Monday, September 24, 2012


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Monday, September 17, 2012

A Raisin Celery

My sister in law's vegetarian gefilte fish on apple slices!

Happy New Year! Last night we had family over to celebrate Rosh Hashanah and my mother-in-law brought along a delightful little service to accompany what I can only describe as the most delicious Jewish New Year meal I've ever had. Just like with Passover we had a seder plate filled with the season's offerings: beets, dates, cabbage, pumpkin, carrots, figs, pomegranate, apple, honey, celery and raisins. And each fruit came with it's own blessing for the New Year. The family favorite this year was "lettuce have a raisin celery". Mr. Rosen accompanied on guitar. The kids were squirrely, as with anything new, but it was a lovely way to begin the evening.

And then came the food. Everyone brought their best game and each dish featured some traditional elements. I made a spinach salad with goat cheese and figs, roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes, sweet noodle kugel and cabbage salad with carrots, beets, raisins and apples. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law brought a lentil salad with fresh herbs and pomegranate seeds, baked quinoa stuffed onions, vegetarian gefilte fish on sliced apple with fresh horse radish. Mr. Rosen made his green beans and onions. My mother-in-law brought seven vegie and seven herb soup and her famous plum cake for desert.  It was as much a feast for the eyes as it was for the tongue. It got us talking about whether beautiful food tastes better than unattractive food. The answer is probably yes for reasons both scientific and psychological. Although I had a steak and eggs this summer at a cafe in Tel Aviv that looked like a dead jellyfish (the waitress warned me) and it was unbelievably delicious. I guess there are exceptions. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, said the jellyfish.

Wishing everyone a sweet new year!

Mmmm... Spinach, fig and goat cheese salad.

Rosh hashanah Seder featuring the new blessing: lettuce have a raisin celery. Shanah Tovah!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012



Well as it turns out I took the whole summer off. I had every intention of keeping you abreast of our adventures but I was too busy having them. In brief, summer was long and hot and fun-filled. It included a family wedding, many visitors from America, a month-long trip to California and New York and a lot of jetlag. It also included some time thinking about how I'll spend my days once summer is over.

So summer is over. And I am back to work with commissions lined up and ideas bursting out of my head. Having taken the summer off from work I've had the chance to step back and evaluate what it is I want to do. But there are so many pieces you see. The art, the blog, the business, the purpose and the nitty gritty stuff like understanding the Israeli tax system! It's a mighty puzzle. For instance, one of the things I've been wanting to do for ages is unify everything I do under one "brand". But how does Inner Toddler fit in with Mishmish. And now that my kids are older, their crazy stories are sometimes disturbing to me and I kind of don't want to write about them. I mostly just want to bury my head and forget about them. And the baby, he's cute, but none of his schtick will provide the kind of frenzied dismay that the others generated simply because I've pretty much seen it all (famous last words).

So it's a puzzle which I am slowly figuring out. Numbering all the pieces like a good archeologist and hoping to unearth something extraordinary along the way. In the interim, over here I'll be playing dress up, moving stuff around, seeing what feels right and reconnecting to what I do and why I do it. Stay tuned...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Today is the twentieth

Rene, Harry and Stanley, circa 1942

Twenty years is a long time.
A lot can happen in twenty years.
You could graduate from college.
You could travel in South America for six months.
You could move to Jerusalem.
You could meet the love of your life.
You could travel together around the world.
You could move back to America.
Get a masters.
Marry the love of your life.
Start a career.
Buy a house.
Have a son.
Have a daughter.
Start a new career.
Have another son.
Sell your house. 
Move back to Israel.
Start over.

Twenty years is For. Ever.
And yet it's gone like that. poof.
Twenty years is today.
I was 18.
Now I'm 38.
It's a long time to be missing your dad.

And an even longer time to be missing your son.
So while I am profoundly sad to have lost my grandmother two weeks ago at age 91, part of me is glad that in my childish vision of the next world, she and my father and my grandfather are together again raising their martini glasses to their legacy. L'chaim guys.



Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The picture I wanted

Birthday Boy

This is the picture I wanted. Well not exactly but pretty close. I wanted a picture of my little boy with his crown of flowers, next to his cake, with his one candle, surrounded by adoring friends and family with their mouths in various states of half open singing Happy Birthday to him. I wouldn't have minded a smile too. But this picture is close enough. And it almost didn't happen.

I hit a low point last week right around the baby's birthday. On the actual day of his birthday we didn't really do anything. By the time Mr. Rosen came home from work (which was pretty early actually) and made the cake with the big kids, it was already nearing bed time and darkness. I hadn't had time to make his crown. We barely put up some construction paper garlands. And it was just us. No other family or friends. Entirely my fault. It was midweek and everyone was busy and anyway we thought of having family over on the weekend so I just let it go. Then on the weekend the plans got miscommunicated and suddenly there was no party. Not even family. And I started feeling very sad to be far away from my family knowing that had we still been in California I would have just gone to Michael's, picked out some streamers and napkins and whatever, some cake decorations and made him a little party with our closest friends and cousins and everyone would have found a way to come.

Mr. Rosen felt partially responsible for having downplayed the importance of this event. Indeed I downplayed it myself. But I was secretly wishing the party would plan itself because I have really reached the upper limit on sleep deprivation and plus there's no Michael's here so I don't know where to buy party supplies.  So Mr. Rosen made some calls and in fact a few of our closest friends planned to drop everything and come.

Except they didn't come because the next day Mr. Rosen contracted some nasty stomach bug and spent most of the day throwing up. So I cancelled the party. But the baby's aunt and uncle still popped over with some treats including the blackberries from their garden which I used to decorate his cake. The kids had all spent the night at their grandparents so I actually slept eight hours and finally had the time and brain functioning to make his crown out of the bougainvillea in our yard.

So in the late afternoon Mr. Rosen's parents arrived with the kids and we celebrated our little boy's first birthday feeling grateful for all of the people in our lives and everything they have done and continue to do to make us feel at home here.

And I got the pictures I wanted.