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what to say...what to say... - Karen's Musings
Random Rambling
what to say...what to say...
I feel the need to update, though frankly I don't really have the time, and I don't even have anything in particular I wanted to say, but I always think that, but come up with plenty of random tidbits eventually, right? So we'll see.
  • I've got new pictures of Julian up. Does anyone know if there's a way that I can make a 1st page with my .mac account so that I can have a page that lists the albums, rather than having to link directly to an album? I know this must be possible, but I'm a moron, and I haven't had the time to really go and try to figure it out.
  • I want a new sheitel, but I'm also cheap and lazy, so I think it won't happen for a while.
  • Seth and I went to Home Depot last night. That was our "date" for the week. Or maybe for the month. We haven't been on a date in a while now that I think about it. We got a babysitter and everything.
    • We bought peel-n-stick tile for the TV room and office in the basement. I'll try and get that done next week.
    • We bought wallpaper for the kitchen. I want nothing to do with hanging it. I hereby nominate sethcohen to do it, since he's, um, fuzzy, and um, tall. Right. Those are fine reasons. :-D
    • We got some new keys made and also bought a cipher-lock spare key holder-thingy. This will help prevent me from locking myself out of the house, which I'm prone to doing. This will also help us with regard to carrying keys on shabbos if the eruv is down. Now we won't have to figure it out. Not that there's usually anything to figure out since it's rare that I make it to shul.
    • We bought, um, I can't remember what else. Anyway, we almost bought a new kitchen sink, which I really, really, really want and I'm sort of sorry we didn't get it. :(

  • The air conditioning guy came today to lay out exactly what will be done and when and it looks like he can do all the interior installation starting next week and expects it to take a week and a half. Pretty impressive. So I'm looking forward to having central air.
    • So what I'm wondering is whether it makes sense to take out the radiators. Taking them out will be a big pain and leave a big mess. We won't need the radiators since we'll have a heat pump. But I'm not seriously keen on messes we don't need. On the other hand, a couple of the radiators are in places where it would be nice to be able to put furniture. So I'm wondering if it's really feasible to remove a radiator or two. Have any of you ever done it?

  • Julian has started a queer thing... every night (with rare exception) for the last couple of weeks, has thrown up his supper. Only his supper. Never his breakfast, snack, lunch, or snack. Just supper. And it doesn't matter how much he eats, or how fast he eats it, or when we give it to him, or what he eats, or whether he's had anything to drink, or how tired he is, or anything. There is no rhyme or reason to it. We generally feed him breakfast and supper. His nanny feeds him lunch. He never does it to the nanny and never does it for breakfast. And even on the weekend when we feed him all his meals, there is no vomiting. He doesn't seem to be choking (and if he was that would be odd, since it happens EVERY night no matter what we feed him). It happened one night when ALL I gave him was applesauce and milk. It happened last night when he'd had eggs and crackers. I called Ellen to ask her advice (she's been a doctor for 20-odd years and has five kids, so she's sort of like an expert), and she was stumped. She thought it was very odd. He's not gagging himself...he's not sticking his fingers down his throat or anything. And the fact that it's ONLY supper (which is NOT the only meal we feed him ourselves), is really weird. But it happens every night. Ellen said since he's growing and eating otherwise he's probably fine, but it's worth checking with his pediatrician. He's got an appointment on the 14th, so I'l call them tomorrow, but she thinks it can probably wait until his regularly scheduled check up. It's only 2 weeks. But then I think ONLY TWO WEEKS? Two weeks of cleaning up PUKE? Ewie. So I'm a little torn, but on the other hand, I don't think it's any big crisis. Just gross is all. I thought maybe he had reflux, but it's a little strange for him to show his FIRST signs of that now and not earlier. Plus, why would it only be confined to supper? Weirdness.
  • Um….
  • Shabbos planning has begun. The house isn’t quite as much of a disaster right now as it usually is by Wednesday, so hopefully the cleaning part won’t be so bad. I didn’t make my kugel Monday OR Tuesday because I was out Monday and Tuesday was Home Depot night. So kugel tonight. And I have to buy a brisket. But I can mostly cook that tomorrow. And I have to figure out dessert. Who has any good pareve dessert ideas?

I guess that’s it for now..I should, after all, get some more work done and get outta here. Did you make it through the whole thing? I’m impressed if you did. And if you didn’t, well, you’re obviously not a loyal reader. :-D

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45 comments or Leave a comment
cahwyguy From: cahwyguy Date: March 2nd, 2005 09:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 2nd, 2005 09:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was just trying to think of something to say.
cahwyguy From: cahwyguy Date: March 2nd, 2005 10:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Have you thought of it yet? :-)
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 3rd, 2005 04:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes. My EAR FREAKING HURTS! Can I please have an ear-ectomy? (Not Mike Tyson style, thank you)
cahwyguy From: cahwyguy Date: March 3rd, 2005 04:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Vincent Van Gogh, then?
From: gittygiggles Date: March 2nd, 2005 09:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
We bought peel-n-stick tile for the TV room and office in the basement. I'll try and get that done next week.

careful with that...we have it and it looks horrible
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 2nd, 2005 09:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
It really depends on the tile. And frankly, ANYTHING is an improvement over black and red checkered tile from the 1970s. This tile is fine. We have used peel-n-stick tile in the past and this will be no different. You have to be careful to install it properly, and you have to not pick out butt-ugly tile, but it will otherwise be fine.
From: gittygiggles Date: March 3rd, 2005 11:33 am (UTC) (Link)
does it come up when you're done installing it? that's the problem we have with ours. the morons who did our house put it in and it's buckling up and peeling in some places
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 3rd, 2005 04:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
If it's installed properly, it shouldn't really come up under normal circumstances. If it's old, it will start coming up, if it's wet (a lot of basements get wet) it will start coming up. Depending on the kind of use you plan to have for the area, you might need to first put down a regular adhesive and then put the tile down, rather than depending on the sticky adhesive that's already on the tile. It's far more likely to come up if you don't use an additional adhesive.
From: gittygiggles Date: March 3rd, 2005 04:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
or, like you said, if the idiots installed it wrong, which they did
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 3rd, 2005 04:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, it's kind of hard to install wrong. You peel off the back and stick it to the ground. That's hard to get wrong. It's just that there are things you can do to maximize the likelihood of it lasting... For example, the surface you put it on should be as clean as possible. If you're doing it on a subfloor, you can usually do it directly on it, but if you're doing it on concrete (as in an unfinished basement), you'll likely need additional adhesive.
From: gittygiggles Date: March 3rd, 2005 09:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
you'll have to come over to our house some day. the morons who "rigged" um...i mean....rennovated....our house were pretty special....
From: gingy Date: March 2nd, 2005 10:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
I volunteer to help with the wallpaper. I'm not tall, but I've got a longer reach than some people whose journal this is.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 3rd, 2005 04:35 am (UTC) (Link)
You're hired. I'll watch the little one while you do all the hard work. :)
(Deleted comment)
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 3rd, 2005 04:36 am (UTC) (Link)
You don't have to do wallpaper... you already volunteered to help put drywall up in the attic, and we plan to take you up on it. :)
cellio From: cellio Date: March 2nd, 2005 10:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

parve desserts

Fruit-based desserts work well -- apple crisp, fruit (or fruit compote) over angel-food cake, just plain fruit.

Many cakes work well parve and are easy. Continuing the fruit theme, applesauce cake is easy.

Cookies, of course, but they take more time than the other options and I assume you're looking for something quick. (Err, just to clarify the first paragraph, you buy the angel-food cake.)

Is any of this working for you?
xiphias From: xiphias Date: March 2nd, 2005 10:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've removed radiators. We've got steam heat, and we've only removed SOME radiators. Well, actually, we got a plumber to do it. A radiator is, at one level of abstraction, just a big fancy pipe cap. So the plumber replaced two radiators (which were in areas of the house that didn't need to be heated) with pipe end caps. And the rest of the heating system was unaffected.
hopeness From: hopeness Date: March 2nd, 2005 11:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Julian gots a hair cut!

I make a very impressive "Mandarin Chocolate Marble Bundt Cake" which is pareve. It's like a pound cake. And if you don't like orange you can make it a plain ol' marble cake.

estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 3rd, 2005 04:37 am (UTC) (Link)
He did, indeed. It's the silliest hair cut ever, but at least we won't have to get it cut for a long, long, long, log time.

I love orange, so send me your recipe! :)
hopeness From: hopeness Date: March 14th, 2005 02:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Shabbat Mandarin Marble Loaf (Pareve)

My comments will be in square brackets.

Chocolate Paste:
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder [sifted]
3 tablespoons warm vegetable oil

1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
5 eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup water
1 cup undiluted frozen orange juice, defrosted [I've been using diluted juice and omitting the water]
zest of 1 orange, finely minced
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely grated semi-sweet chocolate or mini chocolate chips (optional) [I've never added them]

Orange glaze/topping:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
4-6 tablespoons orange juice
Long shreds of orange zest

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 10" tube or angel cake pan, 12-cup bundt pan [I use this], or two 9x5 loaf pans. Line pans with parchment paper. [I don't bother since I'm using a bundt!]

Prepare the chocolate past by blending the cocoa and oil in a small bowl. If the mixture is too stiff to blend easily add a drop or two of extra oil.

For the cake, in a large bowl blend oil and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl often. Blend in the eggs. Stir in vanilla, water, orange juice, and zest.

In a seperate bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to wet ingredients.

Remove 1/3 of the batter to a smaller bowl. Stir the chocolate paste into this to make the chocolate batter (if using addtional chocolate, add to this). Spoon alternating portions of white and chocolate batter into the prepared pan. It doesn't really matter how you place the batter in the pan -- it works out in the baking. [I find that it does matter, a bit. I usually turn the bundt pan from time to time to keep my pattern more "random" and try not to put big blobs of chocolate on top of each other.]

Bake a large cake for 55 to 60 mins, smaller cakes from 35 to 40. The cake should be lightly browned on top, perhaps slightly cracked, and spring back lightly when pressed. Cool in pan for 15 to 20 mins before inverting onto a wire rack. Then either dust with confectioners' sugar or glaze.

For the glaze, stir together confectioners' sugar and orange juice to make a thick but pourable sauce. Drizzle over top of cooled cake, and garnish with long strands of orange zest. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

[For the glaze I substitute 1 tsp of lemon juice in the orange juice. Otherwise it's too sweet. Also for an "adult" cake I cut back on the oj and instead use a bit of Grand Marnier. I find with the bundt that taking a skewer and poking holes between the "peaks" helps the glaze soak in better (a trick I learned from my mum). Of course, if you glaze it, it tastes a million times better if it sits overnight before serving.]
magid From: magid Date: March 3rd, 2005 12:00 am (UTC) (Link)

pareve dessert

chocolate cake that's mix and bake.

Or, like Cellio suggested, fruit-based desserts. Crumbles are easy with frozen fruit, pies with frozen crusts.

Butterscotch brownies? Regular brownies? Tofutti and toppings?
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 3rd, 2005 04:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: pareve dessert

Yeah, I was thinking about an apple pie, but didn't want to make a pie crust. I could do it with a frozen crust and a crumble top, I suppose.

The chocolate cake looks yummy. I'll think about it for next time. This week time is starting to run short and it's looking like it might be another snickerdoodle dessert.

Can you make pareve butterscotch brownies?
And I made regular brownies last week (and I could do it again, since it's easy), but yeah, brownies always work.

Thanks for the suggestions.
magid From: magid Date: March 3rd, 2005 04:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: pareve dessert

I've been known to use two frozen crusts for apple pie, cutting the second one around partway up the sides, then inverting on top. I cut a vent or two before inverting, if I remember.

Happy snickerdoodling! (Sounds like something you'd get to do in kindergarten :-)

Butterscotch brownies can totally be parevized; I've only made them milchig once or twice. Not quite as amazing as with real butter, but I've gotten raves even so. (Well, not the time I didn't take them out of the cooling oven immediately, and got nice sweet bricks instead.)
glenbarnett From: glenbarnett Date: March 3rd, 2005 12:23 am (UTC) (Link)
It may be psychological, but let's assume not for a moment.

A few thoughts -

Is he running about much before or after?
How hot is the room?
Is he having a warm bath around that time?
Is he in warm pajamas?
Is he laying down right after eating?
Is he sitting funny during or after eating?

Take a close look at what he's doing before and after.

With regular vomiting it can help to go to simple food for a while (like crackers and water). May not help, but then again, it's not as smelly as some foods are to clean up.

estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 3rd, 2005 12:51 am (UTC) (Link)
All good thoughts. In order:
1. He certainly runs around before (and after), but no more than he does during the day. Also, he throws up while he's still in his high chair, so I don't think any after-activities are the problem.
2. Room is normal temp. Seth can't stand hot rooms, so they're usually pretty mild.
3. He has his warm bath after dinner, not before.
4. He's usually in his regular playclothes
5. Not laying down right after eating.
6. Sitting the same way he always does in the chair. He's in the highchair, so there's not a lot of creativity possible in terms of sitting positions.

There were a couple nights in a row where I just gave him plain crackers and water, but he still threw up. I've tried NOT giving him anything to drink with dinner (we thought at first it was because he sucked his milk down too fast, so we tried water, then we tried no drink...none of that made a difference).

It's just the weirdest thing ever. Good poing about the crackers and water being less smelly to clean up.
From: lola100 Date: March 3rd, 2005 03:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I read the whole thing!!

For parve desserts:
Parve cheese cake - the best recipe I've ever tasted.
Warm chocolate chip pie with a scoop of ice cream on top.
Chocolate mousse pie. ( But this is messy and time consuming needs 2 bowls and a pot and doesn't taste as good as the other 2).

If you want recipes let me know - AND - you still didn't get me your broccoli kugel recipe!

Also - are you trying the cholent this week?
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 3rd, 2005 03:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh crud. I forgot about the broccoli kugel recipe. Do you have the Spice & Spirit Cookbook? The big purple cookbook. It's at the bottom of the first page of kugels, I think. I think it's "creamy broccoli kugel". I don't follow the recipe exactly, but that's what I started with.

And yes, I want RECIPES! Especially for the pareve cheese cake. I'm trying to figure out how that's POSSIBLE!
From: lola100 Date: March 3rd, 2005 04:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Toffutti cream cheese, eggs and sugar mixed together and baked in a graham cracker crust.

I never liked parve cheese cake before but this one is really yummy. Those are the ingredients. If you want to buy them, I know you need 2 cream cheese and I think it makes 2 pies (so you would need 2 crusts) I'll give you the exact measurements later tonight from home.
From: lola100 Date: March 3rd, 2005 09:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ok I'm home now.

2 containers plain toffuti cream cheese
3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 tspn vanilla

mix together in mixer
pour into graham crust
bake on 350 for 45 minutes
From: lola100 Date: March 3rd, 2005 09:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
just 1 pie crust.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 3rd, 2005 03:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
oh, and yes, I was planning to try the cholent this week, but yesterday we got a call inviting us for lunch on Shabbos. So it'll have to wait until next week.
From: lola100 Date: March 3rd, 2005 04:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good for you not having to cook!
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 3rd, 2005 04:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I'm pretty happy about that.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 3rd, 2005 04:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hey, on an unrelated note... do you wear a sheitel? I'm trying to build up the courage to go sheitel shopping again, but I'm just not sure I trust anyone down here. Last time I went to NY, but I'm not sure I want to go to NY for this again. NJ is more doable. I just hate the whole process. No one ever told me how to go about all this so I'm always at a loss.

I'm told I should find someone who has a sheitel I like and ask them where they got it, but I'm very shy about that.

Ah well. I'll figure it out. Actually, I feel like maybe you and I talked about this once before. So maybe I should just go through my old emails and see if there's anything in there from you.
From: lola100 Date: March 3rd, 2005 04:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
We did talk about this before - but no problem.

Couple of things -

1. You should definitely ask someone you see wearing a nice one. I always buy my shaitels that way.

2. I see you are in Silver Springs. You can try to get something thru some one in Baltimore. There are a lot of people who sell shaitels there. Your selection would be better in NJ and even better in NY.

3. My latest shaitel is a Shevy and I bought it about a year ago I L-O-V-E it. It looks so good I think too good. THe real frummies would think it would defeat the purpose of wearing a shaitel.

4. You will probably have to spend a lot of money. The cheapest nice one out there is an Isabel. About $700. (Yes, that is cheap for shaitels. My Shevy costs about $1900 - I got it wholesale for $1500)

If you want, I can get you some telephone numbers. Just let me know which way you want to go.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 3rd, 2005 04:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
This sheitel that I have now is a Freda, I think. It's European hair, semi-custom, no part. It was about $1100 uncut, I think. (and $100 for the cut if I remember correctly). My issue is that since it's my only one, it gets abused. I wear it every day all day with rare exception. And the cap is starting to have issues and needs to be repaired. This sheitel is not done-for, but it's complicated to get it repaired. I absolutely will NOT go to work in anything but a sheitel; I work at a client-site and I don't feel like going through all the explaining. So I can't just drop my sheitel off for the day during the week and pick it up at the end of the day. If I had a second sheitel (even if I had a synthetic, but I'm trying to avoid that), I wouldn't have this problem.

There are a lot of sheitel machers in Baltimore, but I need to find someone I know that's been to any of them. The people I'm closest with and don't mind asking, all go to NY. NY was a bit difficult because I had to describe over the phone what color I wanted, having never seen an uncut sheitel in my life, get up there, pick from one of three that she'd picked out, and have her cut it then and then come home. NJ I'd be more willing to do in multiple trips if necessary. Plus, I'm willing to go to NJ by myself if I have to, but I don't want to go up to NY by myself. I feel very intimidated there (not by NY itself, but by the frum community...don't ask me why, there's no logical explanation for it...it's just that everyone assumes I ought to know what's what and I don't and I feel all weird and awkward and unlearned all of a sudden when I get up there).

I don't mind dropping a fair bit of money on a sheitel so long as I feel like I'm able to understand what I'm getting and have the time to feel comfortable with it. There's actually a sheitel macher in my neighborhood in Silver Spring, but I don't want to go to her, because I feel like if I did, I'd feel pressured to buy something. She goes to my shul and I'd always have to see her if it turned out I hated it and it just is asking for trouble. So that's out.

Anywho, I expect that I'll waffle about this for a while (after all I am the woman who drooled over a $200 purse for 10 years), but I know I need it. And I need a good one.

What I'd really like is one that I can pull the sides back into a clip. I don't want a full out ponytail or anything, just the sides in a clip in the back. I've definitely seen women who have them, but no one in our community and I really, really, really want one! So I have to figure that out.

Anywho, yeah, if you've got telephone numbers, that'd be fabulous. At least a place to start. I'm such a wimp about this stuff. I feel ridiculous about it, but don't know how to get past it.
From: lola100 Date: March 3rd, 2005 04:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow - what do I answer first. I'm so overwhlemed. Well let's go in order.

I wear a freda during the week. I love it too. But you should get a second shaitel. My shevy I wear on Shabbos or dressy occasions. It's really long so would not be condusive for work.

My sister lives in Baltimore. I don't know who she uses there, actually, she bought her last shaitel in NY - so scratch that.

I feel very intimidated there (not by NY itself, but by the frum community...don't ask me why, there's no logical explanation for it...it's just that everyone assumes I ought to know what's what and I don't and I feel all weird and awkward and unlearned all of a sudden when I get up there).

ummm - I live in LAKEWOOD. Do you know what the community is like here? I have a number of someone I LOVE - I can give you her number if you'd like. I can also give you my name to give her but I wouldn't want to post it online. I would e-mail it to you. Which e-mail should I use?

estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 3rd, 2005 05:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I know what Lakewood is like. But the difference is that there are fewer intimidation factors. In NY, I'm dealing with geography I don't understand, people all over the place, the whole sheitel business which is beyond my comprehension, and so on. At least with Lakewood, I understand the geography. It's been years since I've been there, but I understand the basics of getting around. Plus, it's not as long a drive. NY isn't that long a drive 4-4.5 hours, but it's boring without company.

Anywho, you can always email me at karen_cohen [at] comcast [dot] net. (My estherchaya @ livejournal . com address goes to my comcast address)
magid From: magid Date: March 3rd, 2005 04:00 pm (UTC) (Link)


I just added you to my reading list; I've been enjoying reading your posts when I found them on friendsfriends... I hope you don't mind.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 3rd, 2005 04:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: ps

Gosh, I'm flattered. I'm always surprised when people randomly decide they like my posts... I don't find them very interesting at all! ;)
magid From: magid Date: March 3rd, 2005 04:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: ps

But, you write about Shabbat, and food, and kid-raising! All interesting stuff.

I always did like social history more than political history :-).
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 3rd, 2005 04:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: ps

Fair enough. Hey, did you ever get in touch with Harold? Becky is on LJ, but Harold is a party pooper.
magid From: magid Date: March 3rd, 2005 04:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: ps

No, I didn't contact Harold. I'm lame...
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 3rd, 2005 04:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: ps

tsk tsk.
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