Summer Vacation is Just Starting, But the “Search” Is Already Looming

Today marks the last day of school (for elementary grades at least). For parents this day is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, you have a period of time where you don’t have to get the kids up in time for the bus (and you don’t have to remind them about homework). On the other hand, you worry about the tremendous amount of free time they have, and what they are doing with it when you are at work.

In addition to the summer “worries”, I am starting to think about the looming search for a school for my about-to-be eighth grader. Starting next fall we have to research schools, apply and go through the interview process, and at the end make a decision.

We went through with this with son number one, and although we very much did not want to send him to penimia (dormitory high school), he insisted. Herb Keinon sums up the feelings of most American olim about this phenomenon in his piece in the Jerusalem Post, and I can certainly relate.

Now it is time for son number two. He is a bit of a Yekke (very good for the report card) and is already bugging me to make a list of schools to check out. So I have started asking all of the parents I know who just went through the process this past year.

The trick, of course, is to find a school which is just right for your particular child. Wolfish Musings writes a post about this, and I agree with him completely. The problem, though, is really knowing if your kid and the school are a good match. Even after you do your research, and find a school that seems right, you have to keep in mind that your kid is a teenager. Teenagers have this annoying habit of changing (goes with the territory, I guess) and what may seem wonderful at ninth grade might not be good at eleventh.

I comfort myself that thousands of parents have gone through this before me, and if they can survive, so can I.


Happy Birthday Josh!

BakaDiary’s son Josh is 18 today. Happy birthday Josh! I hope you enjoy your day, and you should be blessed with happiness and health, “ad meah v’esrim”.

Kosher Cooking Coming Right Up

I am very happy to host this month’s Kosher Cooking Carnival, started and maintained by Batya.

Juggling Frogs indexes the recipes appearing in Carnivals 1-22  . For the rest of the Carnivals up to now, click 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, and 30.

Therapydoc has a very good post about emotional issues and weight, and the push to supersize that is wreaking havoc with our calorie cosumption.

 For starters, Mottel presents Basement Salad posted at Letters of Thought. Cute salad, with some interesting facts… Leora has her own take on a carrot salad, originally posted by Ilana Davita…and she shares an interesting cabbage salad for those of you who like strong flavors. Does Gush Katif grow bug-free Napa cabbage?

Batya describes her afternoon in Jerusalem, with a lovely culinary experience but a decidedly negative olfactory one. She also shares a new recipe for a new pan.

If you have ever wondered what natural cooking is, just follow this link, appropriately posted by the naturalcooking blog! Dave also has a post about vegan cooking.

Rita gives us a weight reducing tip, and the Vegetarian Frugal Housewife has a great couscous recipe. Go to Valueforyourlife for more vegetarian ideas.

If you have some ripe tomatoes, Ilaana has a great recipe for you. 

Leora shares a wonderful cake recipe, (pictured above) and relates the dangers of leaving the finished product while there are hungry boys around. For another great recipe, try this carrot cake.

Need a simple supper tonight? Check out some of SuperRaizy‘s ideas. This sorbet looks complicated, but it is very simple too.

Batya discusses whether or not everyone eats dairy foods on Shavuot. I share an alternative to cheesecake for a dairy dessert here.

For those of you feeling beef deprived after Shavuot, Treppenwitz has a great post. I am not a big beef eater, but I was salivating at the picture….and if chicken is your thing, then try these great chicken patties.

And last, but not least, for those who like salmon, Elisson has a recipe here for gravlax.


The Peace and Quiet of My Own Home

I had a very interesting discussion with westbankpapa this morning, concerning the different needs men and women have for periods of solitude.

I have been working very hard lately, and my job has turned into a full-time one. This happens every year after Passover, and lasts until the end of June. Then my schedule goes back to a four day a week one.

Today was my first day off in about two months (not counting weekends of course, which means cooking and cleaning on Friday for Shabbat, and catching up on sleep on Shabbat itself). I told my husband how much I was looking forward to being at home by myself – just a few hours of solitude in my own home, without husband or kids around.

He thought I was nuts. Westbankpapa is very outgoing and social, and I am quieter and more reticent. But I insisted that my desire for some time alone at home was more of a “girl thang” than a temperament difference. I know women who are very social, but who also crave some time alone in their homes – which is very difficult to come by if you work full time.

What do you think? Is it really one of those gender differences, or do I just happen to know women who love periods of solitude?

When Work Keeps You From Blogging…

When you are too busy at work (and at home) to blog, the next best thing to do is to link to others.

This time I am linking to other bloggers who are blogging about blogging.  Mom in Israel starts the ball rolling here, Leorah puts in her two cents here., and Jack keeps the topic alive here.

Of course, there is Havel-Havalim to link to also – Part One, and Part Two.

Don’t forget to send me your links for the Kosher Cooking Carnival. My email is westbankmama at fastmail dot fm.


With Shavuot being on Sunday night, I was too busy to check out my favorite blogs. So I just came across this week’s edition of Havel-Havalim.

Go over and read – and don’t forget to wish Serach and Ezzie a mazel tov too!

You Don’t Have To Scream…

Everyone has their special food that they only really like homemade. For me it is ice cream (unless I want to pay an arm and a leg for imported Haagen Dazs, that is).

So every summer I get out the old ice cream maker out of storage and I put it to good use. Here is my recipe for chocolate ice cream.

4 1/2 cups half-and-half (in Israel I just split it into 2 cups cream, 2 1/2 cups milk)

1 1/2 cups sugar

6 egg yolks, beaten well

1 1/2 cups cream

1/2 cup cocoa

Beat the egg yolks well. In heavy medium saucepan, combine half-and-half, sugar, cocoa, and beaten egg  yolks. Cook and stir over low heat until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a metal spoon.  Cool to room temperature. Stir in whipping cream. Follow the manufacturers directions for your specific ice cream maker. Makes 3 quarts.

Speaking of recipes, I am hosting this month’s Kosher Cooking Carnival. Send your recipes on to me at westbankmama at fastmail dot fm.

Previous Older Entries