Friday, April 22, 2011

Popular by Passover

I've been working at my job for almost five years now (four Passovers). Being one of very few Jews, and possibly the only one in a large office (over 60, but at one point was close to 100) who is a practicing Jew, I definitely stood out. This was the complete opposite of what I was used to as a child. Growing up in South Florida meant that being Jewish was so common that public schools were closed in observance of Jewish holidays.  

Every Spring, when the dreaded holiday of eight days worth of constipation rolls around my coworkers seem to get a bit excited. Why, might you ask? Well, the first Passover at my company I introduced my coworkers to a number of different types of Passover Jew food. I bring in noodle kugel, matzoh ball soup and brisket (I even had a few brave souls try chopped liver, but I have stopped bringing this dish in because I got weird looks since it doesn't come off as appetizing as it tastes).

I can remember the first Passover lunch where I was surrounded by a number of coworkers in the break room as they watched me make my matzoh pizza and questioned what the significance of this holiday was. Luckily, Temple Beth Am gave me a pretty good Hebrew school education. I shared the Cliff's Notes version of the story of Passover and then explained what I could not eat for eight whole days. Of course I loved being the center of attention. But what really made me feel good was that my coworkers were interested in my religion and curious about the practicing and significance of the holiday.

Modern day Passover visual
I had eyes of puzzlement staring at my noodle kugel, which was the main attraction. After a brief explanation of what ingredients go into making such a dish, I told them that I would bring in some extra portions for them to taste. Since their first try, I have now gotten requests for my noodle kugel each year. I also have a coworker who loves the last day of Passover because that means that he gets my extra matzoh, pasta sauce and cheese so he can enjoy matzoh pizza for a few days himself (and no, he is not Jewish).
Matzoh pizza - it's what's for lunch, everyday
This year I had an personal request for noodle kugel the day before the holiday started. The conversation went something like this:
Me: I have to rush home after work so I can get up to the burbs to my in-laws house for Passover sedar.
Coworker: Is this the holiday where you can't eat bread and make that really good noodle dish?
Me: Yep!
Coworker: Can you please bring me some?
Me: Of course!

Noodle Kugel
 I also posted on Facebook that I was making my traditional noodle kugel dish. Here is what the status and responses looked like:

Four of the five "Likes" were from coworkers.
 So maybe I am not the popular one, but rather it's my noodle kugel. Well, for those wondering how you can get your hands on this delicious dish, here is the noodle kugel recipe. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

MTV's Promotion of Teenage Pregnancy is Revolting

As most of you know, I am not a fan of children. However, while you may think that I am totally judging the kid as it is running around the nice restaurant screaming and coloring on the walls, in reality, I am judging the parents. No, I am not one to walk up to a random person's baby and tell them how cute it is or ask to hold it. I won't even hold my family or friends' babies for the mere fact that I am terrified of breaking or hurting it. 

:::Side-note: In case you haven't figured it out by now, but I call babies "it":::

While I don't think that most people are capable of raising a child (friends and family included), I don't agree with MTV's way of promoting being a teenage mom to be cool through their hit show 16 and Pregnant. I understand that they follow these 16-year-old pregnant chicks around to show how difficult it is to be pregnant at such a young age and scare the high school girls straight. However, in reality I believe that the opposite message is being sent to these young girls - that if you get pregnant at 15 or 16 years of age, then you can be famous and be on MTV. 

After the pregnancy, these girls from the show continue filming on another MTV show called Teen Mom. Girls in their adolescence don't want to do what is right - they want to do what makes them popular. If being on their own reality show on MTV isn't a fast way to the top of the popularity food chain, than I don't know what is.  I see these teenage mothers from the show in the tabloids and on television on shows like Access Hollywood and E! News, which definitely helps these girls portray the "cool effect." 

While most people who are out of college and older can comprehend the struggles and difficulties of teenage pregnancy and can appreciate the message that this show is supposed to portray, an immature high school student will only see that girls their age are able to get famous by having MTV camera crews follow them and their deadbeat boyfriends around.

It truly amazes me that this MTV show can be so popular without must press from groups such as Planned Parenthood. Also, how is 16 and Pregnant on it's second or third season, yet the show that was on NBC called Baby Borrowers where they had teenage couples who were thinking about getting pregnant borrow adult couple's children at all different ages. Now this was a brilliant show that would scare any teenage girl into not wanting to have a kid at anytime. Yet, there was only one season of this show. So why is it that this wasn't popular, but shows like the ones on MTV and also ABC Family's The Secret Life of the American Teenager such huge hits?