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#61 of 134 Old 12-02-2009, 07:05 AM
 
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Merpk, I'm a little confused by your first paragraph.

What confused you?
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#62 of 134 Old 12-02-2009, 08:16 AM
 
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just to clarify, the "blasphemy" comment was about SAYING THE BRACHA BEFORE DUNKING when you are not performing a technical mitzvah. It is NOT a blasphemy for dunking. ANYONE can dunk at any time (as I said as a "for example", I can dunk in the 9th month of pregnancy, it's not a mitzvah to dunk at that time and therefore I do not say the bracha. SOME might feel that it is blasphemey for saying a bracha on something that is not a mitzvah...but that certainly doesn't mean that I can't dunk or recite my own private prayers upon dunking!)

Likewise, having tatoos, etc... is of no concequence when it comes to immersing in mikvah. The only issue about "polluting the water" would come up if you were a bleeding woman in the mikvah. This would be because, for one, it's not particularly sanitary, and for two, it is used primarily for women precicely because they are no longer bleeding. I would definately take an issue with a bleeding woman using the mikvah before me on both counts.

I am also an ex and presently pierced mama and my very best friend is a tatooed and dreaded mama and we are both religious women who immerse in the mikvah and have had to deal with many of these issues intimately within our communities. No one has ever insinuated that we are "polluting the waters" by dunking...though halachically, many hold that I need to take out my jewelry before dunking (and then I just put it right back in!)

I am also a sfardi woman and there is no custom in my community to cover before marriage. I also know this to be an arab custom and am interested about the potential jewish origens of the custom, outside of the custom of dressing as yoru community dresses (which would include hair covering for post menstrual girls in an arab/muslim community). Do you have any links that I could look at to begin learning more?

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#63 of 134 Old 12-02-2009, 09:23 AM
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Nic - thanks for the suggestion - I could probably even make one from scraps I have. And I bought a hat pattern that has something fairly small, so maybe that would work? Time to get sewing!
Felicia - you are right, for those of us who have mitzvos that we approach solely because we want to fulfil the wish of G-d without finding other connections to it, we do miss out somewhat. Even those mitzvos that we have no reason for are easier for us to connect to and feel positive about and feel immediate spiritual growth from if we can find meaning in it's performance. I always felt that tznius was a mitzvah I was called to, which made the challenges associated with it feel like positive challenges and I find that I appreciate the spiritual benefits I can see in this world. I wish it were like that for all mitzvos, but that is my personal challenge.
As for any person doing a mitzva they feel connected to, regardless of their halachic status, I always learned that behaving according to the teachings of the Torah is always positive. Sure, non-Jews are only technically commanded (according to Torah understanding) to keep the 7 Noachide laws, but that doesn't mean there is no benefit in them comporting themselves in a modest way, behaving ethically in business, or incorporating behaviours that allow them to feel close to G-d. And, even more so if a particular person who is Jewish but not orthodox, or someone who is interested in becoming Jewish.
I hate this whole attitude that I see as so prevalent within some sections of orthodoxy, that measures what you keep and how, as if we can see inside someone's soul and judge them. It's so antithetical to Torah thought to judge another person's motivation. I was taught to see only the positive things another Jew does, and to "explain away" what they don't seem to keep (they don't have the education, they were never exposed to the beauty of the mitzva, it's their challenge from Hashem and we have other challenges, etc). I don't know how we, as a community, moved away from the mitzva of judging favourably to such an extent, and it distresses me. [Sorry, rant over!]
As for the mikveh question. I don't know if there are halachos regarding who can use the mikveh and when, and I can imagine that is a grey area that would depend on which mikveh and the Rabbi who overseas it halachically. I see this as a more complicated issue than one I can comment on.
Finally, Ruth - totally get your final comment about feeling naked! There have been times when I have been wearing my sheitel during the week, and watching the kids get their hats on to go out and I've had to check my own head, because I'm used to wearing a hat or tichel most of the time!
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#64 of 134 Old 12-02-2009, 08:19 PM
 
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Faliciagayle
Thank you, that is very sweet of you to say. Actually I started covering my hair before I even started my period. Covering my hair is something that comes natural to me.

Ruthla
I cannot comment, with all certain about something I do not know about. But, there are some Muslims who cover their infant daughter's hair. I do not know if that is their religious law or custom.

jul511riv

When did your family go to Israel from the Iberian Pennisula?
There are so few Sephardi families left that returned to the Middle East from Spain,and very few living in Israel.
No, I do not have any links becuase I have not searched for any, but since you live in Israel and there is where our Chief Sephardic Rabbi is located, it would be best for you to inquire him about covering for Sephardic women.
But, as I stated our Ancestor Mother covered herself before marriage, that is in Torah.

As for covering, it is up to each woman to cover however she chooses. The same for any of the 613 commandments, it is all about choice of how we choose to live our lives. The interpretation of the laws for covering is as strict or lenient as the interpretation as the laws for keeping kosher. At the end of the day...Hashem decides who is right and who is wrong.


I do not cover to hide my hair for my husband since I do not have one. I cover my hair and my body for modesty sake, and my relationship with Hashem.
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#65 of 134 Old 12-02-2009, 08:44 PM
 
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This is information I found for those who are interested about laws of hair covering. Please have your Rabbi verify for accuracy.


"The texts of the Mishneh Torah and the Shulhhan Arukh state, "The daughters of Israel are not to go about in the shuq (market/public shopping place) with their heads uncovered, whether she is available or whether she is a married woman."

Mishne Torah-Sefer Qedusha-Hilkhot Eesureh Bee'ah Chapter 20 halakha 17.

Here is a transliteration: "Lo yehl'khu bnot yeesra'el pru'eh'ee roh'sh b'shuq, ahhat pnu'ya v'ahhat eh'shet eesh."

"Eh'shet eesh" means "a woman of a man" meaning a married woman. "Pnu'yah" means "available female" - a female who is available for marriage.

Before stating the 2 types of females to whom the halakha requires a head-covering for the halakha states that we are talking about "bnot yeesra'el," the daughters/females of Israel."
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#66 of 134 Old 12-02-2009, 10:24 PM
 
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npl - amen
And I absolutely understand performing mitzvot solely to fulfill Gds commandments (I can think of a few in my own life). There's also beauty in approaching something from another, less expected direction, or for seeing purpose in a mizvah which doesn't apply to you. I'm under no obligation to lay tefillin, and yet I own a set I have donned on many occasions.







I am having a toddler/baby chanukah party and I have no idea what kid of crafts work well for a group of mixed aged kids. Any ideas??

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#67 of 134 Old 12-02-2009, 10:30 PM
 
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I am having a toddler/baby chanukah party and I have no idea what kid of crafts work well for a group of mixed aged kids. Any ideas??
Finger paint!!! : I love it so much, but it can be a bit messy.

I also did a really neat project with a "siblings group" of different ages where we got those generic white Kmart lampshades and painted them with holiday images. It was really neat to be able to take home a lampshade to replace a normal one, just for the holiday. Get it? Festival of lights? Yuk yuk yuk.

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#68 of 134 Old 12-03-2009, 01:10 AM
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Collage with glue sticks (liquid glue is too messy) - cut out shapes for younger kids, just provide coloured paper for older ones.
Window decorations - cut frame from black construction paper, put clear contact paper over opening, and let kids stick tissue paper to the contact paper. Little kids can just put it anywhere, older kids will be able to make patterns, add black construction paper like leading in stained glass windows to make pictures.
Foam frames - buy cheap foam and cut frame shapes with a craft knife. Use insides as material for cutting shapes to stick on. Use a full-sized, uncut sheet on back as backing for frame. Glue 2/3 sides of frame onto back. Buy cheap buckets of foam shapes and kids stick them around the frame with white glue. Use Sharpie markers to add lettering. Can take photos of kids with a digital camera and print them out for them to take home. This craft makes a nice chanuka gift to give to grandparents!
Tzedaka boxes are easy - get tubs of any kind (cheap plastic food storage tubs, recycled cocoa tins, those paper cups with lids) and cut hole for coins in lid. Decorate paper and stick to outside. All you have to do for this craft to prepare is cut the hole in the lid and cut the paper to size. Provide lots of markers or crayons, stickers, or whatever. You should be able to find most of these things at the dollar store.

Sorry, can't think of any others right now, even though I've done a few birthday craft parties at chanuka time!
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#69 of 134 Old 12-03-2009, 01:15 AM
 
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Wow! Look at all the activity that happens when I go out of town!
I wonder if I can catch up. . . Taharas Mishpacha - I follow it and keep it and daven that it continues to enhance my marriage. Separate beds - the whole shebang.
Hair covering - it was easy for me to take it on as a newly frum (officially) married woman - as I made a complete break from my previous life at marriage. I cover my hair completely with snoods, occasionally hats, or a sheitl. I did ask a she'eila a number of years ago about covering in front of my children and our border (a girl) due to my migraines and was told that it was fine for me to not cover within my home as long as it was only family present. This is a ask your LOR question. During the day, many years later since that question the majority of the time my hair is covered within my home. I am just much more comfortable with it being covered. I would just as soon be stark raving naked as have my hair uncovered in front of someone else. I do believe that my hair is one of the gifts that I can offer my dh - another reason that I cover it more and more in my home as my boys are getting older.
It's not my place to judge you and what you do - if you choose to cover your hair - gezunterheit - if not - gezunterheit. And it's certainly not my business to pass judgement on you if you have tattoos or are pierced or use the mikvah or don't use the mikvah. I like going during my 9th month as a segula as well. Also not my place to judge you if you are reform or conservative or sephardi, or chassidish, or yellow, or green, or polka-dotted. Whatever. The only one who should judge you is the Holy One.

Oh, and modest dressing wise... skirts below my knee, no slits. 3/4 - long sleeves, modest neckline, no super clingy clothing - I hope - got to exercise to keep it that way and no crazy platform shoes either.

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#70 of 134 Old 12-04-2009, 11:31 AM
 
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At what age do you guys start letting your kids light the menorah?
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#71 of 134 Old 12-04-2009, 12:08 PM
 
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At what age do you guys start letting your kids light the menorah?
Hmm, it depends on the child, but around 4 or 5 I guess. Yikes! that would mean that my twins would be lighting. We'll have to give this some thought. Maybe 5 or 6.

Rivka, mommy to 3 big boys and a set of b/g twins
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#72 of 134 Old 12-04-2009, 12:52 PM
 
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Hmm, it depends on the child, but around 4 or 5 I guess. Yikes! that would mean that my twins would be lighting. We'll have to give this some thought. Maybe 5 or 6.
I think my 4 year old is going to start this year.

I really wish he'd bring home his menorah he made already so I can see if it's usable or I need to get him one.

I got some reactions though that he hasn't lit before, and I'm not planning on my almost 3 year old lighting...I think they can be involved in other ways (picking out color of candle for shamash, holding it while Abba sets up the menorah, etc)...

Just checking I'm not an anomaly -- the comment I got was "Well, we like our kids to do as many mitzvos as possible."
(Does that mean I don't?!)
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#73 of 134 Old 12-04-2009, 01:59 PM
 
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Shabbat Shalom Everyone!

I am getting a late start. I need to go to the store and start cooking.



imnottelling At what age do you guys start letting your kids light the menorah?

I am in the "it depends group". Because each child is different, and some children are more or less interested than others. But most kids want to participate as soon as possible since it is a fun activity.

Have a Good Shabbos Everyone!
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#74 of 134 Old 12-04-2009, 02:31 PM
 
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At what age do you guys start letting your kids light the menorah?
3, with lots of supervision- effectively, me and the child are both holding the candle together. Ditto on Shabbos candles.

Of course, I never had more than one 3yo at a time, so I can understand if you wait longer for twins!

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#75 of 134 Old 12-05-2009, 03:57 PM
 
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As soon as they're old enough to repeat the brakha. 2, or 3. I mean, we have to hold the candles and help them, but it's still doable.
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#76 of 134 Old 12-05-2009, 10:10 PM
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Dh prefers the minhag of one chanuka menora for the whole family. But, he also sees how excited the kids are to light the ones they make at school (and even years after they brought the last one home, they still want to light).
His compromise is to let one kid light each night - with 3 of them, that makes twice each, and I can't remember what we do about the other two nights, but with two Friday nights this year, I'm guessing he'll say just him those nights (but one of those is dd's birthday, so maybe he'll let her light an extra time?).
Anyway, the way we manage it is that from about the age of 3-4 (when they bring home their first menorah from school, and remember the brachos), dh holds the candle around the child's hand. Once the child demonstrates the ability to handle the candle properly, they can light alone.
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#77 of 134 Old 12-05-2009, 10:19 PM
 
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Just hear that the Bostoner Rebbe zt"l was niftar. http://theyeshivaworld.com/news/Gene...of+ZATZAL.html

Rivka, mommy to 3 big boys and a set of b/g twins
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#78 of 134 Old 12-06-2009, 06:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know about what age my kids will start lighting.

We always only had one menorah growing up. the first night, I don't recall who lit. (I don't really recall there being fights. I think one person lit the shamash and one the candle). After that, we each got to light a candle. or two. or more. the second night I think just the two of us would light, and then my parents as well later on. Even with my cousins over, all the kids would get to light a candle or more.

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#79 of 134 Old 12-06-2009, 10:46 AM
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Just hear that the Bostoner Rebbe zt"l was niftar. http://theyeshivaworld.com/news/Gene...of+ZATZAL.html
Baruch Dayan HaEmes - I'm in total shock. I knew we had been davening for him for a while, but somehow....
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#80 of 134 Old 12-06-2009, 11:05 AM
 
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Oh, no. Baruch Dayan HaEmes.

We frequented his shul in Boston when we were living there, he was such a holy presence.

 "Now bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible." (William Shakespeare -- Julius Caesar)

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#81 of 134 Old 12-09-2009, 08:00 PM
 
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Hello everyone! I always lurk on the Jewish Mamas thread but figured I should introduce myself and actually participate. Actually, I think I might have done so looong ago, but I'm not certain.

I'm Miriam, married to Ron. We have 3-1/2 year-old triplets. We live in Los Angeles. We are orthodox and dh is Moroccan so we attend a Moroccan beit knesset across the street from us. (We moved here when I was 4 months pregnant and chose this place because it is across the street from our Rabbi.)

Our custom for the hanukkiyot is dh lights for the family. The girls light their own without a bracha after dh lights for the family. (Our minhag is one per family so a married woman is included with her husband. An unmarried woman would light for themselves so our Rav said children can light without the bracha.) Though this year because there are two Shabbatot Hannukkah, I get to light twice since dh won't be home. I should practice the brachot!

On a slightly connected note, I'm already hungry for sufganiyot. I am so tempted to "test" a new recipe. I won't, but I have the mental countdown going on. Two more nights!

Miriam , mom to jumpers.gif
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#82 of 134 Old 12-09-2009, 08:55 PM
 
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Hi Everyone!

Welcome Miriam, nice to meet you.

Yummy, sufganiyot. Next week I have two Chanukah dinners, and two Chanukah lunches to attend. I decided that this week was a good week for me to diet, to make up for all of those delicious treats I plan to enjoy next week.

I have been procrastinating about buying the candles. I need to take care of that as soon as possible.
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#83 of 134 Old 12-09-2009, 09:42 PM
 
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Welcome Miriam!

We have two separate Hanukkah parties on Sunday- one in the morning at the shul where the girls have their Wednesday night social/Jewish learning group, and the other in the late afternoon at the one a few blocks from our house where we go on Shabbos and Yom Tov.

Then, the following Sunday, the "9th day of Hanukkah", we're having our family get-together and gift exchange. My aunt is hosting, and didn't want to have it until her DD got home from college for the semester, and didn't want to have it on Saturday because then we couldn't attend. So, the day after Hanukkah it is.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#84 of 134 Old 12-10-2009, 10:09 PM
 
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Who's got an amazing sufganiot recipe?




Hi, Miriam!

My babies were born at home! 09/07, 01/10, and 09/12 joy.gif

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#85 of 134 Old 12-11-2009, 12:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've never made suganfyiot. I'm very intimidated by them.

I've been having a really hard time. My one job is driving me crazy with the enviroment of it, the "flexible" aka inconsistant scheduling, and a few other things. My depression is starting to return. I've been feeling like it was going to return for a few weeks, and working on changing the work situation, but today was the first day where I was like "gee, I'm not going to be depressed soon, I'm totally depressed". I've struggled with depression for several years, and am really loath to take medications or increase my meds (in fact, working really hard on weaning off them slowly.) I think its partly stress, partly lower vit. d from less sun (and the other just seeing the sun mood boosting effects lost to grey skies), partly I've been paying less attention to my diet under the stress, and partly the fact that I haven't been able to talk to my shrink since I started this job over a month and a half ago, because I can't even guess a week in advance what my schedule will be like.

I'm so grateful to DP, for supporting me today, taking 45 minutes to get me to get out of the house to come grocery shopping, after being sick and working all day, and keeping telling me that I'm doing good, by getting out of the house at all when I'm depressed and I'm making progress. I'm very much the kind of person who needs outside encouragement and reassurance.

I'm trying to get my parents to pay for some acupuncture, to see if that will help, am going to focus in on my diet again, and make myself get out of the house and to synogogue on saturday. But its hard. Really hard. And I'm scared, because I've been here before, a lot, and I know where this can go.

I think I'm also a little sad at our lack of channukah plans. My father is going to be in europe for all of channukah. We are going to have a little dinner with a friend and her spouse, but not the party we were planning to throw (she had to go out of town for work and we couldn't plan it. not that I would have been up for planning a party atm). It's just weird I guess, since its always been dad and me and sometimes laure (my sis), plus one big family channukah night, that it will be DP and me, and maybe laure will come over one night, and then one small dinner with another couple. No family get together maybe at all maybe till after channukah. And I haven't really been to any of shul's pre-channukah celebrations because they conflicted with work. Tomarrow there is a young adult channukah party but I don't really want to go, mostly because it is started off with maariv and kabbalat shabbat and I haven't much enjoyed the services led by various members of the ya group, though I very much enjoy their company. I feel like maybe I should go, but all I really want to do is have the nice dinner DP and I have planned. (plus I didn't RSVP)

Caroline, partner to J, post partum doula, kitchen manager, aspiring midwife, soon to be nursing student, mama to my furbaby, someday a mama to not so furry munchkins, G-d willing
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#86 of 134 Old 12-11-2009, 12:45 AM
 
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There is a great sufganiyot recipe in Faye Levy's 1000 Jewish Recipes that is utterly failproof. In fact, I'm not going to post it because everything in that cookbook is failproof, and I think it's essential to every Jewish home. So, go buy it. Amazon has copies from under $5 used, or you can find it (like I did) at Barnes & Noble or Borders (on the shelf in Lancaster, so I'm assuming it's easy to find elsewhere).

She also has a recipe for freezable latkes that are GREAT.

So yeah, go get it tomorrow. It's great. I use it all the time.

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#87 of 134 Old 12-11-2009, 09:08 AM
 
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Yes, but if I order it today it wont be here by tonight I have at least 4 jewish cookbooks but I was looking for something tested and true. Maybe we'll hit up B&N with some paper and a pencil and make a guerilla copy of the recipe


Mags
If you want to try sufganiot but you're intimidated (and you can let go of your TF preferences for a bit :
my mom used to make them with frozen dough. Thaw, roll into balls, fry, squirt in jam, roll in sugar.

My babies were born at home! 09/07, 01/10, and 09/12 joy.gif

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#88 of 134 Old 12-11-2009, 10:59 AM
 
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Caroline Depression is tough. Are you taking any supplements specifically targeted for depression?

I've been taking 5-HTP since I started weaning off Prozac 4 or 5 years ago. I take 100 mg at bedtime, but you may need to experiment with the dose that's right for you. I also take a B-complex every day, and when I'm feeling especially stressed, I'll take it twice. I also take extra vitamin D all year long.

FaliciaGayle- I just did a quick Yahoo search for "free online sufganiot recipe" and got a whole bunch of hits. I've never personally tried any of them though- our Hanukkah traditions involve latkes, latkes, and more latkes, and generally only eat the sufganiot at parties where somebody else brings them.

I'll share my latke recipe while I'm at it:

I mash together boiled potatoes with eggs (about 1 egg for every 2 medium sized potatoes) and season to taste with onion, salt, and pepper. Sometimes I add the seasonings ( salt, whole peppercorns, and whole onions) to the potato boiling water and then don't need to add any dry seasonings to the batter. Then we fry it up in olive oil. This also works for sweet potatoes insted of white potatoes (with different seasonings of course.)

I've found that using precooked potatoes makes the latkes cook faster- yeah, there's an extra step before we start frying, but then there's less time to wait while each batch cooks, and we never end up with disgusting uncooked potatoes in our latkes.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#89 of 134 Old 12-11-2009, 01:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faliciagayle View Post
Yes, but if I order it today it wont be here by tonight I have at least 4 jewish cookbooks but I was looking for something tested and true. Maybe we'll hit up B&N with some paper and a pencil and make a guerilla copy of the recipe


Mags
If you want to try sufganiot but you're intimidated (and you can let go of your TF preferences for a bit :
my mom used to make them with frozen dough. Thaw, roll into balls, fry, squirt in jam, roll in sugar.


I'll PM it to you if you promise to go out and get the cookbook. Honestly, I haven't been able to fail on a single one of her recipes - it's a wonderful cookbook worth having, which I pull out whenever I have to meal plan.

Sara caffix.gif, Keith 2whistle.gif, Toby 6/08superhero.gif, Nomi 4/10blahblah.gif, Mona 1/12 hammer.gif

 

Mama of three, lover, student rabbi, spoonie, friend, musician, narcoleptic, space muffin, pretty much a dragon. Crunchy like matzoh.

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#90 of 134 Old 12-11-2009, 03:35 PM
 
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Ruthla - I've never thought about making latkes from mashed potatoes. Sounds good. Thank Gd we have 8 nights to eat all this stuff. Our traditional meal is latkes and falafel. But the pregnancy is demanding some sweet stuff, so I thought I'd try to improve on my mom's jelly donut recipe.

I'm currently in the middle of this one from Good Housekeeping. We'll see.


Sme - gracias mamacita

My babies were born at home! 09/07, 01/10, and 09/12 joy.gif

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