Winter Lights and Hanukah in Israel

Now the sun is out after it snowed here in Jerusalem but this time I took a raincheck, just thought you might like a pic of me and my Snowman from many years ago. Every year it snows for a few days in Jerusalem normally it happens in January or February and on a lucky […]

JEWISH FOOD AND JEWISH RAMBLINGS

They are very friendly, hospitable and great family. Mikki‘s home full of life, fun and arrangements. You can learn a lot from her. Mikki is very interesting, nice, smart, extremely positive person. Hope your childner will use CS to know the world, countries, cultures. Good luck and see you in Lithuania.

Baked Potatoes passed over to Baked Marshmellows

I love potatoes especially when they are baked. Of course every baked potato depends on the amount of time you bake it and if its been oiled properly.  My favourite used to be Scandanavian Baked Potatoes but recently I enjoyed eating potatoes baked directly from a Bonfire.  Of course its never enough charred potatoes with a bit of salt makes me yearn for another Bonfire night.

Memories drift me back to bonfire night and firecrackers on the Queens Bday holiday in Australia. As a teenager a number of the locals would gather around the local bonfire catch up and watch the stars in the middle of the night until morning break. Just before dawn we would look beyond our already dead bonfire reminiscing of the nights fireworks display and then wondering on the cliff face I would stroll to a place I called home many years ago.

The other night after feasting on Baked potatoes and eating some cooked corn cobs with a bunch of parents I stood by watching one of my daughters showing off her young brother to her classmates. Luckily I proudly walked off knowing the 2 yr old boy would be taken care of with 30 minutes to myself  I sat by listening to the DJ playing popular tunes seeing all the school enjoy the bonfire and awaited the guitars.

Memories of Lag Baomer as a child in Israel where we sit around the bonfire chatting with the other children playing games and singing songs left me with a yearning to for my childhood. But alas this time the twins classes sat seperately far away from each other the parents acknowledging each other from a distance if at all I felt like a stranger.

Until the fireworks came on I was reminded of my childhood in Sydney where memories are held dear. My husband tried to associate with fellow parents helping out but also I felt the distance. One day maybe I’ll return to celebrate with the rest of Sydney a New Years eve for my children to see the difference when Millions of Aussies join in mateship sharing the traditional midnight kiss.

Now I have to be content with the sticklights as I place a broken guitar on the bonfire to follow my dreams as I look up at the night stars and munch on skewered toasted marshmellows.

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Recipes: Rocky Road Marshmellows, Scandanavian Baked Potatoes,

SCANDANAVIAN BAKED POTATOES

Make sure you have a nicely sized potato the size of your palm or larger cover it with oil and drizzle rosmary or another spice over the potato.Cover it in Aluminium foil and baking it on 200C for over 45 minutes should make the crust pretty crispy depending on the crunchiness decide if you want it to bake longer before serving with Sourcream,Chives, Corn or your favourite topping . Serve it with a great salad or grill your favourite BBQ and enjoy.

ROCKY ROAD MARSHMELLOWS

200 Grams Petit Berre Biscuits crushed          150 Grams Butter
1/4 Cup Peanuts,                                                    1/3 Cup Shredded Coconut
250 Grams Marshmellows                                  500 Gram melted Milk chocolate.

Layer the crumbled biscuits with butter and place in the refrigerator for an hour.
Mix the peanuts, marshmellows and coconut together  then pour the melted chocolate over the mix.

Once the biscuit layer is firmly in place place the marshmellow mix on top with the chocolate and refrigerate then you can slice it in big pieces but I personally love this  hand-wripped so the pieces are different sizes and shapes.
Reminds me of an Australian treat…

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Watch out for the upcoming posts of cheese cake recipes for Shavout or check out my post on Passover recipes.

Paella and Passover

Spring it is and the Sun is shining as Passover ends I recollect the events that led to me having a culinary experience with a new friend.

On the 4th day of Passover I’m contemplating how to make this Passover different from other Passovers and I discover someone seeking a host for 2 days.  Feeling generous I decide to invite a Spanish guy over to spend Friday night dinner with my family.  Although I had thought my first stranger on the list should be a young lady whom enjoys children, no one had answered the request and Manuel was embarking on his first trip to the holyland.

I had been out all day forgotten about the request and didn’t expect him to accept the offer even though I returned home unexpectedly late due to heavy traffic with children in tow.  Suddenly before crawling into bed exhausted I check my emails and find the Spainard had arrived to Tel Aviv and wondered how to locate me.

By this time it was 9pm and I was exhausted and felt bad that I hadn’t let him down.  This is the impression a first time traveller should get on arrival to Israel, ready to make amends I decided to quickly message him that the offer to come for Friday night dinner is still open and he can stay overnight to get back to me the following day.

Meanwhile we had plans to see the Bible Lands Museum and its wonderful exhibitions of  Egyptian Mummies and Gold Coins and Jewellery that adorned Cleopatra….

After reminiscing of a time I spent in the Valley of the Queens & Kings(Egypt) and telling my children the story of me seeing Hyroglyphics and Mummies in the British Museum after riding Camels on a 3 dayJourney in the Eilat desert we returned home and discovered that Manuel wanted to meet a typical Israeli family.  Being Passover I forgot to mention this Friday night meal would be different to all other Fridays as we eat Matzah instead of bread and keep Jewish traditions that maybe he is unaccustomed to.  So happy that we were having a guest and spontaneously weary last minute I find myself driving the highway to Azrieli Tel Aviv to meet this stranger with my 2 yr old son in tow.

He was waiting as it took me a while to deep fry some of the food and my children were not in a hurry to help in the kitchen, we conversed on the way when I realised I hadn’t told him we eat only Vegetarian meals on Passover because I do the cooking. Unbeknown to me I was later to discover that it is a Spanish tradition on Fridays to eat Vegetarian fare every week. So I finally understood that the Sephardi tradition of such food on Friday nights has its roots back to the Spanish Inquisition wether the traditions date back 7 generations(as in my husbands family),or the  Sephardim of today come from North Africa or Israel  I have been keeping in step with ancient Spanish traditions.

Manuel was to discover with us the difficulties of being Jewish and shown traditions unfamilar to him.  I didn’t make Matzah Brei (an Ashkenazi favourite) but instead put on Onion Soup with Kneidelach, Deep Fried Matzah Balls, a Cabbage and Corn Salad, Matzah Pizza, Leek Burgers, Beetroot and Prune Salad,Green beans  with Tomato Sauce,and a delicious Matzah Chocolate Cake.

That was just part of our Friday night meal which he devoured happily even though it didn’t include my Passover Seder dishes.

After chatting about his many travels and experiences he has in the Spanish Navy we shared stories of his holidays visiting his parents in Canberra Australia and of my travels Down Under.

The following morning we ventured out early to show him the original ruins of ancient Modiin with my 2 year old son. Showing him the Hubeiza and the Mustard flowers that are used in traditional Druze/Arab cooking I was half tempted to pick enough to make a dish or two out of them.  But after cooking all week with another 3 days of continuous labouring in the kitchen I decided to stick to my traditional Passover dishes.

So having eaten Deep fried Barbunia, My special Yemenite Haroset,Vegetable Soup with my home made Egg noodles, Cauliflower Tempura, Spinach and Cheese Bake and a Trifle that sent my children asking for more (probably cause it was laced with Rum), I’m definately in line for a good rest.

So Manuel discovered what a typical vegetarian Jewish family eat for Passover, missed the Dinosaur Park and went off with his newly bought suitcase from Modiins Azrieli Center as we bid him farewell and wished him happy travels throughout Israel before he returns to Cadiz and is off again to visit his parents whom are stationed in Australia.

My Paella Recipes and Passover Recipes will be posted on ozitwins4t.wordpress.com shortly.

Fancy Dress Purim Style Recipes

Purim is one of the most entertaining Jewish holidays.
When else can you dress up like a penguin or Angry Bird, Barbie Doll, Queen, Baby,Minnie Mouse or even as a soldier and eat chocolate and other sweet goodies for several days without feeling too much guilt?
Kiss an Angry Bird

Kiss an Angry Bird

On Purim Jews are also required to send gifts of food and drink, referred to as the ‘sending out portions’ or in Hebrew, Mishloach Manot. A common treat to be included in these food baskets are ‘Haman’s pockets’, sometimes called Hamantashen or Oznei Haman. These triangular fruit-filled cookies supposedly represent either Haman’s three-cornered hat or his ears!  Below you can find the recipe and choose your own fillings.

PURIM-ACQUARIUS

The  festival pays tribute to the time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination by the courage of a young Jewish woman called Esther. The story of Purim is told in the Book of Esther, known as the Megillah, which means ‘scroll’. Esther was a Jewish girl who became Queen to King Xerxes of Persia 2000 years ago, and through her bravery was able to thwart an attempt to slaughter all the Jews living in Persia. Purim commemorates Esther’s courage in saving the Jewish people and the reading of the Megillahis usually an entertaining and rowdy occasion when everyone in the synagogue boos and hisses whenever the name of Haman, the favourite nobleman of King Xerxes and the villain of the Purim story, is mentioned during the service. On Purim Jews are also commanded to send gifts of food and drink, referred to as the ‘sending out portions’ or in Hebrew, Mishloach Manot. A common treat to be included in these food baskets are ‘Haman’s pockets’, sometimes called Hamantashen or Oznei Haman. These triangular fruit-filled cookies supposedly represent either Haman’s three-cornered hat or his ears! My own Purim gifts include some Poppy seed and chocolate filled pockets, as well as a recipe for a visit to the dentist of sweet delights coated with sugar and little surprise gifts.

This is a great dough recipe never fails and is simple..

Home made Purim Pockets  with your choice fillings 

Ingredients 
1/2 Cup Margarine/50gr melted butter  +
1 Cup sugar

1 egg, 1 Tspn milk + 1 Tsp Vanilla Essence

2 Cups Flour , 2 Tspns Baking powder , 1/2 Tsp salt

After combining the Sugar and margarine ,beat it together with the egg, milk and vanilla mix.
Then add in the lfour mix.
When all mixtures are combined and crumb like roll into a ball  place in refrigerator for 20mins then roll it with a rolling pin..
Bake for just over 10 mins  at about 170 0r 180 Degrees Celcius
after filling with poppyseed mix, halva, nut mix or whatever..

I like making my Hamantaschen  small size of a coin so it doesn’t need more than a pinch of filling  and they always come out delicious .

If you are interested I may have a recipe for Poppy seed cookies or a cake with pears and poppy seed that I also tried out over the years for Purim..

It is also customary to hold carnival-like celebrations on Purim and yesterday our city held their own parade otherwise known as the Adloyeda.  The sun duly came out after the parade had been postponed last week because of heavy rain. My eldest son was walking in the parade with his youth groupOn Purim we are required to hear the reading of the Book of Esther. The book of Esther is commonly known as the Megillah, which meansscroll. It is customary to boo, hiss, stamp feet and rattle groggers(noisemakers) whenever the name of Haman, the villain of the Purim story, is mentioned in the Megillah reading. The purpose of this custom is to “blot out the name of Haman.”

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