Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Matzo lasagna recipe, very simple!

Sorry no photo--I'll try to add one next week!

Matzo Lasagna

4 sheets of square matzo
1 26 oz jar of Passover pasta sauce (or 3-4 cups home made)
1 lb extra lean or regular ground beef or poultry
optional: sliced olives, sliced mushrooms, sliced peppers, any other vegetables you like to add in; you can add cooked slices of eggplant and make it more of a moussaka type of dish if you like

Brown the meat, and then drain the liquid and fat out. I like to put the browned meat into a colander and let it drain for 5 minutes or so in the sink.

In a square pan, pour a thin layer of sauce and use a spoon back to smear it around the pan bottom (there's no need to add any oil).  Lay a slice of matzo down, then pour some more sauce on top of that and smear it around. Layer about half of the meat on top and pour dollops of sauce on top of it, then put down another slice of matzo, then sauce, then matzo, then sauce, then the other half of the meat. Put the last slice of matzo on top and cover it with the remaining sauce.  Bake it for about 1/2 hour on 350. It doesn't matter a lot as the meat is already cooked, you're just letting it all meld together and get nice and hot.  If you like, it refrigerates and re-heats beautifully. If you pre-cook it so that the sauce is all drawn up into the matzo, it can be re-heated on Shabbos on a kedeirah type food heater without any halachic question as it's precooked, pre baked, and not liquid.

You can definitely increase the amount of meat if your family are big meat eaters, and you can make it in a 9x13 inch pan just breaking matzo to fit.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Blood, sweat and tears

That's what I'm calling my latest yarn off the wheel, at least in my head, though in the Rav database I listed it as Autumn Harvest. It was spun before my shoulder surgery but this is the first day I felt up to attempting to skein it off the bobbin.

It's a beautiful Autumn Harvest gradient from Fiber Optic Yarn I bought at MDSW last year, 80% merino and 20% silk.  I worried while I spun it that I was doing a terrible job but when I skeined it now it was gorgeous and even. It's almost 1000 yards, 4 oz.

The only problem is that last summer I stopped wearing these autumn colors of oranges, browns and reds, and switched my entire wardrobe to jewel tones! But I'm sure I'll still find something to knit or weave this into.

Now I feel like I've run a 10K and I'm completely worn out. At one point I realized I was counting backwards while skeining. I've never been that spacey. I'm going to spend the rest of the day with my ice pack on one part of me and my heating pad on the other looking at pattern possibilities for when I am able to knit again.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Recipe: Tagliolini Colla Crocia, aka Ruota di Faraone

This is a delicious and simple meat and noodle kugel that was traditionally served by many Italian Jewish families on the Sabbath when the parsha of Beshalach is read (Shabbos Shira), as it includes the story of the Egyptian Pharaoh and his army being drowned in the Red Sea.

I'm including a really incredibly simple modern version here, and then a version of the original adapted from "The Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews," by Edda Servi Machlin.

Simple modern version first:


1 jar of Italian style pasta sauce, ideally meat flavored
1 lb ground beef (not extra lean)
1 lb beef salami OR beef or goose sausage OR pickled tongue
1 lb egg noodles, medium or wide
1/4 cup olive oil, schmalz, or goose fat PER PAN
(optional) 1/2 cup of any or all of the following: raisins, pine nuts, chopped almonds

Pans: you can use 2 8" round pans, 2 10" round pans, or 1 10" round pan just filled quite high for a deeper casserole


Boil noodles per package instructions until soft, then drain. Brown the ground beef but do not drain it of fat when you're done. Chop the salami, sausage or tongue into cubes. In a large bowl, mix the noodles, ground beef and its fat, meat, and pasta sauce.  Pour 1/4 cup of oil or fat into each dish you will be using to cook the dish in and make sure it greases the sides of the dish as well as the bottom. There will be a lot of fat or oil, that's okay, it will all be taken up as the food cooks. Pour the mixture of food into the prepared dish or dishes, and bake at 350 F for 1 hour (if cooking in two dishes) to 1 1/2 hour (in one deep casserole). It should be pulled away from the sides of the dish and crispy all around, as well as golden on top.

It can be served immediately, or it can be chilled and then warmed for the Sabbath. The liquids are all bound up in the casserole and don't leak out and the dish is baked, so I have had no halachic issues with putting it on a k'deirah warmer for the Sabbath day meal.

Now for the original version:


homemade egg pasta--made with 4 eggs and about 2 1/2-3 cups of flour, sliced into long 1/8" wide noodles, boiled one minute
3 cups homemade meat sauce, use recipe of your choice with plenty of ground beef or goose
1/2 cup diced tongue, salami, or sausage
1/4 cup marrow or schmalz 
(optional) 1/2 cup of any or all of the following: raisins, pine nuts, chopped almonds

The directions are basically the same: boil your noodles, cook your sauce, chop your meat. Use the marrow or fat to grease the pan and leave any leftover marrow or fat in the pan. Combine all ingredients, and bake at 350F for 1-1 1/2 hours until golden.

Other themed dishes we prepared for the same Sabbath:
A Splitting-Of-The-Sea cake decorated by my 7 year old (yes, there are little fish sprinkles)

Sandwich cookies, homemade, representing the tambourines used by the women to accompany their singing

Thursday, January 22, 2015

At last!

It's just two bobbins of wool. Two bobbins of slightly purple, very textured lace weight singles. Spun from some roving I bought at MDSW'14 from Karen Schlossberg of Avalon Springs Farm here in Mt. Airy, MD. I wasn't even all that thrilled with the roving as I spun it--there were large chunks of damaged, undyed tips scattered throughout, and bits of 1 cm cuts of what looked more like nylon than mohair, and very little "glitz." But it's a decent yarn, and there wasn't an absurd amount of waste compared to other rovings and batts I've bought, really only little bits I kept having to put aside. It wasn't for making the smooth, plied yarns I usually spin.

But it's 6 ounces of yarn, spun. Hopefully around 800 yards or more. I spun it, it came out beautiful, it's yarn. It's the first yarn I've successfully spun since spring 2014. My legs are working; my shoulder isn't at all but it doesn't interfere with my spinning since I draft with my right hand in both short and long draws.

Now I have a gradient top pulled out. I've changed in the last year, and it's not really my color scheme anymore, none of what I bought is. That's okay. I can spin.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Every day since May

Every day since May except for the actual day of my surgery, I have worn what to me are beautiful scarves, wrapped with care and precision in what has been the most self-pleasing and self-validating look I have known in my life.
Today this is me, just wearing a droopy black snood.

I woke up and my shoulder hurt so badly (this is still from the surgery in early November, which left nerve damage and scar tissue that needs to be broken down daily) I just can't do it. All I could do was pull on a snood.

So today I'm in pain and frustrated. I can't spin either because my shoulder is too stiff. I may just go nuts. And tomorrow I have a major medical event already planned at 9 am, so I can't just see about running over to my doctor. I don't know when the scheduled procedures will be done and I will possibly just want to come home afterwords. 

Maybe Tuesday. Of course, I'm hoping beyond hope by then it will be feeling better.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Wow, I'm too old?

Someone on the Wrapunzel Facebook group posted that she had tried to convince a friend who covers her hair to start wearing scarves (I don't know what the woman wears now, turbans, wigs, something else). The friend's response was that women over about 40 don't look right in headscarves (referring to herself, not criticizing the rest of us, was the inference). So all of those of us who "qualify" jumped in to show ourselves in scarves, feeling good, not feeling "mutton dressed as lamb!"
So here's what I posted, from the previous few days' outfits.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I can almost hear myself think!

My husband left about half an hour ago with most of the kids, and I'm actually HOME ALONE for a few more hours. I don't believe it. I haven't been alone in the house by myself for months, no joke, not for a single minute I'm fairly sure. There might have been a couple times when the only people home were kids in their own rooms, but never has no one been here.
Me this morning knowing I am finally going to get alone time

It's such a soothing concept. I crave time alone and more and more I don't get it. I can't explain why I need it so much, but it's like finally plugging charger into the wall and getting my battery recharged when it was down in the red zone and turning my whole self-device off automatically.

Unfortunately I don't think I'm going to get nearly as much of this as I need, but any is better than none. And I'm not expecting to accomplish anything in particular; I'll be playing on the computer and my phone, spinning, and possibly napping. Not exactly high productivity!  Given that my brain is still truly recovering from long-term oxygen deprivation and whatever else it wasn't getting when my lipoma was affecting my carotid artery, and that my shoulder is still killing me, I'm not going to be able to do any of the major cleaning and picking up that should be done.

I'll just be here, sloooooowly recharging bit by bit. Maybe I'll have another cup of coffee.