Thursday, January 31, 2013
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
So a neighbor comes over with a couple pounds of pecans off the tree in her back yard, small but perfectly good. My boys are sizing them up, wondering how to crack them, and Aunt Shoshana behind them starts yelling, 'Patish! Patish!' My kids didn't know it meant hammer, and I saw no point in translating; Aunt Shoshana didn't anticipate or didn't care about the mess that will result from the conjunction of two boys, a hammer, a several pounds of pecans. But great heart shall not be denied, as Tolkien said, and the language barrier was crossed, pecans were eaten, and the mess was eventually cleaned up.
Monday, January 21, 2013
At Diana's, which 'everyone has heard of', started as a concession stand for a movie theater, long since gone, now an upscale, wine-bottles-along-the-wall-in-cool-diagonal-bins grill. Glass fronted kitchen where we watched the cooks sear, spear, and form kebabs onto skewers to order. Palestinian staff and clientele, but except for the headscarves -- and bitter, local, homemade olives -- you really couldn't tell. The hummous was fresh, excellent, strewn with chickpeas and buttery olive oil. The tabouleh, contrary to what I'd expect, was mostly scallion and parsley, with just a scattering of cracked wheat. The abovementioned bitter local olives next to pita fresh from the oven, with a texture soft like cotton candy. Lamb grill plate, with salad and rice with lentils, followed by a child's sized cup of coffee strong enough to remove paint, spiced with minced ginger, and I think cinnamon and cardamom.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Sometimes, you see a giant cracker that looks like a three foot tongue in the baker's window, and you think 'I must have that'. It happens to me, anyway. Honestly, if I really understood what that thing looked like, I might have had second thoughts about that picture (but posed for it anyway).
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Field trip with my brother in law around the Galilee, swinging by an Arab market for road snacks, middle east style: salted and fried fava beans instead of chips. And a selection of pastries for the folks back home, scraped off the tray with putty knives. Several kinds of baklava were filled with nuts, others with sweetened goat cheese, and all soaked with a sugar and cinnamon syrup sweet enough to freeze your teeth, which didn't stop me from eating them out of hand. The orange pastries on the tray are filled with goat cheese, and colored with beta carotene.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
There's a park adjacent to the farmland behind my mother in law's house in Kfar Saba, Israel. It's got beautiful cactus, aloe, and trees, plus a medium size citrus orchard, with lots of grapefruit, plus oranges and some kind of tangerine. The heart of the park has been saved, but part of the perimeter, like much of Israel, is rapidly becoming a cluster of high rises (I call them hives for humans). During this time, the grapefruit orchard has simultaneously been prolific and totally neglected. Fruit clustered in the trees, and in various states of freshness and rot on the ground. So, since I can't read the signs that probably say 'no trespassing' or 'don't pick this fruit', and since it's pretty clear no one cares, I made several trips and came back with a found grocery bag with half a dozen or so grapefruit. Sliced to ruby flesh that bled copiously, and juiced like a sponge full of water, the quickest way to get the most value from grapefruit. As Wonka swore by mixing chocolate with a waterfall, they say nothing softens citrus like a good juggle.