Menu-planning has been sort of all over the place. We plan menus every week, but when it comes to holiday planning, we have never been really organized. Mostly we had planned our menus and created Google Docs for each year with links to recipes as needed or references to where to find the recipe in the cookbooks. I will tell you this has been totally messy and hard to find previous menus. Even typing menu into google doesn’t always bring up all of the documents.
In an effort to decrease clutter and focus some of our digital mess into a more organized fashion we have begun using Microsoft’s OneNote to website recipes clippings (I still do a bunch of it on Pinterest) and paper recipes. It’s our digital cookbook. We had scanned tons of stuff a while ago that’s just sitting on a Google drive and hard to search, so moving forward we have started adding them into the Microsoft’s OneNote
This year, we tried using OneNote during Passover for our meal planning and organizing. It was surprisingly awesome! We had just installed Microsoft Office 365 on our computers and phones. We didn’t get to everything in our plan and had to readjust because our oven died when I was cleaning it for the holiday, but it did help with the process. This probably could be done with Evernote too, but I haven’t ever use Evernote.
We created the plan and then we linked to the recipes that were in the notebook. We also created a shopping list on the side with check off boxes. Because I could access the shopping list, menu, and recipes all at the same time, it made shopping easy. I could go back to look at recipes if I wanted clarification or know if there was a specific type of ingredient that needed to be purchased and make the adjustments as I was shopping.
One of best parts of having recipes available through the web, computer, or mobile device is the access to them from anywhere. For the recipes we use all the time, we can add them to the notebook. An advantage of having them with us is we can plan a menu on the go and can quickly reference the recipe and add ingredients to our shopping list even when we are not home.
My favorite thing about Sukkot is buying lulav and etrog. I love looking over the many etrogim and seeing all the beautiful features. I have been purchasing lulav for the holiday for the last 12 years and every year is such a different experience. I still love purchasing lulav in the Lower East Side from the many vendors that are there.
The last couple years, I unfortunately did not have the opportunity to head to New York and had to purchase our lulav and etrog from the Judaica store. When it was crowded, I was lucky if I got any help finding anything. If it wasn’t crowded, I would be asked where my husband was.
This year we are so fortunate to be back in New York and to have several different places to go choose from. I of course chose to go to the Lower East Side.
I took my lunch break a littler earlier and began my trip. I started with going to McDonalds to find an ATM. Doesn’t really sound like the first place to go, but that’s where the nearest ATM for my Maryland Bank Account was. The person in front of me was an orthodox man with payis and tzitzit. I then headed to the train. On my way there, I was grabbed by a random man, who held onto my shoulder and then let go and went walking. Got to love New York.
I took the subway to East Broadway and got off to the famous Canal and Essex Street. It was drizzling and there were not many vendors out. I am so used to crowds of people and lots of vendors. It’s the Friday before yontif and raining, so it wasn’t surprising that there weren’t many people out. I luckily found beautiful etrogim from Israel. It was wonderful to go and have so many to choose from and not have to pay $70+ to get a beautiful etrog. Once I decided which vendor to go to, my purchase was pretty quick, since I seemed to be the only one purchasing lulav and etrog.
Before I left, I decided to get a few lower east side treats. I purchased a black and white cookie and rugelah for Shabbat. And stopped by The Pickle Guys to get Full Sours, Garlic Pickles, and Pickled Tomatoes.
There are many great A Capella groups these days doing wonderful songs for the holidays. That is perhaps my favorite part of each holiday and seeing what kinds of new videos will be available and how creative.
This year Ein Pratt Fountainheads did one for Sukkot.