Sunday, March 30, 2008



Instead of translating Veni, vidi, vici as "I came, I saw, I conquered" - my brother used to say "I came, I saw, I went". And that's just what he did - and now he's gone back to Canada. We had a wonderful visit - talked and ate and visited and talked some more and ate some more and I threw a big party for him and we went to his in-laws for dinner in Nes Ziona and we went to the Bar Mitzvah in Rehovot and to the reception at Gannot - and then he went. I miss him - we're each other's history - we can say one word and burst into gales of laughter - and only we understand what's so funny.

I'm still driving the "loaner" car from Eldan as my own car isn't yet here - the Toyota Prius Hybrid which I ordered in a light color (the one I'm driving now is black and shows every grain of sand and every bit of dust) - and I just love the car - except for the color. I drove more than 900 kilometres last week and the car is really a dream and gets good gas-mileage - well, it should, it runs most of the time on the auxiliary battery. By the way, the car is called a Toyota Pree-yus High-brid - except it's pronounced by Israelis as Toyota Pee-ree-yus Hee-brid. The same way that Israelis call a Mitsubishi a Meet-see-booshi - go figure.

My nephew says my whole life is a blog - and he's probably right. One day David and I went to the Herzliya Marina and while deciding which boat to buy ( that's a joke) we decided instead to have a light lunch as we were going to Ouri and Devora's for dinner. We just wanted two starters and a salad. I saw on the menu a starter of fried calamari, eggplant and tehina with a tomato salsa - sounded good to me. There were two prices listed 38 / 44. I asked the waiter what the difference in size was between the two prices. No difference in size - one had calamari and the other didn't. So why were there two different prices listed next to the description of the dish and no indication that one had calamari and one didn't? "Kacha zeh" (that's the way it is), he answered. "Doesn't everyone question that?" I asked. "Yes" he replied. "So why not correct the menu?" I queried. "Kacha zeh" he replied - go figure.

I just got a new cell-phone - Bluetooth-enabled so I can speak and hear through an earpiece while I'm driving. I still don't know what Bluetooth is - but I have it. Fine. But I couldn't get it to work. Pushed this - pushed that - you know the drill - doesn't work. So when I went to Ros's for dinner on Friday night I brought the phone and the earpiece with me - surely someone there would know what to do. Her son-in-law, Shimon, asked me if I had activated the Bluetooth thingie in the phone. Nooo - was I supposed to? How was I supposed to do that? How was I supposed to know that? He did it for me. Then I couldn't figure out how to turn the earpiece on and off. Guess what? Ros's grandson Elior - 10 1/2 years old!! - showed me how it works. The kid knows these things - this grownup doesn't.

And that brings us up to date. Pesach is less than three weeks away. I cooked my little heart out for David's party - and now I have to begin shopping and preparing for Pesach. I already have my menu planned - I have my lists made of what I have to buy and what I have to cook for the Seder (my brother says that my lists have lists) - and here I go again. I'll keep you up to date.

Yalla, Bye.

Saturday, March 15, 2008



I don't know how my Mom or my Grandma did it. Did what? Cleaned kilos and kilos (they cleaned pounds and pounds) of chicken parts - and not just once a year.

This past Wednesday evening I held my "Annual Chicken Fricasee Dinner". And what is that - you might well ask. I like "poor people's food". I eat steaks and roasts and grilled salmon - well, I eat just about everything - as you will have gathered from reading this blog regularly. But what I really love is food that has to be cooked long and slow - dishes that were created to stretch what available food there was to feed lots and lots of people.

After all - what is gefilte fish? Fish that is ground up with onions and matza meal and eggs, formed into "kneidlach" (balls) and poached in a broth made with the bones and heads (the best part!!) and will feed many more people than just the one whole fish served plain. Or chopped liver - chicken livers sauteed and then ground up with eggs and onions and "schmaltz" (chicken fat). And stews? And hearty soups?

And chicken fricasee. A soupy, stewy sort of dish made with chicken giblets - necks and hearts and pupicks (gizzards) and feeslach (chicken feet!!) and wings and little meat balls mixed with rice and a gravy made with loads and loads of onions.

But even before you can begin to cook the fricasee you have to clean all the bits and pieces. Myra found the chicken feet for me in the shuk (open air market). She brought me more than two kilos (over four pounds) which cost the grand sum of 10 Israeli shekels - less than 4 American dollars. There were 82 feet - and I cleaned each and every one. That took four hours. Then I cleaned two kilos - each - of hearts and necks and pupicks and wings which took another four hours. Then I made 60 meatballs - hours more work. And only then did I begin to cook.

Was it worth it? You'll have to ask Myra and Ros and Marallyn and Anne (Bubbie) and Corinne - but not while they're eating. They inhaled the food - it disappeared in no time flat. I only invite those friends who love fricasee - love eating with their fingers and gnawing on the bones. There ain't no other way. For four of us it was a reminder of our middle-European, Ashkenazi backgrounds. Myra, who was born in Israel to German parents and never ate that at home loves the dish. But the most surprising is Corinne - who is Egyptian / Turkish and was born in the Sudan - she inhales it along with rest of us. They're all looking forward to next year - when my fingernails (I ruined my manicure) and I will have recovered from this year's production.

My brother, David, is arriving tomorrow - that's one of his favorite dishes. So - there's fricasee waiting for him in the freezer. And Riva - who is arriving from Canada next week - also has a "care package" waiting for her in the freezer.

I have a really busy week ahead of me. David and I have to catch up on everything - although thanks to SKYPE and emails we speak all the time. But there's nothing like face-to-face. We'll visit friends, eat, talk, and just hang out. Then there's the party I'm throwing for him on Thursday. Then there's dinner at his in-laws in Nes Ziona. Then the Bar Mitzva of his second grandson in Rehovot. Then the Bar Mitzva party in Gannot and then he leaves again. That was quick.

So - I know you'll understand if I don't write for about ten days. Then I'll tell you all about his visit and about my party and what I cooked.

By the way - I just noticed that this is my 103rd blog - who would have thought I had so much to say - and so many people who enjoy reading it?

Yalla, Bye.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008



In my last blog I wrote about the Palestinians in Gaza celebrating the deaths - the murders - of the eight young men studying in their yeshiva last week.

The following film - on YouTube - came in this morning. I'm not sure that the TV networks worldwide showed this film. Look at it and weep.

The above link is what you need to click on to see film.

There is nothing more I need to say.

Friday, March 07, 2008



Eight young lives snuffed out. More young men in hospital - some critically injured. Eight funerals today.

Last night the Palestinians struck again - again at innocent civilians. Innocent young men who were celebrating the beginning of the month of Adar and the coming of Purim.

And you are just reading my words - what you are not hearing is that each word is a cry - a scream - a rage at the situation here in Israel. A rage that the UN couldn't bring its august self to condemn that atrocious act. A rage that President Bush believes that the peace talks should continue. A rage that the whole world asks us not to respond "disporportionally" to the bombs from Gaza raining down daily on Sderot and Ashkelon. And just what is "proportionally" might I ask?

I was so proud of the young man, Yitzhak Dadon, who - when asked by a journalist how he managed to kill the terrorist last night - added to his explanation the ironic words "and we thank you Mr. Peres and Mr. Olmert for arming the Palestinians". For that is just what they did. Our fabulous Prime Minister Olmert - whose sons do not serve in our armed forces. Our equally fabulous President Peres - whose great achievement is jetting around the world. And I add my thanks to Mr. Bush and Ms. Rice - who are convinced that they can make peace during their term in office to make them look good. At any cost - to us.

All of us here flip channels during an emergency to see what the world is saying and how the world is reacting. So just imagine my rage when I flipped on to Al-Jazeera and saw the Palestinians in Gaza celebrating in the streets. Yes - celebrating the deaths of these innocents. We Israelis do not celebrate the deaths of innocent civilians. We do not hand out candies and fly flags and dance in the streets when someone - anyone - is killed.

These are the people with whom we are supposed to male peace? These people who do not want peace with us? These people whose avowed aim is to eradicate the State of Israel - not live in peace alongside of us?

Wake up President Bush. Wake up Secretary Rice. WAKE UP WORLD! Today it is Israel - tomorrow it will be you - G-d forbid..

In the meantime - the nation mourns these eight young men.

May their families be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Rest in Peace.

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