Monday, March 19


Goodbye Bloggers
Well, the time has come.
The second to last EVER post of Kasamba.
It’s been a year now, a journey that had its ups and pups, madness and mayhem.

I have enjoyed getting to know you, my readers and yes, even my lurkers. I started blogging because I had a lot to say and it seemed like an ideal forum where I would be judged on content rather than externalities. I loved the almost immediate feedback and enjoyed how I could spark off discussions between all of you.

BUT, I have always been aware that the blogashpere is not an alternate universe that people can behave according to their inner consciousness without any barriers. I actually don’t believe there is any place for that at ALL. In fact, as Jews, if we have bad thoughts, we are taught to replace them with good ones, not revel and salsa around in the mire of rotten reflections.
Yes, there is something to venting.
My blog posts are full of that.
But I would hope that I haven’t once cast members of Klal Yisroel in a bad light.

I believe that as bloggers, we have a responsibility that we can’t abandon just because we are anonymous. Once we say we are Jewish, we are accountable for every word we write, no matter if anyone knows who we are or not.

Now that I got that off my chest, I can just tell you why I haven’t been going on your blogs or answering your wonderful comments.
Way back when I started blogging, I promised Hubby that I would only do it (all blogging activities) for one year and one year only. As soon as the year ended, he reminded me of my promise and he has kept me to it. And so, he has let me go blogging over the year only to post these final posts but not to visit everyone elses.
Well, who can blame him? He wants his wife back; as do my kids, and my commitments in RL (that’s Real Life for you lurkers!).
Blogging for Kasamba has come to an end. Finito. Full stop.
I will miss you all.

Well, not really, because the next post will be my last.

But I will forever be Kasamba.

Thursday, March 15

Don't YOU be Passed Over This Passover

Most women arrive at their Pesach seder looking like their passport photos.
I figured out that the reason why women are not required to lean is because if they did, they would just keel over.
After cleaning for weeks and replacing all the food in the house and then cooking, the Jewish female of the tribal species usually feels rather worse for wear by the time the pow-wow actually begins.
No, no not I. I will survive.
I refuse to be a dishpan handed wreck by seder night.
I want to happily leave Mitzraim, not say,
“Go on without me, I’m too tired”

Instead I want to sit upright at Magid and be‘with it’ as much as possible.
You might ask- Kasamba, how will you do that?
Well, that’s a mighty good question.

With the patented Kasamba Don’t YOU be Passed Over this Passover Program, you too can be as fresh faced as those who say Ma Nishtana instead of as flat and craggy as a matzah and about as bitter as marror.
So ladies, (no, that doesn’t mean you, even if you are feminine) roll up those sleeves, we’ve got work to do!

-The first step is elementary. If you are like me, during the course of the year you would have received numerous hand and body lotions. If you are also like me, they end up standing in your cupboard, like a regiment of French soldiers; basically doing nothing.

So, take samplings from a few of theses creams and rub profusely over your hands, then place under rubber gloves. So while you are scrubbing and scouring, your hands are being treated and pampered. In fact, according to the Kasamba Don't YOU be Passed Over This Passover Program, your lotions have more of a chance to really penetrate into your hands the more you plunge them in scalding, scorching, blistering water. So, get started.

-The second step; use Pre-Pesach to work on your core stability.
We at the Kasamba Don’t YOU be Passed Over this Passover Program advocate what we call Passover Pilates. Pilates will help you work on strength, balance and mental focus; all of which any Jewish woman needs this time of year.
The fitter you get, the cleaner your house gets. It’s a win/win situation.
This particular exercise is call the ‘Working Like a Dog’
First, you perch on a chair, leaning towards the drawer you wish to clean, then dipping a Q-tip in Windex (or Windowlene on this side of the aquarium) point it at area of the drawer destined for crud removal and
PULSE *1*2*3 and HOLD 1*2*3: repeat sixty times.
Make sure to concentrate on your core.
For Your Information: your core is the area in the pit of your stomach that bleeds into your intestines whenever you think about Pesach.

-The third step is an opportunity for you to see to your face and your fridge/larder at the same time. All of us have expensive items of food that we feel are too good to throw out but are way too old/moldy to use. So, using the Kasamba Don’t YOU be Passed Over this Passover Program, you will learn how to clear these food items from your shelves while at the same time hydrating and nourishing your skin. We have it all in our Ingredients You Have Face Mask.
First, take all unused or half used items from all different food groups and line them up. Then starting with the yogurt, (including the green stuff on the top- it has curative properties; like antibiotics) you will schmear it all over your face. Then move on to the leftover avocado and spread over the yogurt layer. We all know about the medicinal properties of olive oil, so next, take the last of the chametz olive oil and apply it over the other two layers.
Don’t be afraid to go ethnic! Be heimishe and proud! Go on! Dollop on some of that herring your husband was saving but never actually ate. It's full of z complex minerals! Gehakta Leben is also chock full of protein!

Finally, for the coupe de ta; nuts. Nuts are an essential hydrating component of our Ingredients You Have Face Mask.
But you already know that it’s impossible to use all those nuts that you got over Purim any other way! The vitamins found in nuts are wholesome and vital for the collagen production in the skin, so be sure to be generous when applying.
Don’t worry; your face mask might burn a little, which is perfectly normal.
Leave on for 48 hours, making sure to avoid sunlight.

-Step four. We at the Kasamba Don’t YOU be Passed Over this Passover Program, believe in making the most of your cleaning time and that means doing things that you promised yourself you would; but you never did. Keeping in mind that in every Jewish woman there is an Imelda Marcus just waiting to burst out; take a walk to your shoe closet.

Look around. Just how many shoes do you own that are the weensiest, teensiest bit too small for you? Is it only one pair? Or are there five or more? Never fear, because, you will soon be able to wear those uncomfortably tight shoes and they will soon be as loose and as comfortable as a pair of slippers. The secret is this: put on those snug shoes and wear them while you clean. Yes, it’s that simple. Just teeter around in them while you rummage around your house looking for unleavened kryptonite and you will make your footwear as slack as Alfred Hitchcock’s jaw. This key to doing this is something called ‘pain redirection’. Our team of crack psychologists assure you that when you are pillaging your home, you become so highly focused that you will not notice that you are wearing six inch heels that are at least two sizes too small (because they were such a pretty colour and they were on sale and they were the only ones left).

-Step five; learn a new language.
So far we have worked on our outsides, but what of our MINDS????
We must toil and exert ourselves culturally as well as look amazing with terrific shoes while we dechometize our homes. Naturally, this is the best time to learn that foreign language that you always wanted to.

For the first time you will be able to read books in another tongue!
For the first time, you will be able to order without translation in exotic restaurants!
For the first time, you will be able to understand what your cleaning help says!
Be like Mordechai Hayehudi- choose from our Kasamba Don’t YOU be Passed Over this Passover Program’s extensive collection of no less than seventy, yes- you read it right, seventy language tapes. It’s simple.
All you do is listen and repeat.
Can you say
is this a really old macaroni or is this a new form of wildlife?
in Bulgarian?

So that’s it. The patented Kasamba Don’t YOU be Passed Over this Passover Program won’t let you get washed down the drain with the filthy water this year! No this year, you would have worked out both body and mind to arrive at the Pesach juncture prepared to travel with the rest of Kllal Yisroel, just in better, more comfortable shoes.

After the five step Kasamba Don’t YOU be Passed Over this Passover Program, not only will your house be spotless but your hands will be as soft as Paroah’s belly, you will be as fit as an Eved shlepping rocks, your face will be as smooth as a Baitzah and you will speak as many languages as the Anshei Kneses Hagedola.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to blow torch clean my kid’s braces.
Ah, just one kid, just one kid

Thursday, March 8

The Big Freeze

Now that Purim is done and dusted, I beg the question; just what is the story with us and our freezers?

Out of all our appliances; why do we break down like a 1980’s Ford Escort when our freezers pack up?

I’ll tell you why, through a detailed analogy as follows;

A ship goes belly up and sinks, taking all its passengers with it.

Yup, that’s about it.

When your freezer dies, it has everything inside that you wanted to keep just in case you can't get to the shops.
After all, you never know when;
-Your car won’t start without warning
-Guests turn up without warning
-Armageddon arrives without warning

Most frum women I know have more than one freezer and these freezers are always full, yet there is never anything to eat in the house.

We females are so dependent on our freezers that our priority shows itself in the discourse we have with our peers.

Female #1: “I fell down and fractured my leg in fifteen different places. The doctors say I won’t be walking for months and when I do, I will have a noticeable limp.”

Female #2: That must be terribly inconveniencing for you. I wish you a refuah shlemah.

Now, notice the difference when the conversation concerns freezers.

Female #1: I had builders in the garage and they switched off all the power by mistake, so everything I had in the freezer defrosted and had to be thrown out.

Female #2: OH NO!!!! What are you going to do???? What a tragedy!!!! Hashem Yirachem!

This is obviously elementary, after all, once you’ve stood in your kitchen for hours and cooked food, the only place you want it to go is in peoples mouths: not in the gaping jaws of the local sanitation vehicle.

I would have to say that a freezers greatest enemy are children-in-search-of-ices. These children leave the freezer door open while they rummage around looking for the odd ice pop that might have fallen out of the now empty box. Or they try to freeze Evian bottles full of orange juice and need to check on their progress every two minutes.
Then, if leaving the freezer door wide open isn’t bad enough, the kiddies never close the door properly so the cold air escapes slowly and surely until everything that was once rigid with frost becomes completely damp and limp like fat men after a sauna.

Before a Simcha, freezing isn’t even a luxury, it’s a necessity. When a woman davens that everyone should be in good health and her guests should arrive with their luggage and that everything should work out, she will put in an extra bit about her freezers.
“Please Hashem, Master of the Universe, You who have given man the Daas to create electricity, please watch over my freezers so my Simcha can be complete.”
Amen, sister.

On the other hand, you can tell a lot about a person by what they store in their freezers.
-If you store food that is peppered with paprika and heavy on garlic, you are most likely Hungarian.
-If you store food that is perfumed with cinnamon and honey, you are most likely Sephardi.
-If the question isn’t what you have in your freezer, but rather WHO you have in your freezer, you are most likely a psychopath and I ain’t eating at your house.

My favourite freezer story is actually a classic in the Kasamba household. It involves a much beloved and adored Auntie and Hubby’s deceased grandmother.
It was a family get together, six months after the passing of Hubby’s paternal grandmother, Omi. Auntie, the daughter in-law of the departed, presented all assembled with a beautiful apple pie. Everyone had a piece and was marvelling over the lightness of the dough.
In response, Auntie said, “Well, it is Omi’s dough.”
Oh”, her son elucidated, “You mean, you used Omi’s recipe to make the dough”
No” Auntie replied, “It IS Omi’s dough.”
“Huh, what do you mean, it is Omi’s dough?”
“You know… from her freezer

There was a deafening silence after the almighty ‘CLANK’ that was made when everyone threw down their cutlery.

In spite of everything, freezer or no freezer, a person’s food should never outlive them.

What’s with that term ‘freezer burn’ anyway?
Freezer, brrr cold.
Burn, achhhh hot.
Go figure. Another thing I won’t ask Rabbi X.

Now before Pesach, I must delve into the depths of my freezer on my mission to either search (and devour) or destroy. Because of the aforementioned ‘freezer burn’, most of the time I must destroy, but even the act of throwing away the remnants of last Shavous’s cheesecake, brings back lovely memories. (Sound effect: birds chirping)

Whenever this time of year barrels along, I always feel like an intrepid explorer braving the sub artic conditions to forage through the icy depths to retrieve some ancient, fossilised prize. However, once the freezers are empty, I start to feel like my car’s gas gauge reads less than 1/10 full. Yup, I get nervous. Maybe it’s because I’m a gilgul of someone who went through the Irish Potato Famine or maybe it’s because I’m part Hungarian, I dunno, all I know is I just can’t rest until my freezers full again.

And so, the cycle continues.
Ah, the circle of life.

Thursday, March 1

Is it Purim Yet?

Boruch Hashem Cucumber is feeling a little better BUT because it is before Purim and she missed so much school, I feel I have to pick up the slack and teach her about the holiday myself.
The story went fine but the songs- eh, eh (hand swivel)
Apparently, my memory is worse than I thought.
I sang her the ‘Purim song’ as I remembered it, and it went something like this:

King Achashverosh liked nosh that smelled like feet
He begged his wife Vashti for some
She had many Corn Chips
A hundred at least
And said “I won’t give you even one!”

I knew something was up when my little girl looked up at me as if I was Tom Cruise jumping on her sofa. “Mummy” she said, “I don’t think it goes like that” and she sang me the real version, which I must admit makes much more sense.
Now I recall why I never became a teacher.
Never mind, it’s your kids loss.

Anyhoo, Purim is almost upon us and my theme is ready.
This year’s theme is theWizard of Oz.
I am the wicked witch, obviously.
Hubby is the scarecrow.
(Artichoke is in the US, spending time with my Favourite Fruits)
Cucumber is the good witch
Radish is a gladiator and Tomato is a Pirate- think poetic license or Venahafoch Hu
And Asparagus will be the Lion.
Asparagus HAD to be the lion because she is growing her naturally curly, stunning blonde hair for Zichron Menachem, who make wigs for children with cancer. Her hair is almost two feet long from scalp to end and with a mane like that, she HAD to be the lion!

Oh, I do adore Purim. After Sukkos, Purim is easily my favourite holiday.
Well, you can’t sit in a Shalach Manos for seven days, can you?
But before you lock me up, just know that there are others like me out there!
Yes, they do exist!
We are a secret society that actually enjoy THE most hectic day of the year. But then again, I also love making Pesach, but that’s another story…

My kids love the whole build up to Purim. In fact, they will start preparing next years Purim costumes, while sorting out their Purim nosh this year. And that’s another thing, Boruch Hashem that Pesach comes so soon after Purim, otherwise my kids would have authentic British teeth, if you catch my drift.

When I was younger, I was much more into the whole earth-mother-who-makes her-own-costumes thing. Well, it was the closest I will ever get to growing my own vegetables. Even though I tell myself not to feel guilty about that, apparently London fog and smog is only really good if you want to grow glow in the dark zucchinis. Anyhoo, I used to sew, and create costumes and find satisfaction in doing so. Nowadays, I get satisfaction if I remember to cut Tomato’s and Cucumber’s fingernails. So, it’s off the costume store for us.

I’m just grateful that costumes have evolved since the Stone Age, when I was a child. I used to hate those plastic masks with the rubber band that always came out of the staples. I also hated the way my face would get all hot and sweaty from breathing in my own air. I was always sure that those little tiny cut out mouths were meant for a goyta who was much more refined than I was and didn’t have nearly as large of a mouth.

We are having the seuda in our house but my lovely sisters in law are cooking everything and leaving me to do my favourite part: the dessert. I put out black tablecloths and assembled a yellow brick path winding over the tables. I also have all the accessories on the table; such as Toto in a basket, the emerald city in a vase, ruby red shoes, medal of bravery, etc..

The way it works is that my brother in law is the bouncer and gives out £1 charity vouchers to the collectors but allows the entertaining groups in who get the big bucks. No one in my family drinks much, so apart from the de rigour Purim L’chaim, BH there’s no vomit or drunken behaviour in my house.

So unless you behave yourself, and have a routine, you ain’t getting in.
But I might make an exception if you have corn chips.

My blog is worth $12,419.88.
How much is your blog worth?

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