Paid Paternity Leave

fatherhoodA new policy was adopted in Portland recently by the City Council to ensure parents with a new child can get six weeks paid parental leave. This is also the case in an adoption or fostering. I do agree with Portland’s City Human Resources Director, Anna Kanwit’s statement that “parental leave has a positive impact on parents bonding with their children.” Yes, indeed; would have been nice if that would have been the law when I had kids! I think Daniel would have been much better to have been at home with the kids. I found it very hard.

Apparently this policy will cost Portland between $413,000 to $502,000 annually. It is due to be put in place in January 2016.

Well that was Fun!

halloweenThat, being Halloween, of course, which I thoroughly enjoyed a couple of weeks ago. It really was so much fun, I couldn’t believe it. Usually I dread the holiday (although the kids have a blast) and I resent having to give annoying, snotty-nosed neighbors whose mothers I hate, my favorite candy, but thanks to Shakey Graves, we missed all of that this year!

Actually there was a lot going on in Portland for this Halloween. There was the Halloween Edition’s Main Squeeze Dance Party, and Norman Sylvester’s Halloween Party. But what got me excited was the opportunity to enjoy Shakey Graves. I’ve loved this music since as far back as I can remember and the party was just all him – blues, country, rock and roll.

The best part? I got to be on the dance floor with hubby – and it felt like we were the only two people there – rather than hand out candies to annoying little kids! Thank you Shakey Graves and thank you Portland!

Celebration of Korean Food

korean foodKorean food was recently celebrated in Oregon. Hosted by the Korean American Coalition of Oregon in Northwest Portland, three days ago 11 chefs assembled for the Mukja (which means ‘Let’s Eat’) food festival.

Chefs include: Brandon Kirksey of Girin (offering classical Korean cuisine), Rick Gencarelli of Lardo (a restaurant whose humble beginnings date back to a food cart in SE Portland), John Gorham of Toro Bravo (a Spanish-inspired tapas restaurant in NE Portland), Kyo Koo of Superhawk, Johanna Ware of Smallwares (self-described as an “inauthentic” Korean restaurant), PJ Yang of Bamboo Sushi (the world’s first certified sustainable sushi restaurant), Bo Kwon of Koi Fusion (a funky fusion of Korean BBQ and fresh Mexican flavors) and more.

Tickets retailed at $50 per person or $75 for VIP.

Spiritual Cooking with Yael

cookingSome people believe that there is a deep-seated connection between the physical and spiritual world. Some, like Yael Eckstein feel that “there does not need to be a separation between physical and spiritual actions” at all. And so Eckstein wrote the book “Spiritual Cooking with Yael: Recipes and Bible Mediations from the Holy Land.”

Living in Israel and being Senior Vice President of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews has resulted in Yael forming an understanding and appreciation of the spiritual work both Jews and Christians are doing. She explains: “After talking at length to many Fellowship supporters, I can truthfully say that I am deeply moved by their steadfast support for Israel and the Jewish people. In a complex and often confusing world, their faith has remained so simple and pure; they believe that God loves Israel, that the Jews belong in Israel, and feel that it is their responsibility to make sure that Jews are able to return home and that poor Jews are given the assistance they need.”

“Spiritual Cooking with Yael” is more than just another cookbook featuring Middle Eastern recipes. It enables the user to follow the recipes and simultaneously “learn how to integrate Bible verses, teachings, and meditations into the seemingly mundane act of cooking.”

Many have written about the spiritual connection of food. Peter Farb and George Armelagos, in their book “Consuming Passions: The Anthropology of Eating,” write: “Food to a large extent is what holds a society together, and eating is closely linked to deep spiritual experiences.”

What Yael has done in her book is, as one reviewer said, “helped me make a spiritual connection to preparing food for my family.” Eckstein has successfully brought spirituality into the kitchen.

Nacho Week Has Arrived!

nachosI’ve not ever associated Portland with nachos but hey I’m game if the city is! We had Dumpling Week and now we’re right in the middle of Nacho Week. It started on the 5th and the last day is tomorrow.

I actually went to the Sunshine Tavern yesterday and enjoyed their nachos. But there were 12 other eateries in the city featuring nachos on their menu for this special week too.

Not only that, it was nachos with a difference. For example Cheese Bar offered Swachos (which are Swiss nachos whereby chips are laced in fondue cheese and topped with chopped cornichons, bacon lardons and an apple jalapeño salsa). Yum.   And indeed they were. Because I just now found out that Daniel sneaked off there in his lunch hour and didn’t tell me!!! Ooh that will be fuel for a fight late ron!

Anyway I’m still hoping to win a gift card from the prize draw of the Nacho Passport I filled out. Wish me luck! I did collect 9 stickers so I’m in with a pretty good chance (yes I stole one from Daniel!). Watch this space!