Sunday, June 06, 2010



Helen Thomas, the doyenne of the White House correspondents - the senior White House correspondent, in fact - made the most heinous remarks about Jews this weekend. Did anyone hear her? She said (and I paraphrase) "Jews do not belong in Israel - Israel is not theirs - they should go back to Poland or Germany -- or America -- where they belong".

Why is no one outraged? Why am I hearing nothing on the television? All I hear on TV is the talking heads still arguing the Flotilla mess. The same yada-yada-yada. The poor Palestinians - the fact that the Palestinians are "starving" in Gaza. Nothing, of course, about what Hamas has perpetrated upon Israel from Gaza.

Why is my email not jammed with people expressing their outrage? Why is this just allowed to pass?

Do you recall the white policeman in Boston who made an honest mistake and stopped a black man whom he thought was breaking into a house? President Obama was very quick to blame the policeman. Sure he was! And was so wrong that he had to invite both men to Washington to drink a beer and make shalom (peace).

Where is his outrage at the vitriol spewing from the mouth of Helen Thomas?

What would I do? Condemn her immediately. Have her issue an apology - although that's probable worth nothing. And have her removed - immediately - from attending any more White House press conferences or briefings.

It is clear that she is not a disinterested reporter without an agenda. Time to take her off the shelf - her sell-by date is long long past

Yalla, Bye.

Thursday, June 03, 2010



"Israel is guilty - until we are proven guilty". No - that is not a typo - go back and read that sentence again. "Israel is guilty - until we are proven guilty".

That, for me, was the highlight sentence in Bibi's address yesterday. It's what I have been saying for years. No matter what the problem - it's Israel's fault. I can't remember where it started - or if it's the punchline of a joke - but we always spoke of the "Elephant and the Jewish Problem". Doesn't matter what it is - it's our fault.

By the way - I don't know how you feel about FOX News in general or Glen Beck in particular - but he presented an absolutely outstanding, balanced report on Israel last night.

Yesterday the world was very quick to condemn Israel for the loss of lives during the attempt to stop the "Freedom Flotilla". Before the truth became known - before the film clips were shown all over the internet. It was our fault.

No matter that we asked for the ships to sail into Ashdod so we could check the cargo and then send it on to Gaza. No matter that there is a good, strong economy going on in Gaza. No matter that a good deal of the destruction in Gaza is because Hamas was hiding in - and shelling us from - civilian areas. No matter, no matter no matter.........

Those of you who are reading this in countries other than Israel - ask yourselves - what would your government do if, for example, a flotilla of ships approached New York Harbor with the intent of bringing in goods to destroy New York. Would you simply sit back and say - "B'vakasha (please) - come into our country - bring your contraband goods - and try to destroy us"? Or - would you do everything in your power to ensure that you continue to live?

Come on - you know the answer to that one.

Yalla, Bye.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010



I won't even go into all the whys and wherefores of yesterday's action against the "Freedom Flotilla". The internet and the newspapers are filled with explanations and conjecture. Whether or not we were right or wrong - whether we botched the job or we were set up - here is why my soul is screaming.

I know - I know - I sound like a broken record. But I begged everyone I know not to vote for Obama. And how does he come into this equation? Because he is not our friend. Because he does not value us. Because he will bow down to the Saudi King - extend his hand in "friendship" to Iran - embarrass our Prime Minister when he came to the States - make very clear that he thinks we are always wrong, wrong, wrong - and has, in the process, implicitly given the world permission to delegitimatize us.

We are sitting in our tiny, miniscule country - we can drive from one end to the other in a matter of hours - we are surrounded by countries which would like to see our demise - and we are feeling very alone.

I cannot imagine what has happened to the American Jews. Has everyone forgotton so quickly? I cannot understand what caused the majority of American Jewery to vote for Obama in the first place - a man who - it was very clear - is not a friend of whites or Jews. Too strong a statement? I don't think so.

We are in a very vulnerable position - both physically and emotionally. Iran has made it very clear that its avowed purpose is to wipe us off the face of the earth. There are many of us who think we are on the brink of a war. We can no longer count on our former friends and allies - the Americans - to come to our aid.

I cannot - I will not - believe that Israel will ever cease to exist. We are not warmongers. We want to live in peace. Why will the world not let us?

Sunday, March 14, 2010



I simply do not know what happened to this year. When Channukah arrived I wasn't ready for it. When Purim arrived I wasn't ready for that, either. And now - two weeks from tomorrow Pesach will arrive.

It seems to me as if I just wrote about getting ready for Pesach - was it really almost a year ago? Although last year I didn't do the Seder at home - I celebrated with friends in Ramat HaSharon. This year, however, the Seder is back at my house. As I say each time Pesach arrives - how will I ever get everything ready on time? (To tell the truth - I say the same thing on Thanksgiving and Rosh HaShana.)

Anyway - I'm now at the point where even my lists have lists. What to cook - what to buy - how will I organize the menu this year. And as an added little goody - I'm also having people in for dinner on the Friday after the Seder. That's two big dinner parties in the same week - with the addition of having to do "special" foods for the Seder.

One year my friend, Devora, and I decided to get creative for Pesach. No gefilte fish for us - we'd do poached salmon. No chicken soup with kneidlach (matzoh balls) - we'd do some kind of a thick creamy soup. When her husband overheard us planning the new "modern" Seder he was appalled - what, no traditional foods? No gefilte fish? No kneidlach? And so that idea was shelved and we went back to our old traditional Seder - which everyone adored and which I will do again this year - and as I do almost every year.

I haven't finalized the menu yet for the two dinners but you can be sure the Seder will include the traditional hard boiled eggs, chicken soup and kneidlach, gefilte fish, chopped liver and the main course - whenever I make up my mind what the main course will be. All homemade - of course - and all very Ashkenazi traditional.

So you can imagine just how appalled I was when I got an email from my niece asking for my advice on making gefilte fish from salmon. SALMON??? You don't make gefilte fish from salmon. You make gravlax, you smoke it, you poach it, you bake it, you broil it - but you do not make traditional Jewish gefilte fish from salmon.

But - it's possible that I can be wrong. So I did an informal survey - and there was not one person who thought that the idea of salmon gefilte fish was a good idea. And my friends are mostly foodies - most of whom will try anything and every thing edible, at least once. Salmon gefilte fish? A big thumbs down.

In the States we have different fish than we have here. In New York I made the fish from buffle (do not even ask me what that is, I have no idea - it's just buffle), white fish and pike. Here I use carpion (carp) and either cassif (sliver carp) or bouri (grey mullet) - whatever is available. But never ever salmon.

Gefilte fish was invented, if you will, to stretch one fish to feed many people. By removing the fish from the bones and grinding it with "fillers" - onions, matzoh meal, eggs, carrots, almonds, chopped hard boiled eggs - indeed, any and/or all of the aforementioned - one fish can feed many people.
By the way - "we", meaning Russian Jews, don't use the almonds - that's a particularly German addition.

So - on I go now. Have to make more lists, do some marketing, do some pre-preparing - and hope I am all ready for the Seder. Will let you know how it goes.

Pesach Sameach - a Happy Pesach to you all.

Yalla, Bye.

Sunday, February 21, 2010



As my friend, Arthur, reminded me when he called me from Canada last week - I haven't written since December 24th - almost two months. And its not as if I had nothing to say - I always have something to say. My excuse? Just lazy, I suppose. OK - back to work.

One of the last times I wrote I told you I was on a diet. And then the last time I wrote I told you about the glorious new / old restaurant "The Rotisserie" - where we had a wonderful lunch. So - how can I be on a diet and still go out for glorious lunches and dinners? Not to mention breakfasts. My dears - you won't believe this - but it's true. I am still on my diet - have not cheated even once - and so far I have lost 10 kilos - that's 22 pounds. Are you impressed?

And - I go to the gym religiously. So aside from the pounds I'm also losing inches...or centimeters if that's the way you are counting.

My partner-in-crime, Marallyn, is also on the same diet and going to the same dietician. But, instead of going to the gym she goes swimming. She's my very dear friend and I would do almost anything for her - but I will not go to the pool with her - and that's final.

You have to understand - I know how to swim. After all, I was sent away to summer camp for the first time when I was seven years old - and only stopped going when I was already in college. (I used to think my parents hated me and that's why they sent me away every summer. I had no idea what a financial stretch it was for them to send both me and my brother to sleep-away-camp for two months each year.) And in camp you learn how to swim. But I digress.

To me going to the pool means lying under a tree or an umbrella, with an ice cold gin and tonic to hand. And when I go into the water I like to sit on my floating chaise longue, with the above-mentioned gin and tonic and a good book to read.

So - whether pool or gym - we're both doing what we have to. Dieting and exercising - and beginning to look great. And we all help each other. Riva gave me a discount coupon to the gym and I introduced her and her husband to the dietician. We are really all feeling so virtuous.

And while I'm on the subject of virtuous - how's that for a segue - I have to mention Tiger Woods' "apology to the world" the other day. You could almost see him polishing the halo above his head - he was feeling so virtuous about confessing his sins and apologizing - many many times.

I "have to" mention his apology because listening to the TV and watching them play the clip over and over is making me ill. I'm tired of listening to him....and watching him grovel...and, incidentally, announce that he is going back to playing professional golf. Truth to tell - I don't really care what he did. He owes me nothing. Certainly not an apology. Did having girlfriends make him a lesser golfer? Did Monica Lewinsky make Bill Clinton a less-good president? Same with John Edwards and Elliot Spitzer and what's-his-name Sanford - that's their problem to work out with their wives and families.

Did their exploits make me think less of them as upstanding individuals? You betcha - to quote Sarah Palin - but apologize to me? Not necessary. However - I must say how proud I am of his wife, Elin - who did not stand next to him. He did her a dirty - whether in front of the world or privately, it doesn't matter...what does matter is that she wasn't there to condone his bad behavior. You go, girl.

Yalla, Bye.

Thursday, December 24, 2009



Once upon a time, a long time ago, in the beautiful city of Jerusalem, there opened a restaurant called "La Rotisserie" at the Notre Dame Monastery.

It was such a long time ago that there weren't many world-class restaurants in Jerusalem. True - there were many restaurants in Jerusalem, but only a small handful which were really "must eat at places".

"La Rotisserie" stayed open for several years. The food was excellent, the service all you could hope for, the place welcoming - in short, a restaurant we often visited.

Then the intifadas came. People were afraid to go into East Jerusalem and almost all of the restaurants which catered to the Israeli Jewish customers and to the tourists went out of business. Among them "La Rotisserie".

Then, a few weeks ago there appeared in the weekend edition of HaAretz a short article by Ronit Vered about "La Rotisserie" which had just re-opened under the aegis of a Cuban/Spanish chef by the name of Rodrigo Gonzalez-Elias.

According to Ms. Vered "...the name Elias appears in population registries in the Caribbean as far back as the 17th century - an apparent remnant of a Jewish forefather who converted to Christianity, along with others in the group referred to as Marranos. After Castro came to power, the family scattered all over the world. Elias himself grew up in Madrid....." While Ms. Vered states in the article that Elias was born in Cuba, he told us that he was actually born in Pennsylvania(!).

To further quote Ms. Vered, "The result sounds something of a joke: a restaurant in premises owned by the Vatican, in the Holy City, run by a Christian Spanish chef of Cuban background, who is decended from a Marrano family".

Yesterday, my great foodie friends, Yoav and Ernesto, treated me to lunch at "La Rotisserie". And what a lunch it was. Ernesto suggested that we each order different starters and entrees - and share. ( By the way - don't you just hate people who won't share their food?)

And so we shared - mostly sea food and fish dishes because that's what we like and it's something not easy to come by in Jerusalem. We ordered one roast chicken dish which piqued Yoav's taste buds because it came stuffed with white truffles - and was partnered with grilled asparagus and a stuffed zucchini blossom. Can you describe chicken as ethereal?

We ate monk fish - the first time ever that I've seen this in Israel - sided with rice cooked in squid ink. Monk fish is sometimes described as "the poor man's lobster" because it has the same taste and texture as a lobster tail. And even though it is a fish as opposed to sea food - it isn't kosher - it has no scales. We had several shrimp dishes - all cooked to perfection - and each beautifully garnished. And we had pulpo (octopus) which was absolutely tender - which isn't always the case with octopus - sided with roasted potato cubes.

The desserts were imaginative and whimsically named and presented. We only ordered two desserts as I'm not much of a dessert person - but I tasted, you can be sure. Soooo good.

For those who are willing to eat in a non-kosher restaurant but not eat shellfish - there are many other offerings - such as a beetroot risotto, meats and fish. I can't imagine that the other dishes offered are any less wonderful than the ones we ate.

Now - here's what you have to do. Although the restaurant is still called "La Rotisserie" - it isn't a grill-restaurant at all. For some technical reason having to do with the Church - they are prohibited from changing the name of the restaurant that once existed in that space. Also - and more important - the Church prohibits them from advertising a commercial enterprise. So you will see no advertisements for the restaurants. You have to help advertise this restaurant by word-of-mouth.

At the moment the restaurant is not filled to capacity. I want them to succeed - when you eat there you will also want them to succeed. If you don't want to go for a full dinner - go on a Saturday evening to the bar - have a few drinks and order a selection of tapas (those little h'ors d'oeuvres that are famously served in Spain). It sounds like great fun.

Their phone number is 02-6279114. Go - enjoy - and tell me how you liked it. In fact, if you call me I'll go along with you. Can't wait to eat there again.

Yalla, Bye.

Sunday, December 06, 2009



"I'm going to the gym." Five words that I never, ever thought would fall from my lips.

They not only fell from my lips - I'm really going to the gym. I can't believe I wrote that. "I'm going to the gym." But today was the second day that I went. What a way to begin the week.

I don't actually understand women who say - happily -"I go to the gym every day." - "I feel so good when I go to the gym." - "Going to the gym is an important part of my routine." Are they crazy?

But - not only am I going to the gym - and plan to do so on a regular basis.... I've signed up for a whole year. Am I crazy?

I'll tell you what's happening. I always write to you about the wonderful dinners I cook at home for my friends. I always tell you about all the restaurants I eat at - the new ones that have to be tried out and the old stand-bys that I love to re-visit. I tell you about the delicious recipes I've experimented with. I tell you about the friends I visit and the affairs I go to. Do you notice a common theme here? Everything has to do with eating. And eating puts weight on you. Duh!

So - the time has come. It's not that I'm fat - but I'm no longer slim either. My clothes still fit me - but only just. And so I've decided that the time has come to get back in shape. Of course, as my partner-in-crime, Marallyn, says - "Round is a shape, too."

Recently my friend, Riva, began going to "our" gym - notice how I'm already a partner? - and she looks marvelous. She hasn't lost any actual pounds but she's looking firm and terrific. (She's also one of my good eating and cooking buddies.) And she's also a good enough friend that she brought me an introductory discount coupon to the gym - a nice way of saying, without actually saying it, that I need to do something serious.

Then my friend, Joey, went to a dietician, lost heaps of weight (he's also one of my serious eating and cooking buddies) - and looks great.

Last week I began with the gym. Tomorrow morning I'm going to Joey's dietician! But - I'm not doing all of this all alone. My partner-in-crime is going along with me. We eat together - we diet together. That's only fair. Once a year Marallyn and I go on a diet - which is our only saving grace in the weight department. That keeps us from actually getting fat. But the truth is that we've lost - and gained - the same fifteen pounds year after year. Enough already. Her son, Joe College, said to her "Why do you go on that diet each year? It doesn't work." It works - we don't. Slowly, slowly we go back to our old eating habits.

Wish us luck. I'll keep you up to date from time to time. By this time next year I expect us to be svelte and gorgeous. Well - we're already gorgeous - it's svelte we want to be.

Lest you think that I've lost my mind entirely --- I just cut an article out of the weekend paper about a new restaurant that opened here in Jerusalem - I'll have to try it. I'll tell you about that, too.

Yalla, Bye.

Sunday, November 29, 2009



We couldn't have done it without the turkey - or turkeys in fact - because there was more than one. I said "the turkey who gave his life" but Myra says I had female turkeys - I don't know how to tell the difference, to tell you the truth - but the turkeys were delicious - absolutely juicy and tender and tasty. No false modesty here, you notice.

Which is by was of saying that the "usual suspects" got together, once again, to eat, fress (Yiddish for really really eat - pack it away), laugh, tell stories, have fun and eat some more.

There were twelve of us - only two from America - but it didn't matter - good food is good food - and Thanksgiving is a wonderful excuse to pull out all the stops no matter what country you come from.

I, literally, cooked and prepared for three days - in addition to the marketing and some things I made weeks ago and put into the freezer - which I told you about before. (I keep telling you to read my blogs.)

So here's the menu - roast turkey, bread and chestnut stuffing, gravy, corn pudding, mashed sweet potatoes with glazed carrots and pumpkin, mashed white potatoes with gribenes (the well-fried onions and bits of skin that you get when you make schmaltz {rendered chicken fat}), homemade cranberry sauce, homemade cranberry relish, brussels sprouts with smoked goose breast (instead of pancetta - remember, I keep kosher), sauteed long thin green beans, lemon meringue pie, pecan pie and apple crumble. And Arnon's gorgeous wine - lots of it.

And in the interest of full disclosure I also served jellied cranberry sauce from a can! Can you imagine - in my house? Jellied cranberry sauce from a can? But - I have two friends who don't like "bits" in their cranberry sauce and - gracious hostess that I am (again, no false modesty) - I try to serve what my guests like.

We ate for hours! And I also put out the bones for people to gnaw on - just like home. And - just like home - everyone took home "care packages". Don't you just love leftovers?

Of course, I never made it to the hairdresser the next day - I couldn't get up after having gone to bed at 2:30 in the morning. I did, however, manage to get up in time to meet Marallyn for our usual "written-in-stone" Friday morning breakfast. I actually don't know where I put the food - we were still so full from Thursday night - but breakfast is breakfast on Friday morning.

And tomorrow two of my friends who were invited but couldn't come because they were still abroad will come for dinner to eat leftovers. Yes - leftovers from Thanksgiving. Ernesto called me to say they were coming home on Monday and did I think there would still be some leftovers - what a question. And so tomorrow will be a small replay of Thursday evening. Except for the lemon meringue and pecan pies. The two pieces that were left went home in someone's care package. Not to worry - we'll still have apple crumble.

Hope your Thanksgiving was as much fun as mine.

Yalla, Bye.

Monday, November 23, 2009



By now even my lists have lists. That's right - you guessed it - this week is Thanksgiving and I'm in my usual Thanksgiving mode. Make lists - shop - cook - cook - roast - bake - make more lists.....

To bring you up to date - all the guests have been invited - and all have accepted. Too bad I only have room for twelve at my table. As long as I'm cooking - what's the difference if I cook for twelve or twenty. But twelve it is.

I did all the marketing today - except for the turkey which has been ordered and can only be picked up on Thursday morning. And some of the preparing has actually been done. The tseer (broth, stock) for the gravy was made weeks ago and is in the freezer. The mushrooms and onions and celery have been chopped and satueed and are in the freezer, too, waiting for their chance to become part of the stuffing.

The bread is getting stale - waiting to be cubed and toasted in the oven - to become the basis of the stuffing - along with the chestnuts and vegetables. It will smell like Thanksgiving when the stuffing is in the oven and the smell of sage wafts through the house.

Tomorrow - although it will only be Tuesday - I'll open the table - iron the cloth - and set the table. I hate to have to iron the cloth at the last minute - I know I'm a bit anal - but I can't stand a table cloth with "closet folds" in it - so who's perfect? I suppose there are worse things to be than neurotic about creases. So that gets the table out of the way.

I'll also make the cranberry sauce and cranberry relish tomorrow. My friend, Riva, is the star of this year's dinner. Just as I was comforting myself that it wasn't really so bad to serve tinned cranberry sauce - and that no one would really mind, anyway - TA DA! Riva announced that she had to go Canada for a week - and asked if I wanted her to bring me back fresh cranberries. You mean you didn't hear me shriek? With joy? (It takes so little to make me happy these days.) And true to her word - she brought me fresh cranberries.

On Thursday Myra will perform her "usual" Thanksgiving chore - which she volunteers to do you must understand - I do not force her into this terrible job. Myra will show up early on the morning of Thanksgiving - just after I've gotten home with the turkey(s) - and pluck the bird(s) clean. This is not North America - our poultry does not arrive at the market absolutely denuded and featherless. Actually, I've learned to think of the feathers as just a bit more protein - but even I have limits.

The reason for "turkey(s)" - is that I won't know until Thursday if I will get one turkey or two. ( And you thought life here was easy?) There is no such thing as a "normal" North American-type turkey of 18 or 20 or 24 pounds. So - I'll either have one 8 kilo bird (17.6 pounds) or two 5 kilo birds (each bird weighing 11 pounds) Not to worry - I have an enormous oven which holds two small turkeys side by side. In either case there will be enough food. I always worry in case there isn't enough food - if there's not food left over then there wasn't enough!

Besides - I already have orders for "Care Packages" - you know - little packages of food from the dinner to take home - there's nothing like leftovers from Thanksgiving. A turkey sandwich the next day - there's nothing better.

Yalla, Bye.

Thursday, November 19, 2009



There is no such thing anymore as a "Blind Date"!

Let me tell you about a modern blind date. A good friend called me and asked if I were willing to meet a new man. What a question. Of course I was. She told me his name - he is someone quite well known in Israel - although I couldn't remember what he looked like. And - he said himself that he wanted to meet someone. (That's a good sign already, no?)

Aha! - I said to myself. I'll Google him - see what he looks like - learn a bit about him - be a bit prepared. And so I did.

When I arrived at the restaurant I recognized him immediately - remember, I Googled him - and walked over to greet him. "Hello", I said. "I recognized you because I Googled you". ( I thought that was a good beginning. Let him know that I was clever and computer literate.)

"Hello", he replied. "I didn't know what you looked like because you have no picture on Google - but I Googled you, too, and already know a lot about you".

Was that a good thing or a bad thing? He had read some of my blogs - about 15 or 20 of them - so he had a fair idea of where I stand politically, what I do in my spare time, what I read, my opinions on a lot of issues - you get the read my blogs.

And - he had already made up his mind that we weren't going to "work" together. How do I know? He told me so! The first thing he said to me was that we weren't on the same page politically - so we wouldn't discuss politics. Ooookaaay. Mind you, I didn't mind that we have opposing political views. (I already knew that - I read it on Google.) It makes life more interesting - I know what I think - I'd like to know what someone else thinks.

Then he told me that he noticed that I was a foodie and he was, too, and that I shouldn't think for a minute that he doesn't know how to cook. That was great with me. I love having company when I cook.

He continued by saying that he read that I have a lot of friends with whom I spend a great deal of time. He does not particularly like to be with people and I should understand that if we were to be together I would have to live a "split" life. My life with him and just with him - and my outgoing social life with my friends, without him. I should understand that if I invited him for dinner he would probably refuse the invitation. (I don't think so.)

I have a great life. The only reason I would consider adding someone to my life is to enhance it.

The truth is we ate and drank and talked for three hours. And we got on well together. Maybe if we'd had a chance to meet without Google getting in the way we might have decided we liked each other "in spite of.....".

As it was, Google had made up his mind for him. So - I'm not sure whether to say "Thank you Google for saving me a lot of time in a relationship that was not going to go anywhere." - or - "Damn you Google for putting the kibosh on a relationship before it ever had a chance to begin".

Was the old kind of blind date better? Her friend said she was gorgeous and funny and his friend said he was gorgeous and rich - now go knock yourselves out.

OK friends - keep looking - I'm still available.

Yalla, Bye.

Sunday, November 08, 2009



The other day I got up early - as is my wont - pulled in my newspapers - sat down with my cigarettes (yeah, yeah I know) and cup of morning chai masala - and on the front page of the International Herald Tribune - below the fold but on the front page nevertheless - read the headline "Love and politics in the White House".

And what did the article have to say - a long article continuing onto page -2- and taking up most of the page at that? Michelle and Barack Hussein Obama are bemoaning the fact that their "date nights" are very difficult to organize and are no longer private. Puleeeze.

Michelle pointed out that until last November they had not lived together full-time under one roof since 1996 due to the exigencies of business and politics. Today they spend more time together than ever before - they have time to send their kids off to school - together, exercise together - and "do not begin their public schedules until 9 or even 10 AM". Really? How many working couples can claim that they have time to do just that? Gimmee a break!

What the hell did he expect when he ran for President of the United States? Life to go on just as before? He is not a private citizen any more. He can't simply nip into his favorite bistro when he feels the need for an order of moules frites (mussels and french fries) or pick up two tickets at the TKTS booth in Times Square when he wants to see a Broadway show.

He's supposed to be the leader of the free world - or is that too much to ask? But perhaps it's better for us that he's busy fighting with FOXNews and bemoaning his loss of privacy to the New York Times (that's the parent company of the International Herald Tribune). Perhaps it's better for the world that he has time to run to Copenhagen to plead for the Olympics to come to Chicago. Perhaps it's better for the world that he spends so much time playing golf. That way he has less time to cause more serious damage.

Certainly a lot better than that terrible health care bill he wants to foist on the American public. Well - the truth is that I don't know exactly how terrible the health care bill really is - but neither does anyone else since no one has seen it - let alone read it.

Nevermind - I'm sick and tired of Obama and Obamacare. I shudder to think that I could still be living in New York and having to deal with the health care in the States. It's enough that I have to worry about what he's going "to do" about Israel & Iran & Guantanamo & Iraq & Afghanistan and and and and.......

So now I'll begin to get ready for Thanksgiving - it's in 2 1/2 weeks - much to do. Follow this space.

Yalla, Bye.

Friday, October 30, 2009



It really takes so little to make me happy. Delicious food - great friends - a beautiful home - a trip abroad every so often - nice clothes - something always available to read - my car - well, not so little, actually, now that I think of it.

One of the things that really makes me happy is doing crossword puzzles. Not just any puzzle, mind you - the New York Times puzzle, the puzzle in New York Magazine when I can get it, the puzzles constructed by my cousin Steven which occasionally appear in USA Today - and, because I live in Jerusalem, the weekend puzzle in the Jerusalem Post.

Have you any idea how frustrating it is to settle down to do a puzzle - cigarettes (yeah yeah I know - I really should stop smoking) and coffee at the ready - pencil sharpened - and no puzzle.

The Jerusalem Post seems to have a gremlin living in their offices. More often than not there is something not quite right with the puzzle - but usually something quite small that one can work around. Last week and this week, however, the gremlin seems to have been working overtime.

Last week's puzzle was missing almost half if its DOWN clues. So this week there was a "corrected" version along with the new puzzle for this week. What happened? The "corrected" version was, once again, missing half of its DOWN clues - and the new puzzle was also missing half of its DOWN clues.

What gives Jerusalem Post???

I know, I know - in the whole scheme of things this seems quite trivial. After all, I have to worry about Afghanistan - will he or won't he send more troops? The medical coverage brouhaha in the States - will he or won't he get the bill pushed through somehow? Who will come out better in the U.S. elections - Republicans or Democrats?

Will Iran or won't Iran.........? Will Hezbollah or won't Hezbollah........? Will the Light Rail Line in Jerusalem ever be finished?

But dear gremlins - I can do the puzzle and worry at the same time - please go home and let the three puzzles appear correctly in the paper next weekend.

Yalla, Bye

Monday, October 19, 2009



Just a lot of little things I've been meaning to tell you......

- Have you seen the film "Julie and Julia"? See it! An absolutely adorable film - Meryl Streep has Julia Child down pat. I laughed and I cried - and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

I always looked forward to watching Julia on the television. I've never forgotten her "disasters" in the kitchen - food falling on the floor - her potato cake breaking apart as she tried to flip it. I follow her philosophy to this day - what happens in your kitchen stays there. If you don't tell - no one will ever know. For instance - my flourless chocolate cake fell on the counter - NOT THE FLOOR - as I was transferring it to the serving plate - and broke apart. What did I do? I rolled the cake into little balls and served it as chocolate truffles!

- I will read the back of cereal boxes if there is nothing else around - and for a while I seem to have been reading a lot of cereal boxes - so to speak. But -- I just recently read three books that I have to tell you about - really good and enjoyable -- I think you might like them.

"The Little Book" by Selden Edwards. I'm not crazy about "time travel" books - but on the recommendation - nay, nay, the insistence - of my friend, Marallyn, I read this. It is beautifully written - Mr. Edwards took about 25 years or so to write it - and each word he uses is the absolutely perfect word for what he wants to say. I loved the book - both the style and the story.

"Cathedral of the Sea" by Idelfonso Falcones. Much in the style of "Sarum" or Pillars of the Earth" - a sweeping historical saga taking place in Barcelona. A bit draggy in spots - just skip those bits - but fascinating - much that I didn't know.

"Six Suspects" by Vikas Swarup. Did you see "Slumdog Millionaire" or read the book from which it was adapted - "Q & A"? I did both - and enjoyed both equally. This book proves that Mr. Swarup is not just a one-book phenomenon - this book is excellent. I was so sorry when I came to the end - it was just that good and I wanted to go on reading.

- What do you think of the "Goldstone Report" damning us for our actions in Gaza during "Cast Lead"? We killed Palestinians? Sure - that's one of the prices of war. Nevermind that we warned the Gazans that were were going to bomb and to get the women and children out of the way. Nevermind that during the "war" we sent in humanitarian supplies to Gaza. But why should I be surprised? Israel is blamed for everything - whether it's our fault or not. So why should Mr. Goldstone be any different - or any fairer than anyone else? Between him and Barack Hussein Obama the Arab world believes it has a free pass - blame the Jews - blame Israel. Am I paranoid? Probably.

- The restaurant scene in Jerusalem is getting better and better. A new place opened in the shuk (our outdoor market called Machane Yehuda). The restaurant is called "Machneyuda" - written as one word - but as I've never seen the name written in English I'm sort of guessing at the spelling from the Hebrew.

The place is non-kosher - the food is delicious - the service is lovely and caring and friendly - and they have some of my favorite things on the menu. Moach (brains) - shkeday egel (sweetbreads) - slavim (quails) and netzach ketzavim (butcher's cut). Very hard to get a reservation - just keep trying.

- And now off to do some cooking of my own. Some friends are showing up on Wednesday from the States - actually they're already in Israel and are doing a bit of touring and visiting up north. I'm doing a Shabbat dinner in their honor - I'll let you know how it went.

Yalla, Bye.

Saturday, October 10, 2009



What was the Nobel Committee thinking? They have just cheapened the prize for every deserving person who has ever won it or will ever win it.

'Splain me Lucy - just exactly what has Barack Obama accomplished? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

He is waffling about what to do in Afghanistan - why should we be surprised? He took four months to choose a dog.

He has put the United Stated trillions of dollars in debt. I guess that was an "accomplishment".

As a senator he voted "present" more than 130 times. What does "present" mean? It means he had his tushie on a chair at the time the vote was taken - he didn't vote "yes" - he didn't vote "no". I suppose that was a good idea. That way he couldn't be accused of having an opinion.

When he made his little speech on the White House lawn he said he was "humbled" - as well he should have been - he has much to be humble about.

He said he "doesn't believe he deserves the prize". Right on - he doesn't.

When Yassir Arafat won the PEACE Prize I thought the world was in trouble. Now that Obama has been awarded the prize - I know we are in trouble.

If Barack Hussein Obama was really humble he should have thanked the Nobel Committee for the honor - but refused to accept the prize until he has done something tangible to deserve it.

Alfred Nobel must be flipping around in his grave.

Yalla, Bye.

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