"Hey, What's In My House" Soup

The other day I decided to make some soup to use up whatever was starting to go off in the fridge.
It came out stupendously amazing. Lorien took some to work and everybody there asked for the recipe.

So... um... here it is to the best of my recollection.

Soup pot
Frying Pan
Immersion Blender
Stirring Spoon

Ingredient Groups (used together for steps):
[ Group 1 ]
2-3? tsp Olive oil
2 Tomatoes (on their way out) chopped
4 Mushrooms (Salvaged from the other mushrooms that didn't quite make it) sliced
1 Small Zuccinni (on its way out) sliced
3/4 of an onion diced
2 tsp minced garlic
1 Pinch of coarse salt
1/4 of a lemon, peeled and cut into pieces

[Group 2 ]
1 sweet potato peeled and chopped
1 Pinch of coarse salt
1 tsp Olive Oil

[ Group 3 ]
1 tbsp agave syrup (can prolly replace with brown sugar or honey or something)
2 tsp Frank's Red Hot

[Group 4]
1/2 tsp ground corriander
1/2 tsp ground cardamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tbsp apple sauce
pepper to taste

[Group 5]
4 cups chicken stock


Step 1: Heat up oil in pan and saute [Group 1] on medium heat until onions are translucent.

Step 2: Put [Group 2] in a soup pot to sweat. (

Step 3: Add [Group 3] to [Group 1] already in the pan. Stir. Turn to low.

Step 4: Wait ~5 minutes until sweet potatoes are ready for next step.

Step 5: Add [Group 1 + Group 2] to [Group 3] already in soup pot. Stir.

Step 6: Add [Group 4] to soup pot. Stir.

Step 7: Wait ~2 minutes. Stir.

Step 8: Add chicken stock.

Step 9: Simmer 15-20 minutes

Step 10: Will it blend?

Step 11: Serve

Pesach Filk!

Er, I usually do a round-up post first, but this is very last minute.

Here are two songs for this year.

The Unicorn Song is missing a verse (the second last), that I just ran out of time.
And Iris was inspired by getting high on cleansers.


To Iris - By the Goo Goo Dolls

I feel like I've been cleaning forever
But I know that we'll make it somehow
It's the closest to Godliness that I've ever known
But I don't really feel free right now.

And all I can smell is this Windex
And all I can breath now is bleach
I don't think we should combine cleansers
Hey why does Tide taste like peach?

And I'd try to get to Har HaBayit
But I don't think that they'd understand
My Korach is missing that something
Just want to have some sacrificial lamb

And you can't scrub the stains that aren't chametz
'Cause the moment of truth will arrive
The kids are watching Passover movies
But yeah they scream so you know they're alive

And I'd try to get to Har HaBayit
But I don't think that they'd understand
My Korach is missing that something
Just want to have some sacrificial lamb

... I just want to have some sacrificial lamb

To The Unicorn Song by Shel Silverstein (Irish Rovers)

A long time ago before we were free
Pharoah enslaved Jews just like you and me
We suffered so greatly under his reign
And now we sit here and remember that pain
Green leafy lettuce and white sticks too
Sweet charoset and the YOCHLUHU!
With Cosot-Makot-She'elot, but before we are done
We can't forget the Afikoman.

The Lord heard our cries and they gave Him grief
He said from the bush "I'm gonna send relief"
He said "Moshe go and topple that dictator "
... but you won't be mentioned at the the Seder
They'll have

Green leafy lettuce and the white sticks too
Some Sweet charoset and the YOCHLUHU!
Cosot-Makot-She'elot, but we won't be done
Till we can find the Afikoman.

Egypt suffered from blood, lice, and frogs
Locusts, boils, darkness, and wild dogs
But Pharoah finally gave up, was so forlorn
When Hashem came down and slayed his first born
... But

We've got green leafy lettuce and white sticks too
Some Sweet charoset and the YOCHLUHU!
Cosot-Makot-She'elot, but the simple son
Just stepped on the Afikoman

Well out in the desert the Jews complained
"No food! No water! It barely rained!"
But Moshe told them to trust the Holy One
And down from the sky there came delicious Maan.
And it tasted like
Green leafy lettuce and the white sticks too
Some Sweet charoset and the YOCHLUHU!
Cosot-Makot-She'elot, and lastly some
Tasted like the Afikoman.

There's a Feral Cat In My House!

Actually I have two marginally unrelated cat issues, both however are connected to the fact that I recently got patio furniture for our new deck out front.

There's a Feral Cat In My House

Last night I hosted our weekly Gaming night. To inaugurate our new deck furniture, (and due to some people wishing to avoid a possible contagion in the house, but that's a different story altogether), we had a game running outdoors in addition to 1 or 2 games indoors.

We left the front door open so that we would all feel more connected, and since hey, why not. I was indoors when one of the players outside, who was coincidentally playing Rattus, wandered in.

"Are you sure you want this door open?"
"Yeah, why not?"
"I think I just saw a cat run in and up the stairs."
"What?! Impossible!"

Indeed a gray cat had found its way into our abode and scampered up the staircase. I walked up to grab him and put him out. Now there are a lot of cats that hang around in the neighborhood, thanks in no small part to two families on the block that are kind to strays and are well on the way to crazy-cat-lady-hood. Most of these cats are pretty friendly and tame.

This one was not. He looked scared, feral, and dangerous.

He managed to run to the third floor and corner himself in the laundry room. Let this be a lesson to those who go to war without knowing the terrain. It quickly became obvious that he was not going to let me calmly pick him up. And so for the second time in half again as many weeks, I donned oven mitts to deal with local wildlife. They were thick heavy duty oven mitts, a happy orange and white checker in colour, and boy was I glad I put them on.

He hid behind the dryer and attempted to avoid me, but thanks to parenting unruly children I am well versed in feinting right and grabbing left. Soon I had a hissing, angry, scratching, biting cat in my mitts. A veritable fur ball of terror. He surprised me with his verocity and managed to make a jump for the open window. This window is a small half moon thing with no screen. It is at the front of my house just to the left of the deck actually. "Oh no, I am not cleaning up dead cat," I thinks to myself, and quickly grab him as he attempts to lemming his way out of captivity. I am now holding an even angrier, hissing, scratching, biting cat in one hand. Dangling out of a third story window. By the tail.

I want to stop right here and let you all know that I tried my darndest to do right by this cat. I tried to bring that thing back inside and put it out safely. I did. The cat was more afraid of me than the 3 story drop. Thinking back it may have been the same cat that I saved the duck from and maybe he was still angry at me, or was hunting for the duck. I don't know. All I know is that I was weak. The cat once again escaped my grasp and plummeted.

He landed with a dull thud, and I grimly headed down to face the aftermath, hoping that well you know cats are supposed to fall really well, he'll be fine.

"Hey... you guys see a cat land somewhere out here?"
A gamer looks up.
"Yeah. He landed on the stairs and ran off," he said with a calm shrug.
"He ran off?"
"... nice."

No corpse!

The Cat Came Back The Very Next Day

This is a different cat issue actually, and this is where I need your help LJ.

Now that we have the new deck furniture a white and orange striped tabby seems to have decided that it is quite comfortable and has adopted it as a new home. Whenever you walk out of the house there is a pretty good chance that he will be curled up and chilling out on one of the chairs or on a couch cushion. As opposed to the gray beast I dealt with last night, this feline is sedate, friendly, and not afraid of people at all. He refuses to vacate the premises until physically removed or has water thrown on him. Then he will mew pitifully and come back as soon as your back is turned.

I do not want a cat. I do not want any pet. I have kids, they are trouble enough.

LJ, how to I encourage this cat to find another home?

Life Update


We've finally started doing some renovations. We put up a deck out front, and paved our front lawn and turned it into a parking space. We put up a swingset in the backyard, and made the storage room on the third floor into a real room with an actual wall and a door. We also painted the outside of the house.

We still have a ridiculous amount of plans and things to do, but we finally got started.

Short term: Something to plant in the trench next to the driveway, Patio Furniture, new bbq, big screen for the computer to be a better media center. Lighting for the deck.

Long term: Redo the kitchen and the floor on the main floor. Build an extension out the back (if we can get affordable permits). Maybe put up a pergola over the deck.

Very long term: Enclose the large balcony on the third floor and make a whole apartment up there.

This is all assuming we stay in the city for that long (which we ideally plan to). Please refer to the city section below.


Chana is 8 and in grade 3. She is doing well socially and in most subjects, but she is having language issues, in both English and Hebrew (reading and spoken). We are going to get her assessed with some psyhco-didactic pterodactyls or something like that. Chana is a great kid

Sefi is 4 and is in kindergarten. This is his first year in a city run care facility, and it's all in Hebrew. He has not really taken to the Hebrew and he may or may not also have some language issues, or may just choose not to really learn the Hebrew. Hopefully he will catch on. He does know some words and at least he is not acting up out of frustration, which was our biggest fear. I think he'll do fine. He doesn't like being alone, ever, but does a bit better now when reminded that he's never really alone b/c Hashem is with him. How adorable is it that this comforts him :)

Ella is now in day care in some Breslav lady's home in Ramat Bet Shemesh Bet. She is doing great there. I think she'll be the one kid to actually pick up Hebrew from the very start. She is exceedingly well behaved aside from an occasional stubborn streak.

Lorien's work is going well, though she has been stressed lately due to an illness in her family. She holds my family together and keeps us all on the straight and narrow. She is my rock, and I am hers. Still very much in love.


My job is going great. I've been at my new place for over a year, and I'm enjoying the work and work is enjoying me.


I'm pretty darn happy in most respects. I'm down about 40 pounds from my heaviest, and I'm keeping it off. I feel good and look good.

Eh, city and friends update parts will need to come later. I need to get to selichot (apologetic prayers in preperation for the new year).
The city update is where all the exciting stuff is. Yay Bet Shemesh. Making international news, woo.

Pesach Song Roundup

First a round up of previous years:
Last year featured Lady Gaga's Strange Halachic Stance, which can be found here.

Our Official song was a version of Like a Prayer which can be found here. Also there is a finished version of the War of 1812, and the Rainbow Connection (Pesach collection), and an unfinished version of "Belle" from Beauty and the Beast.

The rest of the cutting room floor consisted of half a filk of "Through the Fire" from the Buffy Musical.
A version of "Boom De Yada" like the Discovery Channel did.
A really bad attempt at a Pesach-Roll for Never Gonna Give You Up.

The official song of the year was based on the Last Saskatchewan Pirate.
The cutting room floor included such gems as Seasons of Love, One Week, The War of 1812, and The Rainbow Connection. Two of these were updated and finished for 5769.
And don't forget that we made the front page on Albino Black Sheep that year with Matzah Matzah Fish

One of our finest pieces. We filked Master of the House from Les Mis for Pharoah of the Nile

This year we did the Time Warp with Let's Clean For Pesach Again.
At that link you'll also find the cutting room floor versions from The Rembrandts, Queen, and Harry Chapin.

We made a mistake this year and spoofed This is Halloween from the Nightmare before Christmas with This is Seder Night, but the song wasn't well known enough for it to go over well.
You'll also find some Lion King at that link.

I'm still kind of fond of the Hotel California version we did this year.

Still one of our all time greatest classic hits. We did Sloop John B. in a version we sing at the seder every year now.