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  • Writer's pictureMiriam Green

A Mouthful

Updated: Jul 20, 2021

Mom’s teeth are not doing well. It’s hard to tell just by looking what’s going on with them, especially as Mom won’t willingly open her mouth to show us. There are flashes of black when she smiles. We can’t tell if it’s because her teeth are cracked or perhaps she stubbornly won’t let them be brushed.

How serious is the problem? Is it worth fixing Mom’s teeth? What would be needed not only to examine her but treat her? Would they have to put her under with an anesthetic? Will the dentist be able to charm Mom into opening her mouth? My dad and I have been asking each other these questions for a while now.

The first step is to decide if there’s really a problem. It’s hard to find a service that will make house calls, or in this instance, institution calls. Luckily, after asking around, I found a private dentist who has actually attended patients at Mom’s facility in the past. Most importantly, he’s got a vaccination green card.

So, Dad will join the dentist at Mom’s care facility to try and persuade her to open her mouth for an examination. Hopefully, without coercing her, the dentist will be able to determine what, if anything, needs to be fixed.

And then? Well, several years ago we had an amazing experience with the maxillofacial outpatient clinic at the local hospital. The staff were stellar when it came to jocularly engaging Mom and getting her to comply with their requests. If Mom needs dental care, we’ll have to go back there.

I can’t even imagine how we’d get Mom there or how she’d react to being outside her facility. But this is all secondary to the results from tomorrow’s examination. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

I won’t be posting for the next two weeks as my husband Jeff and I are flying to see my beloved in-laws in Maryland. After this past COVID year, this trip seems like an extravagant adventure. I’m looking forward to it! And, thankfully, my brother Simon is coming to Israel to stay with our dad. I'm just so sorry I'll miss seeing Simon.

Some soups are improved when they simmer on a low flame for hours. But if, let’s just say, you forgot to make soup and it’s two hours before Shabbat comes in, here’s a recipe for a quick, simple tomato soup that is almost fool-proof.

Fool-Proof Tomato Soup

Even I have my memory lapses. Or maybe it was just the idea of lazing away a long Friday afternoon. This soup is fool-proof and full-bodied.

2 Tbsp butter or margarine

1 large onion, cut into wedges

2 cups crushed tomatoes

2 cups tomato juice

1½ cups water

1 Tbsp red wine

¼ cup fresh parsley

Salt and pepper to taste


In a large pot, sauté onions until they begin to brown. Add tomatoes and tomato juice, water and spices. Bring to a boil then simmer uncovered on low for 40 minutes. Stir in wine. Use a hand-held immersion blender if you want to make the soup smooth.

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