Saturday, November 27, 2010

A rousing success!

Thanksgiving Shabbat dinner was marvelous. The food was good, the company was great, and everyone had fun!

I made:
-Two Roasted Chickens with Garlic, Lemon and Za'atar
-Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Ginger and Raisins
-Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad
-Green Salad with Mint, Cranberries and Shaved Carrots
-Sweet Noodles Kugel with Apple and Cranberries
-Apparently Awesome Cornbread
- Baked Apples with Raisins

Friends brought:
- Turkey
-Teriyaki Green Beans (Thank you, J!)
-Spicy Beet Salad (Thank you, Steven!)
-Lots of wine!

Here are pictures of the table:

Thank you to:
- the lovely E. who resets the fuses when the oven blows the circuit
- sweet J who is our favorite overnight guest
- gorgeous Amy, vegetarian bearer of the Turkey
- Steven, who didn't have his usual potluck Shabbat dinner so that he could be at our dinner. He also washed all the dishes!
- the sassy Melissa, new shuk shopping buddy
- my new friend David (who has read my blog, bless him), the international man
- Noam - the most capable fellow I have ever met. I can't wait to cook with him.
- the delightful Elina. A most welcome addition to our friend group!

And so, I think it would be fair to say that I am grateful and thankful for a new home (for the year), new friends, a wonderful family (that I miss so much) and lots and lots of leftovers!

Now I am going to make chicken soup with the leftovers.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Missing my girls!

I drank my tea all by myself.

I miss my tea-drinking partners!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Just Like Seattle: First post

I find myself walking around and thinking to myself:

"Hey! Look at                     . It's just like Seattle!"

So I take pictures and will share them with you!

You can't hear it, but he's playing grunge on his guitar.
Look! A guy playing grunge on his guitar in front of the Billabong store! 
It's just like Seattle!

Hey! Look! It's raining!
It's just like Seattle!
(Not just like Seattle? The power went out for a quarter of the city after it rained.)

Hey! Look! The Space Needle in a coffee shop!
It's just like Seattle!

To Ikea I went!

Today I went to Ikea to pick up some things for the apartment.
We've moved in, but have almost no furniture and no decorations. Horror!

However, I required sustenance before entering the battlefield known as Ikea. So I went for sushi.

I have missed sushi so much! It's everywhere in Israel, but I am wary of raw fish and Israeli health code regulations. I had heard some good things about Japanika so I went to the one next to Ikea.

I had the business lunch - three rolls, a drink and an eggroll.

The sushi was... Okay. The waiter suggested another place, in Tel Aviv, that is much better. Let's put it this way, if I went to this place in Seattle, I wouldn't choose to go back because there are better and cheaper places around.

I was most excited about the pink pickled ginger.

Then I went to Ikea to battle the other Americans for the best stuff buy some housewares.

Afterwards, I collapsed into a taxi, stumbled to the train, tottered over to another taxi and grumbled up the stairs to my apartment.

Here I am with my stash of Ikea goodies.

Then I broken my overheard light (not really, but I'm not going to try to fix electric stuff) while trying to attach the new awesome shade.


Tomorrow I have to buy vegetables and go to class. Friday is cooking day!

Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Todah Rabah!

Thank you very much!

It's Thanksgiving Week! I have never actually been all that into Thanksgiving. My family didn't celebrate it and I usually spent it with friends or at boyfriends' families. It's just not my thing.

Until now.

I have caught the Thanksgiving virus! I am planning a Thanksgiving Shabbat dinner because I have class until 9:00 on Thursdays. Here is the menu that I am thinking of:

Israeli Accented Thanksgiving:
-Roasted "Tiny Turkey" (Chicken) with za'atar
-Green Beans with sesame seeds
-Warm Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad (with a tehina dressing)
-Green salad with dried cranberries
-Cornbread muffins (If I am feeling particularly energetic)
-Sweet Potato Pie

I was considering adding Rochie's famous Carrot Kugel.

Now, I have to explain the problem with celebrating Thanksgiving in Israel:
-No Pumpkin
-Very expensive turkey (have you ever paid $60 for a turkey? Didn't think so)
-No fresh, canned or frozen cranberries - only dried ones

I was going to make "pumpkin" challah (with squash), but I just don't have the time or the energy. Or a blended/food processor.

It's all good! It's going to be fun!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


There are some moments that getting glimpses of home and friends from home is just too painful.
It's hearing someone's voice, or seeing their pictures, or thinking about the fun that people are having at home.

I know that I doing something important here, but it doesn't keep it from hurting.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Oy vey. The new apartment.

It's huge. It's got a washing machine. It's got an oven, for God's sake! I should be happy right?

It smells awful.

Hopefully we will have furniture soon. In the meantime, it's pretty horrid looking.

Sleeping in the living room for the first night.

Check out those awesome shelves!
I love them!

The dining room.

The yet to be completed kitchen.

My room. It has closets all the way up the wall!

An enclosed balcony.

In my closet. What is this little cage for?
Blankets? Babies? Puppies?

I have since hung some curtains in my room to give me some privacy. I am sleeping on J's airbed until I can get a mattress from a family friend.

More to come!

Here's one for my mother!

I fixed the rock-filled vases!

See, all better!

Back to Regular Programming

Wow. I did a lot on that cruise.
I'm kind of depressed by blogging about it all week. It is a reminder of how that was just a quick vacation and now it is back to the real world.

E and I went to Bar Ilan University yesterday for a conference on Women in National Security. We went with another girl in our program who is organizing an Israeli chapter of WIIS.

The day started out as a comedy of errors. We waited for the bus just outside our awesome apartment. Buses came and buses went, but we kept waiting for a bus to the train station. At long last, the bus came and we darted off the the train station. I said to myself "Golly, I wonder when the next train will arrive. I hope it won't be too long a wait." The next train was almost an hour later.

After buying our tickets, E and I walked to the mall to find some food and buy some deodorant. First, it took us about fifteen minutes to find the deodorant. Then we waited in line to order food. They didn't have a menu in English so we just ordered sandwiches (as they are less messy than salads.)

We ended up with the messiest sandwiches known to woman.

We met Julia in Tel Aviv and waited for about three quarters of an hour for the bus that is supposed to come every twenty minutes (the bus isn't late, it's just Israel!). We got to Bar Ilan and decided to find this marvelous bakery. We walked all over the campus and surrounding streets and finally found it (after calling Julia's boyfriend three times). We gorged ourselves on doughnuts and cookies and headed off to the conference...

Where all hell broke loose.

The first speaker on Women in the Military was fine, boring, but fine.
The second speaker was the biggest chauvinist ever. He called women "the gnats on the neck of the rhinoceros" but quickly corrected himself: "women are the PESTS on the neck of the rhinoceros." The audience was getting noisy and angry. One woman (in military uniform)shouted out "don't call us pests!" Oy.
It's not sexist, non-intellectual, anti-feminist, chauvinism, it's just Israeli academia.

The next speaker was the head of Sociology at Bar Ilan and she gave the previous speaker a verbal spanking, thank god. Then, someone in the audience started to argue with her about her political views.
"You are a peacenik, why do you care about the military so much?!?"
She responded: "I care because I don't like institutionalized discrimination anywhere - schools, synagogues, social security, healthcare etc!"

It was like an all-out war. T'was intense.

We returned home to collapse.

But we went to Cafe Cafe with lovely MayBell instead. We talked about dating and boys and how depressing life is. We ended up looking very glum.

Then we went to home and collapsed.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cruise to Greece, Lovely, lovely Lindos (Part Two).

The acropolis of Lindos was built before the Acropolis of Athens. The two were engaged in a Acropolis building competition. It was later inhabited by the Kings of Saint John.

We had a lovely tour courtesy of our tour guide, Christina.

Check it out:

This is a bas-relief (if my art history knowledge is still serving me well) of a ship by the sculptor of the Winged Victory.

The Stairs! They warned us about the stairs.
"Do not go to the acropolis if you cannot climb one hundred stairs!"

View from part of the way up the Acropolis.

Wind-swept with lots of parts of columns around.

Hurricane JOBEY!

I wanna take the boulder!

The climb down was delightful. There are no hand-rails. O was scared and had to hold E's hand the whole way down the stairs, bless her.

YGirl: "Quick, B! Look victorious!"

And he did!

J snickered at E and O the whole way down the stairs, while I grasped his arm and made my "I'm scared of heights sounds".

"Quick, J! Look Victorious!"

The rest of Lindos was very touristy, but very nice.

I decided that I wanted to have my picture taken with statues. More to come later in the trip!

I bought some handmade ceramics in Lindos. Pictures to come.

We stopped at a pottery studio on the way back to Rhodes:

The man in the orange shirt is J's creepy stalker.
He followed him around the ship.

Hand painted by grumpy Greek women.

E made friends with the dog.
His name is Booby.

Lastly, these are not the best pictures, but they were taken as we drove past the Jewish cemetery in Rhodes. It's the only one on the island.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cruise to Greece, Lovely, lovely Lindos (Part One)

We bought a guided tour to Lindos for our day on Rhodes. It was an especially good deal because the Israeli guide took all the Hebrew speakers from the bus and we (J.O.B.E.Y.) shared the local guide, Christina with one other person. It was like a personal tour to the Acropolis of Lindos.

First, we drove through the town of Rhodes:

Part of the old city.

A building in the old city, across from the marina.

The possible location of the Colossus of Rhodes.

Then, out to the countryside. Rhodes is beautiful, with lovely beaches and craggy hills.

E.'s peeps are in there!!!

Sleepy boys.

Feeling peachy!

We arrived outside of the village of Lindos and took a shuttle to the square.

This is the view from where the bus dropped us off.

Smiling on the crowded shuttle bus. J.'s super creepy stalker was standing right in front of me. Yewch.

We walked through the village and up to the Acropolis on the hill behind the village.

The ladies of the village try to sell mass-produced embroidered tablecloths on the path  to the Acropolis

B. is not pleased with having his picture taken.

Stay tuned for Part Two: The Acropolis!