Scott Laurans, left, and Brian Pacheco in the produce department of the Eastside Marketplace.Scott Laurans, left, and Brian Pacheco in the produce department of the Eastside Marketplace.You’ve been looking forward to an uneventful weekend during which you could pretend you’re having a “staycation.” A call from a faraway relative threatens the beckoning indolence – you now have to retreat to the kitchen for some unwanted baking, boiling and broiling. No need to steam, though – Eastside Marketplace is just a ride away. Your secret is safe with us – don’t worry. Your uncle will have no doubt that you, the great chef, have prepared the feast in honor of his arrival.

So, go ahead, offer him some brisket to go with the mashed potatoes – its recipe is a special treat created by Monica, the wife of the store’s president, Scott Laurans. In the morning, you can continue the charade by unveiling the lox-and-chive cream cheese to spread on the bagels. Is the beloved curmudgeon staying through lunch? Don’t despair – serve him some chopped liver to accompany such fare as knishes, kugel and whitefish.

JTA – Israel’s August tourist numbers took a sharp downturn from the previous year’s figures.

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, 182,000 visitor entries were recorded for the month in Israel, down 36 percent from August 2013. Of the visitor entries, 164,000 were tourists staying more than one night, 32 percent fewer than August a year ago.

It’s true. Adults are somewhat like children. In the spring, when everything is blooming, we like to focus on our gardens, tending to them whenever we can. We see the growth, the beauty, the fruits of our labors. We smell the flowers. Literally. However, in the fall, when it’s time to put away the toys, we’d rather not be involved. Can’t someone else do the tedious chores that are necessary to prepare the garden for the winter? No. Yes, it’s a process, but it’s one you can conquer. Here’s how.

ROME (JTA) – City authorities in Rome may drop the idea of building a $30 million Holocaust museum in the city  with the apparent backing of the Rome Jewish community.

After years of delays on the project, the community’s board issued a statement that seems to back plans for a smaller exhibit in a former shopping center in a Rome suburb.

Plans were announced a decade ago to build a state-of-the-art Shoah museum on the grounds of Villa Torlonia, wartime dictator Benito Mussolini’s residence, where ancient Jewish catacombs also are located. Financial and bureaucratic problems have stalled the project in the central part of Rome for years.

TEL AVIV (JTA) – When Rosh Hashanah comes later this month, Israel’s Jewish farmers won’t just be celebrating the start of a new year. They’ll be marking a year in which they are prohibited from doing their jobs.

Called Shmita, the Torah-mandated, yearlong farming hiatus is felt across Israel, affecting its fields, supermarkets and, of course, its politics.

The genesis of Shmita is Exodus, which commands the Israelites, “Plant your land and gather its produce for six years. But on the seventh let it lie fallow and it will rest …” Other biblical mandates prohibit planting, trimming or harvesting crops during Shmita, amounting to a total prohibition on farming.