Friday, May 12, 2006

america surveyed

"If only 23 percent of those polled approve of the way Congress is doing its job, how is it that 96 percent of incumbents in the House are re-elected?"
-Letter to the editor, NYTimes

I read this to my boy this morning and he said, and rightly, "Duh! It's all those other guys who are bad!" I might paraphrase slightly, as he doesn't generally employ the term "duh."

But in all seriousness, folks, can I just say that this most recent poll of America's approval ratings of Bush and his administration is really quite astounding? Much as the circa 30% approval rating of Bush as a whole is both mind-boggling and vindicating, what struck me most is that 13% of us continue to approve of his "handling of oil prices" and I began to wonder how many people are employed by the oil industry. But to keep it in perspective, I also read somewhere earlier this week, in reference to this amazing 13%, that 12% of Americans also believe that we or someone we know has had an interaction of some kind with a UFO. I use the term "we" loosely here, as I am not amongst this 12%, though numbers like these can't help but make me proud to be an American. I use the term "proud" loosely here as well.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


I never imagined I'd say this, but over this past weekend I had a craving for noodle kugel. I had kugel a couple times in college. Being at Barnard, it was hardly avoidable. But really what I remember so fondly is going to the Cronen's house down at the end of our road in Mohegan Lake many a Saturday afternoon and eating their shabbat meal with them, including deliciously sweet, cheesy kugel. I found a bunch of different recipes and, never having made it before and of course not having an old family recipe or anything of my own, I ended up glomming a couple together pretty much like this:

I cooked 12 oz. of wide egg noodles just under the recommended time.

While the noodles cooked, I mixed a stick of butter (melted), 1/2 cup sugar, 2 cups cottage cheese, 4 cups milk, and 5 eggs in a big bowl. After straining the noodles I tossed them into this mixture and stirred it all up into a big mess. Spooned the noodles and all the liquid into a large rectangular buttered baking dish. In another bowl I mixed 2 1/2 cups Special K and crushed coarsly, then added 1/3 cup dark brown sugar and a bunch of cinnamon and mixed that all up. Then I poured this cereal mixture over the top of the noodles and put the whole thing in the oven at 350 degrees for about an hour.

This turned out okay, but though we both liked it well enough, I'm not entirely sure Chris got quite why I was making it or what it was for or what to do with it. It did seem a strange craving, even to me. I made it on a Sunday morning, so it was breakfast, but it was sweet enough to be dessert. If I make it again, which I probably will eventually, I'd cut back on the milk and use some sour cream and more cottage cheese, and I'd cut back on the sugar in the noodles themselves, and I'd cut way back on the butter, as it turned out a little too greasy, and I'd add some dried cranberries if I had them around. I had them around this time, which is actually one of the reasons I thought of kugel in the first place, but then forgot them in the end. Very frustrating indeed. But still, it was a nice experiment, and very easy, and made me feel like I was ten years old again.