June 2015


When my grandmother passed away 10 years ago, we found her recipes in a couple of small boxes. I saw complex pastry recipes, broiled fish dinners, and multiple chicken options. I came across the yummy roasts that she made – and saw a little girl sitting at a long holiday table, surrounded by family.

I’m still searching for her chocolate-chocolate brownies with nuts and chocolate chips recipe…I think she made that one up and never wrote it down! What a favorite treat – we enjoyed the frozen brownies even more than the defrosted ones! I remember asking my grandfather how he controlled himself, never eating these desserts from the freezer.

“Why would I just take them from the freezer?”

“’Cuz they’re delicious!”

“But they’re for company. When company comes, I’ll have one.”

Such control!

My grandmother wrote some recipes on note paper in light pencil. And the date on the notepaper? 1924! I imagined my grandmother (then in her early 20s) sitting in the kitchen in New Haven. As they chatted, perhaps, my grandmother watched her mother prepare and carefully and wrote down the ingredients and process. I suspect there wasn’t an electric mixer. I’m not even sure my great-grandmother used a measuring cup!

In case you’re in the mood for Ma’s Tagalach*, here’s the recipe!

Ma's Tagalach (Family Recipe)

Ma’s Tagalach (Family Recipe)

*Tagalach is also spelled teiglach and several other ways. It’s a dessert from rolled baked dough dipped in a honey-sugary sauce with nuts. Calories and cholesterol galore…well worth the splurge!

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And the answer…CALL THE PLUMBER!

I woke up to a sunny, warm California day. No June Gloom this morning (June Gloom = overcast early morning skies). It’s going to be a great day!

All dressed and ready to roll, I had to make a stop before I began my energizing treadmill walk. I got energized another way due to an overflowing restroom issue in the apartment. Arrggghhh! I’ve been meaning to buy a plunger and hadn’t gotten around to it. No time like the present!

So off I went, via car, to the local hardware store to buy myself a present. Armed with my sturdy plunger – the one the associate said is “tried and true” I confidently drove home. Up in the apartment I asked Hashem (G-d) to unblock all blockages – physical and metaphysical. And proceeded to do my plumbing duties.

Let’s just say that I used up all my heavy duty, oversized bath towels, and my not-so-heavy-duty undersized patience.

I called the manager. I texted the manager. And I emailed her. It was Sunday — I wanted to cover all forms of communication. And then I left for dryer quarters…and a usable restroom.

So much for the energizing treadmill walk. I also put off computer activities, and de-cluttering.

Several calls and 5 hours later, the plumber came with the perfect tool and in 5 minutes the restroom was usable – almost. Now it was time for the cleanup crew: Swiffer, rags, spray, and, of course the Head Honcho…me.

What did I learn?

  • Not all plungers are created equal.
  • If it looks like it’s “bigger than a breadbox” – too big to handle – it is!
  • Call the cavalry (friends, family) – which I did!
  • Call in the experts.
  • Be grateful that there are experts!

And go for a walk in a park with nice public facilities!

unblock