Friday, November 30, 2007

best soup ever

This really is the best soup ever. I've made it for two Shabbat dinners and my friends keep on asking me to give them the recipe and telling me how poor their imitations of it are.

Cook, share, be happy.

Lentil Barley Soup
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, 1/4 inch dice
2 cloves fresh garlic, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, cut into 1/4 inch dice
2 stalks celery, 1/4 inch dice
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes (we've also used peeled+chopped fresh)
1 (10-oz) box frozen chopped spinach (also used chopped fresh)
1/2 cup dried red lentils
1/2 cup dried green lentils (I just use one color because Pittsburgh doesn't like options)
1/4 cup dried pearl barley
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock, more for thinning (we once used a boxed chicken broth and another time the stock powder thing)
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

- heat oil in large pot on medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 3-4 minutes, until shiny and translucent.
- Add carrots, celery, oregano, basil, thyme. Stir + cook 3 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and spinach; stir.
- Add red lentils, green lentils, and barley. Add stock.
- Cover pot and simmer over low heat 45 minutes. Thin with extra stock as needed.
(I like to let it sit overnight so that it really gets a great flavor)


Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I think, nay, I have decided, that what I need are more people who are real.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

by the way

In two days, a few hours after the bus ride home with Eva listening to her iPod and musing together, and a few more hours after I've turned in my term paper, my dad will sit me down, probably in the living room. I'll take the blue fleece and wrap its soft warmth around me, my legs tucked under me and knees sticking out, sinking into the couch. Dad will sit, or more so lay with the pretense of sitting, on the blue arm chair with his feet (sneakers still on, but to be untied and taken off in the course of the conversation/lecture/discussion) pressing into the leather ottoman.

Dad will turn to me and pelt me with a series of questions (I know you will, don't deny it, daddy!): What do you want to do when you graduate? Where will you live? Where will you work? How will you get a job? How will you pay off student loans? What are your plans for the next five years? Next ten? How will you find a husband?

I know he will ask me all of these questions because he tried to once in September, over the phone, and I said that this (this = Rebecca's life) would be better discussed in person. When would that be? he asked. I told him I assumed that Thanksgiving would be the next time I would see him. Well, then, he said.

So that'll be, like I wrote, in two days.

These are clearly important questions. Clearly clearly. I know this because: I think so and am therefore trying not to think about them that much; everyone I meet asks me them; everyone whom I go to for Shabbat meals asks; and my dad would not sit me down in the living room in such a manner for unimportant questions. Important questions include: did I like his song about fried bananas, why I do not let him eat more uncooked chocolate chip cookie dough (pre-adding chocolate chips), etc. :). Being clearly important questions, they all deserve serious consideration and thought and discussion, which, I understand, is what certain people blog about. I, however, am a quirky individual, and prefer to diplomatically skirt around all clearly important questions I do not definitively know the answer to. (I mean, if I knew how I were going to "find a husband"- dad's phrasing- I would have done so already, no?)

But it is indeed this question that has been at the forefront of my life lately, so I shall make a few diplomatic skirts around it in a pretense of not at all answering it.

First, an excerpt from Kate's blog on the topic:

I think it's important I say something about basherts. All my friends, probably because we're graduating college this semester/year and are all single, etc., seem to be obsessed with the idea of meeting our "soulmates."

For clarification, I'll say here that I don't believe that there is one person special and intended for another person. However, I think that to find someone who you can be compatible long-term with is difficult and perhaps even the work of years. I use the term "bashert" mostly in jest, to mean someone who I would consider dating. And dating I suppose with a view to marriage, meaning I could in some sense see myself long-term with the person.

I was telling Wendy today that I don't think that people should draw up a set-in-stone list of qualities for their "basherts," because someone might come along who makes you see things differently, who doesn't fit the mold and who actually turns out to be right for you.

Maybe I'm too naive, maybe people don't come along and surprise you. Maybe I'll end up all alone and have to marry a snake...

No comments on Kate's post because her thoughts, on this topic, are my thoughts.

And an excerpt from quirkyalone:

For the quirkyalone, there is no patience for dating just for the sake of not being alone. We want a miracle. Out of millions, we have to find the one who will understand.

Better to be untethered and open to possibility: living for the exhilaration of meeting someone new, of not knowing what the night will bring. We quirkyalones seek momentous meetings.

Right? This speaks to me. This is me. So it is fine I am here now, where I am. I'm just waiting for the right one. Or, until Dad sits me down in two days and asks me what I plan to do about this.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

west of here

I dreamed I was coloring, then my alarm went off and I colored outside the lines.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


What American accent do you have? (Best version so far)


You're not Northern, Southern, or Western, you're just plain -American-. Your national identity is more important than your local identity, because you don't really have a local identity. You might be from the region in that map, which is defined by this kind of accent, but you could easily not be. Or maybe you just moved around a lot growing up.

Personality Test Results

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Friday, November 02, 2007

יש לי סיפור קטן על ישראל

יש לי סיפור קטן על ישראל.

בארצות הברית, כאשר אמבולנס נוסע ברחוב, כולם אומרים "אוו וה ווי, מה לעשות?! מה קורה?!" וכל המכוניות מפסיקות עד האמבולנסס עובר.

לא כזה בישראל. בישראל, אף אחד לא עושה כלום כאשר אמבולנס נוסע ברחוב. המכוניות לא מפסיקות, הן לא נוסעות לאט, כלום.

בישראל, האנשים מרגישים, "מה, יש לך בעיות? אתה חושב שיש לך בעיות? אני אגיד לך..."

I have a small story on Israel.

In America, when an ambulance drives down the street, everyone says, “Oy vay voy! What’s happened? What can I do?” and all the cars stop and pull aside until the ambulance passes.

It is not like this in Israel. In Israel, no one does anything when an ambulance drives by. The cars don’t stop, don’t slow down, nothing.

It’s like in Israel, the people feel, “What, you’ve got problems? You think you’ve got problems? I’ll tell you what problems are…”