Monday, July 11, 2005

My shitty little country, part 2

On a lighter note than recent postings, allow me to bring to you the second part of the story of my trip to Israel. The week's events and some of the reaction (blame Mossad etc) continue to convince me that Israel is where Jews belong, and we are just on loan to the rest of the world. So to continue the story of my visit to "that shitty little country Israel", complete with photos (now I worked out how to insert images)...

Drowning in lemonana

On my first visit to Supersal, I bought a sack of mint and half a dozen big fat lemons for about a quid and decided to reproduce the lovely lemonana I had enjoyed in Orli in Temple Fortune (or was it just Inbal the stunning redhead waitress who made everything seem so sweet that day?). How hard can it be? Shove some lemon juice, fresh mint and ice in a blender with a bit of sugar, and pulverize until smooth. Well actually, there seems to be more of an art to it than that. Luckily we are having the flat repainted before mum and dad's next trip. Thanks to Vic for the "assistance", especially in stirring the green sludge in the sieve, to Ora for the real recipe, and to Anat, Kobi, Udi and Orli (his girlfriend rather than the cafe) for volunteering to try it.

Wokking around the clock

I decided it was time to invite some people over and finish the leftovers, I mean enjoy a delicious spread. So I invited people for 8pm, knowing it was Israel so they would show at 8.30pm, I could start cooking at 9.30pm and serve at 10pm. Unfortunately I was second-guessed by my friends, who arrived at 9.30pm, helped me to cook at 11pm, and finished dessert shortly after midnight. On a weekday. Still, they seemed to enjoy it, and it was great to see Udi and Orli again after 2 years. And nobody noticed that it was all made from dregs of salad-box. I particularly recommend fruit salad made with Galia melon, pink grapefruit, green grape and white sultana. Looks colourful, tastes exotic, and uses up random fruit. Speaking of hilarious fruit hybrids...

Putt in my place

One Saturday, I went for a BBQ at Abi and Noach's. A large steak and several chicken wings later, we headed off to see Zvi, where I met up with Itai and two of his sons. We had a splendid afternoon on the golf course (crazy golf, that is), where I narrowly avoided defeat to the kids, but could do nothing about Itai's expert putting. If you want a game, click here. Then the kids found space for a hummus dinner in Herz Pit marina, AND demanded a McDonalds potato-based frozen sludgie on the way home. Also they patiently taught me all the parts of the face and body in Hebrew, and took great pleasure in my constant confusion of the words for knee, belly and peanut (berekh, beten and boten in case you care). Speaking of which, dad likes to insert the odd Hebrew word wherever he knows one, which leads to things being ordered as "shtayim of these please".

Jefrey's special pancakes

Vic and fellow gourmand Mr Webber (he of some fab NY and BsAs meals and the J'lem curry) accompanied me to the excellent China Lee restaurant, which is as they say in Mandarin "gratt kosha" - not a sweet and sour pork rib in sight. We ordered a massive amount of food, including the exceptional ald London-priced crispy duck pancakes. Imagine our surprise and joy when a nice Chinaman with a big name-badge proclaiming him as "Jefrey" arrived, set up a little stand, laid out a tray of crispy shredded duck, assorted crudités, hoi sin sauce and neatly folded pancakes, and proceeded to individually wrap our delicacies one by one with a pair of chopsticks. After the first one, we expected him to bow politely and depart, but instead he remained for the full 20 minutes while Mr Webber and I went through enough crispy duck for a horde of hungry Manchurians. Then he bowed and departed, taking his little stand and tray with him. Jefrey, we salute you.

And finally...

When Golda Meir held the office of Prime Minister, she tried to encourage Henry Kissinger to make Israel a top priority. He sent her a letter: "I would like to inform you that I'm first an American citizen, second Secretary of State and third a Jew." She replied: "In Israel we read from right to left."

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