Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Wandering Around the Neighborhood, New Haunts

Yesterday I called a neighbor in order to arrange to meet to give her something. I told her that I was about to take a short walk, so she asked if I was going to walk near her, in a spot that others say is gorgeous. I admitted that I wasn't familiar with that particular route. It's just a few minutes from my house, but I usually just do a simple circuit, so wasn't familiar with it at all. I'm glad I took her advice. It's near the Yeshivat Hesder Shiloh and incomplete Gutnick building, which was built about fifteen years ago.

Here are some pictures:

I'm glad I now have a new route for when I want to vary the views.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Squeezing More Life Out of My "Memory Challenged" Smart sic Phone

In my attempts to squeeze more life/use/time out of my rather retarded Galaxy S II, I've been deleting photos. It has just an 8 whatever it's called  memory, and when I tried to get something to expand the memory, I was told that it wouldn't help for the "operating systems," the "apps." The card I added was only for photos and stuff like that. 

Within a few months of buying the phone, when it was still fully covered by service, I already couldn't edit photos. The phone camera totally froze. Twice I ran back to the store to wake it up. Sort of like "code red" in the hospital!

When I got the new memory card, I had to reprogram the phone so that the photos would go there for storage. Apparently it now does. The salesman should have told me how to store photos from day one, which would have saved me a lot of aggravation. The truth is that I should never have bought that phone. I should have gotten a much more memory powerful one. Now I'm drooling over a 64 memory and hope that I can delay purchase until I can get one even stronger or at least when the 64's go down in price.

Even with the "expanded storage memory," my phone is "limited." I hadn't been able to update the few remaining apps, even the ones I use all the time like chrome and whatsapp. I've deleted almost all the others, the Bible, Siddur etc. 

In a desperate move last night, I deleted over three hundred, yes, 300 photos. I just saved a couple of those to G+, and here they are.

Yes, they are attractive, but if deleting photos from the pre-memory card addition will mean a better chance and price for the Galaxy 7 64 memory or a similar phone, then it's worth it.

There still are hundreds of photos, which I plan on putting in one of those album/books. Then I'll clean out many more. Finally, last night, when chrome nudged me with one of those "out of date" notices, it actually updated, instead of announcing that my phone had "insufficient memory to complete the update." On a roll, I also, found some downloads (which had been hidden) to delete and some sms conversations/messages.

In today's world, one is always caught in a smartphone saga, because it's getting impossible to live without it.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Carefully Keeping Kosher

When I'm at work, Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin, I take my meal breaks in the pizza/burger kiosk which is, like Yafiz, part of the Rami Levy business empire. I've blogged about my NS15 chicken breast meals I get there.  I only buy them (or something else from the supermarket) when it's impossible for me to bring food from home.

You may be a bit confused, since the place is kosher and you can buy either meat or dairy meals. So to make things clear, there are two very separate kitchens, but the tables can be used by customers eating either or. That means that there can be leftover/scraps of pizza or meat on the tables. That can be very problematic according to the Laws of Kosher food/kashrut. The only way I'd put food on the table for me to eat is to cover it first.

There's a large roll of paper towels, so I take a nice sized piece and make myself a "placemat" of sorts. I've been doing this ever since I began eating there. Honestly, I think that I'm the only one who does this. It's not like there's a "wait staff" who is constantly cleaning the tables. I'm just this nutty, fanatic Ashkenaz American...

But then not long ago I discovered a sign up on the wall.

Dear Customers,
According to Jewish Law, one must place "paper," (paper towel no doubt) under the food you are eating on the table.
Thank you and hearty appetite
So, I'm not a crazy fanatic after all!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Mystery Bus...

Another bus "service" rant. Public transportation here has its good points and bad ones. Of course I'm happy we have buses, and there's a nice percentage of them that go up to my neighborhood. I've even begun to trust them enough to wait for the buses around the corner from my house, rather than leave home much earlier to walk to the main stop.

We also have these screens that are supposed to tell us, which line is arriving, which direction (last stop) and when, meaning in how many minutes it should arrive.

One problem is that only one bus line is ever mentioned, though two come to Shiloh. Davka only one to my neighborhood. At the bus stop in the "center" which services both bus lines, only the 461 shows up.

And now things are worse, because, as you can see, it doesn't give the "destination" information. There's no way to know if the expected bus is going to Jerusalem or Maale Levona.

It's a mystery....

Friday, May 27, 2016

"Italian Salad" at Jerusalem's Iconic "Cafe Rimon"

I asked that they "hold the croutons," which made the salad better as far as I'm concerned. 

This week a friend and I met at what may be the oldest, open since 1953, Jerusalem restaurant still going strong, Cafe Rimon.  Over the years, the Rimon has gone from dairy to meat and now has two, one of each, side by side, just off of Zion Square, Jerusalem.

It was recently (at least since my last visit a couple of years ago) redecorated and now has a handicapped WC (toilet) on the main floor. Rimon looks incredibly modern now. It's open every day except Shabbat, closing an hour before and opening an hour after. You can get a 10% discount from Eluna.

I was in the mood for a salad and also didn't want to pay too much. I took the "Italian Salad" from the long list of NS49 lunch specials and requested that it be without croutons. There was lots of pesto, which I love, and it was very filling. I didn't even touch the tempting rolls which accompanied it.

My friend and I sat in a quiet corner inside, outstaying the other lunch customers. We weren't nudged to leave by the staff. By the time we left, "lunch hour" was long over. For those who like the ambiance of outdoor cafe eating, there are lots of tables where you can watch the foot traffic in downtown Jerusalem.

It's obvious the the owners are trying hard to have "Cafe Rimon" live forever.

4 Luntz St, Jerusalem
Tel: 1-599-50-10-30; 02-625-2772; 02-624-3746
Kashrut: Mehadrin Badatz Yerushalayim
Open Sunday - Thursday: 24 hours. Friday: until one hour before Shabbat.
Motzai Shabbat: from one hour after Shabbat. Closed Shabbat.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Morning Eggs with "Trimmings"

My usual morning eggs are/is a simple oniony "sunnyside up." I don't break and beat the eggs before adding them to the sauteeing onions, which are no more than an opinion unevenly cut and placed in a frying pan with some oil and then cooked covered for a bit. When I can smell it cooking, I add the two eggs, cover again, turn off when the yolk is solid and then that's it. I sometimes (in the summer) add a tiny bit of coarse salt, coarse ground pepper and some turmeric. But the other day, I was in the mood for "adventure," so I added some green cabbage to the onion, and then when I served it, in addition to the pepper and turmeric, I added some pesto* and horseradish**.

It tasted fantastic.

*I had prepared some "instant pesto" for Shabbat, and some was leftover. 
** The horseradish had been made/prepared for Passover. My husband "grinds" the horseradish root in the coffee bean attachment to our old Passover Moulinex Blender and then adds vinegar to it. It stays fresh and potent for months stored in a glass jar in the fridge. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Count them!Four out of six!! I've Never done That Before...

... at least to my knowledge!!

Four out of six!!


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Keeping a "Happy Face," or Tremping Teaches Faith in Gd

The other day's tremp home from work was one of those classic "Gd is Great" days for me.

After working morning shift and doing some shopping in Rami Levy, I said goodbye to a few friends/fellow staff and walked out of the gated compound. Yes, as I've written before Rami Levy has his stores, meaning the supermarket that bears his name an Yafiz the clothing store owned by his daughter Yafit, where I work, fenced in with extra security staff.

Just as I got close enough to see the passing cars beginning to exit the "compound," I noticed a neighbor's car going by. He didn't see me. I tried to signal him, but his eyes were on the other vehicles, as it should be. Earlier I had noticed him in the supermarket, but I didn't bother him trying to get a ride, since I didn't know how much time it would take for either of us. 

And just as I was about to get upset by the near miss, I caught myself and repeated the mantra in my head:
"It will be fine, even better! I will get home just fine."
And then, suddenly a car stopped. It was a friend from Ofra who was going home, noticed me and offered me a ride. I happily got in, secure in the knowledge that I was on my way and had a chance to spend time with someone I rarely see. 

A ride to Ofra is the halfway point between Sha'ar Binyamin, where I work, and Shiloh. There are bus and tremp, hitchhike options there, so I was pretty optimistic that my little mantra was working. There are also more ride options to Shiloh than from Sha'ar Binyamin.

And even though there were many people of all ages waiting, within a few minutes a car stopped and the driver signalled me into the front seat. It was another good friend. Thank Gd I got safely home straight to the door.

Gd is Great!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

More Coffee Morning Haikus

My "Coffee Morning Haikus" seem to be a new genre in poetry. I have always loved haikus, especially writing them. They are  quick and simple with such an easy to follow structure. The structure at least as I learned it is very mathematical, three lines of 5, 7, 5 syllables.

For the past few months I've been finding myself expressing the state of my awakening mind in haiku format. The simplicity is just perfect for first thing in the morning, even when I'm not home at a real computer and must do with my rather dumb smartphone.

I post my haikus on facebook as a way to say good morning to my friends and family near and far, at least those who follow me on fb. And for those who just read my blogs, I'll post a few recent ones here:

morning need coffee
helps keep the eyelids open
and also fuels brain

My French Press Coffee
is so easy to prepare
and lovely to drink

What a good morning!
Got lots of sleep, no alarm
even my phone slept

That is IT for now
five syllables a haiku
didn't skip a day

Morning coffee now
Another busy day planned
Never enough sleep

refreshing coffee
pleasantly wakes up the brain
perfect start of day

Again woke early
drank lots of water, hot day
of course, coffee, too

icy water first
then will French Press the coffee
must not dehydrate

Which is your favorite? Have a wonderful day everyone!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Three out of Six 3/6 Yet Again!

a recent selfie taken at Israel Museum
Arutz 7 readers read my blog!

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Downtown Jerusalem, Like a Pedestrian Wonderland

When the Jerusalem Light Rail was being planned and constructed, everyone was so inconvenienced and pessimistic about it. It was clear to all that it would be a disaster and a deadly one, Gd forbid. Statistics from other cities were bandied about, and we expected quite a few deaths each year from careless pedestrians and distracted train drivers.

Amazingly, bli eyin haraa, Jerusalemites have taken very well to the trains and the tracks, which are empty most of the time. And, as you can see in the picture, Jaffa Road fills with pedestrians, cyclist etc when there's no train to be seen. And the trains are equipped with loud horns to convincly urge everyone out of the way when necessary.

For those of us who have always gone to the downtown  Jerusalem "triangle*," we are enjoying the new reality. The air is much clearer without the bus fumes and other pollutants. We've learned how to get our tickets and pay for the train rides. It's hard to remember what Jerusalem was like just a few years ago before the train...  Yes, very much like how only a few of us oldtimers remember when there was vehicular traffic on Ben-Yehuda Street, even taxi stands.

Things change. Yes, that's life.

*the "triangle" is the area between Jaffa Road, Ben-Yehuda Street and King George Avenue, which forms a triangle.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Coffee Experiment: A Success!!

For the past year or so, I've been adding frozen coffee to my Shabbat morning coffee, to cool it quickly and add better flavor. The frozen is left over from perked coffee I sometimes make. And Shabbat I can't perk fresh coffee. It just wasn't really working the way I had wanted. The frozen coffee was too black and didn't melt quickly enough. I ended up crunching it with my teeth. Then I got this idea to freeze the coffee mixed with milk and froze two cups like that last week.  The experiment was a success. The frozen milky coffee melted more quickly and easily integrated into the instant.

So I must do this again!

I perk my coffee with Israeli Elite Turkish coffee.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Great Meal at Mansfeld, Israel Museum

Last week, after seeing some of the exhibits in the Israel Museum, I was desperate to eat, Since it was already pretty late, my dining partner and I decided to see what there was in Mansfeld, the dairy cafe in the Israel Museum.

I've eaten there many times, and I always enjoy it. One special advantage is that service is very fast. Within minutes our meals were brought to us. My dining partner ordered their "noodle salad," and I had the quiche, which came with a salad.

These were perfect meals for the end of a busy day. There was also a wholewheat roll with butter for us. Prices were very reasonable, much less than a similar meal would cost in the center of the city, and parking is free.

You don't have to "enter" the museum to eat in the restaurant. Just go through security and you can access Mansfeld.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Deja Vu at Israel Museum

Last week I was at the Israel Museum, wandering around looking at some of my all time favorite exhibits, like the fancy rooms. Those rooms may not be my taste for actual living, but I love to gawk at them when I have a chance.

Suddenly, I found myself in front of a mirror and with a strong deja vu feeling I photographed myself. The next day, when I got home and turned on the computer, there was one of those "Memory" posts from facebook with a very similar picture, which I had taken a year earlier.

What do you think?

May 17, 2016

The big difference is that in the new picture, I photographed myself in the mirror with my camera, while in last year's photo, I had used the "selfie" option on my phone. As you can see, it's the same room.

And here's another from this year's "photo shoot."

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Creative Vegetable Cooking

There are many people who have complained about my recipes, because I just can't give exact ingredients, temperatures, times etc. Sorry, for those of you who are too terrified of making "cooking mistakes." I guess that my cooking style would never work in a restaurant, because I pretty much never reproduce any food/dish exactly.

Maybe I'm exaggerating in this, but not by much. In recent years, not even my cakes are measured exactly, and cakes are more like a "chemistry formula" than vegetables. But I've discovered that after decades, pretty close to half a century of cooking, I've developed a "feel" for even my cakes and cookies. And since even the famous 1, 2, 3 cookies my kids adore, are really best and easiest produced with a food scale, I so rarely make them that I haven't replaced my broken scale for years, and I have still managed to make an irresistible version of them sans scale.

Back to my "Creative Vegetable" dishes. They don't need a scale, and you don't have to count, measure etc. All you need is a good covered pan/pot or an oven. I don't have a microwave, but I have no doubt, and would love your reports, that my creative vegetable dishes can just as easily be made in a microwave. 

Recently I've been on a fresh ginger kick. I even slice it into my quick oatmeal. I keep some root in the freezer and slice off a bit with a sharp knife when I want to cook with it. Leave it out for a few minutes to make it easier to slice.

The other day I "sauteed"* it up with onion, carrot, apple, mushroom and cabbage, plus some cooking oil.

When I bake my vegetables, I spread the same ingredients on a baking dish, bake 'n serve ones are fantastic, dribble some oil on top and then bake in a hot oven until seems ready. You may have to lower the oven's temperature, depending on your oven. Ditto about turning off before fully cooked, unless you're cooking more things afterwards.

I'd love to hear your reports of how your versions of my recipes are. So please don't be shy. Comment with reports and questions.

* my concept of "sauteing" is to put the cut vegetables in a good pot or pan, add some oil, cover and cook on low heat until softish. Turn off the stove when almost ready, because the pan's heat will continue the cooking for another few minutes.