Oct 212009
 

[Translate] On the last day of our vacation, we had a leisurely breakfast at the treehouse and then drove to Kibbutz Yechiam to go to the annual Renaissance Festival at  Yechiam Castle. Probably built by the Templars in the late 12th century, Yechiam was destroyed by the Mamluke Sultan Baybars of Egypt and Syria in the late 1200s. Its ruins were rebuilt in the 18th century by the local Bedouin warlord, Sheik Dahr El-Omar.  Today, the castle is open for visitors and is used for private events, concerts and festivals. The kibbutz is famous for Deli – Yehiam, a kosher meat factory specializing in deli meats. Today, Deli – Yehiam has 20 percent of the Click here to continue reading this post

Sep 292009
 

[Translate] I think my grandmother (z”l) would have been quite shocked by my erev Yom Kippur menu. It was definitely not the usual family fare. But, I have finally realised that we shouldn’t have a heavy meal before the 25 hour fast. It is just not healthy. So, I collected some interesting recipes for the meal. I found a very interesting Iraqi fish dish that was adapted from a 13th century Baghdadi cookbook called Kitab al-Tabikh. Al-Baghdadi’s Kitab al-Tabikh was for long the only medieval Arabic cookery book known to the English-speaking world, thanks to A.J Arberry’s path-breaking 1939 translation as `A Baghdad Cookery Book’ which was re-issued by Prospect Books in 2001 in Medieval Click here to continue reading this post

Feb 152009
 

[Translate] Tu Bishvat is a minor Jewish holiday in the Hebrew month of Shevat, usually sometime in late January or early February, that marks the New Year of the Trees (Hebrew: ראש השנה לאילנות, Rosh HaShanah La’Ilanot‎) or the season in which the earliest-blooming trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle. It is customary to plant trees and eat dried fruits and nuts, especially figs, dates, raisins, carob, and almonds. In Israel, the flowering of the almond tree, which grows wild around the country, coincides with Tu Bishvat. The origin of Tu Bishvat lies in the ancient Jewish taxation system, which was based mainly on the Click here to continue reading this post

Dec 062008
 

[Translate] I have to admit that I haven’t been really inspired to blog lately. I have been very busy at work, I am worried about the economy, and the horrific terrorist attack in Mumbai took the wind out of my sails for over a week. I made this flatbread as I was watching the news that announced the shootings at the train station in Mumbai. Somehow making this bread wasn’t so important anymore. This is a very quick and easy recipe and the dough produces a nice chewy dough. I sprinkled the bread with a zaatar mix on one, and rosemary & sesame seeds on another. PrintMiddle Eastern Flatbread Yield: 4 individual round flatbreads or Click here to continue reading this post

Oct 112008
 

[Translate] Erev Yom Kippur dinner at my parent’s and grandparent’s house was always a multi-course affair. It was really no different from the festive multi-course meal we had for Rosh Hashana. Since moving to Israel, I realized that these massive meals did not help with the 25 hour fast. In fact, they made it much more difficult. So, we had a two-course meal. I deboned chicken quarters by removing the the pelvic bone, thigh bone and half of the leg bone. If you buy your meat from a butcher, you can ask them to do this in advance. Otherwise, it is really not that difficult to do. I then stuffed it with a Syrian meat Click here to continue reading this post

Sep 242008
 

[Translate] Chag Sameach everyone! We have been invited to family for the holiday and I will be bringing dessert. I am still trying to decide which cake I am going to make, but I wanted to share some of my ideas with you before the holiday begins. I will post which one I make as soon as I decide. Here are my choices: Greek Pistachio Honey Cake Ka’ikeh b’Ah’sal (Honey Cake With Sesame Glaze) Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Honey Cake Beekeeper’s Honey Cake (I made this last year) I have also found some interesting recipes for the rest of the meal: Rubuh’ (roast veal stuffed with spiced ground meat and rice) Ejjeh b’kerrateh (leek fritters) Georgian Meatballs Click here to continue reading this post

Apr 282008
 

[Translate] The real secret to good fried chicken is the marinade and authentic southern fried chicken is marinated in buttermilk. Since we keep kosher, I had to find another alternative to achieve the same tenderizing effect that buttermilk produces….. lemon juice. And, since we are not allowed to use flour during Passover, I used matza meal instead, and although it doesn’t stick as well as flour, it worked beautifully. This produces a nice lemony-garlic fried chicken. It is definitely finger licking good. PrintPassover Fried Chicken with Lemon and Paprika Serving Size: 8 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice 6 medium garlic cloves, crushed 4 teaspoons sweet paprika 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 2 (3 pound) chickens, Click here to continue reading this post

Sep 212007
 

[Translate] Tomorrow at sundown begins the observance of and twenty-five hour fast during Yom Kippur. The meal before the fast should be simple, not too rich and not too spicy. It is better not to make the meal with garlic or hot peppers. At the completion of the fast, it is better to eat something that is not too hard on the stomach, so we usually break the fast by eating biscuits (cookies) and crackers, and of course some water, but not too fast or you will upset your stomach. A Yemenite co-worker told me today that I should drink a glass of fresh pomegranate juice before the fast, it will make the fast easier. Click here to continue reading this post

Sep 012007
 

[Translate] I guess I am on a spice kick right now, but then spices are the key ingredient in Middle Eastern food. I bought some sumac a while ago and have been meaning to make something with it and today is the day. Sumac has a sour and vaguely lemony taste and grows wild in the Mediterranean and in much of the Middle East. It is a popular condiment in Turkey and Iran, where it’s liberally sprinkled on kebabs and rice, or mixed with onions as an appetizer or salad. The Palestinians, Lebanese, Syrians and Egyptians add water and other spices to sumac to form a paste, and add it to meat, chicken and vegetable Click here to continue reading this post

Jun 082007
 

[Translate] People always seem to ask me why I moved to Israel and I always had a really hard time explaining why until two nights ago. I didn’t have some religious experience or fall in love with someone or hear a heavenly voice calling my name on Masada. I just came to visit for the first time at the age of 34 and something felt right. I really felt at home in Israel, so I came for a second visit and moved here two years after my first visit. I found a job and my future husband four months later. I am a real aliyah success story. What I haven’t told you is that I Click here to continue reading this post

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