Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Homemade Soup at Coney Island, Jerusalem

Yes, again I revisited Coney Island, the "fast food" real food place at the lightrail stop on Rechov Yaffo, Jerusalem.

After much nudging from the friendly woman behind the counter, I agreed to try their "Orange Soup."  Now, for those who don't know what Orange Soup is, it's as vegetable soup made mostly of orange vegetables, carrots, sweet potato and pumpkin. And then it's blended by using one of those "stick blenders" into a creamy soup, yes, just what you'd feed an infant or young toddler. And at NS5 for a cup, it's a bargain and also pure enough to feed to a baby. I'm highly sensitive to the smell of "soup powder" and didn't feel that there was any here.

Most of the drinks, coffee etc are NS5. Nice sized sandwiches are NS12 for the ready-made and NS16 if you choose your filling.  That is a better price than I've seen elsewhere. Believe me that you get lots more sandwich, especially the filling, in the Coney Island sandwich than you'll get in three NS5- ones.

I've already blogged about what a great deal their salads are. The soup and salad were my dinner one night last week. Even though their setup is small, there are a few tables, and I was able to have a relaxing meal right in the Center of Jerusalem on Jaffa Street.

Coney Island is strictly kosher and does catering in dairy, meat and parve. They also have a large selection of gluten free bakery products. For more information, Avi 054-569-6135, Yael 052-668-4005, Avi@coneyisland.co.il.

Monday, January 16, 2017

What was This Supposed to Say?

Photographed in Zion Square.

If you know what it's supposed to say, then please let me know in the comments, thanks.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Not Just Coffee, I Drink Tea, Too

A couple of months ago, I ran into an old friend who gave me a gift. It was very small, but impressive-looking box of tea, Cérémonie Tea. I popped it in my bag, eventually remembering to take it out and put it in my "tea cabinet," where I have a large selection of teas.

It took me until pretty recently to try it one evening, when a caffeine free tea was just what I needed.

I took for granted that it was just a small quantity of loose tea leaves, so I got all sorts of tea steeping and straining equipment ready. But to my great joy I discovered that there was a very elegant teabag in the box. It wasn't the usual pedestrian paper, either. It felt like a fancy party dress or "petticoat" of my childhood memories.

I realized that my giant glass mug was a bit too large for the quantity of tea that pretty tea bag could produce, so I didn't fill the water to the top or even near.

No doubt you want to know how it tasted. It was lovely. I didn't add any sweetener for two reasons. First of all, I don't need the extra calories, and secondly, I wanted to get a genuine taste of the tea. It was good, dainty, which maybe because I diluted it with too much water. But I did like it. There was no artificial taste which you sometimes get from the "fruity" non-caffeine teas. So, if you see the tea, try it or contact them by phone +972-9-951-5818 or email info@ceremonietea.com.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

An Advantage of "Pedometer" as my Smartphone Step Counter

Soon after I got my new Samsung J7 smartphone, I began looking to install a better pedometer than I had been using. I'm sure I'm not the only person who sometimes paces at home to reach a "step goal," and since part of the "system" that many of the pedometers use are attuned to distances, they get "confused" when we pace.

With the "app" I had been using, walklogger, I'd find it losing steps when I paced. I'd have to keep stopping to try to trick it. That was a big problem when the weather was bad and I'd want to reach a specific goal at home. It really hated a friend's apartment. It would outright refuse to count the steps I walked there. It also took ages/many steps to start counting, even when I adjusted the sensitivity. I could spend hours walking around the Israel Museum and I'd be lucky if it credited me for 150 steps. Once I was with a friend who had an iphone, and we discovered that although I'd been walking a lot that day, and she had hardly walked at all, our phone apps gave us the same count. Then we walked around together for about twenty minutes. My app added about 300 steps and hers added over a thousand!

Now I use one that simply calls itself "Pedometer," and it counts steps, even if I'm pacing or walking up and down stairs. It doesn't beep me when I've achieved any goals, but I can survive without a pat on the back. It's easy to check my progress over the day, and it doesn't claim I'm riding a bicycle when I walk downhill quickly, which a different app did. And like the others I've tried, it's free, of course.

I hope this helps.

I just wish it could keep me from eating too much...

Friday, January 13, 2017

Another Win for the Jerusalem "Big Blue" Lions

Last night was a "simple" victory for the Lions which didn't need a movie-like miracle finish. We were simply the better team all around.

Besides having the very best young Israeli-born coach in the business, our defense barely let them move forward, and our offense has been improving, B"H, bli eyin haraa. 52:9 against the Ramat Hasharon Hammers is as one-sided a score as you can get besides a shutout.

Very slowly more and more fans have been starting to come to the Mishor Adumim field, where games are played now instead of Kraft Stadium. It will never have the homey festival feel we remember so fondly from the days when all of the Jerusalem area games were in Kraft, but mid-way through the second season here, we are starting to adjust. Instead of sizzling meat, soda and beer on sale by the sidelines, hungry fans have to hike to the nearby Super Sol for nosherei and drinks or bring their own. The worst thing about the Mishor Adumim field is that there is no easy way to come and go by public transportation, and it's even too far to walk from Maale Adumim.

Tom Brady (right) with Robert Kraft (center) and
IFL/AFI founder Steve Liebowitz (left) in
Jerusalem (Photo: David Tuttle)  ynetnews
There have been official announcements that Robert Kraft will be funding a new sports stadium/complex someplace near the Ramot neighborhood of Jerusalem. The sports complex is set to be open for games next summer.

We're looking forward to that, and I personally hope there will be decent public transportation. Recently, I've been getting to the Mishor field with a Lions player who comes from Ariel and picks me up at the Shiloh gate. And then my son drops me off at the "cityline" where I catch tremps, rides home.

Let it be a healthy injury free season for all, and those injured should have a refuah shleimah, speedy and complete recovery for those in need.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Teaching: Turned a Game into a Graded Quiz

 OK, I must admit that in my 9th grade group, only three students show up, but they are a nice enthusiastic three. I teach EFL, that's English as a Foreign Language, and I teach to very weak students. I had to teach them how to read when I began with them at the very end of October. I have a simple method, and it seems to have worked.

One of them knows English from home, but that just means that he understands the spoken word and can reply in kind. The other two are pretty new to the language.

They get four hours a week divided into three days, which means that there's a double lesson on one of the days. And, davka, that double lesson is at the end of the day when they are just too tired to stay attuned to what I'm trying to do. And the school doesn't let me do what I did in my other one, when I could combine the lessons without a break and finish earlier. When I complained, I was told to "play games."

Nu? I'm not the game sort of teacher. These students are so weak that they spend an entire lesson on a simple quiz which shouldn't take more than 10-15 minutes. So the game time has replaced quizzes. In a sense they are quizzes, since I get them to translate words, and they compete to see how many words they've done by saving the little pieces of paper on which the words are written and then counting them at the end.

Yesterday I made a new version in which the two who didn't understand English could work together. There were thirty words. I told them if neither new the definition I would take three points off, from one hundred, and the remainder would be their grades. And for the English speaker, I told him that if he shouted out an answer when not his turn I'd take off three points per word. They all accepted the rules, and in the end the weaker students got a nice high 94%, and the English-speaker got 97%. And I was able to register additional grades for them.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Rule of Thirds, Sun

The Rule of Thirds can be explained that sometimes when things are off center, they are more visually interesting. Here's my photo for this week's 52Frames challenge, Rule of Thirds.

"Third Sun"

Camera: Samsung J7
Location: Israel

Hope you like it. Some people, especially if you also follow my 365Project photos, you'll see that the location keeps turning up. Taking pictures is great when waiting for a ride.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Fun Healthy Nosh

Last week I discovered a great healthy, tasty nosh. For me it was better than salted nuts or candy. I had dropped into a supermarket to buy myself something that could be my "dinner" at the beer tasting. We all know that beer isn't all that low in calories, though beer tasters aren't given all that much to drink of each beer. This is really as much as we get of each beer.

I had thought of buying a perfectly ripe avocado, but there weren't any ripe ones for sale. They were all as hard as rocks. I wanted a protein and couldn't have dairy, since I had eaten a late fleishig/meat lunch. Then I spied these sprouts. At first I thought they were like the sprouted lentils I've bought and loved in Rami Levy. But it was only when I opened the package and began eating them that I realized that there are all sorts of sprouted beans and legumes. They were a real treat and totally delicious.

I wasn't even tempted by the more fattening things on the table, like the bourekas, but I did eat the salad and some other bean-type thing that someone had brought.

Nosh on the sprouts while waiting for the stouts winners to be announced on Doug's blog.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Chickpeas, Tomatoes, Mushrooms and More Vegetable Soup

This is not my usual vegetable soup. First of all I used chickpeas instead of peas or lentils. And I also cut up a couple of tomatoes early in the cooking. I threw in a few peppercorns, too.

Chickpeas take ages to cook, but since I had the afternoon free, I didn't mind. First I left them soaking in boiling water in a covered pot. After a couple of hours I poured out the water and added more boiling water and then boiled it on the stove another couple of hours. Yes, I was home and had the time.

Then I began to add the rest of the vegetables and some coarse salt:

  • onion
  • garlic
  • carrots 
  • squash
  • tomatoes
  • mushrooms
I topped that off with some vegetable oil and cooked it another hour. After it hit a strong boil, I simmered it.

And that was it, the perfect vegetable soup for breaking the fast and other excuse.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

365Project, A Diary-Like Daily Photo Group

I've been having fun with a daily challenge photo group, 365Project. I manage to send a photo in almost everyday, very much like a photo diary. When I'm on the go I use my smartphone, the Samsung J7 I got a few weeks ago.

Members are from all over the world, and the photographs are pretty mixed. If you're a member, then look for me. And if you're not, maybe you'd like to join up.

Here are a few of my recent ones:

Keeping Up With Our Son's Football Game

Our son is the Head Coach of the Jerusalem "Big Blue" Lions IFL tackle football team. And since we're not at the game, too far, my husband and I are keeping up with it by twitter and whatsapp. Let's hope for a safe victorious game and also safe traveling for the team and fans

Could There Ever be Too Many Vegetables? #6

Cooking for our Jewish Sabbath, and we do eat a lot of vegetables. This is now baking in the oven.

Last Pomegranate

Over a month ago, when pomegranates were plentiful and finishing their season, I bought a box of them. They stayed fresh in my cold refrigerator. This morning I took the very last one out, and I'm slowly savoring it. It is so delicious.

Morning Coffee

I'm enjoying my new gigantic 1.5 liter French Press. As you can see, I drink my coffee with sugar and milk. That French Press was my Chanukah present to me!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Stories Told by Steve Sherr, A Book Review

I just finished reading Steve Sherr's memoirs, No Stories to Tell, and it's full of stories. Sherr begins by telling of his rather ordinary New York Jewish-style childhood. And he continues in a surprising way by ending up taking on Orthodox Torah Judaism and retiring to Israel.

Considering that I'm just a few years younger, also raised in a rather assimilated Jewish home in New York and also now a religious Jew living in Israel, you'd think that Sherr's story would be familiar to me. It isn't anything like mine.

Not long ago, I was discussing with someone that there are a lot of tell-all books written by Jews who were raised in very religious homes but "left the life style." We discussed how we need books of the opposite genre, and I said that they won't be all that interesting, because the writers will be much too discreet, embarrassed and protective of their families and themselves to write a "bestseller." As interesting and well-written as Steve Sherr's book is, it does match my description/prediction. It's very discreet. I have lots of questions to ask about his and his wife's rather late in life change to an Orthodox Torah observant life.

On the other hand, Sherr is rather upfront and open about his unhappiness and depression before he felt a spiritual experience, which showed him that there is a Gd. He tells us how he searched to find out what would fill that spiritual need and then the difficulties in trying to make these changes palatable to his wife and children.

There was also an irony in his becoming more successful and popular as a campus psychologist in a very secular Leftist college campus as he became more Torah observant. The head-covering and tzitziyot didn't frighten away troubled students.

As Sherr began to get into the "meat" of his story, I found the book hard to put down. Although he had been trained as a counselor and psychologist to  believe and help people to accept  "everything," no rules nor absolutes, he himself found a belief in Gd and peace and purpose by following Gd's commandments. And although Sherr had a successful career in California, he and his wife are now happily living in the Golan Heights. Actually as I read of their search for a suitable place to live in Israel, I kept hoping they'd try Shiloh. If they'd like to visit, they can give me a call...

No Stories to Tell is a cross between a memoir and a series of autobiographical essays, stories, diary entries or possibly blog posts. At times its identity/genre gets me confused, especially in the last section. But all in all, I did enjoy reading it and recommend it to others.

  • Publisher: Steven D. Sherr (August 1, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0692755810
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692755815

Friday, January 6, 2017

Delicious Dinner at Sima's in The Shuk

During Chanukah, when my husband and I were in Jerusalem, we acted like vacationing tourists and ate out in a few restaurants, as you've probably noted from this blog. On the final evening we met one of our daughters for dinner in the shuk, Jerusalem's Machane Yehuda market, which is known for its genuine Israeli cuisine. We let her choose the venue, and she chose Sima, סימה. Sima is on Agripas Street in the direction of the Central Bus Station and Binyanei Ha'Uma.

Unlike, the "cookie-cutter," all the same restaurants we had passed a different evening in the Mamilla area, there was no line of hungry touristy customers waiting outside in the cold. In Sima we heard more Hebrew than French, English, Spanish etc. The opening salads were fantastic, and the waiter kept refilling for us. My husband started with a soup before his main course of steak, but my daughter and I decided to treat ourselves to one of their "specials for two." Actually, you pay according to how many diners will be sharing. They have a few choices at different prices. We took the medium priced one at NS110, if I remember correctly, but we had them replace one of the meat choices for "mixed grill." I took an Israeli Salad for my side dish, and she took a vegetable and rice dish.

There was so much meat, for just the two of us, she took the leftovers home for another two meals! We had chosen the medium priced selection, because I had wanted the lamb chops, and they davka were the most disappointing of the meats, I'd recommend the least expensive which is only NS99 per person. Though you may want to try the other price selections. Whatever you choose, you'll get your money's worth and more.

As you can easily see here, the food is all cooked on the spot to order, fresh and delicious. This is the place to eat a nice satisfying meal. It's at 82 Agripas, Jerusalem, Tel: 02-6233002, Kashrut: Rabbanut Yerushalayim. You can get there by train or bus.

If we had gone to the eLuna site, we could have gotten 10% off.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

WATER Emergency

While my husband and I were walking in Jerusalem we saw water shooting up. Pipe burst. So he called the water emergency number. We left after the workers arrived.
The next day I took a picture of the repair.

#morningcoffeehaiku 1st of 2017

Since I drink coffee every morning and haiku on facebook six days a week, it's time for another #morningcoffeehaiku post.

Join me for a cup, or a nice big mug, of coffee and haiku.

very cold today
old boots in lieu of slippers
coffee strong and hot

More than just coffee
Hotel breakfasts are sublime
At least in Israel.

My morning coffee
Very strong sweet and tasty
Hope it wakes me up

coffee and sugar
perfectly perked and with milk
need caffeine today

Up very early
Moon's still high in the black sky
Coffee's just perfect

Hot coffee "to go"
Matan, teaching and beer, too
very long day planned

Hot French Press Coffee
in bright cheery floral cup
as the sun comes up

Bought myself a gift
a real supersize French Press
Too big to fill it

Did you notice anything new?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Pishers' Guide to Jerusalem #11, Never Fear The Rami Levy WC

sink and hand-dryer
in the women's side
This is a continuation in my ongoing series about public toilets in Jerusalem. See #10#9,  #8#7,  #6,  #5, Saved by The First Station aka #4a#4#3#2and #1

The Rami Levy Shivuk Hashikma, Discount Supermarket Chain is known for its low prices and minimal advertising, so who would expect him to invest in above average public toilets that are kept clean? When I used to work in Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin, people would ask if the toilets were decent enough to use, and I'd say that they are nicer than those in many wedding halls. And they seem better kept than those in some restaurants. And they are more comfortable than those peculiar rectangular seats in the Mamilla Mall.

There's a handicapped toilet, a men's section, a women's section and an additional sink that can be used by all.

The older I get the more I've become an expert in public toilets. And that's why I must tell you that, davka, the Rami Levy in Sha'ar Binyamin can compete with the best of them. He may sell onions for less than in Machane Yehuda, but he doesn't offer cheapo facilities. They may not be fancy, but they're functional and don't smell.

If you're familiar with the public toilets in other branches, I'd appreciate a report in the comments, thanks.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Pop Me, Self-Portrait for 52Frames, 2017

Every year 52Frames begins with a Self-Portrait. My first attempt was so overwhelming and traumatic, I can't picture it in my head. The second year I held my high school graduation photo to show how much I've changed. Last year I fooled around using mirrors and reflections in the New York hotel bathroom where we were staying at the time, (the hotel, not the bathroom.) And since we weren't home, it was taken with my phone.

This year, a new phone and another vacation. This time we were in Jerusalem and I overcame a fear -giving me the Extra Credit- and propped up my phone on a shelf in a store, the Moriah in the Old City, set up the timer, posed myself and shot.

Even after some color tweaking, I realized that I looked rather ridiculous. My glasses were still black from the sun, and I just wasn't wearing the right clothes for a portrait of any sort, south of the Arctic or north of Antarctica. So I began searching and experimenting with all of the various effects, kitschy and otherwise that my new Samsung J7, the top of the cheap line of Samsung smartphones. Finally, I hit pay dirt!

"Pop Me"
My generation. Like this I feel young again.
I love it!

What do you think?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Seen in Jerusalem

My husband and I spent a few days in Jerusalem last week, and here are some of my photos. I took a couple of walks most days, usually alone. One of the mornings I went with my husband and one of our daughters to the Old City to revisit where we had once lived. Enjoy!