Challah Project/Noga Sher February 11, 2011
Me…. Baking Challa? Who would of thought?
Well, I admit, when I first saw your inviting mail for the challa project baking, I raised my eyebrow….
Me baking Challa? This is my husband’s job ( he is a professional pastry-cook) and my job is usually eating it. ( with just plain butter is the best J )
I thought is this an attempt to make me more religious…. ???? I couldn’t help remembering the rabbi’s wife just before I got married lecturing me how every mother and daughter should light shabbat candles and bake a challa.….( yeah… right…) But then I was charmed by the idea that the challot (plural for challa in Hebrew) are meant to be given to others to welcome them to the community. what a great initiative! , why didn’t I think of that?
Well great purpose I thought I am in, the evening we made the challot was a lot of fun, I got to meet new Israeli members of the community and had the chance to find out the secrets of making a challa without being around my husband and his mess while he is in the kitchen. It seems that years of practicing on braiding my daughters hair, did not give me any advantage on succeeding with braiding from 6….( so I guess I can add: it was challenging as well).
But the best part of the project (aside from eating a fresh home made challa with butter of course) was to see the faces of the people who received the challa and their warm words of thankfulness.
Great experience, I am proud to have part in it. Thank you very much.
Waiting to host at my place too.
A Winter Vacation January 20, 2011
A winter trip
So winter vacation came and with a lot of planning we are set to go.
3 families and 3 cars loaded to the roof with ski equipment, coolers, blankets, gadgets and smiles that can light up any dark sky.
You would imagine that once on the road the goal was to drive straight to Vermont (about 3 ½ or 4 hours drive) but as organized as we are, we planned a stop at COSTCO and purchase all the food needed to feed this bunch. Oh boy ……. Let the kids out of the car and into Costco……. Result: 8 kids stacking all sorts of things on to the carts. “We need cookies, how can we not get this chips” as they put stuff into the cart, Shiri and I took them out. An hour later we are on our way. But an hour later into the road trip….. ” I need coffee, I need tea, I need to pi, and can we stop?” So we pulled at the rest stop .
Finally, we arrived. The view was amazing, white powder dressing up the trees, the roofs filled with snow; you can clearly see the ski trail.
We rented a very nice house that can accommodate all of us. Everybody grabbed something and we ventured inside , the kids ran in as I make a silent prayer for a clean environment ( you never know what you get when you rent a house from a website). To my surprise it was exactly as the pictures but only with one surprise.
The owner of the house was a cow collector, yes I said COW, I am not kidding they had cows in pictures, cows as stuffed animals, kitchen gadgets, door stoppers, cow vacuum cleaner, cow broom, cow dust pan, cow wall paper, cow pillows, cow light switch, entrance cow, cows on top of the fire place, even a cow manikin in the middle of the living room (that Ron was scared of so Shiri had to turn it facing the wall). It was a cow invasion.
I declared myself the designated cook, I am the only member of the crew that is not ski friendly ,I needed to get some office work while on vacation plus I was going to take ONLY ONE SKI lesson just to have it checked on my bucket list. I was pretty happy with the indoor cow environment.
I have to admit I was petrified of taking the ski class, I am a control freak and the day of the class I was getting the butterfly on my stomach feeling. How will I stop, what if I fall, what if I need to pi in the middle of the mountain, what if I am so uncoordinated that I will not learn at all. STOP ! Think positive, you can do it, one class what is the worst that can happen? Think of something else!!!!!!!
I am happy to report that I took the class, my mind was set to nail it, I did not fall, I did not freak out, I did not pi at all. I was so surprised and confident, it felt SO GOOD. Learning to ski…. CHECKED
We spent 5 days in the cow house, eating like pigs (I fed everybody from schnitzel, hamburgers, matzo ball soup, pasta & deli sandwiches with the help of my sous- chef Shiri). Tal even made cookies, yummy .
At night we played Pictionary and found ourselves screaming the answers before the sand clock completed the minute. A shesh besh match between fathers & sons was the highlight. The fathers thinking that they have more experience and can conquer any opponent ( ha ha ha) , kids putting on a Kippa to win the match ( luck is needed at this point) . My husband losing the game to and my son …… priceless.
As the trip came to an end and with sad faces to go back home, we all bonded, friends & family, we had a great time. The cows did not follow us home (thank G-d).
Next trip ….. Laufer’s/ Sofer’s please lets pick a tropical location xoxoxo.
From any family trip you will always get great memories, and with time these are the stories that your kids will remember and cherish forever.
Photography classes by Nitsan Tal January 19, 2011
Many times I had friends ask me to help them figure out why they can’t get good pictures with their cameras. The pictures may be too dark, too light, out of focus or blurry. Many times they assume they just need to invest in a better camera but mostly that’s not true.
So…I would like to offer a photography class for beginners. I will call it “beyond Auto mode”.
The class will cover the basics of camera controls, Aperture, shutter speed, lens length, ISO, what they mean, what they do and when to use what, how to get better pictures indoors and outdoors, use of cheap or home-made accessories to better control difficult light conditions etc.
The only equipment needed for the class is a camera with manual shooting mode.
Classes will be held once a week in Old-Tappan, every week I will give a shooting assignment to reinforce the concepts that where taught, and we will look at the resulting pictures together and discuss them. Every class will be 90 minutes, the initial series will be of 5 classes, the cost 35$ per class. Class size will be small (5-6 people) so I can pay attention and answer all questions.
If you are interested, please send me contact info (e-mail is best), do you prefer morning (10:30-12:00) class or evening (8-9:30)?
Nitsan Tal Photography
My web site: www.nitsantal.com