Friday, July 21, 2017

A "Taste" of the 6th Kenes Shiloh

I'm pretty tired this morning, since we got home so late after the amazing Shiloh Conference. It was over long after the scheduled time. They seem to overplan, book too many people. How can they really expect people to speak for only 15 minutes?

There are basically two parts to the conference, a tour, two routes- one for frequent visitors and the other more basic and then a series of "talks." We really needed a break during the speeches, but there wasn't. As I've muttered last year, too:
"I don't sit this long even on a plane trip."
But I did enjoy it! And Gd willing I'll post a better account of the program on Shiloh Musings when I have time.

Here are some of the photos:

PS The program is in Hebrew only, even the tour guides all know English.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

"With the Greatest of Ease," Acrobats!

For modesty's sake, you have mostly shadows to see, but they do give a taste of the amazing acrobatics performance I saw the other night in Shiloh. I know that some of the women who performed so daringly on the "sashes" and swings wouldn't want me to post anything very recognizable, so I photographed their shadows, which do give a good idea of how impressive they are. 

Most of the women who performed have only been studying this form of acrobatics, or anything like it, for less than a year. 

I was very impressed, and in all honesty, I'm not tempted to join up next year, not even if I was a generation or more younger. This sort of sport is not my cup of tea for two reasons.

  • You must be fearless.
  • You must have really good upper body strength. 
I fail both those tests, especially the first. The second can be rectified with proper training. I'm terrified of doing anything like this. The "monkey bars" wasn't my favorite place in the playground as a kid. But I have a feeling that some of my children would be tempted and certainly some of my granddaughters. One granddaughter took gymnastics this past year, and I attended her end of year show. That made me nervous enough, since it can be a dangerous sport.

As the very first girls gym teacher here in Shiloh, I must congratulate the teacher of this club for doing an excellent job.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Great Way to Clean/Clearout

This week when realized that we'd be at the Kotel for a Bar Mitzvah I went through my collection of scarves to see what I could donate. Yes, many of the scarves offered to women for "covering up" had once belonged to women like myself.

I discovered a few years ago, that the women who offer scarves to those not suitably dressed for the holy site are happy to get donations. This is the second time I donated scarves, and this time I even added a few hats. Both times they were so gratefully received. And like that first time, I managed to see a few women wearing something I had donated before I left.

It's a wonderful feeling to know that a donation is appreciated and needed. And I'm glad to have emptied the drawers, even though I really should give away more things.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

What a Difference 7 Hours Make, Cold Brew Coffee

I didn't get a very early start with today's cold brewed coffee, since I was out all day yesterday and only washed out the French Press late at night. This is what it looked like when I poured simple tap water on the regular American ground coffee. Yes, it looks pretty pale and pathetic. Then I covered it with some plastic wrap and placed it in the fridge. 

About seven hours later I removed it, and look at how dark it got.

After admiring and photographing it, I gave it a stir, pushed down the plunger and am enjoying the coffee as I type this post! That's how easy it is to make cold brewed coffee with a French Press. The hardest part is remembering to prepare it in advance. And for me the logistics of making sure I'm supplied with good coffee is sometimes complicated.  But once it becomes routine, you're set.

PS I noticed that some of the FOX Homes in Jerusalem still have the giant French Press, which they incorrectly call "percolators" for sale half price.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Partying in Shiloh, Ladies Only

Last night was a big party for the women of Shiloh to thank one of the neighbors for doing an amazing job for decades. She had been the "balanit," the mikvah lady ever since the first mikvah was constructed in Shiloh over thirty-six years ago. 

Think about it. She worked six to seven nights a week all those years. For twenty-something of those years she had a replacement one night a week. She missed weddings, meetings, social events and more. Every night she was busy, rain. shine or snow, war or peace. During the Gulf War, since there wasn't a "safe room," tvila" was by appointment so she wouldn't have to sit there alone.

Her daughters spoke about what it was like to be raised in a home where their mother was never home in the evening. They knew she couldn't make it to school meetings, performances, etc and they put themselves to bed. They were also trained never to ask who was on the phone asking to talk to their mother.

Now two young women, both raised in Shiloh, will be sharing the job that she held on her own. It's funny to think that such an important position will now be held by women the age of my youngest child. But considering that he's a championship American IFL Football coach, so he's not all that young...

Shiloh is a thriving and growing community, thank Gd. It's really thrilling to see that there are so many young families moving here. That is the comfort when I look around realizing that I don't know everyone, and they are so young...

After the speeches and thanks, some women swam and the rest of us allowed ourselves the "treats," manicures, massage, make-up, reflexology and socializing.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Pishers' Guide to Jerusalem #23 For One Shekel in the CBS

This is a continuation in my ongoing series about public toilets in Jerusalem. See #22#21,#20#19#18#17#16,  #15a#15,  #14#13#12#11#10#9,  #8#7,  #6,  #5, Saved by The First Station aka #4a#4#3#2 and #1

I generally look only for the free loos, WCs Public Toilets, but sometimes there aren't any. That's the case in the Jerusalem Central Bus Station aka the CBS. The last time I was there, to meet a friend who was arriving from another city by bus, I didn't have time to check out all of the loos. I just went to the main one which is one flight down from the main entrance. You need to take an elevator by the front door and press -1. 

You'll find this revolving door gate* with a small machine that takes your shekel and lets you in. From there you'll find a hallway off of which are three types of loos, Male, Female and Handicapped. There was none of that awful urine smell which  is a sign that the cleaning has been insufficient.  I was pretty impressed. 

As you can see, the Ladies Room is nice and big with two walls of sinks and quite a few stalls. When I was there noontime there was plenty of paper.  

Apparently, Egged, the big bus company, no longer owns the bus station, which is also a small mall. The two shopping floors, which includes the Food Court, seem to be doing nicely.  

handicapped toilet
It's possible that people enter for commercial reasons, shopping and eating and not just to take a bus. Considering that the public toilets are near the main entrance, that's also a reason to go into the building. There was a time when everyone had to put their bags through the X-Ray security, but this is not all the time nowadays. There are guards who "eyeball it," simple profiling everyone who enters and only requesting further security checks, when they are suspicious of someone. 

*For those who can't get through the revolving door because of walkers, handicapped or baby carriages etc, there is someone who can open a wide enough gate.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Perfect "Root Salad"

My husband makes the Chicken Soup, and one of his favorite ingredients is celeriac, but just the leaves.

That leaves us with the roots, which end up waiting in the bottom of the fridge for me to inspired and motivated. To be honest, those roots aren't very attractive, and you need a steady hand and sharp knife to get them in condition to be used as a food ingredient.

There are three basic things I do with them:

This week I made a salad with them. I also shredded carrots and an apple in the food processor. For extra sweetness, I also threw in some dark raisins.  I used my usual salad dressing, olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice. It was a great success and very popular with our guests.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Horseradish All Year Long

Many people Jews associate eating sharp strong horseradish only with the Passover Seder. If they have it during the year with gefilte fish, it's usually sweetened or diluted with beets. I davka like the pure horseradish all year long.

When my husband makes it for the Passover Seder, he uses the "coffee bean grinder" on our rather ancient Moulinex blender, adds a bit of vinegar, and it lasts a couple of months after Passover. I usually have some in the morning on my eggs. But that stock doesn't last forever, and the time had come for me to grind some more.

Yes, it's my job to peel and cut the horseradish root into chunks. And those chunks go into the food-processor. I use the cutting blade. And when the pieces are as small as they can get, I put them in glass jars and add vinegar. The jars then go into the refrigerator.

This should last a couple of months, and then I have to prepare more.

PS there are people who consider this condiment medicinal. It sure adds flavor.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Fun in Pisgat Zeev Mall

Yesterday I was in Jerusalem for the day and ended it in the Pisgat Zeev Mall, which is a relatively small one. It's also the easiest to get to from Shiloh or as a "last stop before going home," which was yesterday's occasion.

I'm generally surprised at how empty the mall is. Some storefronts are empty, and even the Bank Leumi left, although other banks still have branches in the mall. Downstairs there's a "Shufar Sal Deal" and a "Superpharm" among the clothing, shoes, jewelry and phone stores.  FOX has their clothing departments, but not a FOX HOME, but there's a Naaman Outlet and Home Center.

Unlike most malls, there are few places to get a meal. Most of the restaurants have closed. There are food places in Pisgat Zeev which apparently the locals prefer to entering the mall. Actually, there are lots of neighborhood stores, not the usual chains, in Pisgat Zeev on the street of the mall, the nearby center and also the other neighborhoods. Pisgat Zeev and neighboring Neve Yaakov are more like a separate city, than a couple of neighborhoods, in terms of population and services.

On a hot summer day, like yesterday, the children's entertainment in the mall seemed like a perfect solution to "What should we do with the children today?" summer vacation dilemma. I was surprised that there weren't more kids there. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Small Salad, Big Enough

As you must know by now, I'm trying to knock off a few kilo. They snuck back this past year or so. I must admit that my self control has gotten pretty weak, and I've been eating out a bit more than in the past. No doubt these two factors have contributed to the weight gain.

The other day I went out to lunch with a few friends. One was in from abroad, and we really wanted to spend time with her. We met at the Greg Cafe in Center 1, Jerusalem, between the Central Bus Station and the String Bridge. There's a Greg in most Israeli malls, and most probably other locations, too. They somehow manage to keep up standards.

We ordered different foods, fish, quiche, vegetable patties, and I ordered the Small Greek Salad.

Usually, I don't have any problem stuffing a full-size Israeli restaurant salad into me, even though they are humongous. A couple of weeks ago, I met some other friends, actually in the Greg in Hadar Mall, and shared a big salad. Afterwards, I wasn't hungry. This time I didn't have a salad partner, so when I noticed that there was a Small Greek Salad on the menu which only cost about NS35, I asked the waitress, "how small?" After her pantomime, I decided to go for it.

Cafe Greg
Floor 1

It's actually a perfectly adequate salad, and for a restaurant salad, it was a decent price. In terms of diet and budget, I have no complaints. And I certainly recommend it. It's kosher dairy mehadrin.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Post Fast Vegetable Soup Simmering on Stove

As I had written on Shiloh Musings, it's a fast day today. I like breaking the fast on a nice freshly cooked vegetable soup. Yes, it's on the stove right now.

I trust it will be fully cooked in time to eat it right after the fast.

This is a very easy to make soup. The peas have been soaking for hours in boiling water, which has since cooled. Then before cooking I added fresh garlic, onion, carrot and squash. On top of that I poured a bit of oil and sprinkled some dill.

After it came to a boil, I lowered the heat to a simmer. Thanks to the facebook friends who helped me remember the proper word which didn't come to my fuel starved mind. I'll probably add some more water, boiling so as not to slow down the cooking and also some salt and pepper.

The delicious cooking aroma of the soup is driving me mad...

B"H the fast is over in less than an hour.

Just adding a picture. Here's the soup. I had a few bowls...

Monday, July 10, 2017

On Being a Morning Person

I love the sunrise. I'm so happy that the front of my house faces east. The biggest mistake we made in planning the house was putting our bedroom in the back; it's like a dungeon. But the upside of that is that I just can't wait to get out of bed.

My body doesn't need great amounts of sleep, and frequently after about six hours it just wakes up. If I nap or have too inactive a day, I have trouble falling asleep. Today I awoke an hour before the alarm went off. I was on my second mug of coffee when I heard my alarm.

When I travel to different time zones, I combat jetlag by forcing myself, frequently with the help of lots of coffee, to go to bed at about midnight, and then my body wakes up about six hours later. Yes, that's on time for me.

This morning I had great fun photographing the sunrise.

And I'm sure that I'm one of the only 52Frames members who had an easy time getting the Golden Hour "extra credit" by photographing dawn.

"Magic Morning Coffee"
Luckily for me I kept waking up very early last week, with plenty of time to drink my coffee and photograph the dawn during "Magic/Golden Hour."
woke before alarm
got to see gorgeous sunrise
now drinking coffee

Psyched up for the pool
Today's another scorcher
Coffee cold and strong

rescued by coffee
sometimes sleep isn't enough
grey sky but still hot

Enjoying coffee
Wonderful Day Yesterday
but need much more sleep

Grey summer morning 
Cold brew coffee, jar, filter
No need for French Press 

ripe cold brew coffee
perfect for hot summer's day
yay, pool, here I come

Yes! Cold Brew Coffee
Perfect hot day summer drink
Must plan in advance