Thursday, October 2, 2014

Better a Real Roll than a Fake Bagel

I've always loved a good bagel. I like to chew, and a good boiled first then baked bagel needs heavy chewing.  It's very hard to find a real bagel nowadays, because many bagel places use this new-fangled steam spritz rather than proper boiling.

A couple of weeks ago a friend and I needed a quick lunch. We were in the Jerusalem Central Bus Station and went to the Holy Bagel. I have a soft spot for Holy Bagel, since the owners, or first owners bought the Beit HaBagel, Bagel House from a friend of ours, and I had worked there many years ago. I wanted to like the sandwich.

We asked the kid working there if they were real bagels, because they looked too "fluffy."
"Of course they're real. I baked them," said the kid.
"Hmm.. really? They don't look real."
And they weren't. I should have just looked for another place to eat, but we were in a rush. There was no way he could make the bagels, real bagels there. The boiling needs extra equipment.

Close to twenty years ago the original Bonkers Bagels owners brought the first "steam bagel" machinery to Israel, and a whole generation of kids have grown up thinking those puffy things with the consistency of oatmeal are real bagels, but they're not.

If it's not a real bagel I'd rather have a roll, and sandwiches on rolls cost less than bagel sandwiches, too!

Bye, bye bagels, bye, bye...

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Holiday Cooking, No Need to Gorge on Unhealthy Food!

In the Jewish world it's Holiday Time. We're in the midst of a three plus weeks of Jewish Holidays, from Rosh Hashannah to Simchat Torah.

My husband and I both lost a bit of weight a few years ago, and we don't want it to return. One of our tricks is to eat lots of cooked vegetables. They fill the plates, our stomachs but don't contain a lot of calories.  I've developed a few basic recipes which are very easy to prepare and impressive to serve. Some are almost, or can be entire meals. They are all healthy and diet friendly.

This is as simple as it looks and tasty, too. In a baking dish, bake and serve, I placed a squash, carrots, eggplant, pumpkin, a potato, onion and a tomato on the eggplant. All I added besides those ingrediants were granulated garlic and some oil on top.  I baked it in a hot oven until I could see that it was ready. Yes, it's that simple. When you cook like this, the flavor stays in.

Here's another dish made with the same technique but a different selection of vegetables. We brought it to the family who hosted us for a meal. It was a popular success.

I layered onions, eggplant, sweet potato, pumpkin and mushrooms. Because of the delicate mushrooms, it's recommended to cover with foil for some of the baking.

There's a limit to the amount of meat and poultry I'm willing to eat over six large meals in just three days or barely 72 hours, One meal that I prepared for just me and my husband was this salmon and vegetable bake.

As you can see, there are two pieces of salmon, sweet potato, onion, pumpkin and carrots. Yes, we polished off every single piece. It was accompanied by more vegetables and a salad, too.

A few months ago, I had bought some giant turkey wings, each packed separately and each large enough to satisfy two hearty appetites. That is especially if they are cooked and served with lots of vegetables. I cooked the last one for a meal my husband and I ate alone.

For a sweet "sauce" I used a small bottle of sweet Purim wine. This dish was our "tzimmis," a traditional sweet vegetable concoction served by many families on Rosh Hashannah. Besides the usual vegetables, carrots, sweet potato, pepper and mushrooms, I also added prunes, raisins and cinnamon. There was also water so it wouldn't burn.

Cook on a low heat in a covered pan until you're sure it's done. A trick to make sure the vegetables don't overcook and "disappear" is to leave them as whole or large as possible. Personally I can't stand overcooked vegetables. They loose their flavor and bulk. You can also add the vegetables later on during the cooking process, but this was very successful and absolutely delicious.

Try these cooking methods, and let me know how the food came out, thanks.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

52 Frames "From Where I Stand" and Havel Havelim

I don't know why I'm combining these two internet projects I'm involved with, but here goes.

"From where I stand" was this week's theme/challenge on 52 Frames. Unlike most of the other photographer participants, I didn't want to look down at my feet. I had to look forward, to see where I'm going and what's approaching. I have to be ready to step out and take advantage of all possibilities.

Just a couple of hours after the new week's theme began I found myself standing at a bus stop in the dark of the night waiting for a bus home. I was nervous, because the number wasn't on the sign. My husband was sure it still stopped there. Thank G-d he was right, because after a few minutes it did stop there. And as an added bonus I managed this shot:

And from where I stand in the cyber-world, the world of internet, I'm still a blogger and still believe that blogging not only has an important place, is an important activity. That's why not only do I still blog daily on two blogs, this blog and Shiloh Musings, but I'm very involved in our weekly Jewish blog carnival/round-up called Havel Havelim. And I'm also the initiator and coordinator of the Kosher Cooking Carnival.

Blogging is an opportunity for all who have a message to get across to be his/her own newspaper or magazine owner/editor. The only cost for a blogger is time; that is bedsides the expense of a computer, internet etc. Blogging can be done on a tablet or smartphone too. Blog carnivals turn bloggers into a community or magazine staff. We help each other out by promoting, reading and sharing other people's blogs. And in that way others will get to know our blogs.

This week's Havel Havelim is hosted by Esser Agaroth and is worth reading and sharing. We coordinate hosting on our facebook page.

And, yes, facebook is the "home" of 52 Frames. See, there is a connection! Please check them both out, thanks.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Almost a Biblical Harry Potter, Boaz

Available from Amazon
I must admit that I haven't read the Harry Potter series, but from what I've seen of it this amazing Warrior Prophets, Book 1: Conqueror, Book One of the Boaz Trilogy, part of a series of Biblically inspired fiction is just the book for for those who want a Jewish adventure series full of magic. It's written by Ben-Tzion Spitz, who is the Chief Rabbi of Uruguay and has a wonderful internet sit which includes a blog, at

Rabbi Spitz has envisioned the Biblical Book of Joshua as an adventure story in which he weaves the text, midrashim (commentary) and his very fertile imagination. This is only the first of three books about Boaz.

As most people who study the Bible, I only know of Boaz as the rich, kind and generous, old man who accepts responsibility for his dead relative, Elimelech's widow, Naomi, and widowed childless daughter-in-law Ruth by marrying her. According to the Book of Ruth, she was immediately impregnated and their great-grandson was the great king and warrior, David. Spitz fleshes out that story by making the young Boaz into a mythical fighter with super-human powers. We are first introduced to the ten year old Boaz and then follow his adventures and maturation as a leader. As someone who has studied that part of the Bible, about the period of the Judges and King David, I must say that I can easily imagine King David being descended from such a man and leader, the Boaz in the book.

I look forward to reading more in Rabbi Spitz's series and highly recommend Warrior Prophets, Book 1: Conqueror, Book One of the Boaz Trilogy for Bible and adventure lovers of all ages.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The First Kosher Cooking Carnival of 5775!

The Kosher Cooking Carnival is a monthly blog carnival about kosher food, kosher cooking, anything to do with kosher food. I started it many years ago when a post of mine was rejected by a food/recipe carnival that wanted to restrict that edition to ham. Like many if not all of the ancient enemies of the Jewish People, that blog carnival no longer exists, but we're still cooking!

Nowadays KCC is organized on our facebook page. You can sign up to host or find out who's hosting there. Or just write to me shilohmuse at gmail dot com. The editions generally appear around Rosh Chodesh, which is the first day of the Jewish Month. The Kosher Cooking Carnival is more than just a recipe carnival. It includes posts about all aspects of kashrut, what makes food kosher, custom, recipes and also cookbook and restaurant reviews, kosher of course.

Please check out the posts, read, comment and of course share them and this blog round-up.

Vegan Raisin Bran Muffins (with zucchini/kishuim) They sound so yummy and healthy, too!
Butternut Squash and Apple Soup interesting combination
Tasting Beers
Acorn Squash Stuffed with Applesauce and Raisins
Unbelievably Easy and Pretty Healthy Candy-like Dessert, even the "no fruit eaters" can't resist!
Finally. Eating Mindfully. Dumping Excess Weight. WooHOO! Good luck, Ruti, I reviewed the book and think it's good.
Last Taste of Summer
The 2014 Jerusalem Beer Festival -- and the future of Israeli beer
Four new beers from my beer rebbe
Quick Nosh on the Road When Tremping and free, too.

Remember that your don't have to be a blogger to enjoy and share KCC!

Eruv Tavshilin, The "Facilitator" Meal

Here's this year's Rosh Hashannah so we can cook for Shabbat on RH, Eruv Tavshilin.

Eruv Tavshilin is one of those halachik Jewish Law solutions that make the impossible possible.
Normally, it is forbidden to prepare food on Yom Tov for use the next day. However, when Yom Tov falls out on Friday, one may prepare for Shabbat on Yom Tov if he symbolically began the preparations before Yom Tov. This symbolic preparation is known as an eiruv tavshilin.Every household must set aside one baked and one cooked item; usually an egg and a matzah/challah are used. The blessing of "al mitzvat eiruv" is recited and the items are held in the hand while saying the prescribed formula.  (
Without preparing food set aside for the final Shabbat meal and making the blessing it's forbidden to cook, boil water or even light Holiday or Shabbat candles.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Reflecting on those three days away from "the world"

Rosh Hashannah 5775
Have a healthy year
fruit head
The Jewish Calendar has some interesting quirks. One of them is the "three day yontiff/holiday" which is actually an oxymoron. It's actually a two day Holiday immediately followed by Shabbat. In Israel this only happens when Rosh Hashannah is a Thursday-Friday, but out of Israel when Succot, and Pesach begin and end with two day holidays, three day Holiday weekends are more common.

For those of us Jews strictly Torah observant we must learn how to be organized. We can't suddenly go shopping on days like Rosh Hashannah, Shavuot, first/last days of Succot and Passover in addition to Shabbat. On Shabbat we can't cook or boil water either. So today, when a neighbor suddenly decided that she wanted coffee and didn't have an urn of hot water, she came over, and I made her some.

Yesterday after synagogue services I was asked to have someone for a meal, and I had to refuse, since I had cooked just enough food for me and my husband. Especially since we both "watch our weights" and don't want to gain what we lost, I only serve/heat up exactly what we can eat.

Of the six main meals over the three days, two on each day of Rosh Hashannah and two more on Shabbat we had one meal at neighbors and two meals we hosted friends. The other meals we were alone, just the two of us.

Over Rosh Hashannah, I was amazed at how tired I was. I not only dozed off into deep sleep while reading, but I didn't wake up at my usual early time. On the second day of Rosh Hashannah, my husband woke me up, which almost never happens. Usually I'm up early, leisurely drink my morning water then coffee and end up the first woman in shul/synagogue. On the second day of 5775 I didn't even start my day with coffee!

I began to get very worried. Rosh Hashannah is traditionally thought of as a hint of what to expect the upcoming year. I didn't want to look forward to exhaustion. Thank G-d Shabbat was much better. I slept deeply, without any of the peculiar dreams which had been ruining my sleep or painful muscle cramps. And I woke up nice and early feeling energetic and alert. That's more the "me" I want to be this year.

G-d willing 5775 will be like the first Shabbat was and not like Rosh Hashannah.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Have a Sweet, Healthy, Joyful and Successful Year 5775

There's a custom to serve many symbolic foods on Rosh Hashannah and make up puns to use as good wishes. Some people decorate their holiday table with a fish head or even a sheep's head, so they'll be "heads" and not "tails" in the new year. My custom is to make a fruit head.

Each year our head is different. We shouldn't be bored, should we?

I haven't yet made the latest one. That will be closer to candle-lighting time. Our Rosh Hashannah meal is full of blessings, not just "be a head not a tail."

Many English speakers serve raisins, so they will have a "raise in" salary.

There are families that have dozens of foods on the table these blessings.
The first food that the Gemora mentions is gourds, or "K'ra." The word "K'ra" sounds both like the word for "read/proclaim" and the word for "tear." When we eat the gourd, there are two possible "Yehi Ratzons" that can be said. The first goes "Yehi Ratzon milfanecha... _sheyikaru'u lifanecha zechuyo'seinu" "May it be your will Hashem that our merits _ be read/proclaimed_ before you." The other is"...sheyikora g'zar de'nainu." "...that the decree of our sentence should be torn up." There are varying customs as to this Yehi Ratzon, and a prevalent custom is to recite both endings together in one Yehi Ratzon. (, read more)
Israel Forever
Others make one food dish that combines many of the foods. You can actually do that with a fruit head or even the meal's main course or interesting salad. These are all customs, so do what's best for your family and guests.

Tell me about your family's food customs in the comments here, thanks. Although my husband and I have been married married forty-four years, we're still building ours.

Shannah Tovah and Chag Sameach!

Dry Bones, Happy 5775

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Collaboration, 52 Frames Photo Challenge

At first I panicked. How in the world do you collaborate in photography? Then I began to understand that the aim is to dream up some sort of photo that can't be done without help.  That I finally realized was possible, but I don't like all sorts of complicated things.

Then I had one of those eureka moments. I bought a bubble wand, which I figured would be more tempting or better bait than a small container of soapy bubble liquid. Actually I had noticed people buying those wands and making bubbles at Rami Levy. So before going to Jerusalem to see my newest granddaughter, I picked one up. I was hoping to get the young father to pose, but then I had second thoughts. Luckily my older son who lives in the same building showed up and was willing to pose. He even kept telling me what I should do and how to take the picture. Real collaboration.

Here's the picture I submitted to 52 Frames.

I cropped out my son and just left the bubble. If you look carefully, you'll see Jean who posed for the "Ginger Project."

Monday, September 22, 2014

Nothing More Photogenic than The Israel Museum!

I spent a short time at the Israel Museum yesterday. It is my favorite place to take pictures. Yes, I think it ties with Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh, especially since they (who run the Tel) started using weed-killer which killed all of the beautiful protected wild flowers which used to decorate the area so perfectly.

Here are a few pictures, enjoy:

Photos must be taken without flash.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Scenes from Tefillat Chana, Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh, 5774

As I had written on Shiloh Musings, I did go to this year's Tefillat Chana at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh. It was beautiful and such a treat for me to see thousands of women of all ages from all over Israel. Teffillat Chana means "Hannah's Prayer."

Hannah's Prayer is in the Bible, 1Samuel 2:1-10.
א  וַתִּתְפַּלֵּל חַנָּה, וַתֹּאמַר, עָלַץ לִבִּי בַּיהוָה, רָמָה קַרְנִי בַּיהוָה; רָחַב פִּי עַל-אוֹיְבַי, כִּי שָׂמַחְתִּי בִּישׁוּעָתֶךָ.
1 And Hannah prayed, and said: my heart exulteth in the LORD, my horn is exalted in the LORD; my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in Thy salvation.
ב  אֵין-קָדוֹשׁ כַּיהוָה, כִּי אֵין בִּלְתֶּךָ; וְאֵין צוּר, כֵּאלֹהֵינוּ.
2 There is none holy as the LORD, for there is none beside Thee; neither is there any rock like our God.
ג  אַל-תַּרְבּוּ תְדַבְּרוּ גְּבֹהָה גְבֹהָה, יֵצֵא עָתָק מִפִּיכֶם:  כִּי אֵל דֵּעוֹת יְהוָה, ולא (וְלוֹ) נִתְכְּנוּ עֲלִלוֹת.
3 Multiply not exceeding proud talk; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by Him actions are weighed.
ד  קֶשֶׁת גִּבֹּרִים, חַתִּים; וְנִכְשָׁלִים, אָזְרוּ חָיִל.
4 The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength.
ה  שְׂבֵעִים בַּלֶּחֶם נִשְׂכָּרוּ, וּרְעֵבִים חָדֵלּוּ, עַד-עֲקָרָה יָלְדָה שִׁבְעָה, וְרַבַּת בָּנִים אֻמְלָלָה.
5 They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry have ceased; while the barren hath borne seven, she that had many children hath languished.
ו  יְהוָה, מֵמִית וּמְחַיֶּה; מוֹרִיד שְׁאוֹל, וַיָּעַל.
6 The LORD killeth, and maketh alive; He bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.
ז  יְהוָה, מוֹרִישׁ וּמַעֲשִׁיר; מַשְׁפִּיל, אַף-מְרוֹמֵם.
7 The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich; He bringeth low, He also lifteth up.
ח  מֵקִים מֵעָפָר דָּל, מֵאַשְׁפֹּת יָרִים אֶבְיוֹן, לְהוֹשִׁיב עִם-נְדִיבִים, וְכִסֵּא כָבוֹד יַנְחִלֵם:  כִּי לַיהוָה מְצֻקֵי אֶרֶץ, וַיָּשֶׁת עֲלֵיהֶם תֵּבֵל.
8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, He lifteth up the needy from the dung-hill, to make them sit with princes, and inherit the throne of glory; for the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, and He hath set the world upon them.
ט  רַגְלֵי חֲסִידָו יִשְׁמֹר, וּרְשָׁעִים בַּחֹשֶׁךְ יִדָּמּוּ:  כִּי-לֹא בְכֹחַ, יִגְבַּר-אִישׁ.
9 He will keep the feet of His holy ones, but the wicked shall be put to silence in darkness; for not by strength shall man prevail.
י  יְהוָה יֵחַתּוּ מְרִיבָו, עָלָו בַּשָּׁמַיִם יַרְעֵם--יְהוָה, יָדִין אַפְסֵי-אָרֶץ; וְיִתֶּן-עֹז לְמַלְכּוֹ, וְיָרֵם קֶרֶן מְשִׁיחוֹ.  {פ}
10 They that strive with the LORD shall be broken to pieces; against them will He thunder in heaven; the LORD will judge the ends of the earth; and He will give strength unto His king, and exalt the horn of His anointed. {P}
This is Hannah's prayer of thanksgiving, stating the power of G-d over all, over life and death. She made this prayer after handing her precious, long prayed for son Samuel to Eli the High Priest. Hannah hadn't asked for a son just for selfish, maternal needs. Hannah knew that her son could change the world, transform the anarchic Jewish tribes into a G-d focused People ruled by a king.

Hannah's Prayer was said out-loud in unison led by Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi. This prayer is a reminder that our children are given to us by G-d, and at a time we must let go.

Tefillat Chana is held annually a week before Rosh Hashannah. For more information Shiloh Hakeduma and its features and activities check the site or contact the office,  Email  or phone 02-994-4019. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Last HH of 5774 at Shiloh Musings!

Please check out the very last 5774 Havel Havelim, which is on Shiloh Musings. There's a very wide variety of posts, so I'm sure you'll find many worth reading.

A couple of reminders:

A reminder from Leora who hosts JPIX, the Jewish bloggers picture carnival. She's planning on producing another editions soon, so please get your links to her on theform click here.

The next Kosher Cooking Carnival is due out after Rosh Hashannah, so please send me your links before the holiday, shilohmuse at gmail dot com. KCC is coordinated on a facebook page, too.

Most important message:

You don't have to be a blogger to read, comment and share blog posts!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Should I Take The Plunge? Do I Want it Enough?

For much too long, I've been trying to sell my photos, writing etc, but... Yes, "but..."

But in in order to do it, I really must set myself up as a free lancer, meaning set up an official small business. I've never done that. I haven't been able to follow up leads because I'm lacking official status. I can't give receipts etc. I haven't made myself "official."

Do I want the "hustle" of having to constantly try to find jobs? No

Do I want to use up all of my energies on the lowest paying job there is? No

Well, I then have to try to make a change, right?

I'm a CPS's daughter who got 100 plus in "Accounting for Seniors." I must be capable. But I'm old, lazy and tired, too.

Is there anyone out there who can coach me through this?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tasting Beers

This is just a sip of beer. I have no time for a full post.  But just that you know, the other night I went to the home of Israel Brews and Views and was deemed fit to judge some porter beers. I learned that dark beer, or a kind of dark beer is called a porter. And I now know more about which types of beers I do like more than others.

More details later.