Tuesday, November 13, 2007



It's almost Thanksgiving and I'm in the midst of preparing for my annual Thanksgiving Day bash - the annual pig-out (you should excuse the expression) of all the traditional foods (and some not so traditional) my Mom always made.

I've been planning for weeks - the guests are all invited - the turkeys are ordered - some of the marketing is done - but, wait - there are no fresh cranberries to be had in Israel. What to do.

So there I was having lunch with my dear friend _____ (all of the names have been omitted to protect the innocent) - who, incidentally is not coming this year as he has to be abroad - and I said "I have no fresh cranberries - I can't believe that I'm going to have to serve tinned cranberry sauce". A shonda (yiddish - a shame - a fate worse than death.) And _____ said, "I have a friend in the States who is coming here before Thanksgiving. I'll just ask _____ to bring some fresh cranberries for you."

After many emails back and forth - what kind do I want - what's the best way to transport them - will they still be edible after two weeks in transit (!) - my cranberries were on their way.

Their first stop was Frankfort - then on to Teheran - then on to Dubai - then on to Amman - and finally to Jerusalem - at long last. And they were in perfect shape. At each stop they were put into a refrigerator - with notes reminding _____ not to forget to take the cranberries.

And so it was that last week _____ invited me for a drink and to meet _____ who schlepped my care package halfway around the world.

And why am I protecting the innocent? Because I'm not absolutely sure that it's OK to import fresh cranberries into Israel - although I do it very often and also had _____ do it for me last year. You see, cranberries are only in the markets in the States just before Thanksgiving - where do they hide for the rest of the year? - and you can't always get them. So it falls to people who visit here around November to bring those precious berries. It's not as if I can go to New York in July and bring back cranberries and then put them in the freezer. Why should life be so simple?

Here's a thought - the cranberries have been to countries I've never visited - and will never be allowed to visit. How's that for irony? I wonder if Mr. Ahmadinejad knows he was sheltering cranberries for this nice Jewish girl?

Dear _____ and _____ - many thanks and my deepest appreciation. You will never fully understand just how happy you made me - and my guests.

I'll tell you all about my preparations and the big day as the week goes on - lots to do but I'll find time to write.

Yalla, Bye.

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