Friday, October 9, 2009

Swirling Thoughts #54 – really Israeli stuff

A trip to the shuk
I woke up early to go with a friend to Mahane Yehuda – truly the place to find rock bottom prices on fresh, high quality fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, baked goods, nuts, spices and halva. Yes, halva is its own food group in Israel – I bought a slab that was so fresh it was still jiggly and hot. As they say here, “Oooowah!” I found all the specialty items I’ve been looking for – freshly ground allspice, rose water and orange water (but they sold it to me without the water – in tiny vials, super concentrated), oot paste (also super concentrated), and the coup de grace – fresh ka’ak. Hamdallah.

A pit stop in Israel has a whole other purpose
When you drive in this country you see cars randomly pulled over on the side of the road (even alongside the ayalon – highway). The driver will be nearby and you don’t have to turn your head to avoid seeing what he’s doing. Go ahead and look - he’ll be facing Jerusalem, praying shaharit or minha, depending on the time of day.

Shakshuuka – there’s really nothing better – (except maybe Doda’s sugar cookies)
Today we took another trip to Tel Aviv – two more Dodas (aunts) and countless cousins – but alas the cycle of bar-b-q-ing has been broken. A dairy lunch in the sukkah (Israeli style with shakshuuka, borekas, cheeses, and vegetables) was a welcome and delicious change. After lunch the kids were glued to the Nickelodeon channel in Hebrew (“Ma? Einlach TV baBayit?” – “What? No TV in your house?”) until dessert. I got my first Israeli recipe today – Doda’s sugar cookies with a secret ingredient. We used an Avent baby bottle to figure out the ounces (or cc’s) of Doda’s drinking glasses since the entire recipe was given in cosot (glasses). I’ll try it out next week – stay tuned. The secret ingredient? A clue – it’s also in halva.

The holiday is like the rose water
Tomorrow night begins the ultimate “three-for-one” – in Israel, Simhat Torah and Shemini Atzeret are celebrated simultaneously. Since they fall out on Shabbat this potentially three day holiday (chutz l’aretz – outside of Israel) is combined into a tidy package – one day only. Still very festive – maybe even more so – super concentrated!

Free things
Sunday is probably the last free day my kids will have until Chanukah – it’s “Isru Chag” – the day after the holiday which is not a holiday so we are free to return to the beach one last time. Which will hopefully distract them (them being kids and Bob) from the free puppy I turned down today…


  1. free puppy, what'e wrong with you girl? don't you have just a little extra time to fit in a puppy????? Have a great you and hugs and kisses to all

  2. I'd like to clarify your pit stop note. What you write is true if sundown is approaching. Otherwise, they are doing what you might think. And trust me, they're not shy. Turn your head. :)

  3. jody, i'm laughing out loud!