In September of 2017, Orb Media, a non-profit digital newsroom based in Washington, released the results of the first scientific study on the presence of microplastics in tap water. The study tested water flowing from taps in 14 countries around the world. From New York to Uganda, microplastics were present in 83% of the samples. […]
It’s springtime in the Middle East. Afternoons are warm, but chilly evenings still make oven-roasted vegetables an enjoyable option for dinner. Butternut, and other hard-skinned squashes, are in season, and will be for at least another month. Here’s April’s seasonal produce, all detailed out for you. I picked up a medium-sized butternut squash to make […]
Close to 60% of Israel’s land mass lies under desert. Lots of sand. And lots of sun. Resolving to view how Israel exploits that solar abundance, I traveled through the Negev on a late-winter day in March with Ofer Tsimmering, head of the demographics department of the Ramat HaNegev Regional Council. I watched the highway […]
This week is when the weather finally turns warm in Israel, inviting families on Passover vacation to fire up their grills outdoors. You can hardly walk through a public park without skirting families unpacking picnics, fanning charcoals, and chasing runaway toddlers. And chicken wings are a favorite on these picnics, being easy to cook and […]
It’s full garlic season in the Middle East. Markets display piles of the pungent bulbs, with the green stalks for you to hang up and dry, or with the greens chopped off for your convenience. I confess, I’m crazy about about garlic. Every spring, I buy 30 kg. to see me through the year. Local […]
Being vegewarian, I keep meat for holidays and special occasions. Because that’s what vegewarian means – eating mostly sustainable and local vegetarian foods, with meat dishes only once in a while. Here’s one of our typical vegewarian non-meat recipes. With Passover on the way, I’m thinking what sumptuous meat dish to cook. The problem with […]
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.