Monday, April 22, 2013

Hey, Bal'mer! Just catching up with the folks back home.

Yom sheni, 12 Iyar 5773.

Even with all the cold, wind and rain (baruch Hashem for the gift of more water in the holy Kinneret!), there are some things about Spring in Israel that cannot be missed.

Because we were sick, we almost missed the annual trek to the Mahane Yehuda shuk for fresh garlic.  When we finally arrived, all of the special deals had passed; so we ended up paying top shekel for three beautiful bunches of this rosy Israeli Garlic.  (Experience has taught me that it's better to pay for the good stuff, if you want it to last and keep its quality through the whole year.)  We've been trying new ways and places for drying it.  This year, the landlord put a window in the opening on our patio.  It will help to keep the wind from putting out the lights of the chanukiot at Chanukah, with Shabbat candle lighting at Sukkot... and it appears that the garlic may have found a home as well.  (Yes, I know -- I'll have to figure out the logistics when I start lighting fires on the shelf below...  We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.)

The kale is still growing for a little while longer... so I can make wonderful breakfast shakshuka to start the day.

Simple ingredients -- fresh garlic and onions, home-stewed tomatoes and grated Parmesan make a nice addition to the kale and a couple of eggs.  With a side of piping hot coffee from Sipsters, of course.  (Watch for a future interview.  These guys are worth knowing, and knowing about.  And the coffee is GREAT!)

The sunsets have been amazing.  I wish I had the kind of camera (and skill) to truly share them with you -- but here is a picture offering a small hint of the beauty.
The colors G-d chose that evening were straight out of a Maxfield Parrish painting...

 The grown kids have been around a lot.  It's nice.  It's like I'm sitting in a very comfy theater chair, next to the Dearly Beloved, and we're watching this entertaining movie of these fully-capable young people functioning in our kitchen.  And we helped produce the picture.  (At least some of the main characters...)

They cook!   They eat!

They even clean up after themselves!

Occasionally, the weather has been nice enough to allow forays into the Holy City -- where everything from the sublime to the silly can be found.  We run into holy friends, enjoying a family day together.
Missed having you in the photo, Yoshi...

And the sweet smiles on these young ladies' faces sort of make you forget that they are enjoying one of the tourist pastimes of Jerusalem: having their feet -- ehhhhhh -- catered to by bacteria-eating fish.  Yes, indeed.  You can find 'most anything in Israel.

There are just some things we'd rather read about than do...
We had lovely celebrations with friends at Yom Ha'atzma'ut, that I was enjoying far too much to photograph.  My son wrote a short piece about the juxtaposition and power of the three days of Yom HaShoa, Yom Hazikaron, and Yom Ha'atzma'ut:  The Price of the Independence BBQ.

One son went into the IDF; another has completed his service.  Another is adjusting quite nicely to married life, around his continuing service.  It will be a pleasure to continue watching as the winds of Spring finally blow in temperate weather, and whatever change is in store for us in the coming months.  Looking forward to seeing more friends and family coming to visit -- and coming Home!


Chaya G. said...

Hi Ruti. Glad that you are feeling better! Thanks for sharing a lovely update of the season. 2 q's:
1) Please do share - what is Sipsters?!?

2) When this garlic dries, does it taste like the regular dried garlic that we buy year-round? What's the difference?


Ruti Mizrachi said...

Chaya G.: Thank you for your concern, and for your comments!

1) Sipsters is a local company that roasts coffee beans with real love for the product, and an apparent appreciation for customers. I will be posting an interview with one of the owners soon, bs"d.
2) I find the taste of the Israeli garlic to be fuller than the Chinese garlic. It doesn't dry out or spoil as fast. The cloves are very large and full of flavor.

Thank you for reading and for sticking around to chat a bit!

Skipper said...

Ruti, wish you had some of the Steinhauser garlic. It may not taste as wonderful as garlic grown in Israel but it is the best in America and grows in a fifty foot row in our garden every year. We have regular and elephant. When harvested this year, Hashem willing, we will have a bushel basket over flowing.

RivkaSarit said...

Ruti, It's just awesome to be able to step into a moment of peace reading your post. Somehow it helped center me in the midst of all the craziness we've had lately. Thank you!

Ruti Mizrachi said...

Skipper: Your garden sounds magnificent! Wish I'd known about it when I still lived there. Enjoy your garlic, in good health... and feel free to grow it here, should aliyah be in your future. Nothing wrong with a few new varieties. :-)

RivkaSarit: Thank you for your kind words. It makes me happy to lift a reader's spirits!