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Showing posts from 2021

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 torch-lighting ceremony of Israel's Independence Day

Screenshot taken from i24News.com Israel's Independence Day is actually celebrated over two days. On the first day we remember all the fallen soldiers who died since Israel declared its first independence in 1948. Officially it is called the 'Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers of the Wars of Israel and Victims of Actions of Terrorism'. This day is somber and sad and I always cry my eyes out when the stories of the fallen soldiers are shown on television. There are wreath-laying ceremonies all over the county and every Israeli stands quietly when sirens ring throughout the country to acknowledge their sacrifice. The second day is PARTY time! Just about everyone is either having a barbeque or picnic or going to the beach. The fun is however bittersweet. The sadness of the previous day and the human cost of living in a Jewish country cast a deep shadow throughout the day. When and where are the torches lit? The end of the first day and the start of the second day is bridged

The dark side of Passover that nobody tells you about

There are many Jewish holidays but Passover is the big one. It is not only the longest Jewish holiday (7 days) but is also the holiday with the most happenings. Street fairs, special museum exhibits, festivals and   hundreds of family-centered activities are organized for Passover every year. Passover also has the best time-slot. It takes place right in the beginning of the spring which means awesome weather. Not too hot and not too much rain. The fields are still green from the winter rains and the summer heat hasn't arrived yet.                Our short springs make us appreciate the short-lived wildflowers The Israeli summer is around the corner though. The Passover holidays could be the last chance to enjoy the outdoors before fleeing to air con to survive the summer heat. So what are these 'dark' things then? Passover requires a lot of preparation It is customary for Jews not to eat bread or any other leavened products during Passover. This is to show solidarity with t

Khubeza - Israel's wild ‘spinach'

  During the winter months in Israel, as soon we had a bit of rain, the fields are covered in  green khubeza plants. The word fields are actually not 100% correct. Khubeza will grow anywhere. Empty lots, forgotten plant containers, refuse heaps or in any patch of upturned earth. They grow close to the earth and turn the dry Israeli landscape into an unexpected emerald green. Their willingness to grow to easily and luxuriously make them seem nearly weed-like. Khubeza is however the opposite of a weed. It is one of the most well-known edible plants here in Israel. Every self-respecting forager definitely has khubeza on their top-ten list. Sounds like bread (in Arabic) Is it mostly known by its Arabic name here in Israel. Khubeza comes from the word "hubz"  which means bread in Arabic. Apparently the plant has edible fruit that looks like a small loaf of bread.  Just like young children are taught that you can suck the sap from honeysuckle flowers and look for pine nuts under p

Vaccination Nation

Photo credit: Steven Cornfield Yesterday (9 January 2020) Bibi, the prime minister of Israel and our health minister got their second vaccine against the coronavirus. Once again the event was broadcasted live on television.  They got their first vaccination three weeks ago. The idea was to show everyone that the vaccine is safe and people shouldn't be scared to take it. One can however not say that the Israelis were all that worried about taking the vaccine in the first place. It was more like a frenzy to go and get vaccinated and then tell everyone that you got it. I noticed only one anti-vaxxer, originally from the USA, going on about how unsafe and untested it is and the government is just trying to placate us. Others, including me, were a bit hesitant for maybe two seconds but quickly got swept up in Operation "Let's jab everyone".  Age before beauty For two weeks we heard and saw all the over 60 year olds and health-workers getting shots. They would book

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.”