Friday, November 25, 2011

Lessons in Line Drying 2

Oh how the rain makes laundry oh so difficult! I literally have to plan my washing around the forecast! Just a few days ago, Devin gave me a warning about afternoon showers, because it was quite sunny and warm in the morning. We had an appointment that afternoon, so I rushed to get the clothes off the line "just in case it rains," but looking at the sky, I threw another load in the washer "just in case it doesn't rain." It was a small load, so if it did rain, I could hang them on the indoor drying wrack. Fun logic, huh?

In response to my last post on line drying, a friend asked me what I do with Aviel while I'm hanging clothes. Most of the time, I try to time hanging so that Aviel is either napping or with Devin because the process involves me sticking my head out a window three stories up.

Here's an photo of my neighbors laundry in the building across from ours. I'm not a laundry stalker... I promise! I just want to give a clear sense of how this works for us!

Many families who have a merepesset (balcony) use that space for line drying, but those of us who don't, have lines on pulleys outside of our windows. Besides the occasional garment falling off the line, the system works pretty well. I just always want to make sure to keep my little guy safe.

The times that I need to take care of line drying while Aviel is around and Devin is not, we make clothes pin creatures and he works on pulling them apart while I hang. Sometimes I give him the pins as I pull clothes off the line, and my good little helper eagerly puts them in their basket.

I've been testing a few more drying methods outs, so here's my continued listed:

Go here for 1-6.

7. During the dry season, I can overlap edges to conserve pin. This is not effective in the rainy season because the cooler temperatures and higher humidity prevent that one overlapped inch from drying, and that's just annoying.

8. Pillow cases dry best with the opening down.

9. Drying takes longer during the rainy season, so I only plan to do one load a day.

10. Certain baby baby clothes can self-hang by taking advantage of their snaps. :)

Well, there you have it... the latest revelations on how to be the most efficient line dryer I can possibly be.

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord, Messiah Yeshua whom you serve. Colossians 3:23-24 NASB (italics mine)

A Women After God's Own Heart

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Monday, November 7, 2011

(W)Holy Lentils!

This Southern Mama turned Israeli Ima has been experimenting with Lentils quite a bit lately! Why? Well, for one, they are super healthy, high in protein, fiber, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, folic acid, iron, and the most intestines-friendly legume according to this website. Also, since they are a traditional Middle Eastern/Israeli/Jewish food, they are readily available and affordable... not to mention very yummy.

Lentils actually appear in the bible in several places. They were in the stew that Jacob fed Esau in exchange for his birthright(Gen 25:34), David and his men ate them while hiding from Saul (2 Sam 17:27-29, 2 Sam 23:11), and they were part of the bread recipe the Lord gave to Ezekiel (Eze 4:9).

Lentils are a part of Israeli culture that I have been enjoying... and my family is reaping the benefits of a few creative endeavors. I've found that Lentils make a good addition to almost any rice dish, tuna salad, and of course... soups and stews!

After googling around web and comparing recipes, and taking inventory of what was in the fridge, I created quite a nice little soup. It was yummy enough that I was inspired to make a little stew the next week!

For the soup, this is what I came up with:


• 4 cups (approximately) homemade chicken stock (seasoned with thyme, oregano, basil, bay leaf, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, carrots and celery)
• 2 cups water
• 1 onion, chopped
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 carrots, diced
• 1 large potato, diced
• 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
• 1 cups dry lentils
• 1/2 cup spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced
• salt to taste
• ground black pepper to taste
• 1/2 tsp cumin


1. In a large soup pot, add chicken broth, olive oil onions, carrots, garlic, and potato. Stirring regularly.
2. Stir in lentils, and add water and tomatoes and cummin. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts. Season to taste with salt (and maybe a little more cummin!)


Now that one was good, but the stew was birthright worthy indeed! It was thick and harty... exactly what you'd want to eat on a cold rainy Shabbat, cuddled up on the couch with your love and a movie! I hope this one will be a regular enough meal in our home that Aviel will think of it as comfort food. Here's how I made what we are now officially calling "Birthright Stew":


• 4 cups (approximately) homemade lamb stock (seasoned with rosemary, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, carrots)
• 2 cups water
• 1/2 lb ground beef
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 onion, chopped
• 1 garlic clove
• 2 carrots, diced
• 1 large potato, diced
• 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
• 3 tbsp tomato puree
• 1 cup dry lentils
• 1/4 cup rice
• 1 tbsp rosemary
• 1 tsp thyme
• 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
• salt to taste
• ground black pepper to taste


1. In a large soup bowl, saute diced onion in olive oil with salt and pepper. Add ground beef, chopped garlic clove, seasoning with a little rosemary, salt and pepper to taste. Cook the beef through.
2. Add lamb stock, water, tomato puree, carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, rosemary, thyme, ginger, rice and lentils. Bring to boil, then allow to simmer until lentils plump up. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


If any of you try one of these, let me know how it turns out! As we say in Israel, Bete'Avon (bon appetite)!

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Adventures on the Bus

Riding the Bus! Riding the Bus! Aviel is riding the Bus!

...A little ditty I used to sing to Aviel, on the bus, when he was a small baby. Since we're pedestrians, riding the bus is a part of our everyday life here in Jerusalem. Though it has some difficulties here and there, its something I really enjoy!

The Egged Bus system (pronounced egg-ged) recently changed from using punch cards and monthly passes, to requiring everyone to have a special photo i.d. card. Because of this, we had to go to the Central Bus Station to get our cards made. I thought it might be a good opportunity for a little adventure... so here we go!

Aviel and I headed down to our bus stop on Hebron Road.

We ride the 71,72,74, or 75 into city center

Here we are... Aviel in the Babyhawk Mei Tai with his favorite "blue hat," and me with the backpack diaper bag, waiting for our bus.

Our favorite seat was available! I like to sit backwards just before the connection joint in the middle of the long bus. It has a little more leg room, and I feel better about Aviel riding in this direction for some reason! This is our view.

And here's a look at the front of the bus.

Its very common to see people reading their prayer books on the bus... an everyday space becomes sacred.

A few stops later, we picked up this guy! "Its Abba!!" (Aviel took this photo!)

Then Abba took this photo of Ima and Aviel. A baby in stroller takes an extra punch on the card, but a baby in a wrap rides for free! Aviel usually rides in the Mei Tai on my lap. Its so much more efficient than having to take the stroller along! We hop in and out with ease... sometimes needing just a little re-adjusting if he got wiggly!

We arrived at our destination: Central Bus Station.

This is the front entrance...

...And the busy terminal. Some levels are more like a shopping mall.

We walked through the terminal to the ticket counter to fill out the paper work for our new cards. Unfortunately, we pulled number 700 and they were only on number 400! After waiting a little while to see how quickly (or slowly!) the line was moving, we decided to leave! On the way out, someone shared that a booth for card applications was set up on Ben Yehuda Street, so we headed that way!

This time we decided to ride the new light rail, since its running for free as a promotion.

Here's a look at the new train stops.

And these are the tracks.

Here comes our train!

We hopped on and headed to Ben Yehuda Street. The Line was much shorter, although it still quite a wait! Fhewww! It was a long day, but we left with our new cards in tote!

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