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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 Austrian Hospice in Jerusalem

In a northern-ish corner of the Old City in Jerusalem, not far from the Damascus Gate and right at the edge of the Via Dolorosa, hides the Austrian Hospice of the Holy Family in Jerusalem. Outside the gates of the hospice, you find yourself in hustle and bustle of the Muslim quarter. Inside the hospice you will feel as though you have time-travelled to 19th century Europe. I first thought that I got the wrong address on the day that I visited. The building on 37 Via Dolorosa street looked like a large and imposing wall with a large and imposing wooden door. A huge and ancient door that was very firmly closed. A few locals, who were sitting in the shade on the steps, confirmed my feeling that I was not at the right place.  But this is Israel, and I know that the locals are always happy to help. “Is this the Austrian Hospice?”, I asked them. “Yes”, says one of the step sitters. “Do you know if it is open today?”, I asked. We are still living in the shade of the corona virus and many plac

Watermelon - an Israeli summer love affair

Israeli watermelon have been modified to have soft edible white pips It is not an exaggeration to say that Israelis are hot-tempered and love to argue. It is sort of a national sport here. It is actually surprising that in such a small country, so many people find so much to argue about. Apart from the usual suspects such as politics, religion and parking spots, the people of Israel can argue about trivialities such as the shaded places at the beach, talking on the phone in the quiet train carriage and standing in a supermarket queue. There is however one thing in Israel that EVERY single person agrees about. Their love of eating cool watermelon in the hot Israeli summers. It doesn't matter if it is an Arab, Jew or Christian. Religious child or secular great-grandfather. Everyone passionately loves eating watermelon here in Israel. Most of us eat watermelons at home but it is also a firm favorite at picnics, parties and even restaurants. Be aware though that waterm

Chocolate pie with pomegranates and a chocolate sauce

Chocolate pie with pomegranates and a chocolate sauce I often make this chocolate pie for my family for something sweet for the weekend. It is quick to prepare and I usually have the ingredients already at home. So usually no quick dash to the supermarket is needed :)

Hiking from Nachsolim beach to HaBonim beach

Although it is already nearly the end of October, the days are still very hot in here in Israel. The rains of autumn and that cool, clean feeling they bring are still just a wishful longing for the most of us. But one gets tired of sitting in front of the perpetual-turning fan or the headache-inducing hum of the air con. No matter how hot it is going get, I promised myself, I am going on a HIKE already!!

30 clues that show you are an Israeli

How long does it take for a new immigrant to become a bona fide Israeli? See if you have mastered any of these activities of the list. I personally cannot crack sunflowers like a pro..yet. 1. You do not allow anybody to wriggle in front of you in a queue. We take our garlic VERY seriously in Israel!

The yearly pilgrimage to Cyclamen mountain

Every year TONS of Israelis make the trek to this hill top to look at the flowering cyclamens The news from Israel is often so depressing. Everybody always hears about the kidnappings, and stabbings and bombs exploding. People who live outside of Israel probably think that this place is a constant war zone...

Sahlab - An ethnic Middle-Eastern winter pudding

It seems strange to think that the winters here in Israel can be cold, sometimes even freezing. We are so used to reading (and writing!) about the hot summer sun, camels, deserts and sand. And how one cannot survive the excruciating heat without drinking gallons of water or eating buckets of ice cream . Israelis CAN and do basically eat ice cream throughout the winter months but there is a special warm, very local, very Middle-Eastern pudding called sahlab that should definitely be tasted. A cup of warm sahlab topped with cinnamon on a cold winter's day

To Cry and Pray together

The three mothers of the kidnapped teenagers comforting each other. Living in Israel is just waiting for for an argument to erupt. Not only are the Israelis VERY vocal in sharing their opinions, they also never seem to agree about anything.

Ode to the Israeli bus drivers and other lessons from the Universe

"Coming home" -  an Israeli Egged bus Coming from South Africa, a country with a very dismal public transportation system, I was happy to discover the wonderful public busses here in Israel. As Au Pairs, none or my friends nor I owned a car but we managed to criss-cross the country by bus. 

Counting the Omer

     The period right after Pesach (Passover) and just before the height of the summer is lovely in Israel. The days are nice and sunny though the evenings can be quite cool and one can still snuggle under a duvet at night. The weather is nice enough to spend a day at the beach but the water is way too cold for normal people like me to swim in. :) The wild flowers are slowly disappearing in the heat and the farmers start to harvest the wheat from the fields. This is also the time that religious Jews count the Omer. From the second night of Pesach for 49 days (seven weeks) right up to the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. They will count the days verbally every evening and in the end have the right to recite a special blessing. If one has missed counting just one day, you will not be able to say the blessing. You can read about the counting of the Omer at Leviticus 23:15-16 . The word 'omer' itself is a word for a measurement such as 'liter' or 'kilogram'. On

Ten tips for photographing wild flowers in Israel

Israel may be a tiny country but you would not guess it by the amazing large range of wild flowers found here in the Holy Land. The wild flowers bloom in t he short period of time between the winter rains and the heat of the summer, or the short-lived spring time. Depending on the winter rain and the weather, this can be anytime from mid- February to April. The shy Cyclamen usual opens the wild flower season

The Amazing Metal Work found in Israel

The architecture found in Israel is pretty amazing. People have been building here in the Holy land since ancient times. And they left some pretty amazing buildings from the times that they lived here in Israel. From the Western wall in Jerusalem, churches,synagogues, museums to apartment blocks build in the  Bauhaus style  - there is some pretty interesting buildings to see. And while you look around you a bit and try and figure who and when these buildings were build, have a look at the amazing metal work found here in Israel. Modern balcony railing

You know you live in Israel....

You know that you are living in Israel when: You get off your bicycle every five minutes to photograph the wild flowers. The red poppies in the spring time have their photos taken ALL the time.

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

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.”

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.