It has been an age since I last posted on my blog. I have been AWOL! We have since been in China and Japan in January of 2010. But now I am in Tel Aviv, Israel for 2 weeks and then one week traveling to Haifa and Jerusalem. It is my first time in the Middle East. I am working the manuscript for my new cookbook on home style Japanese cuisine in our lovely apartment in the Neve Tzedek section of Tel Aviv, one of the oldest in the city. It is a very funky area with lots of wonderful bistros, cafes, an art and dance scene and the outdoor shopping area, The Hacarmel Market. During the day I write and at night my husband Dick and I go in search of a good meal. We are a 10 minute walk from the beach, where we spent our first night in Tel Aviv watching the final of the World Cup match on a large screen with hundreds of other fans. We dipped pita bread into Hummus Shakshuka – Chick Pea Dip with Egg in Tomato Sauce. It was the creamiest spread of hummus I ever had.
Iplayed hooky for an hour today and went to the Carmel Market. I was able to buy baby okra and tomatoes for a stew I made in our little kitchen. I got a freshly squeezed pomegranate juice and picked up the spices zaatar (sesame seeds and thyme) and the sour red spice sumac for gifts. They are sprinkled on top of the thick creamy yogurt cheese, labne. A drizzle of olive oil is spread over the spices and fresh pita bread is used for scooping up this savory dip. Besides food, there are hats, T-shirts in Hebrew and lots of religious collectibles.
Tonight we had a picnic dinner on the beach with the sun setting over the Mediterranean.
We walked on the path toward Jaffa. People were swimming in the ocean, there were bike riders and runners and Arab families enjoying grilling meats on the grassy areas of this wonderful park. The windows of one of Jaffa’s several churches began to reflect the pink glow in the dusky sky and the loud speaker on a mosque was calling the faithful to prayer.