Original Route – look at the time
Yesterday at 7:30am I joined a dear friend of mine for a one-day trip to Fresno (yes, it is in the middle of nowhere, 4 long hours from LA) to visit her children and run a few errands.
About an hour after we left Los Angeles, we reached Route 5 to discover that it was closed until noon because of snow. I didn’t understand what were they talking about. It was sunny and warm and there was no sign of snow, not even on the mountaintops. Because I was driving and Waze kept trying to take us back to the 5, we called my Googly husband to help us to find an alternate route. Google Maps said our only option is to take the 101, the coastal highway. Going back to LA wasn’t an option.
Alternative Route, half way to San Francisco
Taking the 101 would make our drive two hours longer, which is like suicide to an impatient, claustrophobic, Israeli mother. Most of the time I feel trapped when in a car for more than one hour, so I was amazed and very proud of myself for not freaking out when things didn’t go well. I was even more proud of myself for driving five hours with only two short stops, without a single panic or claustrophobia attack! When I go on road trips with my husband and kids, he does ALL the driving and I take twenty drops of Kava or Rescue Remedy. (I am happy to do all the urban driving.)
The View on The 101
Whoever invented the iPad over at Apple is one son-of-a-bitch. (Was it Steve Jobs? Not sure.) I hope his home-wrecking invention causes his family as much trouble and stress as it has caused mine since my older son, Leo, got one as a present from his grandmother for doing well in school.
Before that motivation-killing gadget entered our home, our creative, social kids had a beautiful, rich life. Everything was exciting to them. Playing outside, having friends over, reading, drawing, writing, and fighting over toys (not over the iPad). Now all those activities are “boring.”
Until two days ago, the most popular question in our house was, “Can I play with the iPad?” and they wouldn’t take “No” for an answer. They would ask again and again until you snapped and yelled at them. Then they would throw a massive tantrum (worse than the ones they threw when they were toddlers). The older one complained how unlucky, miserable and boring his life is. The little one cries his lungs out as if he is two years old again. And I start to feel angry and nauseous. The question “Why can’t I play on the iPad?” pushes all my bottons. It makes me MAD.
My cousin Didi (Diane) is pretty lucky. Her husband, Avi, is the kind of guy who’s not only in love with good food, he also knows how to prepare it very well – especially meat. I’ve never left their house without an intense yummy sensation in my mouth. I got the same feeling when I had his mother’s stuffed onions and kube chamusta – she’s a Kurdistani Jew from Jerusalem, and a brilliant cook. Her food is to live long for. I already published a quick recipe for kale shakshuka – but Avi’s shakshuka is the real thing. He made it for us one morning while we stayed with them on our recent trip to Israel. Continue reading
Last week, I was truly surprised by my mother-in-law Estee’s cooking skills. I knew she’s an excellent salad maker (she is Israeli, after all) and a master of small, light, beautiful, healthy meals that don’t require much effort — like Israeli roughly chopped salad as a main course served with some nice bread, olive oil, good cheese, and a few wrinkled black olives. I didn’t realize that this woman knows how to cook with fire! Using the stove in her house was always forbidden, she insisted to keep it looking brand new at all times.