Thursday, December 20, 2007

RIP Mixer

This morning, I decided I wanted to make Challah for the very first time! I went online and found a Challah recipe, took out the ingredients and then set up my American Goldline brand of electric mixer. It came with the kneeding rods and so I figured I would use it to make the Challah. It worked great for a bit, and the dough was coming together nicely and I thought it was looking good, and then the mixer started to smoke. It was a little frightening and so I quickly unplugged and watched as more and more smoke poured out of the mixer. Obviously, I just burnt out this little motor trying to bake Challah for Shabbos. And now, I'm 10 days away from my parents coming to visit with no electric mixer in sight!

I need a Kitchen Aid STAT! And, I'm really annoyed right now that I don't have one. Let me explain. My sister-in-law, Pidgeon's sister, asked me what I wanted for a wedding present. First, she mentioned getting us a plasma TV and Pidgeon and I were all for that. Then she told me that the back of the truck she was supposed to get it off of was - well - I think busted, so there went that wedding gift. At that point, I realized that the electronic mixer I was using now wasn't really strong enough for my needs. I mentioned that I really could use one and she said "done". That was three months ago. No Kitchen Aid. And damn it, I really need it now! I hate that I'm going to have to ask my Mom to get me one, especially since it's so freakin expensive, but it's one of the essential kitchen tools that's needed!

I'm so excited about this Challah too! The dough rose very nicely the first time and I was instructed to "punch it down", which I did and walked away with a punch of dough on my hands. I think that means that my dough is too "sticky" but I'm not sure. I'm going to wait a bit before I add more flour, maybe in the rolling out process I'll add some more to the dough. Anyway, I have 45-60 minutes left to let it rise a second time and then it's time for some braiding. I've never done the whole braiding thing, so I think I'm just going to make little rolls. I know how to make the "breakaway" Challah, you know with the little balls all stuck together that you just rip apart instead of cutting. I'll guess I'll just have to see when I'm at that point.

The electrician is supposed to come today around 4:00 p.m. to fix a couple of problems and I really, really hope we don't lose power. One of the reasons I'm so busy cooking now for Shabbos is just in case something goes wrong. The chicken for Friday night is already cooling and I'm saving the soup for later. I'm making crock-pot meat and barley soup for Friday night, and will probably steam some artichokes later as well. We're having edemame for a first course with a dipping sauce, so I don't have to do that until tomorrow. Sadly, Pidgeon and I have to go pay a shiva call later. I also want to go to the Mikvah to toyvel some coffee mugs we picked up at Soho in Tel Aviv the other day. With the folks days away, I'm trying to get everything set for their visit. It's gonna be loads of fun!

I didn't make it to campus today, I couldn't get out of bed. I have no problem fasting, it's the day after a fast that gives me trouble. It really takes a lot out of me to not be able to even drink water, and so I was feeling particularly nauseous and tired this morning. Pidgeon rules though, because he called the school and they said we could just fax the page over. Pidgeon is on his way to the office now to take care of that. I'm slowly acquiescing to his request for a fax machine though. We do so much faxing in this Country, it's ridiculous! When will they get on board with the whole e-mail thing?

Last night, after we broke our fast, Pidgeon and I went to Rami Levi in Talpiot to do a food shopping. We've been really good and haven't hit a Supermarket in a few days, and this was such a great experience! I wrote out a list and we really stuck to it, no deviation because something else caught our eyes. We look at prices, something I've never done in my entire life, and we went with other brands based on shekels. We bought a 1 shekel cheaper bag of corn because, well, it was 1 shekel cheaper. We had about 120 extra expense this trip that we won't have the next time around and so, I'm proud to say that we only spent 737 shekel yesterday! That's really, really great for us! First of all, it's 100 shekel cheaper than the last time we went food shopping. Without the two boxes of tea (one big box for me and one for a present for our lunch hosts on Shabbos) we would have been at 627 shekel! That's pretty impressive if I do say so myself. Plus, I got enough frozen protein to last a while. I already make 3 quarters of chicken for dinner Friday night, and we have pargiot and shnitzel and 1 kilo of soup/chulent meat to last at least 2 weeks! Here's hoping we stick to this rigid money-counting life and be able to live on what little money we bring into the house!

Well, I'm off to figure out the next part of the whole Challah making thing! Will hopefully post pictures later so you can see the finished product!

Stay warm!

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