A Shiksa on a Mission

Balaboosta (n.)(bah-lah-b00-sta) A Yiddish term meaning the perfect housewife
I'm a shiksa on a mission...
It may not be perfection but it's the journey that counts

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Happy Hanukkah

The Festival of Lights and Things Fried in Oil. I love this time of year. I make rugelach from a Barefoot Contessa recipe but I do modify. Specifically I don't go buy apricot preserves. If I have homemade, I use that. If I don't, I substitute with what I have. This year it was citrus marmalade. Last year I did homemade apricot preserves, cinnamon and cardamom. This year was citrus marmalade, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Delicious. I usually leave out raisins because not everyone is down with nature's candy. I tend to leave out nuts too so my kids will not make that sound they make when they don't like something. It seems a little daunting making the dough with the cream cheese and then rolling it out and all that jazz but it's actually a pretty simple recipe. And so very worth the bit of effort.

We also did a little bit of frying in oil. Latkes are so utterly fabulous that I really can't do Hanukkah without them.  And who would want to? I used a very easy and somewhat plain recipe this year from Smitten Kitchen. Last year I made some latkes with parsnips and carrots that were something like this recipe. WOW! Unfortunately this was not a year to find parsnips so easily.  But I'm not complaining because Latkepalooza was a Bonafide Fried in Oil Success.
Happy Hanukkah everyone! L'Chaim!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Book Worm

It may seem like I'm not doing much around here these days and it's a little true. My substitute teaching conflicts with my ability to pretty much do anything else. I used to think I was an amazing multi-tasker but I was woefully misinformed.

But I have been reading lately. The reading manic meter is at an all time high. I'd like to share some of my recent literary conquests.

Sex At Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality was the kind of book that seems kind of hot but turns out to be incredibly hot if you are a huge geek, like me. The basic premise is that we are not the monogamous creatures we think we are.  And they back that up with lots of sexy talk about Bonobos and their genitalia.

Inside Scientology which I read in a marathon of intergalactic warp speed.  Must be the thetan in me.  If you have no idea what I'm talking about, read the book. It's about the crazy. And it's funny because I finished the book understanding a little more about why it would be easy to succumb to a group, any group, that has so much energy and self-esteem. This book started as an article for Rolling Stone but was easily expanded to a novel.  In fact, I'm sure it could be longer. And I'd read it.

The Leftovers is one of those books too good to put down.  I also read it in a fever. It starts after the Rapture. People are gone.  And not necessarily the ones you thought would be gone.  What happens to the rest? It's worth the read to find out.

Wonder Boys is sadly being read in between my other books but I'm more than halfway through it now. I love Michael Chabon.  I think he's got mad skills.  The sadly part? I think I read it already. I can figure it out. And that makes me sad.

Started The Abstinence Teacher last night (still reading the Wonder Boys) since it's written by the same man who wrote The Leftovers. And I have two more new ones that are calling my name.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


It's cold outside. Freezing cold. Extremely cold. Crazy cold.
But breakfast can make it all better.  Just regular old buttermilk pancakes with some extra cinnamon, fresh grated nutmeg and slices of apples. Warmth from the belly out.