Saturday, October 29, 2011

 
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THANKSGIVING 2011

"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but also the parent of others."
Cicero.

Thank you is a word that should be with us daily and constantly. We are so fortunate to have what we need, a home, food, education and to be free to live our lives with dignity.
Remember that each person has their own way to give thanks and while some do it at prayer, when they bless the food they eat, when they reap a crop, it is an individual way of saying Thanks for what we have.

Education, Democracy, Justice and a Government that leads the people and creates an environment of Peace and Harmony, are a great deal to be grateful for.
So wishing you all a day of togetherness with those you love and time to reflect and feel wonderful for what we are blessed with.

Thanksgiving gifts, cards and little messages are a part of the day. Sit down now, while you have time and select the gifts, write love notes, wrap them carefully and they are ready to give with love. Post the gifts to the soldiers far away now and to love one that cannot be with you. (See the blog re SOLDIERS)

Plan the menu, tables and d├ęcor and buy it all now.
A large tray with all kind of candles on it, is lovely for the family to light. Let each person say their own thank you and light up the candles
Plan the food you can cook ahead and freeze. Make a selection of cookies and cakes now. Have spare plates and cutlery for extra meals during the day and have small containers for left over foods. It is easier to pack them into the fridge.

Prepare natural drinks and extra juices, beers and lollipops for the kids. You can never win. No matter what, the demand is great, because it is a long celebration.

A few ideas you might like.
SWEET POTATO AND PUMPKIN ROLL.
This is quick and easy. Use ready pastry. I make this in the morning and bake it. Just roll the pastry on a floured board. I roll it fairly thin, If it is difficult to handle, roll three pieces and join them later.
Cook four sweet potatoes, four cubed potatoes. And two sups of diced pumpkin. When it is cooked, just cube it all and arrange it on the pastry.. Sprinkle cinnamon on it and drizzle a tablespoon of honey on the dough. I place the honey in a soup ladle over the steam of a kettle and it is then easy to drizzle. Grate mozzarella cheese and goats cheese over this and carefully roll it up. The dough will stick together if you wet the edges. The amount of cheese is up to you, a cup is enough. I spice with the cinnamon, honey and a little grated onions. Beat up an egg and brush this over the pastry roll. Sprinkle sesame seeds on it and bake in a hot oven for twenty minutes.

PUMPKIN PIE.
I do the pumpkin pie without a base. We have so much food that it is lighter to digest this way. Take a pie dish and moisten with olive oil Sprinkle crushed corn flakes over it. That is the base. Now cook pumpkin. You need two full cups when cooked. Mix the cooked pumpkin with half a cup of brown sugar, a teaspoon of cinnamon, half a teaspoon of ginger, four tablespoons of raisins and three eggs. Mix well and add one jar of yogurt and a grated apple. Mix and put this into the base and bake in a medium oven for twenty minutes. You can serve this with grated parmesan on the top and chopped chives. Looks great and is yummy.

BAKED APPLES.

I bake apples for everyone. If they are left over simply puree them. You can freeze them with the .following.. This is for twelve apples. Two tablespoons diced dried apricots, four cut up dates, and half a cup of raisins, a tablespoon of lemon juice or a squeezed fresh orange. A teaspoon of cinnamon and two teaspoons of honey. Fill the cored apple and place it in a baking dish that allows you to fill it with water half way. I place an apple tea bag in the water and bake it in a medium oven for thirty minutes. You need to baste it a few times. When it is ready and cool, you can freeze them or wrap individually to freeze for later use. You can serve this with custard, a soya caramel pudding, ice cream or simply maple syrup.

Have a great time and enjoy it all Love and light Rona

Saturday, October 15, 2011

 
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BOOKS , NEW AND OLDER TITLES.

                                                                                                   RONA KRUGER…….BOOK LIST….OCTOBER….2011
                                                       

We seem to have endless good books to read, and I have selected a few to add to your reading list. When we chat globally about what we are reading, the people in USA, Australia, South Africa and Europe are all reading great books, but they do not reach all of us in the book stores. So good that we have Amazon and Kindle   and places that delivers them to us. Enjoy your reading.

SUNSET PARK….PAUL AUSTER.
This is about a current global issue.  Wall Street is dealing with demonstrations now, we had them in Tel Aviv and they seem to be everywhere. Here is a sensitive story of self identity, depression, squatters and relationships. A good read.

WAY TO PARADISE……MARIO VARGOS LLOSA.

This is a story about GAUGUIN the artist. It is written with details of his work, traumatic encounters with himself and people of other cultures, different values of society and  we feel the paintings come alive through the amazing descriptions of the life he was leading. I found the story  kept me spell bound.  Colorful to the extreme.


SCENES FROM VILLAGE LIFE…….AMOS OZ

Here are glimpses of what goes on underneath the surface of everyday life. Often in Israel the city restaurants, the hotel pools the spas and life style abodes, are misleading. Besides all that it is a country with a deep history. The shadows of troubled days, are there, the scenes of disturbing   safety exist. Amos Oz weaves magic into a series of stories, with conflicts, mystery and memories of days gone by. Amos Oz always leaves you with the feeling that you eagerly await the next book. His TALE OF LOVE AND DARKNESS remains one of the most marvelous books I have ever read.

MEMORIES AFTER MY DEATH….YAIR LAPID.

This is about the late Tommy Lapid, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Israel, a journalist, member of the Knesset, written by his son, Yair Lapid. It takes us from Budapest to Israel, from the horrors of war to survival in our land.  My friends all agree it is a wonderful tale of a well educated man, with memories of the Holocaust, a strong character and an inspiration to all of us. Well worth the read.

THE DOOR…….MAGDA SZABO.

This is set in 20th century Hungary. A well written story of the maid/housekeeper Emerence who arrives to assist the aspiring writer Magda, with household chores. The tale of Magda, her husband, the dog and their lives are all swept into order by  Emerence. She is full of mystery and a long history behind her. Well written and great reading.

NEW ON THE SHELVES.  These might only be in USA now…..

THE MISTRESS OF THE VATICAN…ELEANOR HERMAN
The story of Olimpia Maidalchini, that shook the foundations of the Catholic Church.

THE ARROGANT YEARS….LUCETTE LAGNADO.

This is written by the investigative reporter of the Wall Street Journal. She wrote the ‘Man in the White Sharkskin Suit”, but this one is a memoir of herself. The story of her arrival from Cairo to Brooklyn, the tale of her growing up and maturing into a remarkable woman.

 These  are titles that you may add to your list They are not all new, but worth reading

The Rembrandt Affair  da Silva..               

The Hare with Amber Eyes.Edmund de Waal.

 Wolves Among Thieves. Hans Fallada Berlin>

Invisible Bridge Julie Orringer.

Cutting for Stone  Abraham Verghese.

Enjoy good reading… Love and light .Rona

















Friday, October 14, 2011

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BETTER SLEEP, BREAK BAD HABITS


  HAPPY NEW YEAR. HERE ARE A FEW IDEAS TO START OFF NEW HABITS, PREPARE FOR WEATHER CHANGES AND MAKE YOUR FOODS A CAREFUL PRIORITY DAILY. CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR AND NUTRITIONIST RE IDEAS FOR CHANGE AND BALANCE IN YOUR DAILY EATING AND DRINKING. DO NOT GO IN FOR CRASH DIETS AND WEIRD EATING WAYS,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

 

 BAD HABITS

I have always been wary of sleeping pills. I believe there are natural ways of having a good nights sleep. Of course anxiety, worry, fears, discomfort and tension, reduce the chance of a good nights sleep, but I feel that people need to be more aware of what their individual needs are. It is no good to take the advice of one of the gals at the Lunch Club, or a fellow bridge or tennis friend. You need to know why you need a pill.. You must consult with your Doctor. The gal at the Pharmacy does not treat you and has no idea what medication you are swallowing. Each person has their own needs….find out what yours are

You, might need to supplement your eating program with multi vitamins, minerals and special tonics. Some times we have a need of iron, Vitamin C, magnesium and potassium. If you have been on a course of antibiotics, you might need a yogurt a day and some vitamins. Your protein levels and sodium might need correction. So be in touch with the Doctor and Nutritionist. Kids and older folks need special care and regular visits for check ups to the Doctor and Dentist.

Sleep needs special conditions. You must be tired. No good going to sleep if you have energy and are wide awake. Read, bake a cake, tidy a drawer, mend something, call a friend, or reorganize the fridge. Make a few notes of what you need to do, what you need to fetch and attend to. Leave all the bits and pieces on paper, and not floating in your head.

Have a hot bath. Rub two drops of lavender oil, , on your warm shoulders. Dry your feet well and massage a cream on them. Buff your nails and use a night cream.
Sit down and breathe deeply for five minutes. Just in and out, at a pace that is good for you.
Skip flicking the TV channels before bed. Do not play on the computer and do emails when you are ready to go to bed.
Read something relaxing, poetry, love-notes and fun things.
Make sure you have not eaten a snack or a meal a while ago. You need to stop eating a few hours before bedtime. Large, late night dinners, alcohol and heavy desserts can only add to sleepless nights.

Cut out all the caffeine drinks, soda pops and weird concoctions filled with junk. At night there are good drinks like Chamomile tea, Green Tea or simply boiling water and a slice of lemon or orange in it or  a few mint leaves.

These are a few I suggest:

Honey and Lemon Tea. Boil the water and add a teaspoon of honey, and some mint leaves and a slice or two of lemon. Great in the morning too.

Cinnamon Treat. I boil the water and pour two thirds of water into a large cup, add a little cinnamon powder. You will adjust it to your taste. Then I add a little honey and milk to the top. This is a great TV tea, a warm drink for people who cannot have too much milk. It is good for the kids.

Cloves, mint and honey. When we had toothache, my Mom always gave us a special tea. Boiling water, tea in it and four to five cloves. Let it stand for ten minutes and drink this great tasting brew. This can be drunk cold and used as a compress on cotton wool for sore teeth and gums. You can rinse the mouth with it too.

Lemon and Herb Tea. We drink FORTUNE DELIGHT in one of the flavors according to the season. There is Natural, Lemon and Cinnamon. Have a glass of cold or warm water, add and mix Great for the digestive system. You can add natural sugar SUNNYDEW, the Stevia sweetener.

Chocolate Drink. This is great for the kids to prepare. Warm up some Soya, Rice, Almond or ordinary milk. Add a chocolate and stir. There is place for a cookie with a chocolate drink. Remember to brush the teeth after the treat.

Grapefruit and Honey Drink.
We have organic grapefruit in the garden a Jeff always made this Grapefruit drink. It is an excellent way to reduce caffeine drinks. Just squeeze a grapefruit into a tall glass, and add some honey and fill up with boiled water. We always leave the spoon in the glass, as we were taught that the glass won't break with a spoon in it. I often make a large jug for guests on a wintry night and it is a good start to a meal. Apple cider is also a fun warm drink.

Finally, clear the mind, tidy all thoughts and allow the body to relax. Make sure the bed has ample warmth, that the cushions are aired and switch off all electrical buzz and unnecessary plugs around you. Place the cell phone and alarms, a distance away from your body. Have appropriate lights and if you need a night light, just have a small one.

I have always tuned in to the powers that be and meditated for peace, loving kindness and a better world. Thanks for the day, the things we have and the vision of a good nights sleep, are the way to nod off. Have a peaceful sleep and wake up refreshed and energized, healed and ready for the day.

Love and light RONA

Friday, October 7, 2011

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