Archive for the ‘Foodie’ Category

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“So how was Israel?”

July 12, 2012

The most frequently asked question!

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A Letter to Myself, In the Spirit of Packing Lists

June 15, 2012

Dear August 2011 Carlo,

With approximately two weeks left in Israel, I am preparing to leave in the way I know best:  making lists. As I decide what to pack and what to do away with, I find myself revisiting a familiar place in my mind and it’s where you are now, packing and freaking out about leaving for Israel. Now almost ten months wiser about living in this place, I’ve decided to compile a few packing lists for you, my August 2011 self:

  • things you’ll be glad you brought
  • things you had no idea you needed
  • things you need to buy right away
  • things you totally don’t need

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Every day is my birthday.

April 6, 2012

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Celebrating New Years (my favorite holiday) is always a let down because there’s a heavy expectation for the day to be perfect. The right party, the right buzz, the right company, the perfect countdown. There’s a similar expectation for other holidays, and the first runner up is birthdays.

If, in my lucid dreaming last night, I somehow died, I will have died happy after a birthday well spent. I spent a normal day surrounded by good people, good food, and good conversation. I spent some time alone at Tmol Shilshom over a milkshake and music editing. I did my regular grocery shopping at Mahane Yehuda. The weather was lovely, too—another warm taste of summer.

I’ve recently been obsessed with the idea that, actually, every day is my birthday. It sounds trite, I think, but it really embodies the feeling of being entitled to do what you want to do with your life and to find joy every day. Now, whether or not that means I can eat chocolate and cake whenever I want is another story, but I digress…

Also, if every day is my birthday, then every day is everyone else’s birthday as well. Food for thought. And speaking of food…

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A huge thank you goes out to my friend and roommate Kyle Georgina Marsh
for preparing a dinner of potato/sweet potato latkes, salad, guacamole, and…

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…this wonderful Vegan Avocado Chocolate birthday cake
with not-so-vegan Avocado Lemon Cream Frosting!

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This Joy the Baker recipe was suggested by The Table Set
on their “Green Beer” podcast! Thank you both for a yummy birthday!

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Thank you to all my friends and family who greeted me online, too.

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Now to eat some of my leftover birthday cake. What’s the upside to having your birthday in Jerusalem with all your friends on vacation or out of the country? I get more of this delicious cake all to myself. If you know about me and my relationship with cake, you’ll also know that I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Happy birthday, indeed!

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Recipe: “We’ve All Split-Pea Soup”

February 6, 2012

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Once upon a time in a kfar far away, there lived a man.
His friends all left to gather firewood or vacation in places near and far.
They all left behind various food items. From these items, this man made a soup.

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Please enjoy this tastefully wistful cousin of Stone Soup.

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Homesick for the Holidays

December 25, 2011

Oh, the holidays.

I thought that I based my definition of Christmas as a mainly retail-oriented holiday, with hustle, bustle, and sale after sale. Everything in and around stores gets shiny, with bright golds and silvers against reds and greens. Even my beloved Starbucks turns its iconic white cups red. Because of the material nature of the holiday, I thought I wouldn’t miss them.

We’ve been celebrating Chanukah. I heard the story of Chanukah the first night, and I’ve participated in candle lighting almost every night since. I even fashioned my own chanukiah for our apartment. I sort of learned the words to the blessing said over candles, too. Tonight marks the sixth night of Chanukah. Maybe if it isn’t raining tonight, I’ll head down to Mea Shearim to see all the chanukiot glowing brightly in the windows.

Christmas came all of a sudden, with almost no warning. There were no stores counting down the shopping days left, and no carols at the spinet. We had a small Christmas potluck dinner on Friday, where we exchanged some gifts. Yesterday, Christmas Eve, I visited Rob in Tel Aviv, where we ate a light dinner, biked around, and avoided getting caught in the rain by spending hours chatting over coffee, pastries, chai, and sahleb. No one should be alone on Christmas Eve. Today, Christmas Day, a group of us went to Ben Ami in Emek Refaim to enjoy a Christmas brunch centered around French toast that everyone’s been raving about for weeks now.

I’ve come to the conclusion that holidays are (to me) lesser about the material, the gifts, and the visual merchandising, and mainly to me about gathering with people to celebrate together. You could have guessed this from any number of romantic comedies set during the holidays. I’ve found great comfort in the support and company of my friends here, and with those important people I keep in contact with abroad. For these people, I’m grateful.

 

Villanueva Family Christmas 2009

 

One thing that’s missing is the company of my family. It hasn’t been until today that I’ve truly missed them. Above is a photo of us from Christmas 2009. Come to think of it, I actually think today is the first day I’m homesick. Maybe this week has had too many days off, and maybe I need to get back into the swing of things at school.

But this is telling. Is there a such thing as being too busy? Have I been so busy until now to see that there might be something missing here? I’m homesick for the holidays, and for the first time since I’ve been to Israel.

 

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Snack Food: Tim Tams

December 11, 2011

Hannah demonstrates how to enjoy Tim Tams, one of our favorite snacks in Israel.

 

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Thanksgiving

November 25, 2011

Thank you to all the guests that visited our apartment (and contributed food) tonight for Thanksgiving dinner. For some it was reminiscent of home, and for others it was their first Thanksgiving. The food was absolutely amazing—and might I add that our feast was completely vegetarian? I’m especially thankful for the decorations that were made and the cleaning that was done in preparation. And of course, many thanks go to Elisa for coordinating the evening… You’re amazing.

Here’s a video of the dinner scene.
Mind the mild obscenities; dessert had just been served.

 

 

Thanksgiving Dishes

 

Thanksgiving Decorations

 

Above all, I’m thankful for safety abroad, for the good company of new friends, and for the opportunity to study dance in a place like this. This experience is truly one of a kind. Happy Thanksgiving from Israel.