This weekend was one of rest and a little family harmony accompanied by huge amounts of food we cooked and baked. On Friday ,since my youngest went to his nursery (its open every other week), I took a couple of hours to myself, and went gathering edible herbs with my best friend Sarah, her youngest son and a few other food bloggers with passion. The sunny weather suited us very much as we tramped along a hillside in the Judean hills near Beit-Shemesh. This area of Israel is one of my favorite in the world, and I never get tired to hiking and touring in there in all seasons but especially in winter when the hills become lush green and flowers bloom all over. There you can believe the statements that we live in a beautiful country. It's also very convenient for me since I reside in a city very close to this area, and from my backyard I can see the hills and Judean Mountains. So on Friday I've learned that many plants that we tend to overlook and don't give a second thought to (only maybe as harassing weeds) can be used as food or medicine, and I felt a bit sad that all that knowledge is now almost completely lost and we can benefit from so much of it. For a most informative post about the subject check my friend Sarah's blog at: www.sarahmelamed.com
I had fun hiking in the sun enjoying the scene and having a most existential conversation with Sarah's son on who's a cooler superhero: Superman, Batman or Spider-man. No conclusions there.
While I was trying to figure out what "Olesh" is in English (Chicory), my husband took advantage of the fact that we were all out of the house and went to one his famous cooking frenzy. Although he's not even remotely near to a North-African descent (all his grandparents came from Poland) or do I, he cooked for us his favourites: Hraime (spicy fish in tomato sauce), Mafrum (eggplant or potato stuffed with minced meat) and Couscous with vegetable soup. For my middle daughter who's extremely picky about food, he stir-fried rice noodles with chicken and tofu. Needless to say that she took out all the tofu cubes one by one from her portion. Since we had such huge amounts of food we invited for our Shabbat meal our friend Y. Y is a very good friend of ours. My husband saw him first, they're friends since high-school but once I met him (17 years ago!) we became good friend as well. People have mistaken us for brother and sister, (when introduced to my real brother, most people are quite surprised because we have no physical resemblance to each other). So Y was pleased to come over for some home cooked meal. He's a 40 years old bachelor and every time he spends with us and our noisy kids I think he's very grateful that he's still on his own… he always seems surprised from how much mayhem 3 kids under 12 can create.
On Shabbat morning the Hazan family came to drink some coffee in our garden since it was very pleasant and sunny. The Hazans are our friends since our oldest daughter went to kindergarten with their oldest daughter. The kids took advantage of the sun and my youngest practised his soccer skills while his older sisters wanted to sit with the grown-ups and listen to some gossip.
Our Shabbat lunch was spent with my parents. My mum cooked Cholent, out of all things. The temp' outside was hitting 20 centigrade. We should have had salads and cold cuts, but according to those who eat Cholent (not me, I just have a brown egg) it was very tasty.
We went home to the desert I baked for Sabbath: chocolate cloud cake, my eldest favourite cake, and we could declare ourselves completely stuffed.
I really enjoyed this weekend full of friends and family and great, great food cooked with love. Sometimes that is all you need to feel sane and safe in this not such a wonderful world.
|Having fun in the winter sun|