Saturday, September 19, 2009

Happy New Year!

The blog would like to wish one and all a "Happy New Year." It's Rosh Hashana, which translates to "Head of the Year." The holiday kicked off at sundown on Friday, and its two big customs are apples and honey, and the blowing of the shofar (a ram's horn). A third, unofficial custom in many families is ...

Issue #1 - The food

My mom hosts Rosh Hashana dinner - in many years, she follows up the dinner with a late lunch the next day. The stuff is good - plain and simple. Things kick off with matzoh ball soup - for those not in the know, this is chicken soup filled with soft, fluffy dumplings (but there's nothing inside). Add in a few carrots, and it's good to go. Most folks have a single bowl - me, not so much. I never have fewer that two, and one year, I had so much soup that they put my picture in the dictionary next to "bloated."

Next comes chopped liver and gefilte fish. Mom makes the liver at home from scratch - for those who love chopped liver, it's a delicacy. Tupperware containers accompany guests when then leave, as the liver is one of their favorites. I skip liver and fish - instead I slurp more soup.

The main course - served buffet style - is quite the sight. Usually, turkey, brisket and corned occupy center stage (just 2 of the 3). Surrounding the meats are a sweet potato casserole, stuffing, a grilled veggie medley, a jello mold, applesauce ... my eyes begin to spin at this point.

Dessert - chocolate chip cake, mondel bread, and ... who cares what else? Sometimes there's fruit - I'll skip the fruit unless it's strawberries dipped in chocolate, which magically appeared.

It was delicious - on Friday night, and Saturday night (along with steak tenderloins) and again on Sunday after I mowed the lawn.

Thanks, mom.

Issue #2

Does it get much better than Ravens win and Steelers lose? I suppose I could root for a Redskin loss, but why waste all of my rooting karma on one weekend? I am most proud of the Ravens - they proved most pundits wrong by travelling cross country to win on the road, against a team that many say will be in the Super Bowl.

From the "I'm a bit concerned even though the Ravens are 2-0" department, the mighty defense has looked more like a bend-but-don't-break group, rather than the immovable force group of past seasons. To be fair, it does not look so intimidating to give up 50 points in two wins; then again, 14 points last week were careless, as were seven more this week.

But when push came to shove, the Ravens forced the Chargers into four field goals, and made a crucial big play to end the game. That Darren Sproles guy gave the Ravens fits for most of the day. But on the biggest play of the game, Ray Lewis made the big tackle.

Next up, the Browns come to Baltimore - I haven't looked yet, but the Ravens may be a 10-point favorite. Cleveland is not so good.

Did I mention that Pittsburgh lost?

Issue #3

Our school attendance will take a dip this week, and not because of "swine flu." We have a number of students participating as exhibitors at the Great Frederick Fair. It's kind of refreshing that in an era where kids take off of school all-too-often for "vacations," we have some students showing off their skills and talents. I use to chuckle that the school system closes for a day for the Fair, but the Fair is a big deal. Have a look at this link.

Good luck, kids.