Monthly Archives: February 2011

Food Shows

Ever notice how on every single cooking show every piece of equipment they use looks like it was just bought new? Nothing shows that it has been lovingly used for 15 years, no pot has a dent in it from the time you dropped it on the floor when your best friend told you a shocking secret while you were cooking, there has been no wear and tear on the mixer, no splashes or splotches on the stovetop, nothing burnt in the oven.

While I would dearly love for my kitchen to be that spotless all the time, it just isn’t practical at all. My kitchen looks well used and well loved.

My favourite item in my kitchen? My pink enamel soup pot that I make chicken soup in every single week. The pot cover’s handle is in the shape of a heart. It was a gift from a girlfriend a few years ago.

So my questions for you – how spotless is your kitchen? What’s your favourite item in your kitchen and why?

Meanest Mommy Award

I have received this award a time or two. OK, a gazillion times. Usually I get this award when I ask the kids to do something awful like clean their room or take out the garbage. The nerve!!

I am quite happy to keep on receiving this award because even though the little people might think I am mean and evil – they are learning useful life skills while awarding me this trophy.

Sure I would love for them to realize that all I ask of them is for their own good, and I could do without the eye rolling, but they are kids, and I know that I never realized the point of so many things until I became a mother myself. I know that when they become parents so many light bulbs will go off in their heads – they will finally get it.

But I was curious – there are some things that get under your kids’ skin more than others. One of my kids enjoys shoveling the walk when it has snowed, another looks at it as a punishment worse than death.

What do you get the meanest mommy / daddy award for? How do you handle it?

Invitation Weirdness

Invitations to the barmitzvah have gone out. One of my friends called me up asking me who had sent the invitation, because, she said, there was tremendous weirdness on the back of the envelope.

I had sent it out straight from the post office, and there was nothing weird about it. I had her scan in the envelope – that had been opened and taped shut. Obviously it was delivered to the wrong place, even though the address on it was correct.

What do you make of this “message”?

Dress Code

Every school in the religious world has some kind of dress code or uniform. Some allow cargo pants, some don’t. In some the shoes have to be dark dress shoes, some allow sneakers. Each has their own code.

As a parent I do my best to ensure that my sons are dressed according to the dress code of the school. I don’t buy them school clothes that veer off the guidelines – even just a tiny bit. I try to teach them about respecting the rules in every environment that they find themselves, whether or not they agree with the rules.

I recently overheard a discussion between two grade school boys complaining that one of them had been told to colour over his white sneakers with a black marker by his teacher. “I paid $90 for these sneakers – there is no way I am colouring over them”, said the incensed pre-teen. The other kid commented “why do you wear them then, to school, if you know it’s against the rules?”

The dress code specifically states that the pupils should only wear dark shoes or sneakers. Whether you agree or not that this is a good idea, you have chosen to send your child to this school, and therefore you should abide by the rules. What message does it give your child when you allow them to think it’s ok to bend rules occasionally? Does allowing him to wear white sneakers give him the message that all school rules are made to be broken? Or is a shoe just a shoe and should nothing be made of his choice of footwear?

What are your thoughts?

Mitzfunder – Please Donate

I received this email from my friend Leah Jones on Friday – very busy day for me and I am in the kitchen for most of it, so I am just reading it now. This is a project that is worthy of your support. Please donate. – Whatever you can give, it will help.

I’m working with Aryeh Goldsmith and a few others to create a peer to peer fundraising platform for Jewish projects called Mitzfunder. Too many buzzwords this late in the week? Think Kickstarter, but for Jewish projects.

And the first project on Mitzfunder is Mitzfunder.

We want to build the tool, but won’t build it unless there is financial support. The world doesn’t need another digital tool without an audience, so we are relying on the Jewish community to vote with dollars to tell us if we should keep building. We’re talking to people and racing to try and get 70% of our goal pledged in the next 27 days – that’s $10,500 of our $15,000 total. I’ve written a blog post answering as many questions as I could come up with that Aryeh hadn’t already answered on the FAQ on the site.

Mitzfunder: Peer to Peer Fundraising and You

Take a gander at the site for Mitzfunder and the blog post. Send us your ideas and questions. If you are interested, I hope that you’ll make a pledge, write a blog post or send a tweet. Aryeh and I are both available to answer questions you may have.

Shabbat shalom,

Leah Jones

We Shmoozed it Up, Kosher-Style

Last night I shlepped into the city by myself for the MetroImma Social Media Shmooze Event. First time I ever drove alone into Manhattan and I was a little nervous. I’m a country bumpkin – and there are lots and lots of people there, and they all drive like crazy people! Well, not all of them…but you know what I mean.

I got there a little early and was glad to help set up the room. I actually shlepped 3 cases of drinks while teetering in my pink stiletto heels – it can be done, you know! (All that working out at the gym does pay off).

HSM Tweeting the Panel Discussion (Photo Credit to G6)

The event itself was extremely informative – we talked about using social media to promote kosher food and wine. The panelists were just so engaging. Paula Shoyer joined us all the way from DC (so thrilled that you came), we heard from Kim Amzallag from Kosher Inspired, Tamar Genger of Joyofkosher.com and Yossie Horwitz (gee, I hope I spelt it right) of Yossie’s Corkboard.

The panel was once again excellently moderated by the lovely Stephanie Grayson-Zane who I totally adore.

I got to meet some online people for the first time face-to-face which was really thrilling for me. I met @theculturemom @Gsix and @racheldmoore. I reconnected with some old friends and made some new ones and oh the networking! Totally fantabulous!

Here is a pic that the photographer snapped of me chatting away with @Gsix. We have been reading each other’s blogs for so long – it was so great to finally meet and chit chat in the flesh. (Can you believe she is a grandma? Looks way too young!)

Thank you MetroImma for this great schmooze. Thank you to Jdeal, Heering, Kosher.com and U Cafe for sponsoring on such a great event. And the Schwag bags? Total goodness.

Who is the Mother? A Halachic Question

I read yesterday about a 61 year old woman who gave birth to her own grandson. Her daughter is infertile, so she offered to be a surrogate. It was her daughter and son-in-law’s biological child in that it used their egg and sperm. However, it was her body that fed and nourished and nurtured the baby for 9 months. This is a tremendous example of a mother’s love.

I am curious, though, halachically – which woman in this case is actually considered the mother? The one that bore the child, or the one whose egg was implanted?

Learned folk – please weigh in!

No Naan For Me

If you read my twitter feed or follow me on facebook, you will know that I was recently discussing going to eat at a kosher Indian restaurant – something we had planned to do for a while. I am not mentioning any names, so please respect that. There was a particular one we wanted to go to, but their sister restaurant was shut down last week because of an alleged 98 health violations.

I didn’t want to make the assumption that because one restaurant was closed down due to health violations, then it meant their other restaurant must also be dirty or unsafe, or practices unsanitary methods in the kitchen. But the more I thought about it the more uncomfortable I became. Plus with the KoD being an RD and knowledgeable in kitchen health and safety stuff – I knew he would be very uncomfortable eating there.

If the restaurants are owned by the same people and one is shut down for these reasons, does it not stand to reason that the management has its priorities elsewhere? Why would one restaurant be more sanitary than the other?

We eventually decided to eat elsewhere for our anniversary, but the decision was made with a heavy heart. I really wanted Indian food. I hope they reopen soon, and put all the worries and concerns to rest.

What would you have done?

Wednesday’s Wacky Signs

Equal Opportunity Kids

Not so much. So one of my sons has decided to annoy the heck out of me and call me “Mummykins” at every given opportunity. I try to ignore it. Sometimes, yeah, it is funny, but I cannot give him the satisfaction of letting him know I am amused.

His dad came in yesterday to spend time with the boys. I told the child that we don’t play favourites here, and if he insists on calling me Mummykins he must therefore call his Abba by a comparable name, like Daddykins.

This kid is so smart – he said he would, except he knows it wouldn’t bother his father, so what would be the point?

Sigh. They kill me. In a good way!