Monday, October 31, 2016

Memories: Do You Know What This Is?

Nu, do you know what it is? And if so how did you use it? Any stories?

This was an old Israeli all purpose soap. I know that I used to buy it, or at least there was always some in the house, but I just don't have any memories of using it. It never quite felt or smelled like soap. American soap was real soap for me, and this stuff always made me think of the old scrubbing boards.

What do you think/remember?

Sunday, October 30, 2016

6AM Post-DLS GMT+2

Finally, we have a gorgeous morning without having to wait for the sun. Of course it means that we've lost an hour of sunlight in the afternoon, but for those of us who consider ourselves morning people, Getting back to GMT+2 instead of Daylight Savings Time, this is pure pleasure and glory.

Have a great day, everyone! And enjoy the rain when it falls.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Horseradish for All Year, Not Just Passover and Gefilte Fish

Over twenty years ago, when there were lots of newcomers, olim chadashim, from the USSR here in Shiloh, suddenly during, or just after, Pesach many knocked on our door asking for their favorite "natural cure," freshly grated horseradish. Word had gotten out that we had the "real stuff" in our house. The bitter herb horseradish at our seder is from the root, ground well in the "coffee bean grinder" of our Passover Moulinex blender bought in the early 1970's. My husband adds some vinegar, and it stays potent a few months until I use it up. I eat it with my morning eggs and other foods.

This year's horseradish was finished months ago, and I had asked my husband to buy me a new root. Unfortunately I took my time in preparing it, so it wasn't all that fresh when I finally grated it the other day.

I had to carefully peel it with a sharp knife, and then I threw the peels into the garden...
Actually, I shredded it in the food processor.

Then I put it all in a glass jar and added some vinegar.

And then I served it as a "dressing" on my fish and vegetables!

It was a very healthy, tasty addition to the meal!

More about horseradish:


Friday, October 28, 2016

Unsweetened Homemade Shandy!

Just over forty 40 years ago, I drank some shandy in Paris and enjoyed it. Then, after that I never had it. That is until a few months ago, when someone gave me a bottled Israeli version. I pretty much spit it out. It was totally awful, just too sweet and no beer taste at all.

That is until the other night...

I had a partially full (ok, almost empty) bottle of this Emek Ha'ela Irish Red Ale sitting in the fridge, because my attempt to drink it a couple of weeks before had been sabotaged by its hyperactive bubbly foam/head. And then when I tried to finish it a week or so later, it was disappointing, so there was still some left in the bottle.

It cost too much to spill down the drain, and I haven't  recently made potted beef which probably would have been a good companion. So, I decided to try something much more radical, and possibly medicinal. I had it with freshly squeezed lemon juice and even left the lemon in the mug.

The lemon added a bit more life to it, and it didn't bother me at all that the beer was totally flat, no foam at all. I'm not a great fan of carbonation and sodas. And it certainly was not sweet. OK some of you beer mavins may be groaning in disgust, as if this is sacrilegious, but I liked it!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Medicinal, Refreshing Jerusalem "Street Food"

There's more to Jerusalem "Street Food" than felafel, shwarma, bourekas and ice cream. One thing I remember from my very first visit here in 1969 was the "freshly squeezed juice" kiosk. Even with the addition of more and more unhealthy foods and 5 Shekel snackbar/restaurants, you can still find an amazing amount of custom juice places with a wider variety of fruits and vegetables for your juice, custom-made.

Way back when it was mostly orange, apple and carrot, but today you can get lots more.

The other day, fighting one of those season-change colds, I decided to lunch on a healthy "medicinal" juice. I went to a kiosk my son recently took me to on Rechov Agripas, just off of King George Street and asked for pomegranate and ginger. The "juicer" -what does one call a person who runs such a business?- told me that with the powerful ginger, I need to add either some apple or carrot juice. I chose the carrot, which is also chock full of vitamins.

I took his largest size cup, which cost me NS25, lots more than I would have spent on a felafel or tuna sandwich. But I wanted something to help flush out or scare away whatever virus had been plaguing my body.

It had a nice powerful taste from the ginger, was refreshing and filling. Just as it was almost ready for drinking, a passerby took a look and asked for exactly the same thing without even knowing what I had in it. Actually, he was an American, and I needed to translate for him. I hope he enjoyed it as much as I did.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Pishers' Guide to Jerusalem #8, Kupot Cholim to The Rescue!

This is a continuation in my ongoing series about public toilets in Jerusalem. See #7,  #6,  #5, Saved by The First Station aka #4a#4#3#2 and #1

Unlike in restaurants and other places of business, I've never been questioned when entering a Kupat Cholim, Sick Fund Clinic. I've never seen a sign saying "for patrons only." The guards just take a quick look at my bag and never comment about the shortness of the time I spent in the building, if they've even noticed.

I'm not even going to mention the names of the various Kupot Cholim, Sick Funds, since if you really need the WC, you don't have to prove membership. There are clinics all over the place, and they all have relatively well-equipped public toilets.

Just look around, and you'll see the icons for toilets. I've always found them close to the entrance. And while you're there, you can have water, which is also easily available in most. Be glad that you're visiting the clinic for something as healthy, normal and benign as a pit stop.

In private clinics, there is usually some receptionist who asks what you're in for. But I've never been asked anything in these public clinics, and I've always found the toilets relatively clean and orderly.

Enjoy in good health!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Photo Experiment on My Virus "Cure"

Let's "kill two birds with one stone" as the saying goes...

  • this is a health post, a natural health cure
  • experimenting with simple settings on my camera, Canon IXUS 145
For years I've been using a very simple "cure" for "colds" and other viral annoyances. I drink water, tap-room temperature, that has freshly squeezed lemon juice added. Yesterday, I, davka, added another simple natural ingredient, a bit of fresh ginger. And since then my "scratchy, then painful throat has softened into a runny nose, but my hip now hurts a bit. Actually it hurts less now than earlier in the day. And Gd willing this little "virus" will soon be gone. 

Now for the photo experiment. 

no flash
1/50 sec. f/3.2 5mm, ISO 800
flash fired
1/60 sec. f/3.2 5mm, ISO 125
Slow Sync flash mode
1/10 sec. f/9 5mm, ISO 500
These photos are totally untouched, unedited, not even cropped. So you can see that I was the same distance from the glass mug when I shot the pictures. All three were done at the sametime, with barely seconds between them. All adjustments were done automatically by the camera. All I did was choose the flash mode from none, flash and slow sync.

Which do you like better? 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Finally Checked Out The "New" Store in Shiloh

A few years ago, honestly, I haven't a clue as to how long ago, a fruit and vegetable store opened in the Shiloh Industrial Zone which is over a kilometer from my house. It's on the way to the Shiloh Junction. The Shiloh Industrial Zone has all sorts of businesses, small factories and offices. It's also the location of the Meshek Achiya Olive Oil production. For those with cars, it's very convenient, but for us, it isn't. I don't mind walking down to it, though walking up is quite an effort, since when I say "up," I mean UP!

Since my husband goes to the shuq, the Machane Yehuda open market a couple of times a week, we really don't need to patronize a local greengrocer. I also buy some fruit and vegetables in Rami Levy Discount Supermarket. And until about a month ago, when stuck especially for potatoes and onions, we'd go to a small greengrocer which was next to the regular large makolet/grocery. But that small convenient store finally closed.

Yesterday I needed to buy fruit, so I decided to go down and check out this new store. Well, I discovered something very surprising. It has become enormous and sells a lot more than onions and apples. 

Apparently, it has been expanding. It is really has lots of different foods and other things as you can see in the photos.

And the transportation wasn't all that complicated. I got a ride down, after walking less than a quarter of the way. And there were plenty of people who offered me rides up.  It's nice to know there's another option when necessary. And the fruits and vegetables were nothing special, but that's more because it was just after Shabbat and on the Eve of Simchat Torah. No store could offer any great selection and quality yesterday.

No doubt I'll be checking it out again.

All of the contact information is here on the bag:

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Dawn! Transition! Something New, Gd Willing!!

I love dawn! It's the most beautiful time of the day. The colors change so quickly from dark to bright orangey, yellow then blue lights. 

One of my favorite "dawn memories" is sitting by our glass-paned mirpeset/terrace door which faced east, watching the sunrise with all the glorious colors as I nursed my firstborn. That was the dawn of my being a new mother.

And this week, this morning looking at the dawn I'm reminded that I will be transitioning yet again... News to follow, Gd willing.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Reflecting on This Succot

This year during Succot I've been rather distracted by other things going on, and we haven't had many guests at all.

I was definitely one of those expecting winter weather this Succot considering how late in the solar year, but summer has been very slowly fading, and the rain hasn't fallen.  Even though it's chilly at night and early morning, the weather is dry and hot during the day.

This Succot I really didn't do anything very special besides going down to Shiloh Hakeduam, Tel Shiloh and doing my sales job in Yafiz. The highlight was a family get-together and then spending Shabbat with our daughter and her family in Ofra.

I haven't bought any citrus fruit yet, because they don't get sweet until the rains fall. Artifical irrigation does not provide the same exact nutrients and flavors to the fruits and vegetables as rain. Apparently not all water is the same.

This is the holiday of transition, which is why we are supposed to live in our succah. And I'm also in transmission mode. More to follow.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Why Do I Still Make Those Irresistible 1, 2, 3 Cookies?

The other night I made two batches of my 1, 2, 3 cookies, oatmeal and chocolate chips. I used to make them a couple a times a month. That's when my kids were young and living at home. I'd keep them fresh in metal cookie tins. And yes, they do stay fresh and delicious for a few weeks, if nobody eats them. That's because they only have three basic ingredients:

  • 1 part (by weight) sugar
  • 2 parts margarine
  • 3 parts flour
And you can then add cinnamon, vanilla or chocolate chips or nuts or seed or whatever...

  • Just melt the margarine
  • mix all the ingredients
  • spread on the baking pan lined with baking paper
  • bake in medium oven, like for a cake until slightly brown
  • take out, cut and cool, and you're in for a treat
The oatmeal version takes a bit more skill, since you need less oats than flour or it's too dry. I combine some oats and flour (and also some cinnamon) and just can't tell you exactly how much. Al I can say is that it always is delicious. 

Oh, and I use fine whole wheat flour and dark brown sugar, so how can it be bad? And when in doubt, a bit more sugar... 

And to answer my question. Why do I make them when they always tempt me to eat them? Irresistible is an under-exaggeration.  My kids still love them, so I make the cookies for special family occasions. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Sounds like 52Frames!

This week's theme/challenge on 52Frames was Sound. I ended up going for the household kind of sound. If you like this photo, then please click its title and like it on facebook, thanks.

"Listen to the Spin"
Even the quietest of washing machines makes noise as it spins. This is probably the most silent washing machine I've ever had. Our previous washing machines could've be used as alarm clocks if they had timers. Yes, it's almost like Science Fiction that this one can be set to finish its final spin cycle in the morning, or whenever I decide... Never could I have imagined such an amazing invention. 
I had to do a lot of laundry the week this photo had to be shot, because it was just before the Succot Holiday, when the custom is not to do unnecessary milachot-a certain type of reality-changing work, even on chol hamoed, the "intermediate days" those between Succot-strict holy day and Simchat Torah. So now that it's decades after I've had to launder diapers, and over a decade since my sons are in army uniform visiting home, I do try to take a holiday from the laundry chore. So, I was hearing that gentle buzz of a spin quite a bit last week. Can you hear the spin?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Great Succot Fun at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh

This afternoon I walked down the hill to Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh to see this year's Succot extravaganza. Each year it's different, so even if you've gone before, you won't be bored.

But before I tell you more, I'd like to remind the women out there that Rosh Chodesh Marcheshvan is very soon. Here's the information about our Women's Rosh Prayers there:

Women's Prayers at Shiloh Hakeduma, 
Tel Shiloh 
Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan, 5777
Tuesday November 1, 2016
30th of Tishrei, 5777, 8:30am
Hallel and Musaf for Rosh Chodesh
Tour of Tel Shiloh
Dvar Torah, Short Torah Lesson
Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors.

תפילת נשים ראש חודש חשון
בשילה הקדומה, תל שילה
יום ג' 1-11-2016  ל' תשרי, תשע"ז 8:30
הלל ומוסף לראש חודש
יהיה דבר תורה קצר וסיור בתל
כדאי לבוא ולהזמין חברות, משפחה ושכנות

The first thing I noticed when I entered the area of the Shiloh Succot Festival was a beautifully decorated stage and show for kids and hundreds of children (and their parents) watching mesmerized.

There used to just be "street theater" mostly by lone actors aka "one man shows," at various locations around the Tel's various archaeological sites of interest. There still are a few of those, plus "guides" at a number of places who are supposed to engage the visitor with interesting and helpful information.

Now instead of lots of crafts, there are also games for the kids to play.

And you can also play at being an archeologist at a "dig."

You can still attend today and tomorrow. Click here for more information!

And of course there are succot to eat in and easy to find or organize Mincha minyan.

Remember that Shiloh Hakeduma is open six days a week, just not on Shabbat. Contact them at Tel Shiloh or on their facebook page.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Nice Strong Coffee From a Friend

Strong coffee from friend
nice, dark and very tasty
with sugar and milk

The friend who was with me when I bought that very disappointing coffee in the shuq was so horrified at the high price, she got me some American coffee that is so strong I need less in the French Press, so it will last longer than even Folgers. It's Italian Roast from a company called freshdirect. Apparently, not only do they have a good coffee selection, they also have lots of kosher food.

The coarseness/grinding of the coffee suits my French Press, which plunged easily. Sometimes, it gets stuck, even though I always give it a good stir beforehand.

This coffee cost just under $11 a pound, which is about NS42. The coffee I bought in Jerusalem was NS12, $3.14 for 100 grams. There are 453 grams to a pound, so if I had bought a pound of the Israeli coffee it would have cost me NS54, if I got it right. But even if it's not all that much more money, the coffee wasn't great.

And, no, I'm not enough of a coffee snob to add bean-grinding to my daily chores. When in New York I stay with people who have a very advanced electric coffeemaker that not only grinds the beans and brews the coffee, but it's on a timer, so it gets done for them rather effortlessly. All they have to do is to set it up the night before.

What I really wanted to blog about this morning was to ask if you take sugar with your coffee or not. Nu, do you?