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Quickies - Karen's Musings
Random Rambling
I haven't made a recent update, and I'm not entirely sure what I'd want to say even if I did, so instead, here are some quickies:

  • As you know if you read my last post, it's snowing which makes me very happy. Yay for snow!

  • Seth and I have watched a couple of good movies recently. Last week we watched Frida with Salma Hayek. It was a great movie, though it took me a while to get into it. Looking back, I wish I had paid more attention in the beginning, but unfortunately, I was working at first, so I was sort of in and out. I'd like to own this one. Another that I'd like to own is Down with Love. We watched this tonight. I really didn't expect that it would be so good. I had heard good things about it, but I thought it might be a little kooky. It turned out to far exceed my expectations, and I'm so thrilled that I finally rented it. It's a definite must-see for all those who love 1960's-era films. It's a great parody. (And the blooper reel is hysterical).

  • Work is going well. Not much more to say about that.

  • I'm reading a lot of books right now. I got a book on Candle Lighting for Shabbos and Yom Tov...who knew that there was so much to know! Also I'm finally reading Manis Friedman's Doesn't Anybody Blush Anymore which is a good, and easy, read. For the mindless reading, I'm reading Dan Brown's Angels and Demons which is the prequel to his highly praised The DaVinci Code. I haven't read The DaVinci Code yet, but Angels and Demons is a fun read so far. I had started The Nechoma Greisman Anthology but decided to put it away until I have slightly less on my plate. And I'm trying to keep up with some Chumash learning. Hah.

  • Work on the synagogue's banquet journal is never-ending, except that there is an end in sight, at long last. The banquet is February 29th, so the journal must keep plugging! Soon it will all be over and I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel.

  • I helped install MS Excel on the banquet chairperson's computer and gave him a quick tutorial. I ended my tutorial with a stern warning: Do not do anything else. Do not try to add formatting. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. (the chairperson is not the most computer savvy person I've ever met, in case you didn't figure that out). This morning I got a frantic phone call. He had lost all of his data for the second time. After listening to what happened, I was positive I knew what went wrong and I couldn't stop laughing, but I told him not to touch it and that I'd be right over...much easier than trying to explain what to do. I got there and sure enough... what happened was that he had opened up a new worksheet in the same workbook, but it had covered up the sheet with data in it. So I deleted the extra worksheet and re-formatted the cells he had been trying to re-format when this happened and left a hero. Or heroine, as the case may be. But seriously, it gave me such a great laugh.

  • After returning home, I did some more work on the journal, went grocery shopping, came home, did more work and went to lunch/dinner with Bea. That was fun, and I'm glad I went. Of course, then I managed to leave my pocket book in the restaurant, and that was less fun. Seth's comment when he heard that I'd done that was "That's a helluva tip!" Fortunately, I retrieved it without much hassle.

  • I made Jeanne's version of beef stroganoff tonight, which was tasty. I can think of a few things that I would do differently if I had it to do over again, but that's the fun of cooking...there are always a gazillion ways to do it.

  • Pipsqueak (one of our cats) has a gash in her face that I'm quite concerned about. If I don't go to work tomorrow, I believe I'll be taking her to the vet. I'm concerned that they will put one of those horrible cones on her, but I think she might need it. Poor kitty. :(

  • Charlie's actually being good right now. Imagine that!

  • I'm off to do some reading. First I have to figure out what to read! Oh, I should always have such problems!

  • I'm way too much of a bibliophile for my own good. I must find a support group for this.

  • Nighters!

Current Mood: happy happy

7 comments or Leave a comment
caryabend From: caryabend Date: January 26th, 2004 07:16 am (UTC) (Link)


Yay for bibliophiles!

From: (Anonymous) Date: January 26th, 2004 07:42 am (UTC) (Link)


>As you know if you read my last post, it's snowing which makes me >very happy. Yay for snow!

Plenty of snow up here. There's even decent skiing within 20 minutes.

And waterfalls. Tons of frozen waterfalls.

Oh, and us, too.

Steve L.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: January 26th, 2004 07:43 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Snow

I've never been skiing. I'm not especially likely to ever be skiing as I only wear skirts now...though I'm sure there's a way to make that work.

I think seeing a frozen waterfall would be nifty.

More importantly, I think it would be nifty to see you! :)
leahmiriam From: leahmiriam Date: January 26th, 2004 11:11 am (UTC) (Link)


We loved Frida. There is a great movie theater in Bethesda we frequent that gets all the good indie and imported films. We saw it there. Liked it so much we bought the soundtrack! We saw the Pianist on cable a couple of weeks ago and bought the soundtrack from that movie and I am listening to it now. A lot of Chopin, which I just love. Joel keeps threatening to get me a piano. If he does, I probably won't leave the house. I had over twelve years of piano instruction. Hey, can I have the recipe for the stroganoff????
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: January 26th, 2004 01:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Stroganoff??

I was really impressed with Frida. Like I said, I wish I'd paid more attention in the beginning. By the time I was really paying attention, I had to keep having Seth explain stuff to me! Poor him.

I've got the Pianist on DVD and love it. I'd read his story before, but it was really superbly done in the movie.

I'm dying for a piano, though I don't play very well at all. I started college as a music major, but had an injury, so I left the program after three years. (good thing, too... being a frum musician isn't easy, but I wasn't frum back then) I took four semesters of keyboarding and got *just* good enough to pass juries, but that was the end of that. I always wanted to learn though, so I'd jump at the chance for lessons. I agree that the score for The Pianist was superb. He was specifcally known for his Chopin performances, so it makes sense that there was a lot of Chopin on the soundtrack. That scene of him playing in the freezing cold was absolutely amazing.

Yes, you can have the recipe for the stroganoff. I don't have it in front of me, so I'll give you a general idea. It is "inspired" by the Joy of Cooking recipe if you've got that. My friend Jeanne used ground beef instead of sirloin tips, as did I. It makes for a quick meal that way, but not quite as elegant.

Basically, I sauteed onion and ground beef (I start the onions sauteeing a little before I put the ground beef in, because I prefer to have my onions very well cooked). When the beef is about halfway done, I tossed in sliced mushrooms. When the beef is done, remove from the pan with a slotted spoon to a bowl with paper towels. To me, this reduces the ick factor a bit (I'm not crazy about all the grease). (While I was cooking the beef, by the way, I had the water boiling for the egg noodles) Then your pan probably has enough fat in it to use to make a roux, but if not, you can add some margarine. What you want to do is melt the margarine (if you're using it) and then whisk in flour. I used about 3T fat to about 2T flour and played it by sight from there. When the roux has thickened, add about 2 cups of very warm (not boiling) beef stock. You need to add the beef stock slowly and be whisking away while you're adding it, or lumps will form (basically you're making gravy). This is the time to add salt or pepper if you want, but if you're using canned beef stock or buillion, you probably won't need to add salt. Cook it on medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes, letting it come to a very low boil, until the sauce starts to thicken a little bit. Add about a quarter cup (give or take) of pareve sour "cream" and whisk it all together until well blended. Throw the beef/mushrooms/onions back in the mix, mix it all together and serve immediately over egg noodles (I like the wavy kind, but you can use flat ones too). It also reheats pretty well, but I doubt it would freeze very well, but I suppose one never knows until one tries!

Anyway, that's what I remember of it. If I look at the recipe and find anything different, I'll let you know. But I was only liberally guided by the recipe anyway.

If you want a vegetarian version, you could do the same thing with the Morningstar Farms ground "beef" and use real sour cream.
(Deleted comment)
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: January 26th, 2004 01:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Down With Love

A. I didn't know you had it.
B. I was at the store anyway.
C. I got a free rental for some reason or another, so it was almost as good as borrowing your copy.

Have fun at the Omni! :)
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: January 26th, 2004 01:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Down With Love

oh yeah, and one other thing...

I don't know how pipsqueak got hurt. Either she scratched herself or Charlie scratched her. Neither would surprise me. It seems to be healing, but she isn't thrilled about me looking, so who knows?
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