Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from October, 2020

Israeli street food – the magnificent and humble boureka

The square shape of the bourekas tells us that they are filled with a potato filling One does not have to spend a long time in Israel to get your first introduction to a boureka. These savory stuffed pastries are everywhere You'll find them for breakfast in hotel dining halls, in countless bakeries and coffee shops, on picnics and even at restaurants that only serve bourekas. They are often eaten in Israeli homes as part of a 'light' or diary meal in the evenings. (Most households in Israel usually serve the large cooked meal at lunchtime.) More often than not, bourekas are also an integral part of the wonderful Friday or Shabbat brunch table. To be really honest however, you basically eat a boureka whenever you encounter one. They are that irresistible. If you stop to grab a quick coffee at a coffee shop, the comforting smell of the bourekas will convince you to upgrade to a 'café ve'ma afe' (coffee + pastry). Wandering through street markets, the sight of fres

Coronavirus 2.0 - The shadow deepens

  We are in a second lockdown in Israel and it is much worse than the first one. During the first lockdown, even though we were all very worried, we were happy to protect the compromised and stay at home. Our infection and death rates were of the lowest in the world. Israel was praised all over the world for taking such swift action in these uncertain times. And yet, here we are again in a second lockdown. One of the first countries to do so because our infection rates are scaringly high. We seem to reach a new record of infected people everyday. Three thousand a day, four thousand a day, even up to seven thousand a day. We have even surpassed the USA in daily corona virus deaths per capita .  I cannot help but think that this situation is such a good metaphor for life in Israel. We are good at handling a crisis. We know what to do if a bomb explodes, or if we see a suspicious package or someone fainted on the train.  One day on my commute, when I was still commuting, the train conduct

Sea squill - the Israeli wildflower that blooms at summer's end

The days are still hot in Israel. Very hot. We barely survive from one heatwave to the next and the air conditioning units hum in the background 24/7. The only time we dare to go walk or run is either early in the mornings or in the evenings, long after the sun has set. Not that there is much to see outside - the land is scorched and dry. Only the long dead weeds are still visible in the fields but they themselves are also slowly crumbling into dust. The only bit of greenery is from the long-suffering olive trees covered in a year’s dust. But wait!  What are those long stalks covered with little flowers? It is the hatzav!  The hatsav, Urginea Maritim a, known in English as the sea squill, is a unique Israeli wildflower. It is unusual and different in many ways.  The special features of the sea squill The sea squill's blooming period is at the end of the summer and not in the spring time like all the other wildflowers. The 'end of summer' does not mean that the days are sudd

Popular posts from this blog

Israeli street food – the magnificent and humble boureka

The square shape of the bourekas tells us that they are filled with a potato filling One does not have to spend a long time in Israel to get your first introduction to a boureka. These savory stuffed pastries are everywhere You'll find them for breakfast in hotel dining halls, in countless bakeries and coffee shops, on picnics and even at restaurants that only serve bourekas. They are often eaten in Israeli homes as part of a 'light' or diary meal in the evenings. (Most households in Israel usually serve the large cooked meal at lunchtime.) More often than not, bourekas are also an integral part of the wonderful Friday or Shabbat brunch table. To be really honest however, you basically eat a boureka whenever you encounter one. They are that irresistible. If you stop to grab a quick coffee at a coffee shop, the comforting smell of the bourekas will convince you to upgrade to a 'café ve'ma afe' (coffee + pastry). Wandering through street markets, the sight of fres

The wild mustard flowers of Israel

The wild mustard is growing yellow and everywhere in Israel at the moment. But not the kind of mustard that you eat with ketchup on your hotdog! Wild mustard as in wild mustard plants! :) I am talking about  Sinapsis Arvensis , a tiny yellow flower that grows in masses in fields, along road sides and abandoned building sites. Up close the wild mustard flower does not look like much - a bit on the puny side actually. But just come across a field filled with mustard flowers and you will be enchanted - just as I am every spring.

Sarah Aaronsohn - the 100 year-old heroine of Zichron Yaakov

Wikipedia Public domain Well, actually she has been around for more than a 100 years now. Sarah was born on the fifth of January 1890 and in 1917 died from the gunshot wounds of an attempted suicide. Our common home town, Zichron Yaakov, recently held the 100-year old anniversary of her death. In the suicide note she wrote: “I no longer have the strength to suffer, and it would be better for me to kill myself than to be tortured under their bloodied hands.”