Monday, March 29, 2010

In Cleveland

Iz OK.

I'm already bored, but what can you do? I have no access to a car, there is no true taxi service here, it is snowing and rainy. Thank God my mother hoards magazines and catalogues, so there is plenty of mindless stuff to read and look at.

I've gotten a lot of writing work done and have helped my parents with Pesach preparations as much as they let me.

I also bought a cartload of toiletries at CVS.

Next week: Lesson planning.

To all those who celebrate it, happy Passover!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Patting Myself on the Back - now updated! Again!

What Liza and I have accomplished in Pesach cleaning:

*Pantry (aka Hermione's Purse) - DONE
*Fridge - STARTED
*Bathroom - DONE
*Bookshelves - DONE
*My desk- STARTED
*Left side of my room - DONE
*My backpack - DONE

Update Sunday, March 21:
*Fridge- DONE
*Stovetop- DONE (not yet kashered)
*Oven - DONE (not yet kashered)
*Kosher for Passover Cat Food - BOUGHT

Update Monday, March 22:

*Kitchen cabinets - DONE
*Stovetop - KASHERED
*Dairy counter - KASHERED
*Other counters, table - CLEAN, not yet kashered
*My left closet- DONE
*Washing Station - STARTED

I leave for the States on Tuesday night (alas, stopping only in Cleveland), and it wouldn't be fair to leave all the cleaning for my roommate (who will be here for the holiday), so we got a bigger head start than last year.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Chayyei Sarah Food Blogs: Cuban Bean Soup

In an effort to use up kitniyot before Pesach*, I'm making a cuban bean soup for dinner tonight, and it looks like it's going to be really good, so I'm sharing the recipe with y'all.

This recipe was adapted from
Randelman & Schwartz's Memories of a Cuban Kitchen, included on one of those old MasterCook CD's, and then found (and further adapted) by me on some random cooking site on the internet when I Googled "red bean recipe."

It looks like a huge production, but in actuality was not a big deal to put together, IMHO. Just remember to soak the beans the night before.


1 lb (or one 500 gram bag)
red kidney beans, soaked
2 quarts water
1 bay leaf
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and quartered (I chopped it)


1/4 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, diced
1 cup tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 tblspn red wine vinegar (I used balsamic)
1/2 cup dry sherry (I used a cheap red wine)
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
Salt & pepper

-----TO FINISH-----
2 medium potatoes, diced
1 cup butternut squash, diced

(instead of the potatoes and squash, I'm using a large sweet potato; hope it's OK!)
Olive oil to taste


Combine beans, water bell pepper & salt, bring to a boil & simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Add more water as needed.
(Sarah adds: They seem to have forgotten the bay leaf. I included it at this stage)
SOFRITO: Heat oil in a skillet, saute the garlic, onion & bell pepper till tender.  

Add tomatoes, vinegar, sherry, oregano, cumin, salt & pepper.
Cook 10 minutes.
When beans are tender, add the sofrito, potatoes & squash

(Sarah's note: I took out the bay leaf first).
Stir to blend, & cook over a low heat until the potatoes & squash are tender.
Either serve as is or puree.
Drizzle some olive oil over each serving.

Shabbat shalom!

*I know I don't have to use up all my kitniyot, just set them aside, but it's a good time to be using up the non-perishables that have been sitting around. Plus, in general, regarding the stuff we're selling --which might include the kitniyot, since it's just easier to put all the hametz and kitniyot together-- we sell everything to Liz (with an official contract), who -- this is so cool-- actually does have a key to our apartment and actually does come by to take her newly-purchased hametz for herself. So anything we don't use now may very well end up on Liz's table in Ossawiya.