Sunday, August 30, 2009



About a year ago or so I wrote a REQUIEM FOR A CHICKEN WING when our favorite restaurant for grilled chicken wings (nu - what else?) closed.

Today it's a REQUIEM FOR A SPARE RIB. You can tell I've been here for a long time because I judge everything by what "used to be there". For instance - there used to be a restaurant just off the Jerusalem - Tel Aviv highway called PUNDAK MOTZA (Motza Inn). It was there for what seemed forever - had great stuffed chicken by the way - and then closed.

Then there opened the BLACK STEER - a restaurant which served (notice the past tense?) steaks, burgers, chicken and fabulous spare ribs. Not lamb spare ribs, not veal spare ribs - but real pork spare ribs. Juicy, succulent, tasty pork spare ribs. The portions were so large that Marallyn (my partner in crime) and I used to share a one-half portion - and walk away stuffed. We always started with a roquefort salad, then the ribs which came with either chips (french fries) or baked potatoes (with sour cream!) and the most gorgeous onion rings you can imagine.

I know, I know - meat and dairy at the same meal. Not kosher at all. But if you think about it this way - two negatives make a positive. Pork is forbidden - meat and dairy together are forbidden - both negatives. Ergo - two negatives make a positive. Logical no?

We've been there for lunch, for dinner - have tried almost everything on the menu at one time or another - and now it's gone. We went there to celebrate, to commiserate - or just because.

Would you believe that there isn't another restaurant in Jerusalem serving such fabulous spare ribs on the bone? ( Well - there is another one but the ribs are a different cut and much too fatty.) So now the BLACK STEER is only a memory. Does this mean we have to eat kosher from now on?

Yalla, Bye.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


VA'AD BAYIT - the end

Last night was the end of an era - I am no longer Rosh Va'ad (head of the Building Committee)!

Actually - that's not strictly accurate. Darla and I resigned about three weeks ago and last night was just the icing on the cake.

We had an assifa clali (a general meeting) to decide on a Management Company to run the building. Can you imagine - a whole Management Company to take the place of the two of us. Dun't esk!!

The Company which was chosen wrote a contract - a fabulous contract - all on their behalf. We had almost no rights at all. We had to hire them for a whole year - with no exit clause. They would decide what had to be done for the building - which we would have to pay for in addition to our monthly payments to them. It was as if someone came to me and said: "Rena, I want to manage your money. Turn over all your assets to me - I'll do as I wish - you won't know how much your management fees will be until the end of the year - you have no right to look at the books during the year - you can't leave me until the year is over - and that's it".

Not to mention that "we" did due diligence and came up with several black marks against the Company - and "they" still wanted to go ahead and sign the contract! Hellloo!

What - you didn't hear the screaming? The yelling? The accusations? The vicious personal remarks? All this directed randomly at everyone and anyone who was there. I'm surprised they didn't hear the yelling in Tel Aviv. Someone called someone else a liar. Someone - a lawyer, an immigrant from England - who should know better - called an Israeli "such an Israeli" in the most derogatory tone imaginable. And this lawyer negotiates contracts for big businesses, yet. (I wonder if her boss knows how she operates?)

By the way - this same Israeli told me - in very admiring tones - that I have become "very Israeli" - and I was very complimented.

Listen my friends - I'm here to tell you that right will prevail. Fight for what you believe in. The proposal to hire the Company failed - we still don't have a Management Company - Darla and I have left for good - that's famous last words as I resigned two previous times "for good". I'll keep you posted.

Yalla, Bye.

Saturday, August 01, 2009



Oh yes - the last time I wrote was in December 2008 - a very long time ago in blogger years.

This has been a terrible year - Queen Elizabeth call it an annus horribilus - a year I don't care to repeat.

First - I developed shingles. If you don't know what that is - Google it. If you know what it is you'll know just how enervating and debilitating it is to have it. Got over that - took weeks - nay, months - with no lasting ill effects. Then - Marallyn's Mom - Bubbie Chana - was ill for a long time - and she passed away - and we had to deal with that. I really miss her - she was a grand old gal.

Then - I slipped during a rare - very rare - sleet storm in Jerusalem - and got all banged up - nothing broken - no permanent damage - but in absolute agony for weeks with bruised ribs.

And a first for me - I haven't had a dinner party in ages - no energy - no appetite - no strength to do much of anything. Not to think that I haven't been in my kitchen at all - have been doing some cooking and baking for friends - but that's about it.

Through all that I was still Rosh Va'ad (head of the Building Committee). Lots of work - lots of nudgy neighbors to deal with - lots of building problems - but - FINALLY - a light bulb went on. I don't have to be Rosh Va'ad if I don't want to. And so I resigned a few weeks ago. After years and years of running the building - ees no' my yob any more. I'm finally a private citizen. They are now looking for a management company to replace me - can you imagine that?

Anyway - there is much more to write about than the past year. It's gone - and all the attendant troubles that were so tiresome to deal with. I had a "pity party" for a while - well, who wouldn't. But with the help of my fabulous friends - I've always said I was so lucky to have my friends - who fed me and cooked for me and shlepped me to the doctor and commiserated with me - all is well now and we can go on to bigger and better things.

So much to write about - politics - Obama - the state (and State) of Israel - Obama - my life - recipes - Obama ------you get the message.

Watch this space. I promise - I'll write again soon. Glad to be back.

Yalla, Bye.

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