Friday, June 26, 2009

Oven Woes

Getting ready for Shabbat this week was no piece of cake. On Thursday afternoon, as my last tray of cookies was in the oven, I noticed that they were not browning as quickly as they should have been. In fact, they were barely baked. Lo and behold, the oven had ceased to perform. The burners were fine, and the broiler worked too, so it's not the gas line, but the oven was a no go. Luckily, we have second oven in the basement, so I was able to do all the cooking I needed to down there, but what a pain! After I lit candles Friday night and sat down on the couch, I noticed that my legs were feeling odd. Then it hit me - maybe it has something to do with the 25+ unaccustomed trips up and down the steps between Thursday night and Friday. But not to worry - service has been called.

Otherwise, things are somewhat quiet here. The population has thinned out in the neighborhood and will continue to do so as the American exodus continues. Our friend's son had his aufruf this Shabbat and will be getting married later in the week. The new arrivals to the yishuv will start this week, but only a handful of families are slated to move here this summer. A bunch are coming for a year and others are moving in from other cities in Israel, so we are light on the real new olim thing. Still, we know some of the newbies and it will be nice to welcome them. Lots of other people are travelling, too. A couple of friends were in the old country for a week for various simchas, so it was nice to have them back. Our brother- and sister-in-law are in London for some family smachot, very last minute thing. David's parents are in the States - enjoying a trip to the Canadian Rockies and now visiting family in NY. They have sent some updates and photos - it looks gorgeous there! - and sound to be having fun. They are big travelers, having gone a bunch of places in the last several years, both in Europe and the US. Maybe someday we will travel a bit, but for now, we are content to be holding down the fort for everyone who has skipped town. Also, have not yet won mega-lottery.

So now it is Motzaei Shabbat, and I am finally sitting down to type. This week was kind of long. Shana was sick with some kind of fever, sore throat kind of thing early in the week (not swine flu, thanks for asking), and Ayelet was sick with a stomach virus later in the week. Good thing there's no school! Dani has been working very hard in school, if swimming lessons on three days out of the week and a tiyul on the fourth (cut short because of the excessive heat, but he got to come home, not have classes, G-d forbid) counts as working hard. Tomorrow he has a party first thing in the morning, so the trend continues. Lola has a tooth that is dying to fall out; well, more correctly, we are dying for it to fall out (top front tooth), and she refuses to allow anyone to pull/knock it out.

Shabbat was pretty quiet. Our friend Rob joined us for dinner, but lunch was quick and to the point. While the weather lately has been beastly hot, by the late afternoon it was beautiful and breezy and we were able to have seuda shlishit outside. Wish you all could have enjoyed the sunset over the mountains like we did - a really magnificent view. We felt very blessed at that moment.

For those who did not have enough to eat the Shabbat, here are this week's cookies.
The flavors are as follows: ginger white chocolate blondies, lemon drop sandwiches, Mexican brownies, orange chocolate chipsters, and double decker brownie bars.
These are the ginger white chocolate blondies - spicy, molasses-y, with lots of white chocolate chips and more white chocolate drizzle on top.
Lemon drop sandwiches - lemon flavored cookies, filled with lemon curd, and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Lemon curd is one of my most favorite foods in the world, and I love making it, so it's a win-win. Ayelet and I enjoy when there is leftover from the recipe. My joke on her this week- I finished what little was left without her! I know, mean mommy, but she was not really up for eating, so why waste it!
Mexican brownies - no, these are not hot and spicy. These have lots of vanilla and cinnamon in the batter, like Mexican chocolate, and are topped with a coffee glaze. My kids fought over the few left after all the orders were filled.
These orange chocolate chipsters had really great flavor - lots of orange zest, and a few subtle spices to rachet up the citrusy flavors. They spread more than I like, so I may work on that, but the texture and flavors were really nice.
Finally, double decker brownies bars. Rich fudge brownies on the bottom, chocolate chip cookie on top, with more chocolate just in case that was not enough for ya! Really decadent and delicious, especially for the indecisive.

That's all folks. Will try to come up with something more interesting for the next post. Dvora

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