Matzah in the Sandbox

Nobody wanted to leave the sandbox at lunch time today. With the perfect spring breeze shaking the new Bradford Pear leaves over our heads and the soft afternoon sun warming our cheeks, we were all content to keep playing. Plus, there was a new bucket of plastic sand toys for digging and building. But I was hungry too, so I ran into the house and grabbed a box of matzah. I have noted the irony of the impressive onslaught of matzah crumbs beginning the moment the house has been cleaned for Passover. The near constant shower of matzah crumbs around …

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Jewish Farming Piece

 I am happy to have a short piece called Back to the Land about farming and Jewish life running on the Jewish Parenting Blog Kveller today.  Feel free to check it out and the rest of the site which has several good Passover posts and  lots of other interesting things to read.  If you are landing here from Kveller,  you might want to click here for another Jewish parenting post on this blog.   Happy Passover!

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Passover Countdown

We are only 10 days from the first night of Passover and once again I am realizing that my house will not be cleaned to my images of Passover perfection. I love the idea of a very deep, full house spring cleaning where any trace of chametz – both literal like cracker crumbs under car seats and figurative like the clutter that rises and puffs on surfaces and in closets—is removed.  While it is a wonderful idea that your entire home could be perfectly clean in time for Passover, I never seem to pull it off. In part it is …

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Last Taste of Winter

In dozens of ways, we are gearing up for spring on the farm.  We are signing people up for our CSA, caring for trays of seedlings, preparing the ground for planting, popping onion sets into the cold soil, building a new hoophouse and seeding trays in the chilly hoophouse.  At the same time, we are enjoying the last of the winter as spring weather is making a slow and faulty entrance.  Last week, we had a dusting of snow on our daffodils and our winter coats are still in easy reach. The farm pace is not yet frenetic and we …

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Guest Post today on Challah Baking

I am happy to have a guest post today on the Jewish Daily Forward’s Food Blog “The Jew and the Carrot“.  The piece called the Ecology of Challah Baking grew from an earlier post on this blog and a comment from a reader. It is exciting to appear in one of the newest online branches of one of the oldest Jewish newspapers in the US. The Forward was once read primarily in Yiddish by thousands of Jewish immigrants to America including my own great grandparents.   The paper remains a strong force today and in addition to the English and Yiddish print editions now has a website with a lucky seven blogs. If …

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Five Yards of Organic Lavender Interlock

I am truly just beginning to sew, so anyone who reads my posts can be assured that the sewing posts will not intimidate.  I will try not to hide my mistakes and my penchant for attaching things backwards. There are a million wonderful sewing blogs and books where you can see simple or complicated projects completed to perfection. I cannot offer that, but I will try to share some of my beginner enthusiasm and maybe a reader will decide to dust off their machine and join the fun. Five yards of organic cotton lavender interlock are washed and fresh from …

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Can you Say She-hech-ey-a-nu

I first learned the shehecheyanu as a young 20 something, and it quickly became my all time favorite blessing.  My friend and I were strolling through a vineyard on a drive through Napa Valley.  We were giddy New Englanders discovering California and finding great amusement in the paper booties we were required to pull over our shoes during our visit to the vineyard.   The farmers were trying to prevent tourists from tracking in pests as they wandered through. I can’t remember exactly what my friend experienced as “a first” that day, perhaps her first time seeing grapes actually still attached to the …

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On Challah

by Tanya Tolchin Most Fridays, I bake two loaves of challah for Shabbat dinner.  Sometimes I have no other plans for dinner beyond the challah, and we need to scramble to add something to complete the meal. I use a standard recipe, which varies based on how much whole wheat flour I add, whether there are raisins on hand, how much time there is for rising, and the temperature and humidity of the kitchen.  They come out differently each week and even between the two loaves on the same week there is often variation, one dough compliant and neatly braided, …

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Welcome to the Lettuce Edge

post by Tanya Tolchin Welcome to the Lettuce Edge, a new blog on farming, gardening, sewing, parenting, Jewish life and living green. The name refers to a few things. First, I recently read that many people consider lettuce to be the quintessential vegetable, possibly representing the very essence of vegetable-ness.  I live on a small family organic vegetable farm, so lettuce (and beets, and garlic and flowers) are at the center of our lives and table. And secondly,  I am beginning to sew and many mothers of little girls can tell you that the “lettuce edge” is as lovely as …

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