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    Half-sour cucumbers, hold the salt

    Half-sour cucumbers, hold the salt

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Excuses, excuses

Sorry everyone, I’ve been out of it for 3 weeks this time, due to:

1. Moving (last week)

2. Illness (started with tonsils, ended with a swollen ear from cellulitis, a strep infection of the skin when you get too rundown), right the day of the move. You go in expecting them to hand you a packet of smelly antibiotic capsules and they take one look at your red ear and the redness is starting to march across your cheek hour by hour like Attila the Hun invading Europe, only redder, and instead they sweep you up on a gurney in the ER and hook you up to an iv with the big-guns antibiotics pronto and tell you you’re lucky it hasn’t reached your eye yet and you’re in the observation unit for the night. Verdict:  get more sleep and don’t send your kid into the mountains for two retreats (one regional, one school) in one week right before you move.

3. Moving some more–the movers took only about 3/4 of our stuff the first time around because my husband didn’t have what it took to pack it all himself and he didn’t call them to move the date or ask for extra help when I ended up in hospital. I was flat on my back with an iv in my hand and a phone bleating my husband’s panic at being stuck with it all himself and what should he do with the…I was actually GLAD not to be on the scene. But he took me there the minute I got home so I could see how bad it was and calm him down. Usually it’s the other way around–he’s the calm one in the family. Mostly. So a week later some of the movers came back on their own to finish for pickup work. Still ended up less than we were expecting to pay.

4. Garage full of boxes–where are my daughter’s dress clothes? where’s the other piece of the vacuum cleaner? whose pots are those and are they milk or meat?

5. Cleaning out whatever passes for our old townhouse is like Hercules mucking out the stables of the gigantic horses. Only with fewer shovels and more muck. But we’ll do it to get what we can of our old deposit back. Don’t ask about the local, woman-owned maid service we tried (twice!) to engage for this work and whose owner blew it not once but twice. We tried. Next! Molly Maids.

6. It’s still Pesach come Monday night. Advantage: new kitchen is tiny and unsettled, so we don’t have that much hametz to get rid of. And we’re paying someone else to clean the fridge at the old place.  (but I still did a preliminary scrub yesterday because it would be too cruel, and too expensive, for the maid service to have to face that fridge without help).

7. Freedom? No, it’s not just another word for nothing left to lose. It’s the taste of matzah and parsley and horseradish and haroset after I’m finally done with the antibiotics and can stand to eat anything more exciting than toast and eggs. Even though that’s mostly what matzah balls are made of, I’m really, really looking forward to it.

Up next, as soon as I can actually read my way through it, Joan Nathan’s newest book, “Quiches, Kugels and Couscous” about looking for the Jewish foodways of France and the Jewish roots still discernible in French food today. I’m kind of excited about it because Nathan is a friendly as well as intrepid explorer in the world of food and culture, and she finds ways to visit people in their homes and see what they really cook and eat. So the food may not be highbrow but the stories are looking good so far.

Have a great weekend if I don’t post before then and Chag Pesach Sameach!

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