A Day of Marathon Cooking Followed by a Day of Sewing

I cook for my mother last week. Now it has become time to cook Rosh haShanah food for my family. This year,  the two days of holiday are followed by Shabbat, the dreaded three days of Yom Tov. While in theory it can be lovely, three days in a row of long services and big meals can frankly be a bit wearing, and wearying.

Yesterday I tackled the laundry that my boys had sort of done while I was gone. I also began cooking. I made two small roasts and a tzimmis.

The pot below is large enough to hold a 30 lb. turkey. It was completely filled to the brim with  raw sweet potatoes, white potatoes, carrots and meat.  Both the meat and the tzimmis take a long cook.


I also baked a bread, and we made pizza for the family.


Yesterday was one of those pricelessly hot and muggy New York days. Cod Ed held back power. We were unable to run the air conditioner. I could not stand the heat, but I stayed in the kitchen.

The meat and the tzimmis are all neatly packaged in my freezer, ready for the holiday. I still have more to cook, but the big stuff is done.


I had bought my son a book on artisan bread baking. The basic premise of the book is that you mix up a large batch loose bread dough that you store in the fridge. When you want bread you just hack off a lump, form it into a loaf and bake it.  We are still fine tuning the process. The first batch yielded teeny but delicious loaves. My son mixed a second batch on Sunday night. It feels like something out of the Sorcerer's Apprentice. Monday morning we awoke to find that the dough had emerged Alien-like from the bowl and had taken over the bottom shelf of the fridge. My son cleaned up the mess and I baked a bread.

By early in the afternoon, the bowl was of it’s own volition full again.  This called for drastic measures. So I made personal pizza’s for each of us. We each chose our toppings.  I made an extra lump of dough that I turned into a dessert pizza with Nutella, peanut butter and Israeli chocolate spread. After 12 hours straight of the oven on at full blast, I kept the oven off today.


Friday night, my daughter mentioned that she needed a more grown up bag to take to work than the canvas one she currently uses. I lent her one I had  for the time being, but warned my daughter  that it was heavy.

I thought that I could make my daughter a bag.  I remembered that my old issue of Cotton Friend, a Japanese sewing magazine had directions for a bag that where the construction was cool yet simple. That seemed just about my speed.


Here is the photo from the winter 2010 issue.

cotton friend 001

Here are the directions.

cotton friend 002

The outer fabric is a Marc Jacobs plaid coating that I bought at Fabric Mart. The lining is vintage cotton that I inherited from a friend. The closure is the belt from a late 1980’s dress that I used to be really fond of but haven’t worn in about ten years.


Some interior views.


My daughter requested pockets. I’m pleased that I figured out how to attach zippered pockets without wanting to stab myself from frustration.SAM_0957SAM_0959

The result is sturdy and lightweight.



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