Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

A Parent’s Job

Posted: January 30, 2012 in Family
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I look around at what I see in my kids’ kindergarten and day care and am shocked.  I see 5 year olds who don’t know how to say goodbye to their parents.  I see parents carrying their children’s backpacks – backpacks which have, for the most part, a lunch box, a bottle of water, a change of clothes and, maybe some drawings the kids made.  I talk to the parents who tell me that they pick out the clothes that their children wear – this includes at the kindergarten which has a dress code.

I was taught that our job as parents is to raise our children to be able to take their place in the world.  To have responsibility and accountability.  To be able to bear the burdens of a life which isn’t always easy.  It’s not enough to make sure that they know how to read, write and cypher.  It’s not enough to make sure that they eat right (which many parents I see don’t because their children think – like the US Congress – that pizza is a vegetable.)  We have to let our children make decisions.  We must let them make mistakes.  We have the obligation to teach them what they know.

The shopping list

The shopping list

My son’s kindergarten teacher gave them a homework assignment to make a model ofNoah’s Ark.  My wife sat with him and worked with him and helped him to make it.  She gave the outline of the design and, for the most part, he put it together.  When we brought it in to the kindergarten it was relatively obvious that we might have been the only family where the child actually did the work.  Doing our children’s homework for them is doing them a disservice.  They – and we – learn by doing, not by watching.  When we go to the supermarket, my son helps me pick out vegetables.  Today, my wife wrote out a shopping list with 5 items on it for him to buy.  When I cook, he helps me get what I need, he helps me mix the ingredients, he puts the cookie dough on the baking tray.

Teach your children to do things by themselves.  Make them feel that they don’t need us for every decision that they make.  Get them ready to take their place in the world.  And always remember, our job is not to keep our children from falling down.  Our job is to help them get back on their feet when they do fall down.

Holiday Recipe – Matzo Brie

Posted: April 19, 2011 in Family, Food
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This is the traditional breakfast for Jewish families everywhere during Passover. It’s essentially French toast made from matzo. Personally, I like to eat it with jelly. My wife – for some reason – likes to eat it with cottage cheese. Every family has it’s own recipe and tweaks. This is the recipe that my father taught me when I was just a kid.


  • 1 board matzo
  • 1 egg
  • hot water
  • Salt, pepper, oil
  • Directions

  • Soak the matzo in the hot water until it is softened. Strain.
  • Add the egg to the matzo and mix well. Season to taste.
  • Fry in the oil until golden brown on both sides.
  • Comments
  • This is a minimum recipe. 1 board of matzo is probably a bit too much for one person, but not enough for two people. Just do some math to figure out who many is right for your table. I generally use 3/4 boards of matzo per person (ie – one board for 1 person, 2 for 2 people, and 3 for either 3 or 4 people.)
  • Some families like to serve it up us big pieces – either making pancake size individual ones, or large ones and cutting a piece for each person. My family tradition is to cut it up like scrambled eggs.
  • Unlike french toast – where I make different batters for sweet and savory – this works well with either jelly or a more savory topping like cottage cheese. Choose whatever you like.
  • New Videos of the Kids

    Posted: April 10, 2011 in Family

    I uploaded 2 new videos of the kids.  Check them out…

    Well – Passover is almost upon us and I figured I’d start with an old family recipe.  Every year my grandmother would make the soup, my aunt would make the matzoh balls and Mom would make stuffed cabbage…  Personally, I don’t like the cabbage – so mom would always make twice the meat, half stuffed and half unstuffed – and I tried it without the cabbage once but it wasn’t the same.  If you really don’t like cabbage, line the pot with some cleaned cabbage leaves – you’ll get the same flavor in the sauce without wrapping the meat balls.


    • 1 Large Head Cabbage – separated into leaves and softened in boiling water
    • 1 kg Chopped Beef
    • 1 Onion, chopped
    • 1 egg
    • ½ cup ketchup
    • 2 12 oz (330 g.) cans tomato sauce
    • ¼ tsp sour salt (lemon salt)
    • 2 tbsp honey
    • 2 tbsp brown sugar


    1. Mix meat, onion, ketchup and egg in a large bowl until the mixture is uniform.
    2. Form balls out of the mixture, place each ball into a cabbage leaf and close the leaf around the ball.  Place in pot.
    3. Pour the rest of the ingredients into the pot.
    4. Partially cover and bring to a boil.
    5. Let simmer for 1 hour and taste.  If too sweet, add sour salt.  If too sour, add brown sugar.  Continue to simmer for about 10 minutes after adjusting flavor and taste again.  If the taste is right, it’s ready.


    As I said – cabbage has to be in the pot for it to taste right.  If you don’t want to wrap the meatballs you can either put some cabbage leaves at the bottom or chop the cabbage up and put it in – I’ve done both and I don’t mind the cabbage so much chopped up.  I tend to make a lot of this at a time and freeze it – it’s great as an appetizer or served over rice or mashed potatoes as a main dish.  This is a copy of my mother’s recipe – you can just as easily sub the canned tomato sauce for homemade using the recipe I gave a few weeks ago… If you decide to use canned, we always used Hunts and that’s the flavor I recognize from my childhood (I always go out of my way to get it since it’s hard to find in Israel…)


    Posted: March 11, 2011 in Family, General
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    My apologies for not posting for the last couple of days.  I had a family emergency that kept me away from my computer for most of the last 60 hours or so.  I just want to take this opportunity to thank all of my great followers and friends on Twitter for the support I was given.  I’ll be back tomorrow with the recipe I should be putting up now (but don’t have the energy to…).  Requests for recipes are, as always, welcome!

    Me & Itamar

    Posted: February 4, 2011 in Family, General
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    Irit decided to put 2 pics next to each other – one from when I was about 3 and one of Itamar from not too long ago.  Can you tell which is which?

    Itamar And Daddy

    Itamar And Daddy

    Just stuff…

    Posted: January 28, 2011 in Family, General
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    As I mentioned earlier, yesterday was Hadar’s birthday and today we made her a cake (she’s 2 so we didn’t bother doing a party…) Itamar helped and we all decorated it together.  It was just some great family time that I figured I’d tell the world about.  And the cake was yummy too (I guess I should say is because we didn’t come near finishing it….)