Passover is the Jewish festival of freedom from slavery in Egypt and the realization of Jewish national identity. The Jews fled Egypt in such haste that there was no time to let their dough rise to bake waybread. They simply rolled the unrisen dough out and baked it flat. And thus were born matzot, also […]
Passover 2018 in Israel begins after sunset on the evening of Friday, March 30th, and ends at dusk on Friday, April 6th. Outside of Israel, the holiday ends on Saturday, April 7th, at night. The holiday marks the time when the Israelities left Egypt as slaves, and entered the land of Israel (Canaan) as free people […]
Israel’s winter pools are nature reserves that only last for a season. Almost all are located on the edges of cities. They’re large, appearing like ponds or even small lakes. You’d never imagine that come summer, they won’t be there anymore. (Read this to discover eco-beaches that don’t go away in Israel.) Over 1500 such […]
Mallows are at the top of my edible weeds list. Once or twice every year, at late winter, I go out and bring home a big bag full of them. Mallows on their long stems to hang up and dry. Mallow flowers and fruit to sprinkle over salads. Mallow leaves to stuff with rice or […]
Considered an invasive weed in some parts, mallows are yet a valuable edible and medicinal herb. And bees love mallows flowers; that’s crucial in a world that becomes less friendly to those important pollinators by the day.
Part IV in a series of 4 on eating and healing with roses. Rosewater is the fragrant liquid left after steaming has extracted roses’ essential oils. Rose essential oil is most expensive – sometimes more costly by weight than gold. Thankfully, rosewater’s price is affordable even to ordinary budgets. Rosewater has been a resource in […]
Part III in a series of 4 about cooking and healing with roses. More on eating and edible roses can be found here and here (cooking with fresh roses). Dried roses preserve the sweet, seductive perfume of the fresh flower, and there are many ways to use them. Pick up a package at a Middle […]
Part II in a series of 4 about cooking and healing with roses. To cook with fresh roses, first make sure they haven’t been sprayed with pesticides. Then get up early, while the dew is still on the flowers and before they’ve released most of their perfume. Clip off as many as you need and […]
Part I in a series of 4 about eating and healing with roses. Roses have everything you desire in a flower: beauty, fragrance and the power to express, and to waken, love. Maybe it’s their mysterious beauty; a whorl of petals that enclose the unmistakable, heady scent. Body and spirit instinctively respond to rose’s soothing, […]
Let’s say you’re a student gearing up for end-of-semester tests. Or a professional going over the latest reports. Or you’re drafting a talk or a presentation. You have to cram these preparations into a busy schedule. How can you stay alert and get the most out of the time you spend researching, reading and taking notes? […]
Roasted wedges of kabocha pumpkin make a great, easy winter dinner.
Have you met the quince? You might have come across it in a market and passed it by. It’s yellow, but not yielding like an apple. It looks like a bumpy pear. Raw, it’s inedible. What do you do with it? The simple answer is: cook it. Quinces under heat become sweet and tender, with […]
What’s vegewarian, anyway? Answer: it’s selecting sustainable dishes based on non-meat foods at least once weekly. Halloumi is said to have originated long ago in Cyprus. Cheesemakers spread the Halloumi technique abroad of compacting milk fresh curds and curing them in brine, and now many Middle Eastern countries produce the cheese. It may be made […]
Sderot’s dusty streets and woeful aspect come naturally after enduring years of rocket attacks from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. In this Western Negev town in Israel, all bus stops are small bomb shelters. A traffic roundabout represents the town center, with a pizzeria, a stationary store, and some tired-looking clothing shops around it. The young, […]
Don’t have a garden? You can still own a fruiting olive tree, grown in a container. A sunny balcony and the right climate are the essential things; that, and time. Italians have grown fruit trees in containers for centuries, keeping them protected in special sheds during the winter. Come spring, the trees are wheeled out […]
A liquid formula that goes down easy and provides you enough nutrients for the day. Would you ever start eating soylent?
I stood in a golden wheat field some five miles north of Acre in Israel. Paul Nirens of the Galileat organization had arranged a demonstration with a local farmer, to show us how the Druze traditionally roast green wheat for freekeh. To reach the field, we’d driven over a ditch of teeth-rattling bumpiness, part of the […]
Those jars and honey bears full of golden liquid are mostly not honey at all. It’s just syrup that tastes something like the real thing.
In the Galilee’s Arab, Jewish, and Druze communities, life has a rural rhythm, slower than in big towns. You can tell that people like to stop and sniff the roses, as each garden displays roses and other lovingly tended fragrant bushes. And the old foodways are still alive in the Galilee, preserved by middle-aged housewives.
It looks like aliens took over the broccoli patch, doesn’t it? Romanesco broccoli is a unique vegetable that looks like a cauliflower gone crazy but has an intense broccoli flavor. It was first grown in Italy and is now available in more European countries, the US, and in Israel.
For Israelis, butter has mysteriously disappeared from being an open market product. We gather it’s a mix of climate change and the fact that a Chinese multinational bought out its national dairy. But leave it to use to keep the western east prosperous and happy. Hey, don’t mess with our butter. But if you have […]
Ah…a cold glass of orange juice, first thing in the morning. Gives you energy, vitamin C and zest to start the day. Right? Is that glass of juice really good for you?
The Jewish holiday of Purim 2018 begins this coming Wednesday night, the 28th of February, and continues through Thursday the 29th. In Jerusalem and other ancient walled cities, the holiday is called Shushan Purim and occurs on Thursday night, the 1st of March, through Friday.
Nomads of the Caucasus Mountains attribute their long, vigorous lives to a natural diet, plenty of outdoor exercise – and kefir. Kefir is fermented milk, something like yogurt. Its taste ranges from mildly sour to cheeselike, depending on how long the milk ferments. It has lots of probiotics and proven anti-bacterial power.
There are usually no great surprises at the major wine festivals, which are held in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. You tend to bump into the same winemakers over and over again. Some stands represent not wineries, but fruit-based liqueurs, or beer. At the Wine Jerusalem festival held last week, I was surprised to find a new twist […]