Tag Archives: jewish

The Kirsch Sukkah

For the first time since I became a self-sufficient adult and incentivized by the lockdown to have another place to be in, we built a sukkah (סוכה‎) for… yes, you got that right: Sukkoth (סוכות‎).

When it comes to building a sukkah, there’s two ways to go:

  1. McGyver-style, using nothing but a swiss-army knife and raw unprocessed materials, which takes way too much work and aren’t reusable. I want a sukkah but not this badly.
  2. Get a pre-made kit, which you can reuse but I’m waaay too cheap to buy. And if you procrastinate like I do, they sell out anyway.
Thanks, but no thanks.

So for all the many readers of The MKX® and other people searching the Internet for instructions on “how to build a sukkah”, this is how I made a really nice, inexpensive, easy to build, reusable sukkah.

Get a canopy with walls

This is the key ingredient. When I bought it it had a nice discount so it was a bit over $200. It comes with walls, and neatly folds into a nice bag with wheels. Buy it in whatever color you want (I got white). Note that the walls attach to the roof using velcro, and I obviously don’t use the roof. So this is a problem.

Unlike most pre-made sukkot, this thing is light, sturdy, and comes as a single piece. No construction or tools needed!

The delight of seeing the future sukkah for the first time.
So easy to assemble even these clowns can do it.

Grommet kit

$12 from Home Depot. Since the walls attach to the fabric roof using velcro, I needed an alternative. Enter this grommet kit. I made 5 holes on each wall – right on the aforementioned velcro – so I can attach the fabric walls to the structure of the canopy. This part took the longest but is also the one part I won’t have to repeat next year.

Serious people trying to figure out how to use the grommet kit.
My signature “not too shabby” face. It all ended up looking quite professional, if I must say it myself.

Zip ties

One of the best things since sliced bread, zip ties are your friend. Buy a big bag and use them to hang the walls and just about anything you need. Apply them generously, mostly because they are so incredibly satisfying.

S’chach

The roof, perhaps the most important aspect of a sukkah is where it could all have gone wrong. My gardener Carlos didn’t come through with palm leaves, and the pre-made kosher roll up s’chach (סכך) would have cost around $300 for my 10×10 area.

My buddy Dajman gave me the ultimate tip: 6 ft. H x 16 ft. W Natural Reed Garden Fencing from Home Depot, $25. Perfect 👌🏻.

Unroll two of these on the to of the sukkah and you’re good to go. Didn’t even need to tie them.

Finishing touches

Add a few string lights and decorations and hang them with those zip ties that are sooo satisfying and… voilà!, we have a festival in our hands. Chag Sameach!

The canopy comes with an extra wall with a roll-up wall. I chose not to use it so the sukkah feels more open.

CIM 75th Anniversary

A large celebration for my Alma Mater’s 75th anniversary was held on Saturday night. I went to Colegio Israelita de Monterrey – the only Jewish school in Monterrey, Mexico. I studied there from kindergarden to ninth grade in a very small class (I doubt the whole school ever reached 120 students at any time throughout its existence).

The event was streamed over a live internet webcast and ex-students around the world got together to watch it. All five of us ex-students in Austin got together at my house.

Here’s one video they showed at the event. See if you can spot me…

Colegio Israelita de Monterrey 75 Años from Jorge Moreno on Vimeo.

4th Annual Kosher Chili Cook-off

logo_4thchilicookoffjpg

I stopped by the 4th Annual Kosher Chili Cook-off held yesterday for a bit. There were 25 participants. I managed to try about 20 of the entries and not get sick. Not too bad.

I’m going to be a little harsh with my criticism. The average chili I tried was very salty but not spicy at all. What’s the point? There were too many vegetarian entries. What’s the point? All the kosher meat and utensils were provided by organizers Agudas Achim which actually makes things fair (and cheap – which you’d know if you’ve ever purchased kosher meat).

I have decided that I’m going to have to enter the contest next year and really make all those mostly Ashkenazi softies cry. They won’t know what hit them. Not on the way nor on the way out.

I don’t even know which team won but I voted for Team Ninja, their chili was pretty good. And they bribed me.

Read more to see a few photos.

Continue reading 4th Annual Kosher Chili Cook-off

Matisyahu in Austin

Matisyahu at Stubb's in Austin TX
Matisyahu at Stubb's

Last night I attended a concert by chassidic reggae sensation Matisyahu. Ironically, the show was at a decidedly non-kosher place: Stubb’s Bar-B-Q. Love their chopped brisket sandwiches.

Continue reading Matisyahu in Austin