Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Things To Do in Your Ninth Month

As if being nine months pregnant isn't hard enough, there is a ton of things that need to get done in the last few weeks before baby. At least, that's what I'm currently facing! This morning, I woke up and decided that today is the day I start doing the things I've been putting off for a while.

That meant that I responded to business e-mails I've put off for a few days, I had to stop ignoring our ant problem, and I put the baby clothing I already have into the wash and made my esrog liquor.

I had read in one of these Jewish women in pregnancy and spirituality books, that if you eat an etrog in your 9th month it's a Segulah for an easy labor. And, since Hot Dog is currently out of breech position and it looks like the baby will be making a natural entrance P"G into this world, I'm doing whatever I can to make it an easy birth. That means drinking my raspberry leaf tea every day, steaming with rosemary, massaging with almond oil and making esrog liquor. 

Since Pidgeon is home today working on his final project, I decided it would be a good time for me to do some of the household errands I need to get done. First, when Pidgeon left the apartment to run some errands and meet with a Professor at school, I washed the dishes and got ready for breakfast. When he returned, I made him a healthy breakfast of scrambled eggs with cheese and some cucumber and tomato. After breakfast, I spent about 20 minutes cutting all the tags and labels off of the baby clothing and loading them into the wash. We purchased Tinok Clean powder and Baby liquid fabric softener and I put up the wash. I didn't separate the whites from the colors though, and I'm wondering if all my white onesies and crib sheets will now be tinged pink. Hopefully not!

After the wash was up and I got a quick phone call from Mom, I decided it was time to make the esrog liquor. Since making esrog jam or jelly is too much of a pain in the neck, and I already have 3 bottles of good vodka in my freezer, I went with the liquor route. 

Here's how you make esrog liquor. 

First (see photo above) assemble all of your necessary ingredients. Take an empty bottle of alcohol and wash it out good, especially if it's a bottle of whiskey or something other than vodka. After that's washed and dried, prepare the etrogim. Since I'm only using the peel for the liquor, I washed each etrog well (people have been manhandling these fruits for an entire 7 days, it's wise to at least rinse them). Then, being careful not to get too much of the white part, peel each etrog. I doubled the recipe and so I used 6 etrogim for 4 cups of vodka.

I cut the etrogim on my cutting board and then dropped them - piece by piece - into the empty bottle.  I tried to avoid the white parts but it wasn't that easy. Hopefully, it won't turn the vodka too bitter. 

Because of Kedushat Shviit (etrogim are especially holy since they were grown during a shmita year and therefore, nothing can be thrown out.) I put all the fruit, the top and bottoms of the etrogim and any scraps that didn't go into the whiskey bottle, into a bag. I'm going to leave the bag on the windowsill until is rots enough to be thrown away. Hopefully it will rot quickly, I'd prefer not having them hang out too long in the kitchen!

After I peeled all 6 etrogim and dropped the peel into the whiskey bottle, I measured out 4 cups of good vodka and poured it into the bottle. I'm going to store it in a cool, dark place for about a week. At which point, I'm going to drain the peel from the vodka, add 3 cups of confectioners sugar and another 2 cups of vodka, and put it away to "ferment" for 6 more weeks! 

Hopefully, we'll be able to toast a lechayim during Chanukah this year! I'm excited!!

Well, I'm off to enjoy the rain by baking some blondies for Pidgeon's cousin, whose wife is due P"G next week. I already offered to cook dinner for them and, with meatballs cooked and hanging out in the freezer, I'm hoping to take dessert off of my list. This way, when the baby does come, all I'll have to make will be some chicken, pasta and a vegetable. 

Yom Tov from Baka!

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