Monday, February 25, 2013

Bye Bye to an Old Friend

He was a  trusted friend for over 10 years.

Worked furiously to help me make mini's first birthday cake when we had no idea how to bake without eggs.  Helped us try countless cookie and recipes, letting us know which worked best.  Sat patiently while we worked on batches of frosting upon frosting, not caring that he was sticky and covered in cocoa powder everywhere.

He helped us with baby showers for friends and coworkers.  Helped mini eat healthy food when we discovered pumpkin protein bread, zucchini bread, and spinach muffins.  He brought warmth, comfort, tradition to every holiday, helping us with everything from hamentaschen to honey cake.  He was our secret weapon for the perfect apple pies at Thanksgiving, and homemade whipped cream.

It was because of him that oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for the doormen on Christmas and entertained children on playdates brilliantly for short bursts of time.

In short, he was always there when we needed him.

And then, suddenly......he was gone.  Just. Like. That.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

2013: The Year of the Month-Long Purim

Perhaps it's just us, but does Purim seem to have gotten hopped up on steroids this year?

The holiday is one day, yet it seems to have gone on forever.  In fact, the holiday has barely started and we're already Purim'd out.  How'd that happen?

We have some theories.

Exhibit One: Purim Carnivals going on for weeks.

For some reason, this is the year several people decided to hold Purim festivities on alternate dates in order to boost attendance.  After all, it's impossible to attend your school, synagogue, and local community center carnival all in one day!  So for practical purposes the dates were sandwiched before and after the holiday.  Of course, with Purim being redonculously early this year, the alternate dates fell over winter break, meaning no one would be around to celebrate, rendering the alternate date futile.  The solution? Push it back earlier.  The result?  Purim carnivals scattered from Feb 10th all the way to March 3rd.

Exhibit Two: Purim is super trendy this year.

For some reason, Purim was a hot topic this year.  Maybe it was the explosion of social media, generating Jew-envy amongst those forced to look at droolworthy picture after picture of hamentaschen on Pinterest.  Maybe it was the party and celebration invites being spread like wildfire.   Or maybe it was the intersection of Purim's relevance to current sentiments and values in our culture, inspiring articles such as Why I like Purim as a Queer, Secular Jew and this book on Jewish superheroes.  Regardless of the reason, you know it's trendy when secular entities like Bed & Bath and Slate are tweeting hamentaschen recipes.

Eclectic hamentaschen photos swept Facebook and Pinterest this year
#Purim was also hot topic on Twitter this year, with tweets every minute from all over the world.
We wonder if all the people tweeting this photo for #Purim even know who Haman was
Exhibit Three:  Increasing number of friends with children + Quality education in Jewish preschools + waitlists in public schools everywhere = more Purim costumes than ever before.

'Nuff said on that one.

What we'll be stylin' on Purim this year.  

So, to sum up, like the torture we endure when Christmas tzotchkes get put out before Halloween has even ended, Purim seems to be going the way of overkill as well.  We have to wonder, at what point does the holiday start to lose its impact?  That would be truly a shame, because it really is a great holiday.

Mini once asked us why we don't celebrate birthdays every day.  It would make every day special!  Or would it......

Simple, amateur hamantaschen.  Just right.
Happy Purim, peeps.  But not too happy, if you know what we mean.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

An Urban Dweller's Wish For Snow

What do New Yorkers wish for on a Snow Day?
While many suburban dwellers are hoping for no power outages and help with shoveling, here is what many New Yorkers are thinking when we hear of an impending snowstorm.

Behold, a typical New Yorker's wish for a perfect snow day:

Dear Mother Nature:

May it not snow on any day where we need to leave this island.  Or venture far in it.  

May it snow just hard enough for schools and offices to close, but not so hard that the delivery person can't make it here with dinner.   

May the really hard snow not start until after the liquor store closes.
May the snow stop by morning, so that the baristas can make it into work.

May it stay cold enough for us to enjoy a beautiful day sledding in the park, but not so cold that we freeze our butts off.  

May the supermarket not run out of mini marshmallows.

May people finally stop the meshuggas of naming snowstorms and put us out of our misery.

And finally, the ubiquitous wish of urban dwellers:

May we experience the joy of jumping in a fresh, white, fluffy pile of snow before it turns yellow.