chili out of the freezer as food for the next few days. (I'm sure there are other food categories one could pre-make and freeze, but I haven't really gotten a handle on them.) It eventually occurred to me that I should maybe hard-boil some eggs as instant/travel food, but in all seriousness I got stumped on: how are you supposed to check them for blood spots? But anyway.

More observations )

The major conclusion I draw from the experiment is that it is way easier to feel well fed on 1800-2000 calories/day if that intake comprises at least 75% proteins and fats and less than 25% carbs (or else, perhaps, when all of those carbs are green vegetables and a little fruit). In other words, perhaps what I really need is guidelines that ensure there is more FOOD in my food, and to acknowledge that the maple oatmeal scones of the world may certainly be Treats, but are not themselves to be confused with Food, even if they come out of the Food budget (in both a money and nutrient sense).

And it's easy to laze out and make suboptimal choices unless I have that "program" mentality actually reinforcing my commitment to the better choices.

So we'll see. For today, it's still back to lentil salad and quinoa pilaf for lunch. :-)

Graaaaains...

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012 01:22 pm
chanaleh: (Default)
So about this low-carb thing I mentioned in passing the other day.

Yeah. I started last week -- I was going to say Sunday night, when I had my 7-hour crazy bus ride, but since that was on the heels of fabulous waffles and cinnamon rolls from brunch, I suppose that really means it was Monday. So, just over a week now. [livejournal.com profile] justom was going to be away the rest of that week, through Thursday, and I felt like that was a good time to be experimenting (not the only possible time, but a good time).

why? )
how? )
findings, to date? )

No, I don't expect to do this forever, but I feel like I should give it a solid couple of weeks before deciding anything further.

But right now I'm finishing a lunch consisting of a bed of lettuce (including beet and radish greens), a can of tuna, half a cucumber, and half an avocado -- dressed with sesame seeds and a little Bragg's Healthy Vinaigrette. What's not to love??
chanaleh: Muffin the Vampire Baker: "It's him, Muffin! You have to protect him at all costs!" "I'M ON IT!" (i'm on it!)
Here is how you make zucchini and/or summer squash worth eating:
Cook it to death with a ton of garlic. NOM. )

Serves 3, but 2 can easily manage it with second helpings (which you'll want. I took my first bite and said "Yeah, I would make this again... TOMORROW").

In other news, I've sort of been experimenting with the low-carb thing for the past week. Nothing much to report as yet, but it's an interesting exercise in mindfulness if nothing else. More on that anon.
chanaleh: (crow's nest)
[livejournal.com profile] sanpaku called me out recently for undermining my fiercely professed LiveJournal loyalty by actually doing most of my day-to-day posting on Facebook. He's right, and thus I am thinking that for the month of June I should make another attempt at doing a short post every day, thereby lowering the psychological bar. So here's one.

I am inordinately pleased that Men In Black 3 features Josh Brolin as young Tommy Lee Jones, because I decided years ago that I wanted to cast them in a father-son pairing, and this, if not the same idea, at least leverages the same resemblance. See this photo from the 1980s (link now fixed to copy uploaded locally, but original was from here) for evidence.

I kind of want to see it, in any case. I also still kind of want to see The Hunger Games. And Pina is still playing (in 3D?!?) at the IFC in the West Village. But the truth is, I/we almost never see any movies at all -- The Avengers being a recent (stellar) exception. #geekhotness We can't even manage to watch a movie *at home*... although we did finally sit down and watch the first episode of Slings & Arrows a few weeks ago.

Things are actually sort of settling down, though, despite the busy month ahead.

On Friday I finally managed to host a Shabbat dinner, and even though it was not officially decided until the very last minute (like Friday morning), we had 6 people and it was wonderful. I did all the cooking and [livejournal.com profile] justom graciously did almost all the washing-up. *smile*
food notes )

... And maybe that's enough for today. D&D at our house this afternoon, and [livejournal.com profile] hahathor is coming up this evening to see our place and go out to dinner in beautiful scenic South Harlem, for which I am very excited!

Passover notes 5772

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012 03:55 pm
chanaleh: (mandala)
Seders, and vacation:

I had invitations to both seder nights, which were nice in different ways. First seder was with [livejournal.com profile] justom's family friends who live in the city, the ones who had me to Rosh Hashanah -- so it was lovely to be with "family", and particularly when it's on his side, you know?

The only problem with the second seder was that it was with some relatively frum and scholarly friends, who called the seder for 9pm (as one does when it falls on a Saturday night, because you have to wait for the Sabbath to be really, truly over)... and I bailed out at 1:40am, when they were serving the soup course. It was really pretty great discussion, and there was a wide selection of green vegetable courses on the table for karpas so that it wasn't directly a problem of falling over starving for 4 hours... but, I just ran dramatically out of gas at that point and had to go home in tears to crawl into my own bed. Where I stayed well past noon, and that was great.

Since then, I have been on vacation all this week, and apparently all I can do is SLEEP ALL THE TIME, like until 11am every day (admittedly, I am also staying up later, but only til 1am instead of the usual midnight). I am trying to take this as "my body needs restoring for some reason", and just enjoy having the opportunity. Oh, and sitting around reading library books.

Mind, I've also been doing set build for Blue Hill Troupe's Utopia, which goes up in a couple weeks. So that's a little like doing actual work. I have some other work I should also be doing this week, both for work-work and for freelance work (remember that project that was supposed to go to press March 1? Yeah, he finally sent me the rest of the manuscript), but hey, there are days left to go, right?

Food:

I had some duck stock in the freezer from the last time I made duck (this was, er, moved from Somerville), so I made matzah ball soup out of it Sunday night. Also, I remembered that I had the brilliant notion some time ago of buying a little spring-loaded OXO cookie scoop specially for the purpose of making matzah balls, so I finally dug it out, and OMG was this the way to go. Beautifully rounded, consistently sized, and done in about half the time it normally takes to whack out two dozen dumplings. NOM. (I think I would recommend going for the medium scoop, though -- these were just a tad smaller than I would normally prefer to make.)

I also made lamb stew in the crockpot, and eggplant caponata, and poached salmon and asparagus, and and and. I think I have made enough food to last out the week, now. Especially since it turns out that all I really want for most of the day is like 3 pieces of matzah and cream cheese for breakfast. At this rate, I might have to buy a second box.

Also, my favorite Passover candy is the fancy peppermint patties that come 8 to a box. I love that sort of thing anytime (Junior Mints, anyone?), and while I've heard people complain about the slightly chalky texture of the Passover ones, I actually love them that way. But also, they come conveniently rationed for 1 per day, serving as a sort of reverse Advent calendar. Countdown to chametz!

And now I should go do something useful for a couple hours before we go see Death of a Salesman tonight. :-D

Oh, but since I just got this and it's on-topic, here: Passover Rhapsody (from Aish HaTorah, but it's cute).
chanaleh: (scream)
You guys, I have so, SO much I could be writing about, and I've just been too slammed to take the time. Which means I have half-finished entries gathering dust from a month ago, and by the time I get around to posting them, they have to be half rewritten. (Not that that's bad, from a literary perspective.)

So here's one piece of the current landscape.

**

Remember those size 8 pants I bought at the end of October? (I'm pretty sure I had posted about them either here or on FB, but I can't find the citation now, so you're going to have to take my word for it. ANyway...)

Yeah, they don't fit anymore. I suspect I've put close to 10 pounds back on since starting my new job Nov. 1. :-P

nattering about food and exercise )

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