Three weddings in one month and it hit me: I’ve been going about wedding gift-giving all wrong. Why did I not learn from my great aunts and uncles? Go to the function, and the first person you spot who is related to the bride or groom – be it a 5 year-old niece, great uncle, or the bride herself – gets handed a check for the happy couple. Better yet, hand off cold hard cash in an envelope. If it’s good enough for afekomen presents, it’s good enough for a wedding.
Is this something people do more as they age? Is this a boat I’ve been missing all along? Or does handing off envelopes of cash a move reserved for people who send people swimming with the fishes and/or have a cache of silver dollars?
Pesach was nearly upon us, which meant food shopping would have been excessive. So, I took what I had and made a meal of it. And perhaps next year, I’ll be able to eat it on Peasach too!
Arzo con frijoles, with Peanut Sauce
1 can black beans, rinsed
1/2 c rice
1 c water
1 can diced tomato
2 tbsp cooking peanut butter
8 oz spinach
hot sauce, as desired
1/2 cup shelled peanuts, for garnish
Put all ingredient in an uncovered pot, bring to a boil. Cover, lower flame to a simmer, cook for 30-40 minutes. Eat in between pesach cleaning and shopping – or for sephardim, any time.
“You’re going to end up participating. You just wait,” Ally says. “You’re secretly dying to show our classmates your music, and I have a long-term plan for wearing you down. Bye!” She scurries off to class or to conquer a small nation.
And I am not participating.
– from This Song is Not for You* by Laura Nowlin
This is the way I ran my high school newspaper. Some called it One of America’s Great Newspapers. Others called it a rag. Either way, everyone read it.
*I can’t recommend the book. But this line is worth reading.
I don’t know what to wear today. On International Women’s Day, I’d like to wear something that represents my sisters worldwide. Something which shows the strength – in all forms – we possess. Today, of all days, I want my outfit to show that women can stand tall and powerful – but that when one of us is feeling powerless, the we are here to hold her up. I’m not alone in wanting to proclaim our universal sisterhood. In fact, everyone seems to have had the same thought. They just can’t agree on what our uniform should be.
Some will wear white to remember the suffragettes.
Some will wear black for #metoo.
Others, living in the glow of last year’s Women’s March will wear red.
Those on-trend will be dressed in the Pantone color of the year: ultra violet.
I won’t be taking sides in this debate. Instead, I’ll support each of my sister’s choices while independently making my own way. That is how I will celebrate women today, and every day. Except today, I’ll be wearing the whole sisterhood in my hair. Solidarity!
I went through a phase where I tried to replicate a recipe without re-reading it. Sometimes that works out great. Other times, such as when I made this pilaf and forgot the rice – but not the amount of water you’d need to make it cook through – it did not work out at all.
Live, learn, and then remember that without the rice, a rice-and-lentil pilaf is just a bunch of lentils swimming in spice.
Rice and Lentil Pilaf from “The Vegetarian Gourmet’s Easy International Recipes”
dallop oil for sauteeing
1/2 c onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp silvered almonds
2 3/4 c water
3/4 c brown rice, uncooked
1/2 c lentils, uncooked
1/4 cup craisins
2 tsp soy milk
1 tsp curry
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
sautee onion and garlic in oil until translucent. Add in all ingredients, bring to a boil. Cover pot, and simmer for 40 minutes. Do not uncover. If time allows, let sit for 5 minutes after removing from flame, fluff rice, and serve.
‘Huh. That must be annoying for [the birds]. I don’t like it when I’m trying to say something and no one is listening.’ She was very empathetic, Clare. A sweet kid. ‘No wonder they poop on the cars all the time. I would, too.’ Empathetic but vengeful.
– from The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman