One Lovely Blog Award

My blog was awarded the One Lovely Blog Award. Yay! Now I need to get to work and write a post on it, following the rules.

First, I want to thank Dolly at koolkosherkitchen, for nominating me. I’m honored and very surprised. Her blog is one of my favorite food blogs. Not only does she post great recipes, but she also tells a beautiful story to go with each one. You should absolutely check out her blog.

Now to the challenging part – trying to write 7 random things about myself (I don’t ever do that):

  • I’m an outdoorsy person who loves to hike and explore nature. Living in South Florida is challenging in this regard, since it’s very hot and humid, it rains a lot, and the landscape is flat and monotonous.
  • Never got the flu shots. I’m very much against them.
  • Although we live only half an hour away from all the big cruise lines, I’ve never been on a cruise. Maybe one day…
  • We adopted a rescue dog about 4 years ago (my first dog ever), and it’s only in the past few months that I actually started feeling attached to him. It’s not him, it’s me… 🙂
  • I LOVE flowers, but only real, fresh flowers (dried flowers are also acceptable). Fake flowers are a big no.
  • Unlike many Americans, I’ve never tried any drugs or cigarettes. I get high from dancing. Yes, I know, I’m a strange bird…
  • I’m a cheap date. Can’t even finish one drink…my poor husband can’t have fun drinking.

Did it!

Next, is the fun part of nominating some of my favorite blogs:

It could be the case that not all of you nominees will want to add the award(s) to your blogs, for whatever reason. That’s okay. I’m nominating you anyway, because I would love to share your wonderful blogs with others. So accept it or not, there are no obligations, and no hard feelings either way 🙂

If you choose to participate, here are the rules:

  • Post to accept the nomination
  • Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.
  • List 7 things about yourself.
  • Link to the blogs you nominate.
  • Notify the recipients of their award.
  • Post the rules 🙂

And that’s all for now…

Turmeric – Edible Gold

In the past three to four years, there has been a new rising star in the American natural healing scene. Described as practically omnipotent and one of the best medicinal plants ever, it has finally been revealed to the world – turmeric.

Wherever I go, whether it’s health food stores, farmer’s markets, restaurants, and even the local supermarket or drug store, turmeric has the reputation of the new miracle. It is becoming very trendy in cooking, as well.

I must admit that my feelings about this fuss around turmeric are mixed. On the one hand, I am happy that Americans have finally discovered turmeric and can start enjoying its many medicinal and culinary benefits. On the other hand, I feel like turmeric is being treated like a superstar, it is huge and trendy, but usually, as soon as a new superstar shows up, people forget about it. I hope I’m wrong in this case.

You see, my relationship with turmeric goes back a long way. I’ve been familiar with turmeric ever since I can remember myself. My father’s parents were villagers who grew up in the mountains of Kurdistan and Northern Iran. They knew a lot about “natural medicine” (my grandma would laugh if she heard me call it that) not because they learned about it, but because they lived it. This amazing knowledge was acquired unknowingly simply by applying what they saw their parents do. When my grandparents immigrated to Israel, they brought this knowledge (and their amazing Persian cuisine) with them, and when needed, applied it on us.

I remember my grandmother sprinkling turmeric powder on my arm or leg, whenever I fell and hurt myself. I didn’t know why she did it, I didn’t ask. I was a little girl, and all I wanted is for someone to take care of my booboo somehow. Well, the turmeric worked. Every time. So I learned that whenever I cut or injure myself, the best way to stop the bleeding and heal the wound fast was to sprinkle turmeric powder on it. It worked better and faster than iodine and a band-aid. Today I know that one of turmeric’s most celebrated properties is it being anti-inflammatory and having the ability to clot blood.

Later on in life, after I had my first child and subsequently suffered from hemorrhoids (swollen and inflamed veins in a place where the sun doesn’t shine), an Indian friend told me that a great Indian remedy to treat hemorrhoids is to make a paste of turmeric powder and ghee (clarified butter), and apply it to the exposed hemorrhoids. I decided to sacrifice a pair of underwear and give it a shot (turmeric stains everything it touches yellow). After a few days, the hemorrhoids were gone. The turmeric shrank the hemorrhoids and cleared the inflammation.

On a more pleasant note, turmeric is one of the most, if not THE most, used spice in Persian cuisine (at least in my family). It adds color and flavor, and makes the food happy. My grandmother used to put it in almost every dish she made, Persian or not. I remember she once made us some beef patties and French fries, which were super yellow from the turmeric she added to them. Although they weren’t typical beef patties or French fries, it was all yummy nonetheless. After that, whenever our mom made French fries, we asked her to add turmeric to them.

This is how we used to eat our sunny-side-up eggs (when my dad cooked):

turmeric sunny side up

Or have our open face grilled cheese:


Look how colorful! Doesn’t it make you happy? And I haven’t even mentioned all of the wonderful Persian dishes featuring turmeric. Two examples are Basmati rice and Khoresh Sabzi.

Interested to learn more about Turmeric’s medicinal benefits? Check out this Dr. Axe’s article:

Off to College – My Separation Anxiety

Jonathan, our oldest child, is off to college. It’s a new reality for us and for him.

Doron and I took Jonathan to college last weekend and helped him settle into his dorm. We were very proud that Jonathan got into this specific school, but to be honest, I was even happier that he is staying in Florida, not too far away from me.

Much to our happiness, everything fell in place perfectly that weekend. Jonathan hit it off with his two roommates. He told us a few times that he loved the school, and he seemed very happy and alive. Every staff member we met was super nice and caring, and we really felt that Jonathan is in a good, safe place.

Yet, as much as we planned everything a year in advance, and we kind of prepared ourselves mentally for the moment of truth, when it was time to say goodbye and leave, the three of us were so emotional we could hardly speak. Jonathan didn’t want us to leave (I could see it in his eyes), and we didn’t want to leave without him. In fact, the minute Jonathan left us and strolled slowly towards his dorm, our hearts skipped a bit. I started sobbing. It went on (on and off) all the way back home. Doron was unusually quiet.

Are we any different from other parents whose children leave home and go on about their lives? Is it that hard for everyone?

Unlike many American families, we never sent Jonathan (or any of our kids) to a sleep away camp, except for last summer when Jonathan spent 6 weeks in an expedition in New Mexico/Colorado. We knew, though, that whatever happened on that expedition, at the end of 6 weeks Jonathan would be home again.

This time it’s different. He moved out. And I, apparently, am going through separation anxiety. Maybe I’m a little too worried because of motherly instincts, wanting to protect my little boy and make sure he is fine. Or maybe it’s because Jonathan reminds me so much of myself, when I was young, and I wish to spare him the pain and hardship of facing the world as an adult.

I’m holding myself (not without difficulty) from picking up the phone and calling Jonathan every day to make sure he is OK, even though I’m sure he is. So maybe it’s not actually about him? Maybe it’s all about me, and the roll I play in his life? As much as I would love to hear from Jonathan every day and continue to be part of his life, I’m slowly coming to the realization that the time has come. This is the point in life where I need to let go. It’s time for my baby to leave the nest and fly high.

And I know he will. Just as I did, years ago.


Give a Man a Fish; Teach a Man to Fish…

I think this is the main problem that most modern parents have when it comes to our children. Of course, we all want to teach our kids how to fish, so they can go out and be ready to live their lives independently and successfully. But how many of us actually teach them how to fish?

As a child growing up in a working-class family and living in a semi blue-collar neighborhood, I remember us doing so much for ourselves, on our own. At the age of 5, I walked by myself to kindergarten, which was about 10 minutes away from our house. I had to cross a small street near our house, so my parents taught me how, watched me do it a couple of times, and from then on I was on my own.

My parents taught us how to clean the house, cook, go grocery shopping, and help with other chores at home. Of course, it was a big help for my busy parents. But that wasn’t the point. They wanted us to learn how to do everything so that we are not helpless (or useless) when we leave home. As a teenager, I also worked in different jobs and learned how to earn money.

As a parent, though, I feel trapped between two worlds. The working class world I come from, that did a great job teaching us how to fish, and the upper middle class world where I raise my kids, where we, the parents, overprotect our kids, and indulge them with things they need and things they don’t really need. And by that we do them a disservice.

My upbringing and my instincts made me raise my kids mostly the way I was raised. I’m probably one of the toughest moms in our milieu. I’m pretty demanding, I don’t spoil my kids very often (they say I do), and I believe that despite their young age they are capable of taking responsibility and doing things for themselves. And they do help around the house, and know how to do things on their own. I’m pretty happy with the way they turned out, and I’m very proud of them.

Problem is, when I look around at what other people do, and I hear what my kids say about other parents, I start doubting myself. I love my kids very much. There is no doubt there. But maybe I’m not a very fun and cool parent? Maybe I’m too tough and not spoiling enough?

And that’s where I find myself doing the chores I had assigned for my kids, because I feel bad for them. I walk the dog because it’s vacation, and I feel bad waking up my son so early. I wash the dishes because my daughter has homework to do and she is very busy. I get up extra early in the morning to make the kids sandwiches for school because they were too lazy to make their own sandwiches the night before, and I feel bad letting them suffer the consequences at school. Sometimes, when they misbehave and talk back to me, I spare the rod, even though I know they deserve it. Why? Because I feel sorry for them at the moment, knowing (or hoping) that they feel remorse for what they have said or done. I know however, that in the long run, it doesn’t serve them right.

So hanging between these two worlds, not always sure what’s the right thing to do, I like to reflect on this wise, old proverb

Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime.

It anchors me.