Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Blogging

Further thoughts on Pesach:

1. Have Pots, Will Tiyul
Our vacation lunch of potato chips + artik has taken on venerated status. The kids expect it, and do not consider the day to be a success until we've eaten both. On Thursday, for example, we visited Shvil HaTapuzim. After Yaakov showed off his mad golf skillz (he's perfected the Pick It Up and Drop It In move), we snacked on our chips and the oranges we picked, but the little artik store was so crowded we decided to leave and not buy our artiks there. The kids were distraght, but luckily the Random Park we ended up in in Netanyah had an artik stand as well. Phew. The universe has self-corrected!

We were happily sucking down our ice pops, when we got to see how the Other Half lives. The Half that brings actual Lunch. Two families sat down at the little picnic tables and began by covering them in plastic. Then, out came plates, cups, cutlery, and Lunch, aka Kitniot-palooza: Israeli salad, chummus, rice, falafel balls. All home-cooked in actual pots. Which they brought with them. To the park. I have to say, instead of feeling jealous of their sumptuous spread, I felt a little sorry for them. They're missing out on the True Meaning of the holiday. Of course, as I noted to Donny, what would us sorry Ashkenazim bring in our pots anyway? More boiled potatoes???

2. Real Israelis by Accident
Friday we had the opportunity to be Real Israelis, thanks to an IV hookup. (An infrequently used sentence, to be sure.) I had an ultrasound appointment scheduled, and we thought it would be fun to take the kids. So we all piled into the little room and they start the ultrasound. Here's a head, here's a stomach, here's a face, la-di-dah. I don't think the kids could tell the difference between head, stomach, and face, but hey, it's something on a TV screen, so they were enthralled. About halfway through, however, I started feeling nauseous and came close to passing out. Had this happened at home, I would be very surprised that we had our own ultrasound machine and sonographer in the living room. But also, I would simply close my eyes, let it pass, drink something, and go on with my life. However, the medical staff at Maccabi was not going to let this excitement just pass. So there was a mandatory IV hookup, plus a mandatory fetal monitor hookup. Meanwhile, Ariella is scared and Yaakov's just wondering when they're going to take the baby out, awready.

Since we had done no food shopping or any other preparation for Shabbat (for which we were hosting my sister Leezy and Co., plus my Aunt Gitte who is visiting from America), Donny left with the kids to do the food shopping.

Meanwhile, I was lying on my side, in a corner, and every few seconds the fetal monitor stopped working, causing the nurse to run over and use her highly sophisticated technique of banging on the damn thing as hard as she could to jump start it. Then, every so often, the doctor or nurse would remember me in my little corner and come to visit. "How are you feeling?" they would ask. I hoped that the right answer would earn me an early release. "Great! I am fine! Never better! Can I please go now???" But they were just interested in exchanging pleasantries, so they left me where I was, returning every so often to bang life into the poor monitor. Didn't they know I had shnitzel to make??????

Eventually, two and a half hours after the ordeal began, I was released. We took the kids to the Rock Park, (although since it wasn't an actual tiyul, we got away with only potato chips for lunch), came home, and at the early hour of 1:00 began preparing for Shabbat. When we were finally done - 5.5 hours of shnitzel-potato kugel-Pesach cholent-roasted vegetables-roast-making, sweeping mopping, room-arranging, bathing/showering - it was just in time for candle lighting.

"Do you realize," said Donny, "that this is what Real Israelis do??? Shop Friday morning, cook all afternoon, then finish just in time for candle lighting? No wonder they're always so tired!"

(Quick digression: This reminds me of my Thursday-before-Pesach food shopping experience at Rami Levi. I was basically finished food shopping, and was going just for produce and dairy. This was my third Pesach-related shopping trip. The previous Monday, the stores were empty. However, Thursday morning, most of the country woke up and said, "Hey! Wait a minute! It's going to be Pesach soon! I should buy stuff! Like chicken! And matza! And maybe some oil and eggs! Gee, maybe I'll even do that today!" And so me, with my carrots and bags of milk, had to wait in an endless line, behind people with bottomless carts. Also, the woman in front of me was buying bran flakes. Huh.)

Shabbos was very nice. Lots of cousin bonding (when Yaakov wasn't torturing Netanel) and sponge-cake eating. Sunday we hung out and started cleaning up from Pesach, because we were going to be with Donny's aunt and uncle in Kiryat Moshe for the last day. As the holiday ebbed away Monday afternoon, the kids participated in Final Matza-Fest 2010. We returned home, and as we packed away the last of our Pesach things and added to our "For Pesach 2011" list ("Remember that we put the cord for the hot water pot in the soup pot."), we bid a fond farewell to our favorite crunchy holiday. Till next year, Pesach.

Closing questions and observations from our resident theologian, Ariella

1. "So, Mommy, who tried to kill the Jews on Shavuot and Sukkot?"

2. "How come Hashem doesn't save the Jewish people now, when bad things happen to them?"


SaraK said...

I feel intimately acquainted with Rami Levi because my aunt posts about it too!
Ahhhh....deep questions by Ariella. Good luck :)

mother in israel said...

The biggest shopping day in Israel is Wednesday, followed by Thursday. Of course there are always errands on Friday. But please recap how the ABA family usually prepares for Shabbat, for the benefit of us newer readers.

LeahGG said...

I usually start cooking for Shabbat 1-2 hours before Shabbat.
We run errands in the morning, pick up last minute stuff like challah, hummus, veggies, etc.
Then I make baked or shake-n-bake chicken, rice in the rice cooker, steamed veggies in the microwave (tupperware steamer), salad -hubby cuts tomatoes in the kitchen, I cut cukes at the table and feed them straight up to the kids before adding some to the salad and add a bag of shredded lettuce. serve with hummus, olives, husband likes lemon juice and oil on his salad, I like thousand island dressing, Kinneret likes a bit of everything, Ephraim likes just cucumber and hummus and challah. For dessert, husband opens a mango or pomello depending on the season. For lunch, we have leftover chicken, of tov shnitzel (the one with chips topping is great - we buy it whenever it goes on sale, b/c it's wildly overpriced), or luncheon meat.

Unless we have guests. Then I actually cook.

Commenter Abbi said...

Hmm, that Pot Park sounds suspiciously like that random park we went to in Netanya (was it the Winter Pond Park by any chance?) We were the random ashkenazim who brought tuna, cheese and matza (no pots involved) surrounded by more mangalim than I've ever seen in my entire life. My friend who is 6 months pregnant and I thought we were going to keel over from smoke inhalation.

Gila Rose said...

Well, MII, Shabbat food shopping happens on Thursday, and if there's no company, cooking prep is minimal because I cook appallingly little for my own family. Whatever I make gets done Friday morning. If we're having company, then I spread the cooking out over the week.

LeahGG - you are a real Isreali! Congrats! Also that salad sounds yummy.

Abbi - not sure, it seems to be the "Central Park of Netanya." There were basketball courts, a playground, and one of those exercise parks which are meant for adults but which entertained the kiddies far longer than the playground did.

mother in israel said...

When I had two kids the age of yours and Leah's I also cooked "appallingly little." Enjoy it while you can.

Risa said...

Gila, I hope that you and your family had a wonderful chag and hope that you are feeling well. I guess the store you mentioned does not have an express line (shvil/shura ekspres?). (That concept does seem anti-Israeli, doesn't it?)It's not just Israelis who are last minute. I was in 7 Mile Market the Sunday before Pesach to pick up KFP juice and soda and it was packed. A lot of people had full carts, but thank goodness for the express line (there were two) because I was able to pay and leave relatively quickly.

Gila Rose said...

Risa I forgot to mention one of the highlights of our chag - running into your in-laws! (I believe that's how they introduce themselves to people. "Hi, we're Risa's in-laws.")

I have seen shvil ekspres here (aka kupah mehirah, although your name is much better). Don't think it was open on Erev Pesach, though.


On Shavuos, the cheese cake and blintzes do a pretty good job of harming Jews. On Sukkos it's fighting with your family about where the decorations go. So we're covered by all of the chagim.

sarah said...

I'm sure the Sephardi families with the pots and the falafel balls were commenting how Pesach is so difficult because they cannot have pita with their "Kitniot-palooza".