Tuesday, December 4, 2012

GRANDMOTHER'S LIBRARY: Yentl the Yeshiva Boy

Yentl the Yeshiva Boy 

by Antonio Frasconi

After I discovered that Barbara Streisand's movie, Yentl, was based on a book, I decided I wanted to read it.  The movie actually follows this short 58 page novel well, with a little poetic license thrown in.

Yentl is a girl living in a time when girls were not allowed to study. Her father allows her to study with him, but when he dies, she is afraid she will have to give that up.  She decides to cut her hair, dress as a boy, and join a yeshiva so that she may continue to study the scriptures.

Along the way, Yentl, who has now changed her name to Anshel, meets and falls in love with Avigdor, another yeshiva student.  Yentl's lies become more complex as she devises a plan to 'marry' the woman that Avigdor loves in order to remain close to him. 

The movie remains true to the book in that Avigdor is not allowed to marry his true love because his brother committed suicide; however, in the book, Avigdor marries a widow and is extremely unhappy.  When Yentl finally can no longer live the lie, she reveals herself to Avigdor, who loves her back.  However, Yentl wants to remain a yeshiva student and could not do that if she married.  She sends divorce papers to Hadass, her 'wife,' who never knows what has happened: it remains a mystery to the village. Avigdor divorces the mean widow and marries Hadass. Avigdor and Hadass live happily ever after, naming their first son Anshel.

This is an easy, quick book. I read the whole book while sitting in the waiting room of the doctor's office.
I recommend both the book and the movie.


Monday, December 3, 2012


 I have been making these fun pillowcases for a while now.  I just need to remember to  blog sometimes!
These are so fun and easy to make. You start with 3 pieces of fabric, each the full width of the material.  The top of the pillow case requires a 10 inch piece, the bottom is about 28 inches, and the contrasting strip is only 3 inches.

Begin by laying the 10 inch strip right side up on your ironing board or table.  Iron the 3 inch strip in half the long way, right side on the outside.

Place this strip with the fold side down across the length of the top of the pillowcase.
Then put the pillow body fabric on top, right side down.  Pin the three pieces of material across.

 For whatever reason, the edges never match up, but that is ok. I always keep the first side together and just pin to the end no matter how the width ends up. This is trimmed when you sew it all together.

Take the pillow case body fabric and roll up. This will be wrapped up with the 10inch piece.

Then fold the bottom edge of the 10 inch piece up over the roll of the larger fabric and match the edges.
Then re-pin all the way across.

This fabric roll is why some people call this the burrito or taco method of making the pillow case.

 Sew across the top being careful not to catch the fabric roll other than across the top edge that has been pinned.  When sewn, pull that fabric roll out the end.
 You end up with a beautiful pillow case with all the seams hidden inside the rolled part.  Iron this then fold in half length way.

 NOTE: I do NOT match the edges.  I pin together where the shortest piece ends on the one side. The remaining will be cut off when I surge it.  I really need to take a surger because about the only thing I use my serger for is to make pillow cases. I know there is more out there than can be done!

If sewing, you can trim now.  I use the serger down this side which does the trimming for me.
 I round the corner. There is no reason for this. I have no idea why I do it, other than I like to.  I only round the corner on the selvedge side, not on the folded side. Again, no reason why; that's just the way I do it.

I then iron again and have a finished product.
I make these to match my quilts.  I make them for holidays (I used glow in the dark skeleton fabric for Halloween pillowcases).
Sometimes I piece the top 10 inch piece using the block that is in the quilt I am matching.  I often embroider on the top to personalize them.  As you can see, these are fun and easy to assemble. And they make wonderful gifts.
 Here's a link to some of the other pillow cases I've made.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


 Deer season is our favorite time of year because of the wonderful jerky that we make.  There is nothing better than the sweet aroma of jerky curing floating through the house on a cool fall day.  Mouths water in anticipation, and parents scramble to find new hiding places for the fresh snacks so that they last more than a couple days!
 Some people use a dry rub jerky seasoning.  I prefer soaking my meat in a marinade before jerking it. My mixture consists approximately the following ingredients:
1 1/2 cups worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups soy sauce
2 tsp or so liquid smoke
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper

I lay my pieces out in the Tupperware Season-Server container. I have THREE of these and use them all! Of course I've had mine for 20+  years, but I see that they still have them.  Well worth the investment!!  The meat needs to soak overnight.  When my dehydrator is full, some of the meat stays soaking in the fridge for a couple days.  I then spread the meat out on my dehydrator trays. I have the Ronco 7 tray food dehydrator and sometimes I borrow my mother's dehydrator so that I can make my jerky in 1/2 the time.  Yes, I make that much! If my mom did not own a dehydrator that I could borrow, I would definitely invest in a 2nd one for myself.
Once the meat is spread out on the trays, I sprinkle different seasons on the jerky pieces before drying.  This varies depending on what I have on hand, but includes the following:
  • My homemade cajun seasoning 
  • Tony's
  • white pepper
  • lemon pepper
  • black pepper
  • taco seasoning
  •  Chili seasoning
  • BBQ seasoning
  • McMormick's steak rub
  • Italian seasoning
  • store bought cajun seasoning
  • french fry seasing
 As you can see, I use whatever I have on hand and whatever strikes my fancy.  I like them all!  My family's favorites are the taco flavored, lemon pepper, Italian (they call it the jerky with the 'grass' on it) seasoning, and cajun flavored.

This year I have started putting each of the trays in little jars. I liked mixing the flavors up, but my daughter wanted to keep the flavors separate.  Another reason why I put in jars is because last year, my kids left the jerky container in reach of the dogs; dogs can open Tupperware!! Who Knew??? 
So.. individual jars it is!! Plus, it makes it easier to hide the small jars: we just put a few of them up for later.

I have tried different jerky recipes over the years, but this is my tried and true favorite.


I wanted to make something special for Nathan his 2nd year away from home at Christmas.  I decided to make an advent calendar.  I found the embroidery designs on DesignBySick site, and thought it would be fun to have Nathan get a tiny gift daily till Christmas.
 These are some of the individual designs.  There are 24 different ones.  I sewed onto felt, then made a felt background to sew the pockets on.  I made tabs with large buttons at the top and had a dowel rod for it to hang on. The dowel rod, however, did not get mailed as it was a bit too long.
It was fun filling up the pockets. I 
wish I could have put a different gift card into each pocket, but that would have been too costly for me.  I did, however, get one from McDonalds, one from Taco Bell, and one for Red Robin and put in 3 of the pockets.  If I had remembered before mailing, I would have ordered a couple from Restaurant.com.  There are usually some pretty good deals on there. Some of the things I included in the pockets are:
  • Gift cards
  • sticky notes
  • packs of gum
  • tic tacks
  • tiny plush animal
  • breath mint strips
  • chocolate coins
  • tiny bottle (I thought he could save sand from 'The Sound' in it as a keep sake.
  • Yoo Hoo drink mix (could have been any of the 'straws' that you mix in water)
  • little hand sanitizer
Anyway, now (if he brings it home! lol) he will have a keepsake that he might fill up for someone next year, or we might fill up and send to his brother who will be away on a mission.  I hope it is something he can keep and use with his own family someday.
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