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Avia S-199 in Israeli Air Force Service

Last day

Child Two, Child Three, and I leave for home tomorrow.

I’ve spent the last four days working on the Afghanistan piece with shortish breaks to eat, sleep, watch, and do crossword puzzles.

My father, enamored as always of surprises, didn’t tell us he was building a pool. He’d planned to have it ready when we arrived – in fact, before my brother spent a week here earlier in March – but it’s not the sort of thing you can keep a surprise when we’re here.

Yesterday, the workers finished enough of it to allow us to fill it. Child Two, my father, and Marion (father’s Wife Two who I don’t call a step-mother because they got together long after I’d moved out) splashed around in about two feet of water yesterday. This morning, it’s almost full and the Child Two is again swimming while Child Three walks in the hot tub annex.

I’m not much for swimming, but I have to admit that this is one cool pool. It’s built into what has become a mound on the back yard that slopes down to the canal, with a small concrete patio. It’s surrounded by real and faux limestone boulders, as is the higher hot tub. A pre-existing limestone wall and waterfall have been incorporated into the design at the deep end.

A bit of the blue paint/sealant has come off as the pool filled. You can’t see it floating in the water, but it turned Child Two’s neck blue.

Other than the work, I’ve fried about 68 helpings of matzah brei. I suppose I could give you my recipe.

I can tell it’s time to go home, because my father has started acting less mature than my son. Child Three left his sandals in the middle of the dining room, so my father in a hissy fit kicked them across the room and out the door.

After arriving home tomorrow, I’m zipping off to a Journalism Students Association dinner. I have a faculty meeting Friday and the Irrational League draft Saturday.

Bonus recipe for matzah brei:

5 pieces of matzah broken into thirds or quarters
3 eggs
butter
milk
boiling water

Put water on to boil. While it heats, scramble the eggs. To the eggs, mix in about half as much milk.

Put the matzah in a baking dish and pour boiling water to cover. When the matzah is soft but before it gets mushy – a minute or two – pour out the water.

Pour the egg/milk mixture over the soggy matzah. Turn the matzah so that it all gets coated.

Melt enough butter in a frying pan to coat the bottom. When pan is hot, dump the contents of the baking dish (matzah, eggs, milk) into the pan. Spread it into an even layer and let it sit until the bottom turns golden brown. At that point, flip as well as you can. Stir the matzah occasionally so that it all cooks.

Serve with maple syrup.

The first night of Passover was also Child Two’s tenth birthday. We made her an almond sponge cake with candied lemon on top. One of the by-products was a lemon syrup, which I kept. It is fantastic on the matzah brei – sweet, with bright notes from the lemon.

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