Monday, August 04, 2008
SHIPUTZIM - part 2
Phase one of my shiputzim (renovations) is now finished. Why phase one? Because Avi - my kablan (contractor) is now on holiday in Italy with his family. To be fair, I knew he had this holiday booked before he began my job - but I also knew that if I put the job off any longer it would go on into the winter and, as I am changing my windows, I need to do that while there is no rain.
So - as the schedule stands now - we should be finished sometime in October. In the meantime, I am living in a mess. An organized mess to be sure - but a mess nevertheless. Remember that I said that they were yekkes (see the last blog for an explanation of the word)? They swept up after themselves - they washed the floors - they cleaned my whole kitchen - and I am now busy moving my "stuff" from one cabinet to another. It gives me a chance to get rid of other "stuff" that I haven't used for years - and will probably never use.
To tell you the truth - I think I come by this meshegas (craziness) honestly. My Mother was forever changing the house. She'd wake up on a given morning - say to herself "I think I'll move the furniture around" or "I think I'll wallpaper the kid's bedroom today" - and we'd come back from school to a different place completely. My Mom was into DIY before it became fashionable.
My brother and I spent our childhood with scraped knees and black-and-blue legs. That's because the furniture was never where it was supposed to be. My Mother moved everything - from the tables and chairs to the beds to our big baby grand piano - all by herself. We were always walking into something that wasn't there yesterday. And so I carry on the tradition today. Which is why I have no trouble falling asleep in strange hotel rooms - it 's just like home - unfamiliar.
This is the first time in weeks that my house is free of workmen. And to celebrate, my two darlings - Yoav and Ernesto - and I, went out for a long, boozy lunch. [No - I did not drive.] We began with a lovely bottle of Lebanese wine at their house and then went on to one of my favorite restaurants - "Colony". A terriffic "happening" place. Good atmosphere - good vibes (do they still say that?) - and wonderful food. And another bottle of wine - this time a "Cava" - a sparkling wine from Spain.
I know it must sound strange - but I love going out to eat with people who stick their forks into other people's plates and don't mind when you stick your fork into their plates. Which is just what we always do - so that we can get a taste of everything.
We all had hatzil baladi - roasted eggplant on a bed of tehina (sesame seed paste), liver pate with cherry-tomato jam, chicken livers with silan (date honey), a mix of sweetbreads and chicken livers on a laffa (a sort of large, thin pita) - yes - we're all big on chicken livers - and musar (drum fish) with herbed potato puree on a bed of sliced roasted beets.
I'm not a big dessert eater - but I stuck my spoon into their desserts - sorbet with fresh fruit and some sort of halva (a confection made from sesame seeds) concoction with halva ice cream and shredded halva - to die for. And then we all went home to sleep the lunch off.
What a way to spend an afternoon. Heaven.