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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in aishet_sheretz's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, October 24th, 2006
5:36 pm
New Chatroom to CLEAN together!!! (and also exercise! COME JOIN US TO REMOVE CLUTTER!)
Hi I've been FLYING for a few years.

I have a CHATROOM for people who are interested in cleaning (and exercise!) 15 mins on, 15 mins resting.  (Some people go longer)

Please join me and let's get out of squalor!

Here's the URL


I am there most of the time (starting at 10 am PST) till midnight

I also have a forum

So please come!  I would really love your participation!  I have done the Table Squalor, the Clutter Bag, in my home!  Please join us! 


PS, if this is not according to the rules please remove!
Saturday, June 17th, 2006
10:10 pm
Sorry for cross-posting

Hello, I hope this doesn't offend anyone because I do have a question about the religion and on the community info it does mention that anyone with a question may ask it.

Anyway, I was wondering if it is against the religion for a woman to have anal sex? I have been reading though Leviticus, 21:1, and reading the "Punishments for Sin" chapter. It delves in many sexual acts, like a man having sex with another man, and incest, and of course bestiality, but there is nothing that I have seen that deals specifically with this. I was wondering if anyone knows anything of the matter?

Thanks for any help or opinions. I am a young woman, and not specifically orthodox/religious. But I do strongly believe in our faith, and would like to know if it is viewed as being 'detestable' or just very wrong in Hashem's eyes.

Monday, April 17th, 2006
8:35 pm
Monday, February 20th, 2006
12:23 pm
Purim is coming

Purim is a few weeks away, so I was wondering if anyone wanted to share ideas for themed shaloch manos. I figure, we all live in different communities, so if one of us copies an idea that someone else's friend has done, who's gonna know?

My themed shaloch manos have never gone over that well. One year I copied a Jerusalem kugel theme, pickle and cute poem included, but it seemed like one of those things people always do. I have a fish-shaped cookie cutter, so another year I made cookies for mazal Adar and put them on blue bags of ripple potato chips. They were supposed to be fish in water, but I don't think anyone got it. The cutest shaloch manos I ever received was "A Gantz Yohr Purim" (a whole year Purim) and contained a tiny apple and jar of honey, a little cheesecake, a model seder table, and other foods I don't remember.

So, any suggestions?
Thursday, July 28th, 2005
7:55 pm
I've been around for a while, but I don't believe I've ever introduced myself. I'm Diana and I live in the UK. I'll be 20 next week, I'm married, and I have a 10.5 month old son.

My biggest 'housekeeping' problem I think would have to be keeping the floors clear. My son doesn't make that easier as he is toddling about, and now I have tiny bits of Weetabix and other such things *everywhere*. I dread next year'd Peseach cleaning. I find my living room floors, which carpet, is impossible to keep clean and there are small stains here and there from my son and husband (he is partially physically disabled) and some from myself. What are your floor cleaning and carpet stain removal tips?

Hello to all!
Tuesday, June 21st, 2005
3:21 pm
weekday recipes needed

Fast, easy, and fairly healthy. Any suggestions?
Thursday, May 5th, 2005
1:57 pm
challah baking

I wrote about this on my own journal, but it's a segulah for parnossa to bake challos in the shape of a key for this coming Shabbos. For a few more details, see my journal.
Thursday, April 14th, 2005
9:30 pm
Update -the timer
My best friend in this whole thing has been my timer. The control notebook (whether on paper, on the computer or on your handheld) is a good idea but it has to be remembered. The proverbial shiny sink - oh, yeah. My version is an empty dishdrainer, but, yes, it's a simple success.

I haven't been doing them.

But the timer - my goodness. Because you'd be amazed at what you can do in fifteen minutes of work. In two fifteen minute bursts, I started getting a handle on my kitchen last night. In one last night, with my husband's help, I managed to fill two large trash bags and two recyling bags.

And today - today my kitchen, which had been a total disaster (grocery bags everywhere, counter cluttered with everything you can imagine, floor so messy I couldn't even *sweep*, let along wash it, stove crusted and greasy...well, you get the idea.) has all four corners visible. Has been swept. The counters have been cleared and washed. The stove is still bad, but I can get to that tomorrow since I've done my Shabbos shopping.

I can finish up on Sunday, easily. And I can do the rest of the house with my husband's help - and that of the timer. We'll be eating take out chometz or pesadich with paper and plastic from Monday on, and I'll be using my evenings to finish up. By Thursday, I'll have refilled the fridge and started the cooking marathon, which is the fun part.

But I'll be doing everything but the cooking in fifteen minute intervals with ten minute rest periods.
Thursday, April 7th, 2005
7:08 pm
It's two weeks away. As I am the queen of procrastination, I have just started my cleaning. I always get it done in time. I shall get it done in time this year, too.

Again, we all have to remember that Pesach cleaning is not Spring cleaning. If there's a place chometz doesn't go, it doesn't have to be Pesach cleaned.

My own first step? Declutter the kitchen. I'm a terrible housekeeper and my kitchen is piled high with shopping bags and other stuff. Or it was. I got rid of a good amount today using the Flylady method - set fifteen minutes on a timer, clean for that long and *stop*.

I'm also firming up my guest lists and menus for the s'dorim. I'm not at the point of writing them down yet, but that will come. The best way not to spend too much money (yes, I know it's not counted against us for the year, but that doesn't mean we should be wasteful) is to plan all your meals for the week and then write out a shopping list and try to stick to it.

Shopping can be fun this time of year, especially in Flatbush (and I suspect other heavily Orthodox areas, too.) I wanted to make tofu for dinner tonight (don't make faces. I like tofu.) but there wasn't any in my local kosher supermarket. Fortunately, there were cans of chickpeas, so I can make a curry instead. And I have rice in the house.

One of my problems is that my husband is a firm believer in "ein sueda lo bosor v'lo yayin" - it's not a sueda, a feast, unless there is meat and wine. Wine isn't a probelm for a seder, of course, but meat can be. To whit - my brother-in-law, who is coming to us the first night, is a vegetarian, mostly. This means he does eat fish.

So. I'm making chickenless soup - all the normal herbs and veggies that go into a standard chicken soup, or maybe more, but no chicken. My mother-in-law made it last year, and it's delicious and goes well with matzo balls. This will be for both nights - I'm kashering my big soup pot. My matzo balls aren't so wonderful, but we will see. And I'm making an eggplant-zucchini-tomato baked dish that will be a side dish for most of us and a main course for him. And gefilte fish, so he'll definitely have protein. The rest of us will have chicken that I will roast during Maggid, which means all the yumminess of freshly roasted chicken. Yay. I'll also make a farfel kugel. If only we ate kitniyot...I could make brother-in-law tofu.

The second night will be pot roast or beef stew that I'll reheat during Maggid, again, and serve with its own veggies.

We do eat largish seders because we don't hold by large shiurim.

Meanwhile, we also have to deal with the halachic problems this year poses - our houses are pesadich, but we're required to make motzi for Shabbat and we can't make it on matzo so we have to have bread, but no one wants bread in their houses.
Monday, April 4th, 2005
11:07 am
Disaster recovery
OK, not really disaster, but a tough nut...

Last November, I lost my system to a virus. Had to nuke it from orbit and reinstall. I tried to back up all my personal files before I wiped the hard disk, but wouldn't ya know I neglected to back up my Pesach lists. I searched my server thoroughly, combed through my CD-ROM backup. Nothin'.

Now I have to recreate 15 years worth of cleaning, shopping, and kashering lists. Ugh.

The obvious things like "clean the refrigerator" and "buy Matzoh" are easy, but there are always stupid little things that I forget from year to year and need to be reminded of.

I'm asking this community to share their gotchas on cleaning and kashering, because while shopping is way personal, I'm pretty sure all the secret cleaning gotchas that were on my list are also on at least one of your lists, too.

Thanks for any help. I promise to back it up this time. No, really!
Tuesday, March 29th, 2005
11:49 am
Pesach around the corner
So Purim is over and now starts the mad-rush to get Pesach cleaning accomplished. Hah! I say again, HAH!

For the last couple of years, I've had a lovely spreadsheet in Excel detailing each room that needs to be cleaned, what specific tasks should be approached, and preferred order.

This year, we're in a bigger house, but more importantly, there is a small child in the house which is completely throwing me off. I can't figure out how to go about cleaning for Pesach with him in the house.

I mean, he's great, but even though I only feed him in his high chair, he is a crumb monster and crumbs get dragged everywhere, no matter how hard I try to hose him off after meals. Plus there are his toys! Toys that go in his MOUTH!

Argh. So a few questions to those of you who have kids:
  1. How do you limit the chometz-spreading by your toddlers?
  2. How much do I have to worry about his toys?
  3. I usually try to get my kitchen done a little on the early side so that I can do some cooking ahead of time. I'm afraid, however, that if I do that, I'll be limiting Julian's already-limited food choices. How do you work around this?
  4. At what point do I say, "enough's enough, I've done my best" this year? I mean, I'm always very thorough, but I also am not sure how much extra stress I can take this year. Maybe that's a question for my rabbi.

Somehow, this year I just can't get my brain around how to do it. Sigh.
Tuesday, January 25th, 2005
9:51 am
Morning routines
It's been quiet around here lately, so I thought I'd share my morning routine:

Ailsa's Morning Routine

The morning routine is broken down into four parts:

  1. Rise and Shine
    • Say "Modeh ani."
    • Fling back covers, head to bathroom, wash hands, say "Netilas Yedayim" and "Asher Yotzar".
    • Strip, hang up nightgown, do yoga exercises.
    • Return to the bathroom.
    • Brush your teeth, shower, draw David's bath.
    • Pop David into the bath.
    • Swish the toilet and sink and leave the room never to return till later. It is clean and you can forget about it for now.
    • Dress, make bed, daven shacharis.
    • Get David out of bath and dress him.
    • Leave your bedroom with a load of laundry in hand and go straight to the washer.
    • Feed & water cats.

  2. Kitchen
    • Make coffee and start breakfast.
    • If you did your Before Bed Routine, the kitchen is clean and all you need to do is empty the dishwasher.
    • Feed the David and put his lunch in his backpack.

  3. Think About Your Day
    • Check your calendar.
    • Make your list of what you are going to do today (PODA or To Do List)
    • Reboot the laundry (put in dryer).
    • Hit the hotspots. If you did your Before Bed Routine there will not be any.

  4. Now Think About Yourself
    • Take your vitamins.
    • Sit down.
    • Eat breakfast (if you haven't already).
    • Now reward yourself with some computer time. Check your e-mail and write morning LJ post.
    • Head upstairs to meditate.

I'm kind of pleased with it, especially since it works over half an hour of exercise into every day.

Current Mood: cheerful
Tuesday, September 28th, 2004
10:48 pm
Living in Israel, I only have one day, with a day 'off' before Shabbat. However, I have company from the US, so I will still end up serving 6 yom tov meals (even if I spread out the cooking). Here are my menus.

Wed night: out

Thursday lunch (total = 22 people): melon, brisket with potatoes, Italian chicken cutlets with rice, sweet potato kugel, noodle kugel, salad, apple pie, peach pie, cookies

Thursday night: chicken soup with kreplach, garlic chicken, broccoli, fruit salad

Friday lunch: sweet and sour salmon, mushroom barekas

Friday night (total = 10 people): gefilte fish, cabbage soup, honey mustard chicken, cranberry apple kugel, sesame salad, cherry pie

Shabbat lunch: (total for meal = 10, for dessert total = 20)fruit salad, grilled chicken breasts, (cholent if the current heat wave breaks), potato salad, lemon pie, apple pie, cookies, jelly roll

Yes, I do bake a lot *g*.

And finally, a couple of suggested main courses for people who are looking for quick and easy ideas. Scallopine (made with either chicken or veal) and pepper steak (can be beef or chicken). Both involve basically browning meat and sauteeing vegetables (the scallopine meat is dipped in flour before browning, and white wine and half a cup of soup is added to the vegetables). The chopping is the most time consuming part; the cooking goes quickly and it can be made on yom tov itself (provided you have left a burner on) or made in advance and simply reheated before the meal. Serve with rice.
4:10 pm
Anybody else having trouble coming up with three days straight of festive menus (or even the enthusiasm to come up with them in the first place) since we had three days straight of festivity at Rosh Hashana? Any advice? I had two loaves of challah turn very fuzzy and disgusting without ever being cut, so I do know not to quadruple the challah recipe this time (two challah loaves each for Rosh Hashanah and Shabbos, plus one batch of dough to make pizzas for Rosh Hashanah lunches). But I honestly have no idea what I am going to fix, and tonight is my last chance to run out & get any groceries that are lacking.

And I have a horrible sinking feeling that we are going to be racing against the clock to get the Sukkah up again.
Friday, September 24th, 2004
9:03 am
erev yom kippur
Wishing everyone a g'mar chatima tova and an easy fast!
Wednesday, September 15th, 2004
12:10 pm
So, here's my menu for the next three days of festive eating. I realize a) most of you don't have time to look at it now, and b) everyone else did this earlier, but I couldn't grocery shop until today (payday) anyway, so I didn't make up my menu until last night. Oh, and the table format (hand-coded) was to force myself to sit and take a few deep breaths before jumping back into the fray. I can do it. I can.

Rosh HashanaShabbos
Day 1Day 2
Apples & honeySwedish fish (for fish heads)PomegranateSwedish fish (for fish heads)Applesauce 
Gherkins Gherkins Gherkins 
Honey roasted peanuts Honey roasted peanuts Honey roasted peanuts 
Blade roast a la Alton BrownHomemade pizzaTurkey breastHomemade pizzaSwedish meatballsQuiche
Baked potatoes Pilaf Brown rice 
  Kreplach Apple kugelDevilled eggs
Alton Brown's Parsley SaladTossed saladCruditesTossed saladCarrot saladIsraeli salad
Hermits&Chocolate chip cookiesHermits&Chocolate chip cookiesHermitsChocolate chip cookies
Apple crispIce creamApple pieIce creamChocolate cakeIce cream

L'shan tova, everyone! :)

Current Mood: excited
Monday, September 13th, 2004
9:15 am
Everybody's doing it... oh! the peer pressure!
Well, since it's becoming a trend, here's my holiday menu (pretty much verbatim out of my own journal):

1st Night (Wednesday):
Guests:(7, including Seth and me)
Apples and Honey Sticks
Porcini Mushroom and Onion Soup (done)
Gefilte Fish
Pomegranate Chicken (meat is marinading now. Won't take long to cook tomorrow...maybe I'll make Seth cook it while the electrician is here)
Tomato and cucumber salad (will do Wednesday immediately before dinner)
Mushroom Tart (in freezer... will need to do last bit of cooking when I get home Wednesday afternoon)
Broccoli Kugel (new recipe....in oven now)
Basmati Rice
Teiglach (will pick up Tuesday...already ordered) and assorted fruit

Thursday Lunch: out

2nd night (Thursday):
Guests: (6 total)
Cold Carrot Soup (no idea when I'm going to make this...probably Tuesday night)
Gefilte Fish
Apples and Honey Sticks
Lynne's Fabulous Chicken minus the nuts
Apple Kugel (done...in freezer)
Pomegrantes and some other new fruit (haven't found another)
Roasted Caramelized Carrots (drat! I forgot about making these...they're quick. I'll do them late Monday night)
Honey Cake (will pick up Tuesday...already ordered)

Friday lunch: leftovers

Friday night:
Guests: (total: 4-9 unknown for the moment)
Er... some kind of soup, maybe. If I get around to it. Possibly more cold carrot soup if there's enough.
Gefilte Fish
Garlic Dip (will make Tuesday night)
Brisket (will start on Tuesday. Will finish during the day on Friday)
Scalloped potatoes (will make on Friday)
Asparagus (possibly Asparagus quiche if I feel like going to the effort)
Cranberry apple pie thingy (this is a side dish, not a dessert)
Apple Crisp for Dessert (need to make this...argh)

Saturday lunch: OUT

As you can see, I haven't cooked nearly enough. I should have worked on my fish last night, but my feet and back were KILLING me from hauling stuff around all day and then standing in the kitchen for hours. I needed a break. I feel like I ought to have done more ahead of time, but last week was a zoo and I was lucky to have shabbos dinner on the table. How early can I possibly do this? The kidling (Aaron) specifically asked if we were going to have the fish that he likes, so I have to make it. It's just very time intensive, what with all the frying. Oh heck, who needs sleep the week before a holiday?

Current Mood: exhausted
8:32 am
more Rosh Hashana menus
Since mamadeb posted her menus for the chag, I thought I'd do the same. (Recipes available on request).

Wednesday night: various 'simanim' (apple in honey, beets, dates, pomegranite, tongue--in lieu of a fish head, 'shehecheyanu' fruit), gefilte fish, chicken soup, Italian chicken cutlets with rice, broccoli, peach pie and cookies

Thursday lunch: (milchig) melon, salmon, mushroom berekas, ice cream

Thursday night: redux of previous night, only main course is the rest of the tongue in a sweet and sour sauce

Friday lunch: (milchig) fruit salad, quiche, lasagna

Friday night: soup, honey-mustard chicken, kugels (potato and carrot), cake

Shabbat lunch: gazpacho, grilled chicken breasts, cold cuts, salad, apple pie and cookies

We are a family of six (including two very hungry teenage boys), plus will be having company at nearly every meal. Needless to say, I'm spending the next 3 days in the kitchen!
Sunday, September 12th, 2004
6:01 pm
My guest list is set - friend from shul the first night; my mother, her boyfriend and another friend from shul the second night.

Menus: Wednesday night
Gefilte fish
Chicken noodle soup
Challah stuffing

Thurs lunch:
Tuna salad

Thurs dinner
pot roast
veggies from pot roast
honey cake

Friday lunch

Shabbat dinner:

Shabbat lunch
Leftovers part deux

Cooking schedule:

Making the chicken soup *now*. Will cook the pot roast tomorrow night, and possibly the fish. Make the stuffing/kugel on Tuesday night *after* my Pakua evaluation (not ready for blue belt yet, but hey.) or on Wednesday. Turkey gets cooked on Wednesday. Get bread and honey cake then.

Looking at that, it's actually doable. Huh.

Eruv Tavshilin:

Can't be done later than Wednesday before Yom Tov. Take two cooked foods - bread and hardboiled egg are standard, but so long as they're cooked in two different ways and take two different brachot, you're fine. Take the foods with the intention of eating them on Shabbat.

Say the bracha, which is a long statement in Aramaic. It's in any O siddur or machzor. You can also say it in English. Set the food aside for Shabbat. You have now officially begun preparing your Shabbat meals, and can now do anything you need to do in reference to Shabbat on Friday. This includes cooking and lighting Shabbat candles. Try to remember to eat the set-aside food on Shabbat.

(I'm seriously thinking of using the turkey...)
Monday, August 23rd, 2004
10:04 pm
Less than one month to go before Yom Tov.

Rosh HaShanah starts the evening of September 15th, which is a Wednesday night.  So it's a three day holiday.  That means that Yom Kippur is on Shabbat, and Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah are also on Thursday, which means three days outside of Israel.

It's time to start planning, and past.

With three days to plan for, you need to know what you're cooking for six festive meals in a row, and how to do it with the various restrictions due to holidays.

There are several rules to holiday cooking if you're Orthodox or lotherwise observant.

1. Fires cannot be stopped or started, but can be transferred.  Some rabbi'im permit increasing and decreasing fires, others only increasing.  Some willl even permit the shutting off of a gas stove because it is permitted to remove fuel from a fire.  If you do not have a pilot light for your gas stove, you can use an existing flame to light a burner.  I keep a long burning candle in my kitchen. It serves as a "pilot light" for my stove and as a source of flames for my second day and Shabbat candles.  If you cook with electricity, consult your rabbi.

2. It is not permitted to prepare anything on a holiday for the next day - not even for the holiday that begins that very night.  You can't start dinner for Thursday night on Thursday afternoon, unless you plan to consume part of that dinner before nightfall.  This becomes a major factor on a Friday yom tov, because while one can cook on Thursday night, one cannot cook Friday night.  And one must light the Sabbath candles at the normal time, which is still technically Friday afternoon.  So what one does is prepare an eruv tavshilin - setting aside two cooked foods, usually a roll (or piece of matzah if it's Pesach) and an egg with a blessing.  These foods are to be eaten on Shabbat.  You have therefore begun your preparations for Shabbat.  You simply continue them on Friday.  This does not work between Thursday afternoon and Thursday night because one can cook and light candles on Thursday night.

That said, one should prepare as much as possible in advance.  So start planning menus for the holidays and the Sabbaths.

Also start thinking about Sukkot -  what sort of foods would be nice to eat in the chilly October air?  And which would be easy to transport down a flight of stairs or even several blocks to a shul sukkah?  And remember the days can still be warm and you need to prepare for that.

Any ideas for menus? 

I'm serving turkey one night and pot roast the second, with leftover for Shabbat when it comes to Rosh HaShanah.
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