Confessions of a Jewish Bride

 

Joy of Aliyah – The US Lift Episode

 

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“THE LIFT” is the most anticipated event for anyone making aliyah. Your whole life is packed into a forty foot container (or crammed into a 20 footer).  About  four weeks before the big day a truck pulls up to your door, some guys jump out and proceed to package and cart away everyone of your earthly possessions, or at least the ones you want to take with you.

If you forget to put it on the lift, you’ll have to squeeze it into the two bags and one carry-on per passenger that you’re allotted on the plane. So whatever you erroneously left off, it better be small.


 

Joy of Aliyah – The US Lift Teaser

 

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A 40 foot container arrived at our house Monday July 16th, just 4 weeks before our flight is scheduled to depart from JFK.  Nothing could have prepared me for this day, for how large this 40 foot thing actually was or how long and intense the packing process would be.  We started around 6am and the lift pulled out of our driveway at 1am.  See the lift-container-thingy here, to quote my girls “IT’S SO BIG!”.  Watch what it takes to pack up your life next week July 25th 7pm EST.  Thanks for following and sharing our journey.


 

Joy of Aliyah – The Announcement Episode

 

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Join me on my newest and greatest adventure, as me and my family pack our bags, say farewell to family and friends and make aliyah to Israel with Nefesh B’Nefesh. So how do you move five small children, three floors of furniture, and a lifetime of memories? Find out every week in the Joy of Aliyah. Through five inspiring short-form webisodes, you will pack the lift, get a taste of my goodbye barbecue, board the El Al flight from JFK and experience the emotional landing in Tel Aviv, follow me through the first frantic 48 hours in my new home and join the celebration of my family’s first Jewish New Year in the Promised Land. Don’t miss a moment of my big move from Monsey to Ramat Beit Shemesh, and find out what it really means to move to Israel.

Here is the premiere of Joy of Aliyah:


 

The Making of a Cookbook #5 – BTS at the...

 

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I am now taking you behind the scenes of the photo shoot for my new book, Joy of Kosher published by William Morrow/Harper Collins, due out Fall 2013. Get excited! Get very!!! excited!

I am working again with the amazing husband wife team , Andrew and Carrie Purcell. He is the photographer and she is the food stylist. I’ve been working with them almost exclusively for the last few years across the site, the mag and this here book.


 

Joy of Aliyah: The Announcement Teaser

 

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We will be producing a real time (or as close to real time as possible) aliyah documentary, called Joy of Aliyah!

Starting this Tuesday, and then almost every Wednesday between now and Rosh Hashanah, we will be releasing a clip or episode of our journey, an online aliyah diary.


 

Jamie Geller To Make Aliyah – Follow Jamie...

 

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Tonight at the Nefesh B’Nefesh Tweetup (#nbntweetup) at the JNF house in Manhattan, I announced the incredible news that we are making aliyah this summer.  Here is essentially what I said.

“I, Jamie Geller, my husband and our children will be realizing a lifelong dream of ours, our parents, our grandparents and the Jewish people for the past 2,000 years.  We will be making aliyah this summer with Nefesh B’Nefesh on the August 13th 2012 Charter Flight.


 

The Making of a Cookbook #3

 

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Editing, Editing and More Editing.

The most unglamorous and laborious part to writing a cookbook is the editing, specifically the recipe editing. There are so many styles to recipe writing, think about it like decorating, and no way is better than the other but each publishing house, or publication, or website (I am sure you are getting the point) has a style sheet. Now, much like morning sickness, which is not confined to the the AM hours, a style sheet is not really a single piece of paper but something closer in size to a small book. It details all the “house rules” for writing. And goes through the painful process of listing the mundane to obscure.


 

The Making of a Cookbook Part #2

 

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When writing a cookbook, there are lots and lots of moving parts.  Especially when writing one with a lot of narrative.  When I write a book it’s not just about recipes for me.  I write about everything. My books are part memoir, part autobiography, part diary – entirely about my life.


 

The Making of A Cookbook Part #1

 

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The rumors are true. I am working on my 3rd book, thank G-d.

I have done many things in my life both personally and professionally. But writing a cookbook is one of the single most difficult of them all.


 

My Most Memorable Purim

 

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My most memorable Purim is a scary scene.  Me with about 60 quarts of soup and 24 pounds of challah dough, crying like a baby at 2AM.
Let me explain.

When we moved to Monsey 5 years ago I really wanted to make a splash that first Purim.  The community had been so warm and welcoming and I really wanted to show my appreciation, by making all 60 families (or most of them) mishloach manos.  Since I didn’t grow up in a family that made mishloach manos, or much of anything in the kitchen, when I first got married I frantically attempted to pull something together, at the last minute, only after my husband reminded me Purim was tomorrow.  So I borrowed a page from my friend Anita’s book and bought every purple food I could find left on the supermarket shelf through it all in a bag and attached a card wishing everyone a “Grape Purim.”  Boy was I ever proud of myself.  No really, I was proud.


 

Challah Recipes Galore!

 

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OMG I am rolling. I just made 20 pounds of challah. DID YOU READ THAT?! TWENTY!!!! POUNDS. Testing sweet and savory “challah” and “challah-esque” recipes for my new book. I am swearing off carbs for a year, or, well, at least a week, for sure until the end of today. One of my many goals in life is to see how many different things I can make out of my challah dough.

Here’s a recap of what I’ve done with it to date — plus a special PB&J challah somethin’ from Hadassah.


 

Do You Ever Feel Stressed?

 

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Just feel like writing now. I know it’s been a while. Have actually been kinda stressed. There is a reason superwoman and her superman are imaginary characters – it’s all just not possible. I am stressed to the point that I am now (as I am typing) eating an entire box of mini cream-filled sponge cakes. It’s a Weight Watchers box but I am pretty sure their intention was not to eat the entire box at once, probably why they individually wrapped each one. SO frustrating now that I am trying to eat them all (while typing). I can stop at any time, you know (just as soon as I finish this box).

I should get the mother of the year award for the yummy din din I made last night (considering all the stress)- the Cranberry Walnut Salmon over Wilted Spinach from my second book Quick & Kosher Meals in Minutes*. Um.. the kiddies including my two year old who can’t even speak “asked” for seconds! Yay! Getting your kiddies to love salmon really should get me some kinda trophy don’t you think? I have two small pieces of salmon left in the fridge which I really should eat instead of struggling with this Fort Knox faux twinkie plastic wrap. But when I am stressed all I can think of is cream and cake. You do know that STRESSED is DESSERTS spelled backwards?!


 

You’ve Been Asked to Cook Meals for a New Mom

 

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Kimpeturin. When I first heard that Yiddish word, I was totally confused. First of all, it sounds like a plural, but it actually refers to a woman (in the singular) recovering from childbirth. And it’s a term just loaded with compassionate implications: you take pains not to stress out this woman; she’s not expected to shlepp the laundry; and you cut her some slack when it comes to emotional triggers. Point being that new mommies can use a little (ok, a lot) of help from their friends, neighbors, in-laws, anybody! Doesn’t matter if the new baby is your first or if you have a house full of kids, getting it all together ain’t easy.

In our wonderful Jewish communities, aid comes in all forms – gifts of baby essentials, babysitting so the new mommy can nap, or help with din-din. I’ve also heard of a lady who comes over just to sort the laundry. What a G-dsend!


 

My Grandfather’s Latke Recipe **Chanukah...

 

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You know my grandparents really knew how to cook. It seems to me that everyone born in “the Old Country” (in this case, Transylvania) was born with built-in cooking intuition. Somehow, they could create the most scrumptious meals using no fancy equipment, nor even measuring spoons. I recall that they hosted every holiday humbly, turning out the expected delicacies with what seemed like the simplest, most relaxed effort. No exotic flavor profiles, nor food combos or wine pairings; no attempts at reinventing the wheel, because when the food is that good – no, make that superb – there’s no need to find a “twist” on the recipe.

On Chanukah, we were treated to their potato pancakes, “latkes” that were classic and simple. My grandfather, a professional chef, wore a manly white waist apron that suited him perfectly. His latkes were made of eggs, onions, potatoes, oil, salt, pepper, and a little matzo meal to make them crunchy. “Corn meal, that’s also good, if you don’t have any matzo meal,” he would say reassuringly, though you knew that he secretly wondered what kind of kitchen would not have a handful of matzo meal somewhere. The potatoes were hand-grated so fine –almost to a pudding-like consistency – then lightly fried in a pan that looked as though it, too, had just come over from the Old Country. Applesauce and sour cream traditionally accompany latkes, but who needed them? Crispy on the edges, with a fluffy, buttery smooth center, Grandpa’s version of this Chanukah delicacy could stand alone.


 

Jamie Geller and the 3 Bears!

 

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Wild & crazy.

As I write this in my Rockland County home, there are bears on the loose in my neighborhood. Not 1, not 2, but 3 bears, and they are not cuddly and they are not going for a harmless stroll while their porridge cools. They’re big, black, and one was just spotted digging into my neighbor’s garbage just 3 blocks away. AHHHH! Check out this video.