Monday, January 23, 2017

Original Corelle Dishes, In Use Since 1972

Yes, we have Corelle dishes bought in the summer of 1972. At that time all of the department store catalogus were featuring these sets, sold as service for four:

  • 4 dinner plates
  • 4 smaller plates
  • 4 bowls
  • 4 teacups 
  • 4 saucers
There were two versions, plain white and blue "snowflake," if I remember what ours was called correctly. 

I checked on google, but there wasn't any correct information on the dishes. Wikipedia even had an outright mistake. I know for sure that we bought this set in 1972. We married and moved to Israel in 1970 and visited New York in 1972. I can still see the catalogue page in my mind showing the dishes, though I can't remember the price. Could it have been something like $24.99?

For decades they were our "good" dishes. That is until about thirteen years ago, when my father-in-law died, and when my husband went back to New York to help clear out his parents' apartment, he brought back a much nicer set of dishes. So, we got rid of the old plastic "everyday" ones and demoted the Corelle. But on a nice tablecloth they still look pretty good.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Surprising Coffee Info & #morningcoffeehaiku

Before I give you some of my recent  #morningcoffeehaikus, I must tell you some very surprising information I discovered about coffee. Here it is in haiku form:
Dakva instant best
Machine coffee was awful
Not all hotels same

When we were in the King Solomon Hotel, Jerusalem, during Chanukah, they had two different machines, which were differently programed so they'd offer more choices. And just one of them I liked. I tried a few of the choices in the Kinar Hotel machine and didn't like them, so in desperation I opened one of the packets of instant coffee, Elite's Brazilian, and that had the flavor to my particular taste preference. I actually have a jar in my closet for Shabbat, which I bought on sale a few months ago at Rami Levy. Some instant coffees are pretty good. Do you have a favorite?

Here are a few of my recent #morningcoffeehaikus. You're invited to join the "conversation" on facebook.

Lots planned next few days
will still start days with coffee
Gd willing enjoy...

Coffee at a friend
Exactly what is needed
While watching the news

nice comfort coffee
opened last batch of the old
and got a new one

Warmed up by hot mug
patience needed when perking
but makes great coffee

Friendly coffee hot
Just perfect and hits the spot
Yes, love it a lot

Yes it's so early
but it's never too early
to drink good coffee

no coffee today
fasting on 10th of Tevet
Jerusalem siege

Good morning, enjoy, drink coffee and haiku in good health!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Vegetables Plus Through a Cleaned Lens

The other day I ended up sending a photo of dinner, one of my vegetable dishes, to 365Project. It's slightly different from my usual vegetable meal.

Dinner Through a Cleaned Lens

Usually I get my photos in during the day, but today it just didn't happen. I took lots of pictures, but none were right. So, I photographed my dinner. Onions, squash, carrot, ginger and a few leftover slices of apple. I cooked it all up with some oil in a covered pan.
The first photo got my camera lens all steamed up, so I rushed to clean it with a special cloth. This photo is much clearer. Now I understand why my recent pictures have been so peculiar. The lens needed cleaning.
Adding the apple reminded me of when I'd make a vegetable dish that had apples and carrots and peanuts, among other things I've since forgotten. I had learned the basic recipe when eating in an interesting kosher vegetarian restaurant in Amsterdam when I visited in 1977. I think it was called "Beit Hamazon." I had seen the ad for it in the Jewish Vegetarian Society newsletter. We had been living in London at the time doing Zionist youth work for Betar. All I had written down was the address. I didn't remember noticing anything about its hours. We ended up trying to get in when they were closed between lunch and dinner. But whoever answered the door very graciously offered to prepare a lunch, and it was something with carrots, apples and peanuts, which I tried to reproduce when I got back home.  Memories...

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Nice to Know New Part of Neighborhood

The other evening I went over to neighbors to see their kitchen. They've just moved into one of the terraced apartments down the street from me. I'm hoping and planning to redo my kitchen, so I had been invited to see theirs. It is gorgeous!

I was asking about their building, since most families must walk a few flights down to get to their apartments. It seemed like a lot of steps, deja vu, for young families with babies and toddlers. When we lived in Bayit Vegan, we had three and a half floors to walk up and down. It's not easy. I was told that they don't walk all the way up to my street. What they do is go down. There's a bit of a street there from the caravan neighborhood, and the plan is for it to be widened and extended to to meet the other terraced apartments closer to our main road.

When I had time the other day, I took a walk to find the road and the bottom of the building.  Here are some photos I took of the area and the view.

Yes, there's lots of building going on here in Shiloh, thank Gd!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Daily and Weekly Photos, 365 and 52

As if I have nothing else to do, I've been participating in two photography groups, a daily one, 365Project, and a weekly one, 52Frames.

They have one thing in common and that's the time restriction. The photo for 365project must be taken the day it's uploaded, and only one per day, while 52Frames gives us a week to photograph for that weekly deadline.

The big difference is that there are "strict" weekly challenges we're supposed to attempt. The challenges are basic, and sometimes more advanced photographic techniques, styles, etc. And for the 365project we can photograph anything we want. There are those who join members taking on a specific challenge, but for most members it's more of loosely themed photographic diary.

For this week, deadline was early Monday morning Israel time, 52Frames asked for a black and white photo:

As rushed and freezing cold as I was, I just had to stop, take off my gloves and shoot this scene. I could just see it in black and white, especially the stone sidewalk. My eyes blurred from shooting into the sun, but we photographers are always taking risks for our art..

And here are a few of my recent 365project photographs:

Peeking in the Schoolyard

When my children studied here the school was so very bare-bones basic. We were grateful that the small prefab structures that were used as classrooms for many didn't leak. And there certainly wasn't a fence around it.
Now besides the landscaping, there is outdoor musical equipment like this xylophone.

Traffic Jam

Suddenly, as we rode south on the Alon Road to Kochav Hashachar, we were forced to stop.

Golden Morning


I photograph with both my Samsung J7 smartphone and my small Canon IXUS 145 camera.

Both groups are now very international, though 52Frames started in Israel, if I'm not mistaken. Sometimes I explain Jewish customs on 365project, like here:

Last Whiff of the Sabbath

A new week has begun. According to Jewish Tradition, one part of the "Havdalah," Separation ceremony is smelling "spices."
May this be a good week for all.
Although both groups do have an optional paid membership, I don't pay, and I can still participate.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Homemade Soup at Coney Island, Jerusalem

Yes, again I revisited Coney Island, the "fast food" real food place at the lightrail stop on Rechov Yaffo, Jerusalem.

After much nudging from the friendly woman behind the counter, I agreed to try their "Orange Soup."  Now, for those who don't know what Orange Soup is, it's as vegetable soup made mostly of orange vegetables, carrots, sweet potato and pumpkin. And then it's blended by using one of those "stick blenders" into a creamy soup, yes, just what you'd feed an infant or young toddler. And at NS5 for a cup, it's a bargain and also pure enough to feed to a baby. I'm highly sensitive to the smell of "soup powder" and didn't feel that there was any here.

Most of the drinks, coffee etc are NS5. Nice sized sandwiches are NS12 for the ready-made and NS16 if you choose your filling.  That is a better price than I've seen elsewhere. Believe me that you get lots more sandwich, especially the filling, in the Coney Island sandwich than you'll get in three NS5- ones.

I've already blogged about what a great deal their salads are. The soup and salad were my dinner one night last week. Even though their setup is small, there are a few tables, and I was able to have a relaxing meal right in the Center of Jerusalem on Jaffa Street.

Coney Island is strictly kosher and does catering in dairy, meat and parve. They also have a large selection of gluten free bakery products. For more information, Avi 054-569-6135, Yael 052-668-4005,

Monday, January 16, 2017

What was This Supposed to Say?

Photographed in Zion Square.

If you know what it's supposed to say, then please let me know in the comments, thanks.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Not Just Coffee, I Drink Tea, Too

A couple of months ago, I ran into an old friend who gave me a gift. It was very small, but impressive-looking box of tea, Cérémonie Tea. I popped it in my bag, eventually remembering to take it out and put it in my "tea cabinet," where I have a large selection of teas.

It took me until pretty recently to try it one evening, when a caffeine free tea was just what I needed.

I took for granted that it was just a small quantity of loose tea leaves, so I got all sorts of tea steeping and straining equipment ready. But to my great joy I discovered that there was a very elegant teabag in the box. It wasn't the usual pedestrian paper, either. It felt like a fancy party dress or "petticoat" of my childhood memories.

I realized that my giant glass mug was a bit too large for the quantity of tea that pretty tea bag could produce, so I didn't fill the water to the top or even near.

No doubt you want to know how it tasted. It was lovely. I didn't add any sweetener for two reasons. First of all, I don't need the extra calories, and secondly, I wanted to get a genuine taste of the tea. It was good, dainty, which maybe because I diluted it with too much water. But I did like it. There was no artificial taste which you sometimes get from the "fruity" non-caffeine teas. So, if you see the tea, try it or contact them by phone +972-9-951-5818 or email

Saturday, January 14, 2017

An Advantage of "Pedometer" as my Smartphone Step Counter

Soon after I got my new Samsung J7 smartphone, I began looking to install a better pedometer than I had been using. I'm sure I'm not the only person who sometimes paces at home to reach a "step goal," and since part of the "system" that many of the pedometers use are attuned to distances, they get "confused" when we pace.

With the "app" I had been using, walklogger, I'd find it losing steps when I paced. I'd have to keep stopping to try to trick it. That was a big problem when the weather was bad and I'd want to reach a specific goal at home. It really hated a friend's apartment. It would outright refuse to count the steps I walked there. It also took ages/many steps to start counting, even when I adjusted the sensitivity. I could spend hours walking around the Israel Museum and I'd be lucky if it credited me for 150 steps. Once I was with a friend who had an iphone, and we discovered that although I'd been walking a lot that day, and she had hardly walked at all, our phone apps gave us the same count. Then we walked around together for about twenty minutes. My app added about 300 steps and hers added over a thousand!

Now I use one that simply calls itself "Pedometer," and it counts steps, even if I'm pacing or walking up and down stairs. It doesn't beep me when I've achieved any goals, but I can survive without a pat on the back. It's easy to check my progress over the day, and it doesn't claim I'm riding a bicycle when I walk downhill quickly, which a different app did. And like the others I've tried, it's free, of course.

I hope this helps.

I just wish it could keep me from eating too much...

Friday, January 13, 2017

Another Win for the Jerusalem "Big Blue" Lions

Last night was a "simple" victory for the Lions which didn't need a movie-like miracle finish. We were simply the better team all around.

Besides having the very best young Israeli-born coach in the business, our defense barely let them move forward, and our offense has been improving, B"H, bli eyin haraa. 52:9 against the Ramat Hasharon Hammers is as one-sided a score as you can get besides a shutout.

Very slowly more and more fans have been starting to come to the Mishor Adumim field, where games are played now instead of Kraft Stadium. It will never have the homey festival feel we remember so fondly from the days when all of the Jerusalem area games were in Kraft, but mid-way through the second season here, we are starting to adjust. Instead of sizzling meat, soda and beer on sale by the sidelines, hungry fans have to hike to the nearby Super Sol for nosherei and drinks or bring their own. The worst thing about the Mishor Adumim field is that there is no easy way to come and go by public transportation, and it's even too far to walk from Maale Adumim.

Tom Brady (right) with Robert Kraft (center) and
IFL/AFI founder Steve Liebowitz (left) in
Jerusalem (Photo: David Tuttle)  ynetnews
There have been official announcements that Robert Kraft will be funding a new sports stadium/complex someplace near the Ramot neighborhood of Jerusalem. The sports complex is set to be open for games next summer.

We're looking forward to that, and I personally hope there will be decent public transportation. Recently, I've been getting to the Mishor field with a Lions player who comes from Ariel and picks me up at the Shiloh gate. And then my son drops me off at the "cityline" where I catch tremps, rides home.

Let it be a healthy injury free season for all, and those injured should have a refuah shleimah, speedy and complete recovery for those in need.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Teaching: Turned a Game into a Graded Quiz

 OK, I must admit that in my 9th grade group, only three students show up, but they are a nice enthusiastic three. I teach EFL, that's English as a Foreign Language, and I teach to very weak students. I had to teach them how to read when I began with them at the very end of October. I have a simple method, and it seems to have worked.

One of them knows English from home, but that just means that he understands the spoken word and can reply in kind. The other two are pretty new to the language.

They get four hours a week divided into three days, which means that there's a double lesson on one of the days. And, davka, that double lesson is at the end of the day when they are just too tired to stay attuned to what I'm trying to do. And the school doesn't let me do what I did in my other one, when I could combine the lessons without a break and finish earlier. When I complained, I was told to "play games."

Nu? I'm not the game sort of teacher. These students are so weak that they spend an entire lesson on a simple quiz which shouldn't take more than 10-15 minutes. So the game time has replaced quizzes. In a sense they are quizzes, since I get them to translate words, and they compete to see how many words they've done by saving the little pieces of paper on which the words are written and then counting them at the end.

Yesterday I made a new version in which the two who didn't understand English could work together. There were thirty words. I told them if neither new the definition I would take three points off, from one hundred, and the remainder would be their grades. And for the English speaker, I told him that if he shouted out an answer when not his turn I'd take off three points per word. They all accepted the rules, and in the end the weaker students got a nice high 94%, and the English-speaker got 97%. And I was able to register additional grades for them.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Rule of Thirds, Sun

The Rule of Thirds can be explained that sometimes when things are off center, they are more visually interesting. Here's my photo for this week's 52Frames challenge, Rule of Thirds.

"Third Sun"

Camera: Samsung J7
Location: Israel

Hope you like it. Some people, especially if you also follow my 365Project photos, you'll see that the location keeps turning up. Taking pictures is great when waiting for a ride.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Fun Healthy Nosh

Last week I discovered a great healthy, tasty nosh. For me it was better than salted nuts or candy. I had dropped into a supermarket to buy myself something that could be my "dinner" at the beer tasting. We all know that beer isn't all that low in calories, though beer tasters aren't given all that much to drink of each beer. This is really as much as we get of each beer.

I had thought of buying a perfectly ripe avocado, but there weren't any ripe ones for sale. They were all as hard as rocks. I wanted a protein and couldn't have dairy, since I had eaten a late fleishig/meat lunch. Then I spied these sprouts. At first I thought they were like the sprouted lentils I've bought and loved in Rami Levy. But it was only when I opened the package and began eating them that I realized that there are all sorts of sprouted beans and legumes. They were a real treat and totally delicious.

I wasn't even tempted by the more fattening things on the table, like the bourekas, but I did eat the salad and some other bean-type thing that someone had brought.

Nosh on the sprouts while waiting for the stouts winners to be announced on Doug's blog.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Chickpeas, Tomatoes, Mushrooms and More Vegetable Soup

This is not my usual vegetable soup. First of all I used chickpeas instead of peas or lentils. And I also cut up a couple of tomatoes early in the cooking. I threw in a few peppercorns, too.

Chickpeas take ages to cook, but since I had the afternoon free, I didn't mind. First I left them soaking in boiling water in a covered pot. After a couple of hours I poured out the water and added more boiling water and then boiled it on the stove another couple of hours. Yes, I was home and had the time.

Then I began to add the rest of the vegetables and some coarse salt:

  • onion
  • garlic
  • carrots 
  • squash
  • tomatoes
  • mushrooms
I topped that off with some vegetable oil and cooked it another hour. After it hit a strong boil, I simmered it.

And that was it, the perfect vegetable soup for breaking the fast and other excuse.