Tel Aviv Diary - September 11-15, 2010 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

September 11, 2010

In case you haven't eaten enough this holiday, and/or want to avoid the traditional foods of the Moslem feast tonight, here's a recipe for bread kugel. Now bread kugel has always been a traditional jewish-austrian dish, but before it became sweet, I'm told, it was meant to be nutritious. So we designed a kind of pre-fast dish that will work as well as Egyptian ful in stuffing you up before the long abstention.

Take what's left of an old challah after the kiddush (usually 3/4) and soak it in about 2 cups of milk until it absorbs it all. Fry up some onions and mushrooms. Beat 4 eggs, add sour cream, grated kashkeval. Add 3 tbsp of self-rising flour, salt, pepper, mix, bake in greased long pyrex for about an hour.

Egyptian ful is also good. But we were extra careful with the big fava beans. After soaking for a day and a half, we froze the beans for a few weeks, then cooked them for 6 hours with tomatoes,olive oil, chopped parsley, onion, garlic and lemon juice. It's called ful medames and sinks quickly and then seems to form a cement-like ball in your stomach that you feel all day.

As for September 11, we've learned nothing. We're still too busy with our petty quarrels to figure out who and what is against us and what has to be done.

One organization I'd consider is The New Guardians.

September 12, 2010

this link is in Hebrew - asking for signatures on a petition against using chickens for Kaparot ceremonies. Kaparot is an integral part of pre-Yom Kippur cleansing, in which human sins are transferred to an object, which is then destroyed. Since I find gratuitous killing sinful in itself, I signed the petition. Kaparot

We've given up on daylight savings. Six o'clock in the evening and it was already dark. Darkness in the middle of summer. Despite the antagonism of numerous citizens who just cannot bear losing one hour a day, the extremists have won. Maybe it won't be as bad for the economy as we thought, but I'll bet there will be fewer people obeying the laws this Yom Kippur. There is simply less and less respect for religion, despite the fact that one should distinguish between religion and theocricy. It's hard to be objective when one is being told how to live one's life.

September 13, 2010

I got caught up with "Hanevelot," "Dead Flesh," the tv series of Yoram Kanuik's wonderful book about these old guys in Tel Aviv who were in the Edsel before '48. For months my son-in-law has been urging me to watch, but I didn't get to it, and now I'm sorry it took so long. We watched some of the series in one afternoon and evening. I can't wait for the morning. Some of it is on youtube

September 14, 2010

InvitationWe're doing an exhibit of the Galapagos Island photos and poems in the library next month. Put it in your calendar. Get ready.

I've been spending a lot of time with doctors lately, even more than usual, and today was my turn to visit a new guy in Tel Aviv. I haven't been to a health-clinic doctor in Tel Aviv in ages - they have tiny waiting rooms crowded with elderly people, and they are usually pretty morose and jaded. So for years I've been frequently the younger South Africans in the suburbs, the ones with secretaries and equipment and good lighting.

Times have changed. This morning I walked into a crowded waiting room, into a room of staring patients and almost walked out. Instead I asked the receptionist how long it would be, and she suggested I return in half an hour. This gave me time to poke around a bit in the old shops of Ibn Gvirol, to reaquaint myself with the way I used to shop twenty years ago. I bought some pajamas, a powder puff, stuff like that. Where I live everything would have been in the drugstore and would cost three times as much, so I enjoyed the interesting people and stores.

But I came back to the doctors expecting to read at least one article in a three year old magazine. Miraculously the door opened to the full waiting room and the doctor came out with the old lady with a walker. "Don't forget Rivkele," he said, "you have to take this medicine first and then this one." "With water?" "Anything liquid." "Hot water?" "If you have to." "Juice?" "Don't be a nudnik, Rivkele. Feel good and enjoy the beautiful day." With a big smile, she took her daughter's arm and walked out. Now the doctors here are great, all in all (except for the surgeon that missed my friend's breast cancer) but their bedside manner is generally a bit abrasive. So this guy's perfect mixture of intimacy and humor seemed perfect to me. And it was my turn. And I had a perfectly wonderful visit with him, even though it means I've got to do more tests and probably more, because he ended our meeting with "Thank you for giving me the opportunity of seeing inside your ears."

September 15, 2010

So the price for talking peace is phosphorus bombs? All right.

To Karen Alkalay-Gut Diary

To Karen Alkalay-Gut home