Butternut Squash and Chard Red Curry



1 middle-size butternut squash, peeled and cubed
a few kale leaves, thinly sliced
1 tbsp canola oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red curry paste
300 ml coconut milk
1 lime (optional)
a generous handful of cashew nuts
salt and pepper to taste

heat the oil in a wok and sauté onion, garlic and ginger. Add then the turmeric and curry paste, mix and cook for about 2 minutes.

Add the butternut cubes and salt and mix again before covering with the coconut milk. Simmer until the butternut cubes are tender. Add the kale and lower the heat as soon as they begin to wither.

Add the lime juice (optional), season to taste and throw in the cashew nuts. Serve with jasmin rice.

Hygiene in HK


Since the SARS outbreak in South China in 2002-2003, HK residents have become more aware in terms of personal and public hygiene.

The elevators all have a layer saran wrap over the buttons that gets changed out or cleaned several times a day. Similarly handles and handrails are regularly disinfected.

Before you enter a building or a block of flats, you will walk on a bleached rug so that your soles are freed of germs.

Most stores and public toilets have hand sanitizer dispensers. Regarding the latter they are much cleaner than the average lavatories in France. Besides there is always a cleaning lady on the premises who regularly mops and cleanses. Finally if you are dissatisfied with the cleanliness of the place there is the phone number of a person you can contact.

Do you find that people are as careful in your country?

Attempts at Being Greener


I have just discovered this new meme and thought I would give it a go. I am certainmy not a very “green” person but I am trying to change a few habits. One of my top concerns being what we eat and the repercussions on our health.

I happened to go shopping yesterday, like most Wednesdays or Thursdays. For once I had made a rather exhaustive list of what I needed, which included fruit and vegetables. As I had little time I had planned to do all my shopping at the local supermarket rather than go there and to the small greengrocer’s where I often shop.

Once in the green section, I thought I would have a look at the organic products. One of the reasons was that after the summer season it is more difficult to find local products unless you want apples, cabbage or potatoes. Thus a lot of fruit and vegetables are imported from Spain. The problem with Spanish products is that they contain pesticide residues which pose potential health hazards.

Therefore I decided to buy organic potatoes, carrots, zucchini and bananas. Unfortunately since the range is still rather small it was necessary to add some non-organic vegetables, including a Dutch red pepper (most certainly grown in a greenhouse).

What most surprised me was that the total wasn’t too expensive, maybe because of the list which prevented me from buying useless products.

More Think(ing) Green Posts at Ramblingwoodsgreen.




On the phone with my parents a few days ago, they mentioned that my sister-in-law had called them about my nephew. He is a bright red-haired who suffers from ADHD – this was diagnosed about three years ago.

At that time he was given Ritalin but had to stop after a few months as he had too little appetite and had even lost some weight.

He is in junior high school where he learns the cornet and singing but might get suspended from the singing lessons as his behaviour is too unstable, something which saddens him since he loves singing. His doctor has decided to put him back on Ritalin and he will see the school psychologist every week.

It seems little is known about this disorder and it is still a controversial issue.; some people still think it does not even exist. So if you know people who feel they have managed to handle this disease or at least cope with it, don’t hesitate to leave a message on this blog.

Pre-Shabbat Links



Take Control of your Shabbat Meals, an article for people who worry about eating too much on Shabbat.
Olive oil: the miracle ingredient, Biblical history and health benefits.
Reflections on Being a Loser at Jewish Geography, or how a seemingly innocent question can prove embarrassing.
Environmental Sensitivity, making environmental awareness an Orthodox issue.

Shabbat Shalom

Red Lentil Dahl



Pulses are cheap and healthy. Apart from a high level of proteins, lentils also contain dietary fiber, Folate, vitamin B1, and minerals. Red (or pink) lentils contain a lower concentration of fiber than green lentils (11% rather than 31%).

Ingredients: (serves 4-5 people)
2 red onions
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp curry paste
2 green chili peppers, sliced
1 cup red lentils
1 small can coconut milk
cilantro or parsley
1 lemon

Sauté the onions in olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add the sliced garlic and chili peppers. Cok for another 2 minutes.
Add the red lentils, coconut milk and 3 cups of water. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 50 minutes. Check regularly and add more water if necessary.
Add chopped cilantro or parley before serving. Serve with rice or naan and lemon wedges.

Seven Blogs I Read

I am back online after three days with no Internet access.

Swedish Chekchouka nominated and challenged me to share my 7 favorite blogs, I’m not allowed to put hers because she put mine on her list. It was a bit difficult to select only seven as I regularly read more than that. My apologies to the bloggers whose blogs I enjoy but whom I did not select. I think it was Sartre who said “Choosing is renouncing”. Here is my final choice:

Leora’s. A potpourri of ideas about Highland Park; books; Jewish topics; art, health, parsha, web design, kids, food, gardening and …
Frumteacher’s. Insights into History teaching from a Dutch frum teacher.
Cynthia’s. A mixture of posts about Jewish life, American politics, mothering, BlogHer …
Imabima’s. Real-life Jewish parenting…from the laptop of a rabbi-mom of 3 kids on the NorthShore of Chicago…
SuperRaizy’s. A Brooklyn super mom’s blog.
Treppenwitz’s. For his great and enlightening stories.
TherapyDoc’s. An intelligible resource on mental health and relationships, with a healthy dose of self.

Whether you’ve been nominated or not, feel free to share your favorite blogs too.

Tikkun Olam: Clicking for Good

freeRiceLogo.gifImabima’s blog with its numerous ads encouraged me to write this post.

As Jews we are mandated to “heal a fractured world” – to quote Rabbi Jonathan Sacks – by performing ethical mitzvot. We believe that mitzvot have practical this-wordly social and educational effects on those who perform them, and thus, the mizvot will improve the Jews and the world. The fact is that it is easy and quick to contribute to good causes just by clicking on the right picture

For instance if you go to The Hunger Site, you will be invited to click so as to help feed hungry people. This is how it works:
– You click daily and are lead to another page where sponsors appear.
– The sponsors pay for cups of food.

The same site hosts other organizations which you can help in the same way:
The Breast Cancer Site offers free mammograms.
The Child Health Site provides free healthcare.
The Literacy Site funds programs to provide books to children in need.
The Rainforest Site backs programs to protect and preserve rainforest habitat.
The Animal Rescue Site provides food and care for rescued animals.

Free Rice is slightly different in that you are invited to play a word game. For each word you get right, they donate 20 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program. It is good fun; you increase your word power and do a good deed at the same time.