couponing in the holy land

Frugal food shopping for the Anglo Israeli

Archive for the category “Rosh Hashanah”

No more procrastination!

Today is Friday.  Rosh Hashana is Wednesday night.  Are you ready?  If not, use this list to help you get organized for the new year.

School

If you have school-aged children, know that there are only three days of school next week- Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.   Right now- make sure you have three sets of school outfits washed and ready, three sets of meals for school, and three water bottles if you can. (We fill the bottle about 1/4 – 1/3 full with water and put it in the freezer.  In the morning we add cold water and the water stays cold all day.)  Make sure they don’t need to bring anything special to school for the holiday- if so, put it on the calendar and get it now.  Now hopefully you can “forget” about school for now.

Errands

Do you have any last-minute haircut appointments, doctor appointments etc. to schedule?  Be efficient- call  at night and leave a message or book on the internet.  I was surprised to call a hair salon and discover that they have a full messaging service at 11:00 at night!

Shmita

Get your last minute gardening/pruning/fertilizing done this week.  If you signed up for Otzar HaAretz, you should get your card by Sunday.  If not, call them at 073-2206323.  For more information, read my previous post.  Try and get as much produce as you can now before the prices go up after the first of Tishrei.

Rosh Hashana

First things first- make a list of what still needs to be done.  Break it down into the following categories:

  1. Guests– if you have, confirm if they have allergies.   Get the guest rooms and bathrooms ready.  What time are they coming?  Do you have to pick them up?  If so, from where?  If you are a guest, find out what you can bring/make/do to help your host.  If you really want to make your hostess happy, offer to bring some already-seeded rimon 🙂
  2. Going away?– if you are, make sure your neighbor has your key in case of emergency, timers are set, pet/plant sitters arranged.
  3. Laundry– make sure your tablecloths, towels, linens and holiday clothes are washed.   If you have a European machine, you know how how long it takes so plan your time accordingly.
  4. Table– do you have enough tables and chairs?  if not, arrange to borrow from a gamach or a friend now.  Do you have enough tablecloths, silverware, plates, serving dishes, napkins, bowls and cups?  If not, figure out how many disposable items you will need to purchase and get it soon. We found very nice biodegradable plasticware that looks just like the Solo brand and wasn’t too expensive.  Don’t forget candles, matches and long-lasting candles.
  5. Food– Make an inventory of your freezer and start planning meals if you haven’t already.  We all need to purchase fruits and vegetables this week- don’t forget apples, rimon, dates and a new fruit.  Most stores are open Saturday night and have extended hours this week to get your last minute shopping done.  If you use fresh chicken, don’t forget that because the Muslim and Jewish holidays collide this year, there won’t be fresh chicken being produced from Sunday-Monday until after the holidays.  Pack your freezer now!  You might be tempted to shop for groceries online, but just remember that you are one of thousands so expect many items to be out of stock.  You don’t want your order to come Tuesday night missing half the items and you have to run out Wednesday morning for them.
  6. Clothing–  do you have enough for a three day holiday?  I know my son already outgrew the last set of clothing we bought him and we have so far been unsuccessful in dragging him in to purchase another -gasp- three outfits.
  7. Kids– make a list of everything they can do and have them do it.  If it makes your life easier, bribe them.  We have offered 10 agorot- 1 shekel per chore (depending on their ages; can be done multiple times) or three levels of rewards- ice cream, pizza, movie depending on how many they do and whether they work together or not.   I will post some recipes/activities to keep them busy Wednesday while you finish your last minute chores.
  8. Beit knesset– if you go, do you have your seat/membership paid for?  If you can, find out where your seat is beforehand so it will be easier to find it during services.  Do you have enough machzorim?  Do you know where they are?  If you are not going, do you know who can blow the shofar for you?   If your beit knesset has a tzedaka campaign during the holidays (selling honors or having someone come in from another agency), budget now what you are willing/able to spend.   Discuss it with your husband/wife so there are no surprises.

That’s it for now-don’t forget to take breaks and eat healthy!

Awesome hamburger deal from Mega BaIr- expires 31 Aug 2014

I just came back from Mega and wanted to share this great deal with you.  You get 1 kg of Adom Adom fresh beef (tzavar or tzlaaot) ground, a squeeze bottle of Heinz mayonnaise, and 4 hamburger buns for only 59.90 shekels.  You can multiply this deal by three in one purchase which is what we did.  The store didn’t have hamburger buns left so they allowed me to get half-sized baguettes or a voucher for the hamburger buns.  The meat is definitely not as lean as we usually buy but is tastier for hamburger that way.  Of course my kids don’t realize that I am taking that meat and making my leek and meatballs recipe for Rosh Hashanah… shh- don’t tell…

Rosh Hashana is coming- cook your vegetable dishes now!

Normally I start warning you in July about the impending collision between the beginning of school and the month of non-stop holidays.  This year we have all been somewhat distracted by kidnappings, Tzuk Eitan, and more.  With the 72 hour truce currently holding, I will be cautiously optimistic and begin my persistent reminders.

Why do we need to start thinking about Rosh Hashana now?  For those of us with children, the beginning of the school year is a very stressful time- learning schedules, getting all of the supplies/clothing/lunches organized, finding chugim, babysitters, tzaharonim and more.  The last thing we need to worry about is making meals for a month of holidays!

This year there is another issue that needs to be addressed- shmita.  However you decide to hold, shmita invariably results in increased prices for fruits and vegetables and occasionally (unfortunately) the guest who doesn’t hold by your standards.  For this reason I recommend you start stocking your freezer with as many vegetable dishes as you can- potato kugels, pashtidot, apple pie, etc.  This way you are taking advantage of the currently low prices and are using vegetables and fruits that don’t have holiness- kedusha.

What vegetables are cheap this week? Potatoes, carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, and onions have been 2.90 shekels/kg in several stores.  Last year I posted my freezable potato kugel recipe; today I will post my carrot cake/kugel recipe.  This recipe makes 4-5 English cake tins depending on the size of the tin.  They freeze with ease for several months.

Carrot Kugel (Pareve)

Adapted from The Kosher Palette

Ingredients:

1 bag of carrots

3 cups of whole wheat flour (even if your family doesn’t like whole wheat, this is a great recipe to hide it in) or white flour

1 1/2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 1/2 cups white sugar

4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 cups canola oil

6 large eggs

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

Peel and boil carrots until they are completely soft.  Mash them with a fork.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix with a fork until completely combined.  Pour into pans about halfway full and bake in a 180C oven for 45 minutes (for turbo drop to about 20 minutes).  Kugel is cooked when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  (Don’t  forget this step- it is hard to tell if they are cooked through without confirming)  Wrap well with aluminum foil when cool and freeze.

Feel free to post your TNT (tried n’ true) freezable fruit/vegetable recipes as well!

Huge disposable goods sale at Peamit Store- expires 6 August 2014

Rosh Hashana will be here before you know it, so take advantage of these sales while you can.  Click on the picture to enlarge.  For a list of stores, click here.

What to do with those kids on Wednesday

If you aren’t one of those people who has miraculously finished all of your Rosh Hashanah preparations by Tuesday night, you are looking for something to do with your kids while you are frantically running around the house.  I really think having children help prepare foods for the holidays helps them feel important and if you make the effort to thank them in front of guests for the lovely creation they prepared, it goes a long way towards boosting their self esteem.  Of course, you are going to have to erase from your mind those lovely pictures of elegant desserts and finely diced vegetables- kids aren’t able to do it, and when you relax your standards, it will be an enjoyable experience for everyone.

Here are some ideas for foods your kids can prepare.   Some are appropriate for different ages so know your child’s capabilities.

Marzipan

I love marzipan.  It is easy to work with and tastes great.  You can buy it plain or colored and use it as sculpting material or as the glue between petit buerre crackers to all sorts of creations such as a sukkah with green sour sticks for schach. Don’t buy the fancier type for eating- it is too smooth and soft for sculpting.

Stuffed fruits

Take a pitted date or an apricot and fill it with: marzipan, nuts, candied cherries, raisins, chocolate chips, peanut butter, etc.  Or turn the date inside out and roll it in coconut after filling it.

Cookie painting

Make icing with powdered sugar and water added to make the right consistency with a few drops of vanilla extract and food coloring.  Paint premade or prebought sugar cookies.  Extra points for apple or shofar-shaped cookies.

Fondant

Also known as “batzek sukar”, this is also great for molding or cutting out shapes with cookie cutters.  You can get in different colors or color it yourself.  Use the creations as table decorations if you like.  We have a great aversion to fish heads so we make them out of fondant- they are much tastier than the original.

Kadoorei shokolad

The classic Israeli kids dessert.

This is the traditional recipe- I am going to add chocolate chips for a change as seen in newer recipes:

  • Mix the following in a pot over a warm flame:

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup cocoa powder

3/4 cup liquid- milk, water, soy/rice milk, wine

2 teaspoons vanilla extract (unless you are using vanilla soy milk)

  • When it is all melted, add 100 grams of margarine and continue mixing until melted.
  • Mix with 1 package crushed Petit Beurre crackers (~1/2 kg)
  • Shape the mixture into balls or logs (“chocolate salami”).  If the mixture is too dry, add more liquid.
  • Roll in sprinkles, coconut, or chopped nuts.

There are lots of different brands of petit buerre crackers, but to us the only ones with taste are the Gattengo Bros. brand:

image

Trifle

Although this dish went out of fashion in the 80s, it is making a comeback for busy parents everywhere.  If you don’t have a trifle dish, you can get a great bowl at Ikea for only 7 shekels.  Layer chocolate cake (can be old/stale also), whipped cream, chocolate syrup or liqueur, chocolate chips and/or fruit (our family doesn’t like fruit).  The top and bottom layers should be whipped cream.  You can decorate the top as we did:

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Milky

My kids love Milkys, but I don’t like the price.  Our compromise: we make them at home.  You can use chocolate pudding, vanilla pudding with or without food coloring, or jello.  Make the mix and pour into short wine glasses. When cool put whipped cream and sprinkles on top.  I got tired of buying the disposable glasses so I bought a set of four wine glasses from Ikea for 25 shekels.

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Fruit faces

If your kids are too young to cut fruit, take a cupcake tray and fill with different types of cut-up fruit.  Let them make funny faces with the fruit, cover the plates and serve that night.  Pomelit and coconut make great hair, raisins can be eyes and dates make great noses.  Don’t forget orange slices for smiles!  Here are some ideas:

imageimage

That is all for now- post your own ideas as well!

Wishing all of my readers a happy, safe, and healthy New Year.

The final countdown

No, I am not talking about Syria, although I will get to that later.  Tishrei is right around the corner, and we need to be prepared.  Tonight is the night to plan the next few days so you don’t get caught unawares and out of time.

School

If you have school-aged children, know that there are only three days this week- Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.   Right now- make sure you have three sets of school outfits washed and ready, three sets of meals for school, and three water bottles if you can. (We fill the bottle about 1/4 – 1/3 full with water and put it in the freezer.  In the morning we add cold water and the water stays cold all day.)  Make sure they don’t need to bring anything special to school for the holiday- if so, put it on the calendar and get it now.  Now hopefully you can “forget” about school for now.

Errands

Do you have any last-minute haircut appointments, doctor appointments etc. to schedule?  Be efficient- call tonight and leave a message or book on the internet.  I was just surprised to call a hair salon which has a full messaging service at 11:00 at night!

Rosh Hashana

First things first- make a list of what still needs to be done.  Break it down into the following categories:

  1. Guests– if you have, confirm if they have allergies.   Get the guest rooms and bathrooms ready.  What time are they coming?  Do you have to pick them up?  If so, from where?  If you are a guest, find out what you can bring/make/do to help your host.  If you really want to make the hostess happy, offer to bring some already-seeded rimon 🙂
  2. Going away?– if you are, make sure your neighbor has your key in case of emergency, timers are set, pet/plant sitters arranged.
  3. Laundry– make sure your tablecloths, towels, linens and holiday clothes are washed.   If you have a European machine, you know how how long it takes so plan your time accordingly.
  4. Table– do you have enough tables and chairs?  if not, arrange to borrow from a gamach or a friend now.  Do you have enough tablecloths, silverware, plates, serving dishes, napkins, bowls and cups?  If not, figure out how many disposable items you will need to purchase and get it soon. We found very nice biodegradable plasticware that looks just like the Solo brand and wasn’t too expensive.  Don’t forget candles, matches and long-lasting candles.
  5. Food– Make an inventory of your freezer and start planning meals if you haven’t already.  We all need to purchase fruits and vegetables this week- don’t forget apples, rimon, dates and a new fruit.  Most stores are open Saturday night and have extended hours this week to get your last minute shopping done, but don’t go tonight or Sunday for chicken- wait for Monday or later.  You might be tempted to shop for groceries online, but just remember that you are one of many so expect many items to be out of stock.  You don’t want your order to come Tuesday night missing half the items and you have to run out Wednesday morning for them.
  6. Clothing–  do you have enough for a three day holiday?  I know my son already outgrew the last set of clothing we bought him and we have so far been unsuccessful in dragging him in to purchase another -gasp- three outfits.
  7. Kids– make a list of everything they can do and have them do it.  If it makes your life easier, bribe them.  We have offered 10 agorot- 1 shekel per chore (depending on their ages; can be done multiple times) or three levels of rewards- ice cream, pizza, movie depending on how many they do and whether they work together or not.   I will post some recipes/activities to keep them busy Wednesday while you finish your last minute chores.
  8. Beit knesset– if you go, do you have your seat/membership paid for?  If you can, find out where your seat is beforehand so it will be easier to find it during services.  Do you have enough machzorim?  Do you know where they are?  If you are not going, do you know who can blow the shofar for you?   If your beit knesset has a tzedaka campaign during the holidays (selling honors or having someone come in from another agency), budget now what you are willing/able to spend.   Discuss it with your husband/wife so there are no surprises.
  9. Syria– I said I would get back to that topic.  Although everything is still up in the air, nobody was ever harmed by being prepared.  Stock food/water/medicine in your protective room.  Make sure you have the necessary supplies in case of emergency.  Read the Emergency Situation Preparation Guide by Pikud HaOref.  Check out the Pikud HaOref web site for more information.  If for some reason you do not have your protective masks, click here for a list of distribution centers.  If you do have, make sure they are the right sizes for your family members.

That’s it for now- if you have that all written out, you deserve a break!

Back to school specials for parents

Today is the second day of school for most children, which means the parents can start to get back to their regular schedule- traffic, office politics, and maybe even a quiet moment with a cuppa and the newspaper.

Since next week (!!!) starts the month full of holidays, I thought we could browse the sales in today’s newspaper together. So grab your cuppa (coffee or tea- depending on when you are reading this)- I will wait until you are ready.

Shufersal Deal

  • Vegetables- 10 kg for 20 shekels
  • Chocolates for 10 shekels
  • Multiples of canned vegetables for 10 shekels
  • With purchases over 100 shekels there are discounts on meat and fish

Chetzi Chinam

  • Yad Mordechai olive oil 2 liters for 60 shekels
  • Yad Mordechai honey- 350 grams for 13 shekels
  • Sanfrost frozen vegetables- buy two get one free
  • White flour- 4 for 10 shekels
  • Very cheap prices on meat- says tari/fresh but I am wary (see aliyah tip #2-  beef)
  • Open motzei shabbat 31 Aug
  • Arbella pasta- 4 for 10 shekels

Mega Bool

  • Carmel Tirosh grape juice- 1 liter for 16 shekels
  • 6 pack of Coca Cola- 30 shekels
  • Taster’s Choice coffee- 200 grams for 30 shekels
  • Chicken hind quarters for 15 shekels per kg with a purchase of 250 shekels or more, 3 kg maximum
  • Onions and tomatoes- 2 shekels/kg with a purchase over 100 shekels (3kg max)- 200 shekels allows up to 6kg.
  • Beets, pumpkin, white and red potatoes- 3 shekels/kg with a purchase over 100 shekels (3kg max)- 200 shekels allows up to 6kg.

Co-op Shop

  • Tirosh wine- 1 liter for 10 shekels
  • Osem spaghetti- 3 for 10 shekels
  • Emek Hefer honey- 250 grams for 10 shekels (check to make sure it has a Tav Teken)

Yesh (coupons only)

  • Tzabar chummus- 850 grams for 8 shekels
  • Carmel Tirosh grape juice- 1 liter for 12 shekels (great deal!)
  • Shmurat Teva toilet paper- 48 rolls for 28 shekels
  • Ariel laundry detergent- 6 kg for 50 shekels
  • Titulim premium for 29 shekels
  • Most stores open motzei shabbat

Office Depot

  • Spend 100 shekels on office supplies and you can get an orthopedic backpack for 19.90 shekels (not 2013 models).  Cannot use backpacks and kalmarim to get to 100 shekels.  (This is a good time to look for a nondescript one that they wouldn’t find out of fashion so quickly)

What else is in the paper?

  • Yisrael HaYom’s daily survey how much certain items cost in different countries.  Today- tomatoes.  Israel- 4.99 shekels/kg, England 11.29 shekels/kg and the US for 8 shekels/kg.  They do warn us that prices are about to change soon.
  • Economics Minister Naftali Bennet says opening the doors to imported products will increase competition and drive down prices.   If there is no competition, we need to make it.  Manufacturers in Israel have traditionally been supported by The Israeli Standards Institute whose legislation allows them to monopolize the market.  The Trachtenberg Report forced them to adopt international standards which will allow the market to be flooded with more imported products and hopefully drive prices down. (Sources: Arutz 7 and Globes)
  • Whipping cream (38% fat) and gevina levana 5% fat will now be be subsidized along with other agricultural products (for a complete list click here– I will translate in my next post)

Gossip in the supermarket;

  • Our butcher tells us that all the meat prices will be going up next week.  If you haven’t stocked your freezer yet, do so now!

Free Rosh Hashana cookbook from Maimon’s

Go to Maimon’s web site and download an e-cookbook for the holidays.  The recipes are in Hebrew but I like making the effort because the quantities are what you can get in the store (one packet of baking powder, etc…)

Prigat’s gift for the holidays

Go to Prigat’s Facebook page and you make a holiday post card for your loved one.  With the card, Prigat will send a packets of seeds and a coupon for a free bottle of Prigat for your holiday table.

 

What’s in my freezer? Pumpkin Walnut Loaf

Actually this hasn’t made it in yet- it is on my list for tomorrow…

Pumpkin is also one of the Rosh Hashanah simanim.  Technically the word הקרא/הקרע are types of pumpkins or gourds.  Some people use zucchini (זוקיני/קשוא), some use butternut squash (דלורית), and some use pumpkin (דלעת).  We use pumpkin mainly because it is sweet and we should have a sweet New Year.  Plus the color is quite appropriate for the fall season, albeit not in Israel.

When we eat the gourd we ask for our merits to be proclaimed (קריאה) and to have our evil decree torn up (קרעה):

“יחי רצון מלפנך, ה’ אלוקנו אלוקי אבותנו, שיקרע רע גזר דיננו, ויקראו לפנך זכויותנו”

Pumpkin Walnut Loaf

Source: My Most Favorite Dessert Company Cookbook

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons unsalted margarine
1 cup sugar
2 extra-large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan. (I use the disposable “English cake” loaf tins)
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and nutmeg.
  3. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the margarine and sugar on medium speed until fluffy.
  4. With the machine running, add the eggs all at one time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  5. With the machine on medium speed, add the pumpkin and beat until combined.
  6. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients, alternating with the soy milk, until blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir in the walnuts by hand.
  7. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for about 55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. To store the loaf, wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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