For the Love of Hummus

Delicious, delicious hummus.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Nahariyah: City for Fun, Lovers

We just spent some beautiful, unbelievably hot few days up north. This vaca had everything: mystery, hummus, intrigue, sand, sweat, Dora the Explorer. We stayed at Dafna's aunt's and uncle's lovely home in Nahariyah, right on the beach. We visited a Christian Arab village nearby called Ma'alot. According to the guide book, this village is the pork capital of Israel. They have pig farms and restaurants that sell pork. Right on! Gilad Shalit's yishuv, Mitzpeh Hila, is right by this village. It's a beautiful yishuv with amazing views of the green north and Lebanon. The hike culminated in a visit to an 11th century Crusaders fort. We had lots of questions about how it's still standing, how it ever stood and how they designed such an ingenious plumbing system.

We ate fantastic hummus ful (bean) at Nahariyah's finest hummus restaurant, Hummusia shel Dani. Spongy, hot pita, fresh ful, light hummus. The olive oil made the dish though. It actually tasted like olive. I don't know what kind of olive oil I've been eating up until now, but it's terrible by comparison.

Dafna has spent a lot of time in Nahariyah, of course, because she's a devoted niece and cousin. Rachel has only been once, last Pesach, and never got to go to Rosh HaNikra, so Dafna made sure they went this time around. Rosh HaNikra's slogan is "a love affair between sea and mountain." The area is famous for these grottos. As far as I understand it, water hits these mountains and shapes the rock and creates crevices. So we walked through them. The only way to get to the grottos is via cable car (first, an hour-long line in the blazing heat surrounded by babies). It was all worth it though.

Cable car

The grottos

Important to mention...watching TV is an effective way not only to be entertained but to learn Hebrew. We watched a lot of madhim (amazing) TV this weekend.

So that you don't think we're idiotic Americans totally unaware of what's going on around us, please know that we have formed some pretty frightening opinions of Jerusalem, the most unnatural, forced, uncomfortably historical/religious place in this country. We'll write more about this.

In a matter of hours, the settlement freeze is going to end. Isn't that exciting? Netanyahu is absolutely going to extend it. It's just annoying that he's building the tension so much.

We wrote some limericks on the train last night. In case you ever need a greeting card to break up with an Israeli. "PT" is Petach Tikvah's nickname.

There once was a loser from PT
whose face I never again wish to see
Stop sending me messages
There are no last vestiges
of this relationship between you and me

There once was a dork from Jerusalem
whose bedside manner was gruesome
Your calls are too frequent
Your appearance delinquent
Leave me alone or I'll call Gavin Newsom

There once was a freak from Arad
whose mouth was agape like a cod
You just can't stop drooling
There's no one you're fooling
We know that you're actually scrod

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Shake shake shake. shake shake shake. shake your lulav.

Rather than revisiting every awesome thing we've done (like going to the Jerusalem Beer Festival, visiting the Israel Museum, or walking in the middle of the streets during Yom Kippur--the coolest thing ever) I think I'll give a preview of what's to come/is already happening:

It's Succot, festival of sitting, eating and overheating in booths. Rachel is on a hafsaka (break) from school since finishing ulpan (kol hakavod!) and Dafna is welcoming the opportunity to flee from Jerusalem for a few days. We're heading to TA today and Nahariyah tonight--city for fun lovers--northern hiking on Friday and Rosh HaNikrah on Saturday.

It's extremely hot. It's giving me fever. POP. Um, what else? We've become culinary experts in one particular field - paerve, oily desserts. Chiefly, APPLE CAKE. Not just any old apple cake. Smitten Kitchen's apple cake. This cake is like crack, but better because it's much cheaper and no less addictive. And because we won't get stopped at the border for having it in our possession. It is just so, so so delicious. We're told it's the greatest dessert since a Hershey's bar... (?). (We're trying to think of a dessert that is both famous and not really that awesome but we're having a hard time.)

Rachel is making so many Israeli friends--do ulpan teachers count? Dafna is eagerly awaiting the arrival of a little baby girl. She's going back to CT in Oct in order to welcome her.

Anyway, that's all from Uziya 15. To the sheirut!

Outside of the Louvre

The Louvre