A variation on Murphy’s Law that states: the moment your computer finishes booting (and you log on), your children will wake up.
(No sooner did I think of this than Ahuva opened her eyes, proving it true.)
Cholent [CHUH-lent] is a slow-cooked stew of Eastern European origin that is eaten on Shabbat. It may contain any combination of meats, potatoes, eggs; grains such as barley, wheat, rice; beans, chick peas, onions, spices. Done right it is delicious, warm, and comforting. Consider this Cholent a stew of ideas, thoughts, and the influences that spice up my life (aka my children)
Laura, Adi, and big sister Ahuva are proud to welcome our baby boy
Melech Karl Mahalel
7 August 2009
9 lbs 4 oz (4.2 kg)
So far his main interests include eating, sleeping, and looking around while making cute squeaking noises. We’re all feeling great after a relatively easy delivery but as you can see by the lateness of this mailing, he keeps us busy!
Melech means “King” in Hebrew. For more about why we chose this name, see my blog entry: http://cookingcholent.blogspot.com/2009/08/melech-karl-mahalel.html
For pictures from Melech’s bris:
More and ongoing family pics on our phanfare site: http://mahalel.phanfare.com/
At Ahuva’s wonderful school (aka day care) they have certain conventions about language. Instead of “labeling” the childrens’ building by saying, “what a nice house”, they unjudgementally refer to all their creations as “Structures”. As in “That's an interesting structure, Jakey.” It can be quite amusing to hear toddlers saying to each other “No!! don’t touch my STRUCTURE!” when they build with others.
The other day we were thrilled (and a little grossed out) to greet Ahuva in the morning and find that on her own she had pulled down her night-time pull-up, pooped in her little potty, and pulled up her pull up.
I enthusiastically praised this achievement while Aba bravely emptied the contents of the potty.
“That was great, Ahuva. A big poop!” I said. In fact it had been a towering pile of mulit-colored excrement.
“I made a STRUCTURE of poop!” she exclaimed.
I’m very excited to report that my birth hospital accepts donations for cord blood. I’ve done my research and strongly encourage you to look into this mitzvah opportunity for your baby:
Note: This is *not* the “bank your baby’s cord blood” guilt-and-fear-inducing RACKET where it is (maybe) stored for the 1 in 1,000,000 chance that your baby or someone in your family will – G-d forbid – need that blood someday. Rather, it’s kept in a bank where it can be used someone - anyone who needs it to live. It costs you nothing and causes no pain to you or your baby to donate. Please spread the word. Think about it: if everyone donate, then everyone who could benefit from a transplant could have access to the matched blood they needed without anyone paying the rip-off fees of the private banks.
Those have to be 6 of my favorite words when it comes to salad greens. Equally exciting to me is that for the last two days I’ve been able to actually eat salad for lunch.
I made a rather delicious one by combining:
· Spinach leaves
· Red seedless grapes
· Fresh thyme leaves
· Chunks of yummy cheese
· Dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pepper, and sea salt
Why is this so exciting? Because well past the 1st trimester, I’ve experienced so-called “morning sickness”. Mine is usually worse in the evenings. It flared up again during and after traveling too. If Ahuva’s pregnancy is any predictor, I can expect to have some vomiting all the way through to the end.
Some more good news, I just read that morning sickness is associated with high IQs of babies: http://www.babble.com/CS/blogs/strollerderby/archive/2009/04/24/sick-in-the-morning-good-your-kids-will-thank-you.aspx
Yes, I am now (quite) pregnant again. Expecting Bambino, a boy, August 6th.
Yesterday morning in the kitchen, Ahuva said, “I wanna work with FLOUR.”
“Great!” I said. “We can make pasta.”
I took out a big blue bowl and put it on the low end table that is her work station. She knelt on the little white stool and helped me measure the following ingredients. First the dry, then making a well in the center we added the wet:
· 2 c. all-purpose flour (I would try substituting 1 c. whole wheat next time)
· 1 c. semolina flour (YUM!)
· ½ tsp. salt (I think it needs more)
· 2 eggs, plus 4 egg yolks, beaten together (Or, I followed the recipes suggestion and “For a nutritional boost, replace one of the eggs with ½ c. pureed beans or vegetables.” That comes to 2 2 oz. jars or one 4 oz. jar Earth’s Best baby food. I used Spinach and potato flavor and used 3 full eggs which I did not bother to beat together first).
Working with spoons and hands, we combined the ingredients and formed a stiff dough. It was not unlike play dough. But at this point Ahuva wanted to wash her hands and left me to knead the dough “until just smooth, about 5 to 10 minutes”. Well, closer to the 5.
I refrigerated the dough in a little container and took Huvie off to school.
In the evening, with lots of extra semolina flour around to sprinkle, I rolled out the dough until it was nearly paper-thin. I used a bottle to do this. Then I cut the dough in uneven strips using a pizza cutter. I was aiming for spaghetti but mostly got closer to the kind of egg noodle you put in kuggel. No matter.
It is already summer-like here and Aba and Ahuva ended up staying a very long time at the playground with many of her classmates. They came home happy, flushed, dirty and hungry.
Water boiling, I discovered that much of my laboriously cut pasta strips (it took considerably longer than the listed “30 minutes active time” to create them, especially if you discount the morning efforts of ~10 min) had turned into tangled pasta mass.
“What’s that?” asked Ahuva.
“That’s pasta,” I said, “You made it, remember? We’re going to cook it now. Here, help me untangle these.”
“Yah!” But her little hands pressed further, making doughy masses that were even more stuck.
“I wanna eat it!” she said. I let her try a bite, forgetting for a moment that it contained raw egg, remembering only the pleasure of raw dough and wanting to let her experience that.
“Mmmm, pasta!” she declared, reaching for a fist-full of dough.
“Noooooo! We have to cook it first!”. I had to confiscate the bowl. I salvaged what I could from the strips and while they boiled, set about re-forming the tangled masses with aid of bottle and pizza cutter into whatever I could quickly create: thick new rolls and chunky little gnocchi-esque cubes or mushed cubes approximating orecchiette.
The noodles emerged thick and chewey from the pot. I didn’t think they tasted so hot when I took them out. They needed salt and were a bit bland. But at the table with additions of butter, parmesan cheese, some lovely grey French sea salt and some broccoli I’d pan-steamed with garlic, they were delish. Both Ahuva and Aba cried for “MORE!”. There were just enough left to pack in her lunch box for the next day.
I will try to score a pasta maker on www.freecycle.org next time I have something to offer there since it seems like the rolling out the dough was (for me) the hardest part. With slightly bigger kids, I imagine that could be a fun, play dough like task.