Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Refuah Shelaimoh

My mother is having surgery this morning. For those who would add her into their tefilos today, the name is Feiga bas Leah.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Shared Summer #2

Those out there who like to bake are frequently on the lookout for new sources for recipes and baking tips and hints. Let's face it--cookbooks are more often than not very expensive to purchase. Add in that, unless and until you've gone through the book page by page, recipe by recipe, you don't really know how much of a particular cookbook you will actually end up using. Spend $30-40 on a cookbook containing recipes for 50 different baked goods, and assume you will make all 50 recipes, and you are initially spending about 80 cents per baking recipe. But most people do NOT make every recipe in a cookbook; in fact, they make relatively few of the recipes. Let's say you only try 1-10 of those recipes. Now the price per recipe is way higher--anywhere from $4 to $40 per recipe.

So, what cookbooks that are out there, whether kosher or not, have you found particularly useful? Why? Is it the illustrations, is it well-written instructions, is it the general hints and tips that make it useful? Please post your choices in the comments.

Now to online sources for bakers. There are certainly many sources available online. One that I find particularly useful--and gorgeous to view--is There are hundreds of free pages to browse through. In addition, a premium membership to the site costs $19.95 per year and gives you access to thousands of recipes--fully illustrated--as well as individual help and baking forums. For instance, ever wonder just how much frosting you need in order to correctly and evenly frost various sizes and types of baked goods? The free pages have a chart that gives you the amounts for virtually any kind of baked goods you could consider frosting. And referencing that recipe to cookbook cost I gave above, $20 gets you 2000+ recipes. This is far more recipes for far less money than you will find with a conventional cookbook. It's a great site to browse through even if you're not considering joining it. Again, take a trip over to

Any other online sources you'd like to share with us? Again, please put those sources--and your reasons--into the comments section.

Bon appetit!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Oh English, I Weep for Thee

A member of one of my professional chat rooms reported an incident that happened to him this week. He wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. He and his wife and three other couples went out to dinner together. They picked a local diner to eat at. Because it's summer and high schoolers are now on vacation, this particular diner hires a number of those highschoolers for various positions, although not normally as wait staff. However, the diner was busy so one of the busgirls was co-opted into taking their dinner order. She asked what everyone wanted. Two people ordered fried chicken. As she was writing down their orders she repeated them aloud: "Okay, that'll be 2 fried cluck."

One of the people who had ordered the chicken corrected her and said, "I'd like fried chicken." The busgirl replied: "Yeah, I know. You get fried cluck." Finally someone at the table asked her why she was calling it fried cluck. She answered: "Everyone knows that chickens cluck and the word is shorter to say and write then chicken is." Yes, one of those at the table is a professor of English, and I can understand why he couldn't resist saying "You know, chickens only cluck if you are a native speaker of English. In other languages they make different sounds and different words are used to represent those sounds. What if we had been non-native speakers of English? Using cluck would have told us nothing we could understand."

What was the busgirl's answer? Quite seriously she said: "Let 'em learn English!"

Yes indeed.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

San Francisco, cut it out

To mangle a few common sayings "Necessity makes strange bedfellows." Jews and Muslims in San Francisco are joining together in common cause re the proposed ban on all circumcisions.
This is not the first time that anti-circumcision measures have been proposed here in the US. Yes, even in New York there have been those in favor of the measure who have tried to get it adopted here.

Please go to for an interesting update on the situation in San Francisco.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

School Change

While we in Klal continue to debate the high price of a yeshiva education, others here in the US frame that education debate in other terms: should the US be on a year round educational calendar.

Our standard calendar--September through June--is traditionally thought of as having been put into place when our country was a more agrarian one. Children were needed as help during the productive growing months. There is a flaw with this, however; huge swathes of our population lived in cities, in urban environments, and there wasn't any farming going on in those areas. So why did we have the long summer vacation from school?

Frederick Hess, in a article, gives some reasons. "Summer vacation once made good sense -- back when we lived in a brawn-based economy, academic achievement
mattered less, an absence of air conditioning or modern hygiene turned crowded schools into health risks, and children had moms who were home every day.

Historian Kenneth Gold has noted that summer vacation, as we know it, was an invention of the mid-19th-century belief that "too much schooling impaired a child's and a teacher's health." Community leaders fretted that summer was a "period of epidemics, and most fruitful of diseases generally," and sought to keep children at home or send them to
the countryside.

In that era, the nation's first professional educators believed that too much schooling would exhaust both teacher and student. They thought that placid summers under parental supervision would be more beneficial than time spent in humid, crowded schools. "

At present there are some two million students across 46 states that are on a YRE program--year round education. This represents about 5% of all K-12 students in the US. To my knowledge, with the exception of yeshivas of higher education (batei medrash and kollelim), there is no yeshiva that is on the YRE system. So, would there be an advantage for parents if yeshivas went to a YRE system?

First, let's look at the cost. For families where both parents work some type of summer program is a necessity, not a luxury. Someone has to have the care of those children when the parents are not home. For some parents this translates into day camp plus a care provider in the home until the parents return--cost of camp plus the cost of after camp provider. For other parents this translates into sleep away camp. The cost of day camp is highly variable; the cost of sleep away camp pretty much falls into the $3-4K range.

Now look at yeshiva school tuitions. The cost of tuition falls into the range of $10-15K per child per year, with outliers on either end. Using the $15K figure, this is $1500 per month of the 10-month school calendar year. Go to YRE and you would add $3K for the additional two months of school. That $3K is pretty much the cost of either the day camp/home provider expense or the sleep away camp expense. In other words, that YRE calendar should not really cost more than it already costs working parents who must provide childcare during the summer months, whether at some type of camp or in-home.

On the negative side, older high school children in YRE would lose the chance to make money over the summer by working in summer camps or at other jobs. In addition, those parents whose children go to summer camp now would find their summer budgets having to expand to include the cost of food for children who would now be home, for entertainment expenses when not in school, for added electricity expenses for running air conditioning in bedrooms that would be occupied for over the summer, adding back in laundry expenses that aren't there when kids are in camp etc..

There's also this: Some families do not have working mothers, and children, particularly young children, are cared for at home by the mother, with no camp being used, either by choice or by not being able to afford camps. Some parents simply cannot meet the costs of a yeshiva education as it is formulated right now. Add $3K more to the bill for YRE and you might be providing the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back--you will be pricing these parents completely out of providing a yeshiva education. The only way such parents could hope to send their children to yeshiva would be with a hefty tuition reduction. And just where would yeshivas get the additional monies needed to provide such tuition reductions? They are in trouble now, with only a 10-month schedule, in trying to make up the deficit created by numerous parents on scholarships (in addition to poor management, excessive spending etc.).

YRE comes up every year in virtually every state. Slowly many municipalities are adding YRE schools. In addition, a high percentage of schools on YRE are charter or private schools. Many whose job it is to forecast such trends believe that YRE is where our educational system has to be heading. Would there be any benefit to Klal in adding discussion of YRE? Would YRE offer any pluses to yeshiva parents or would there be more minuses? And if YRE is where education is heading in this country then what changes are going to have to be made to the tuition structure to allow yeshiva parents to be able to pay for this education?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Shared Summer #1

For the fourth year in a row I made plans for an absolutely free summer--a time to take care of whatever I wanted to take care of and to do whatever I wanted to do (except for my summer job, of course). Sigh. As the saying goes, the best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray. Not going to have all that free time to develop postings for the blog, or for anything too much else for that matter. My mother is having surgery next week and that will take a lot of my time, as it should.

So, I came up with one way to keep the blog regular--shared information. Once a week on Tuesdays I'll be putting up a topic and asking my readers to share resources relating to that topic. They can be online, print or "real world" resources. Please don't just pick a random Internet site to post--make it sites or sources that you personally have found useful or informative. Just to get you started thinking ahead, what sites/places--whether informational or actual sales sites--have you found that make shopping easier/safer/cheaper and that have reliable information?

Just to get this started, I'm posting links to some prior posting on good reading matter for kids (and for adults too in some cases). Feel free to add any works/sites you've read/used that you think others would also enjoy.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Daytime Programming

Note: I've been thinking about the present and upcoming "senior problem," and what follows are some practical suggestions that could be put into place now.

Back when my children were very little PTA functions for their schools were held during daytime hours. Most of the women back then were not working full time or had the types of schedules that made daytime programs acceptable. Today the reverse is true: school programs are held in the evenings or there would be almost noone in attendance.

However, the need for daytime programming is once again arising. Those who are in our older generations, who are no longer working, have those daylight hours available and yes, many need something to fill those hours with.

Not every community has a free-standing senior center, specifically set up to meet the needs of seniors. Nor is it necessary for every community to go to the added expense of building such a center. There are already buildings available that could house such senior programs. For one thing, shuls could do so. Most shuls not only have meeting space available but also kitchen facilities so that some kind of food offering during the day could be made. In larger communities with multiple shuls it would be possible to share such programming responsibilities, so that Shul A offers Monday's programs, Shul B offers Tuesday's programs, Shul C offers Wednesday's programs, Shul D offers Thursday's programs and Shul E offers Friday's programs. Or certain shuls could offer morning programs and other shuls could offer afternoon programs. Or certain shuls could offer programming appealing to men and other shuls could offer programming appealing to women. In short, the possibilities are really endless as to how shuls could be involved in providing activities for seniors.

Now let's look at schools--they, too, could be involved in programming for seniors, whether once a week or more often. And yes, I mean during the daytime hours. Most schools offer a lunch program to their students--and the amount of food that has been paid for that gets thrown out is horrible. Schools get government subsidies and supplies for their lunch programs. Why not invite seniors down to the school at a lunchtime hour, offering either a free or $2 lunch? The kitchen is open and working, the food is there and a few tables of seniors sitting in "their" section of the lunchroom isn't a space problem for most schools. Even if space might be an issue, hold the senior luncheons right after the last class has eaten. It would give seniors someplace to go for a meal and company to converse with.

What's more, with the variety of staff available in a school there would be any number of people available to perhaps give an interesting "shmooze" during lunch. For example, a school librarian could certainly run a book club meeting during or right after the lunch. Any number of people in a school who could give a series of small workshops or classes to seniors, such as on how to use X on their computers. And some of the specialized assemblies that schools hold for their students--such as speakers or programs for Yom Ha'Atzmaut--might also be enjoyed by seniors. School lunchrooms and auditoriums stay empty for most of the day, and these facilities could certainly be put to use for senior programming.

Oh yes, and there is this: just because you are older doesn't mean you suddenly stop being interested in learning about something. Surely in a school, of all places, there would be people available who could give interesting lectures on topics of interest to these seniors. Many schools have chesed programs that include visiting the elderly in their places of residence--reverse that and have the elders come visit the students in their "place of residence." [Note: and if anyone should be wondering why schools, of all places, should be offering these types of services, kindly remember that it is precisely these seniors who once provided the money and manpower to build the schools--what goes around comes around.]

Another thought on daytime programming: get the medical community involved. Seniors have questions and concerns about medical issues that they might experience in the years to come. The rules change about what constitutes proper nutrition when you get older. Drug interactions change as you age and/or start taking more types of medications. Safety issues may change. With the number of professionals involved in the health care field it is more than possible to schedule and provide a wide variety of programs and activities that would both appeal to seniors and be instructive for them. And again, shuls and schools could provide the space for such activities.

And then there are the seniors themselves: thousands of people with skills and interests and specialties that could provide an interesting daytime event or activity for others to join in with. One of the problems for seniors who don't have the same energy they once had and who don't run around as frenetically as they once may have done is that they can spend far too much time alone, not seeing other people for days on end. They miss face to face conversation. Provide them with a facility and some basic services and let them input what they want to do there. Some just want a chance to see others, eat a meal and have some conversation. Others would welcome hearing one of their own talk about topics that are of mutual interest. Others have interests they'd like to pursue but need some help with the practicalities of pursuing them. Talk to the seniors! Find out how together you can offer programs they'd like to participate in.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Words to Ponder

So often we look at others both for the source for and the blame for the absence of happiness.

"Happiness depends upon ourselves."


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

When All Else Fails to Delight

Early, early in the morning with the sun as yet not high and bright in the sky. There's a stillness in the yard broken only here and there with the faint stirring of a leaf. The creatures of the outside take full opportunity of the shade still present to start their busy days before the sun beats down.

Bees busy gathering nectar from the waving flower heads, bouncing from blossom to blossom in a rhythm uniquely their own. In the corner of the yard a hummingbird hovers over a plant we put in precisely for its delight. Forward and backwards it flies, stopping to take a refreshing sip here and there. Our blue jays are out for an early morning stroll, perambulating around the grass like guests at a smorgasbord. Every few feet they stop to sample a morsel. Last year brought us a new treat: we have a chipmunk family in residence. They are a delight to watch as they hurry across the patio on their way to gather up the bounty available to them in the yard. Occasionally one of them will stop for a second by the sliding door and give me a quizzical look. It's a time for fancy, and I imagine that chipmunk wondering as to what kind of creature has been locked into that glass box he passes.

Early morning, when all things for this day are still possible, when enthusiasm begins to build, when I can face anything and do anything. If my outside creatures can face the day with enthusiasm then how can I do any less? I head upstairs to begin my day officially and the sound of birdsong lends ease to my steps. No better way to start the day than this.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Arrogance of Gaivoh

Our use of language can get us into all sorts of sticky situations, and perhaps nowhere is this better illustrated than with the idea of gaivoh--arrogance.

Arrogance has both negative denotation and negative connotation. It's dictionary definition is: offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride; having or showing an exaggerated opinion of one's own importance, merit, ability, etc; conceited. It has been negative from its inception--c.1300, from O.Fr. arrogance (12c.), from L. arrogantia, from arrogantem (nom. arrogans ) "assuming, overbearing, insolent," prp. of arrogare "to claim for oneself, assume." It keeps company with a number of synonyms whose meanings are also negative, words such as haughtiness, insolence, and disdain.

In short, arrogance is not a personal virtue; one who displays arrogance lacks humility and modesty. It is bad enough when arrogance remains fairly individual-centered; that is, when the arrogance takes the form of personal boasting about accomplishments or possessions. Where the arrogance becomes intolerable is when it moves from personal boasting into the realm of putting down others.

Let's make a distinction now between statements of fact and arrogance. If, in the course of a discussion taking place among a group of students who have just received back test results, one student asks all the others "What mark did you get on the test?" and they all respond with their marks, none of those students can be said to be exhibiting arrogance when they report the numbers. This would be information gathering and fairly neutral. Now let's say that two students in that group both received a mark of "100" on the test and they both say so. Are they being arrogant in reporting a perfect score? Again, no--it's a factual matter. However...let's say student #1 simply answers "I got 100" and leaves it at that, but student #2 says "I aced the test as usual. Doesn't take much to get a perfect score on Mrs. G's tests" or perhaps "I got 100 of course." Now we've moved into the area of arrogance.

And what if no one actually asked the others what their scores were? What if student #2, unbidden, announces with glee to the others "What an easy test that was--I aced it of course!"? Now we're dealing with self-aggrandizement, and that is arrogance.

But let's move away from children--let's move on to adults. Not only are arrogant statements used to boast about personal qualities, characteristics and attainments, but they are used to put down others. Were I to boast that I am the best at something then that would mean that others around me can only be second best, if that.

This is not to say that in some some specific areas there is not a hierarchy of achievement in which some are rated as being on a higher level than others are. But that ranking is done based on specific requirements for attaining high ranking, requirements that everyone knows about and agrees to. What is more, those who are placed in the top ranks are PLACED there by others--their ranking is not based on what THEY say they know/have/do but on some sort of an objective scale of measurement. Thomas Edison is considered one of the most prolific and greatest inventors of all time but he didn't say so--others did and do.

Now to a look at Klal and how arrogance plays a huge part in its workings.

I mentioned in an earlier posting that talking about Klal as a unified whole is an error--it isn't, nor has it ever been. Go back in history not all that far to pre-War Europe and you will find that Klal was a highly splintered entity. One divide was the east-west divide. Western European Jews looked down on Eastern European Jews and Eastern European Jews looked down on Western European Jews. Each group believed themselves to be the best and had no problem with over-the-top aggrandizement of their own "superior" characteristics and achievements and no problem with putting down all the others.

Nor was the splintering strictly along the lines of West vs. East. Within each geographic area the arrogance flowed unbounded as people from country A looked down their noses at people from country B, where, even within the same country, people from city A looked down their noses at people from city B. And yes, even within the smaller confines of a single city people from area A of that city looked down their noses at people from area B. And yes, the divide also was global, as Europeans looked down their noses at non-Europeans. And then we had the ashkenazic/sephardic divide.

Well, here we are, living in the good old US of A, and you wouldn't know it in a lot of places as that European arrogance is alive and well and living in Klal. Despite the fact that most Jews living here were born here, there are some members of Klal who don't use American as their identification when talking to other members of Klal--they reach a long ways back and self-identify as German or Polish or Italian or Hungarian or what have you. Do they do so when speaking to others as a means of determining if that stranger they've just met might have come from the same area and maybe they are related way back on the tree? Nope, they don't. So what practical purpose can such self-identification serve today?

One purpose is as a social divider--you can't be part of my social group because we long ago did not come from the same place and where you came from is so not a place that was admired by my ancestors. It's purpose is exclusionary rather than inclusive.

Another purpose is to build a hierarchy within Klal--a totally artificial one. Depending on who is doing the ordering, some groups will be placed much higher than others, based on factors that are totally and completely idiosyncratic, without any real or factual basis, and not agreed upon by other members of Klal, whose ordering of the hierarchy will be radically different.

Still another purpose is for carrying forward the myths and half-truths that fed animosity in Europe and other parts of the globe, bringing history (or a highly perverted form of it) forward into the present. "Everyone" knows that people from place X were highly intelligent, well educated, wealthy and talented. "Everyone" knows that people from Place Y were peasants, uneducated, poor and backwards. Right---wrong! Making all statements about any group will lead to the inevitable conclusion that the statement is wrong in virtually every case. The "rule" as to what a "German" is or a "Pole" is or a "Hungarian" is or an "Italian" is or a "Russian" is has way more exceptions than it does examples that support the rule.

Okay, the purpose of this posting? We in Klal have a long history of pointing fingers elsewhere and blaming "them" when things go wrong--it can't possibly be our fault so it must be theirs. Look at the various communities living here in the NY area alone and you'll see that the geographic animosity is alive, well and mutated to include American places in addition to global ancestry. And then we've taken that geographic animosity and extended it to include highly artificial religious practices divisions. Look at those shidduch questionnaires and you will find anywhere from 10 to the sky is the limit listings of "what type" of Jew are you. "Frum" doesn't cover it any more--what type of frum are you? And the purpose for this type of nit picking categorization? Division.

Kol Yisroel Areivim? Not as long as a map of ancestral descendance plays a crucial role. Not so long as arrogance is the filter through which we deal with others.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Hurray for Fleishigs

There was something wildly gleeful last night about staring into the freezer at the choices of meat. Yes, meat. I don't normally rhapsodize about chickens but today is just a tad different. Last time we saw fleishigs in my house was Monday night and everyone is missing it. Please don't get me wrong--we happen to love milchigs in my house for the most part. And it's not like I just kept serving the same meal over and over again over yom tov. But I definitely have some meat and potato guys living here (and yes, a few gals also) and the thrill of cheesecake and trifle and fish in its many guises is wearing a little thin. (You know that you have milchigs overload when, in watching the birds feeding in the backyard, the conversation turns to how quail is considered a delicacy in uppercrust Europe, and how would you raise those quail so that you could shecht them properly.)

I'm inhaling deeply and the smell of cholent bathes me in a mist of delight. I've decided that there is a life lesson in here somewhere--perhaps something about balance across a spectrum of choices. Forget the philosophy--I've a chicken to bake. Have a gutten Shabbos.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Gutten Yom Tov

Wishing all my readers a chag sameach with hopes that Shavuous will be for you a wonderful chag, one filled with happy moments and the creation of memories that you will cherish a lifetime.

And yes, please, make those memories. One has no idea of just how long any of us is going to live, so live the moments now to their fullest. Tomorrow marks for me the yahrzeit of my father, Yechezkle ben Yitzchok a"h, the 35th yahrzeit. So many years, and yet the memories created during his lifetime offer comfort now as I think back to all we shared and all I learned from him. May he be a melitz yosher for us all and may his neshomah have an aliyah.

Monday, June 6, 2011

And the Pain Keeps Marching On

Last week there were reports in various media, made by those supposedly in the know about these things, that food stuffs are expected to double in price by ten years from now. So, in 2011 whatever you are paying for food now, you'll be paying double then. In the grand scheme of things ten years is not all that long a time period.

What with yom tov coming, company for meals and a large kiddush in the house I've been doing a lot of shopping last week and this week. One thing I can tell you--the prices this year for produce are far higher than they were a few years ago, particularly given that we are in the growing season for a lot of this produce, a time when the prices traditionally used to go down. Now granted, prices have risen and risen steeply since I got married 39-1/2 years ago. No, we are never going to see 39 cents for a pound of ground chuck anymore. And I don't imagine we'll see 5 cents for an apple or 19 cents for a dozen eggs either. But given the steep rise just in the last few years when you are talking double you are talking serious money just for food.

And here is one thing I can predict, and I don't have to be a Harvard-trained economist to do so: wages will not double in the next ten years. While there has been a lot of discussion about which foods might be considered as wants or luxuries and which ones not, no one has found an alternative to eating to stay alive--we all have to do it, one way or the other. Ten years from now it just might be the other because for a whole lot of people the money just won't be there to buy everything they want or need.

Those who can't seem to get the knack for budgetting (or who don't see any reason to do so) are so going to be in big trouble in ten years from now. JS once asked me what I predict Klal is going to look like 50 years from now. Not sure about the 50 but I can tell you something about ten years from now: we are going to be in deep trouble unless we put into place some workable fixes now. We are already having trouble providing for the huge number of people with insufficient funds to maintain themselves and their families without outside help. A lot of that help involves providing food. If we are barely making it now, just how does anyone expect that we will continue giving that assistance ten years from now when costs are double? This I will predict--the programs will change and so will the recipients. I can see where any number of those programs are going to limit their donations of food to only those who are in desperate need despite trying to provide for themselves The key is provide for themselves. Those who think that working is antithetical to the frum life are going to be in for a really big surprise--if you don't work you won't eat. The entitlement mode of thinking is going to have to be scrapped (and I for one won't mind its demise at all) and young couples are going to have to face the music right from the beginning of their lives together.

Yup, it's going to be little things like potatoes, and tomatoes, and flour, and eggs and the whole panoply like them that are finally going to force some changes out of necessity. A lot of people in Klal right now are juggling any number of financial balls trying to keep afloat. Double the cost of food and those balls are going to come tumbling down.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Thank You Hashem

It's been a very busy day, what with marking end of term papers and preparing for a big kiddush on Shavuous. The last bunch of cakes is in the oven and I came downstairs to take a break. Why downstairs? Because outside of the sliding doors by my desk is the most amazing relaxation aid ever created--the backyard. And in that yard our resident wildlife freely roams, giving me a front row seat for the action. This time of day it's mostly a bird show, with the performers flitting on and off the stage. And what beautiful and uplifting creatures they are. Some come singly and some come in groups, and I am reminded once again about some of the truly lyrical and also truly strange names that are given to the different types of bird groups. Representatives of each of the following come and visit us, along with many others as well.

A group of jays (we get bluejays)--a band, party or scold of jays
A group of larks--an exaltation of larks
A group of finches--a charm, trembling, or trimming of finches
A group of quail--a bevy or covey of quail
A group of sparrows--a host, quarrel or ubiquity of sparrows
A group of wrens--a herd of wrens
A group of swallows--a flight or gulp of swallows
A group of ravens--a conspiracy, unkindness, murder or storytelling of ravens
A group of starlings--a numeration, scourge or chatter of starlings
A group of cardinals--a college, conclave, deck or radiance of cardinals
A group of hummingbirds--a charm or hover of hummingbirds
A group of robins--strangely enough there is no group name for this type of bird

We sometimes--often times--get so caught up in what man has created that we forget to look around us at the wonders that God has created. So yes, thank you Hashem for allowing me my little adventures and glances into the magnificence you provide in the great outdoors. Thank you for the sweet trill of birdsong. Thank you for letting me slow the pace a bit and look out in peace and contentment.

Friday, June 3, 2011

If You're a Fan

Today is National Doughnut Day. Yup, we've raised this doughy treat to national observation status. Should you be a fan there are all kinds of specials being run today by the various doughnut purveryors. For instance, Dunkin Doughnuts is offering a free doughnut with the purchase of any drink.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

There's A Sucker Born Every Minute

I don't usually write postings that take to task other communities for their culinary habits. I am sort of making an exception with this posting. My offspring sent me a copy of a Kosher Koupons offer--pay only $99 instead of the regular price of $125 for the "incredible" package described below. The deal is for a kosher restaurant in the NJ area, not south but north. The restaurant describes itself as being "middle fancy."

Deal Overview
Here's a Shavuos meal that you can proudly admit that you didn't cook yourself.

How much would you pay for:
2 Large Egg Challahs
2 Water challah twist rolls
1 Large Broccoli Quiche 9"
1 Tray Penne Alla Vodka (feeds 8-10 people 9"x13" half tray)
1 Par Baked 12" Marguerita Pizza
1 Large 7" cheesecake
1 Litre of Rieme Lemonade (Made in France)

Go ahead shoppers and cooks out there--tell me just how many meals and of what variety you could produce given $99 to go shopping with? Shall I mention the total inbalance of nutrients in this meal? How about that the portion sizes are seriously out of whack--penne that will feed 8-10 but nothing else that matches that number in the other dishes.

And personally speaking, the day will never arrive when I proudly admit I didn't personally cook a meal for yom tov.

For a community where the school tuitions average out at about $15K per child and everyone is yelling that tuition is too high and they can't afford it or it is seriously straining their budgets, perhaps they should look at their eating habits a bit more closely. If this represents a desireable bargain (and I'll assume the restaurant knows its customer base), please don't tell me what expensive in this area looks like.

Yes, there's a reason for why I personally feel that everyone should learn how to cook--the offer above is part of that reason.