Category Archives: Israel
Think of it as a kind of support group. Hello, my name is Miriyummy and I am a food blogger.
My heart just aches for Aviva Shalit. Her son, Gilad, was kidnapped by Hamas five years ago yesterday in a cross-border raid. For the last five years Aviva has gone to bed every night wondering about the safety of her son. She’s gone to bed, but I doubt she sleeps.
Today is Israel’s Memorial Day for those that gave their lives for our country. Today we remember our 22,867 fallen men and women, 183 of whom were lost over the past year.
Okay, the house is clean, you are exhausted, the table is set, the guests are hungry, what are you going to serve?
I may have mentioned once or twice, or twenty times, that Ju-Boy and I are the parental units of a blended family. Sometimes we can be one big happy Brady Bunch, and at other times we resemble the Manson family. With a large cast of characters, we all have our ways of dealing with the situation. Ju-Boy and I prefer to deal with our reality by running away from it. Every now and again we will find someone to watch the dog and just disappear…
I’ve pretty much always agreed with Katie, but I never thought I would disagree with John Lennon.
Check out What Katie Did, and then take her advice!
You so need to read Ruti Mizrachi’s blog post. Please follow the link and vote.
The World Wide Web is a very interesting place. You dip your tootsies into the deep waters of the Internet and you never know who is going to take a nibble. You end up finding all sorts of people from your past.
I’ve reconnected with half of my sixth grade class. I found the guy I had a crush on when I was 11. I’m chatting with my long lost best friend from the playground. People you think are always going to be part of your Once Upon A Time can become part of your Here And Now, and quite possibly part of your Happily Ever After. For example, there was this guy I used to trade jokes with over the ether back in the 90s. In 2005 we traded wedding rings. Okay, so that one was a bit over the top. Life isn’t always going to be so trippy.
Sometimes you meet people over the net that you’ve never met in person. I’d been reading Mrs. S.’s blog for a while, living through her personal angst as she renovated her house, then just taking a voyeristic peep into her family life, and finally learning a new language, Hebrish. I’d comment here, comment there, but no connection was really forged until a certain Icelandic volcano forced Miriyummy to be born, and then the connection became two-way. And then one day, Mrs. S. actually emailed me!
It seems we had another connection, one hanging by a thread, but a connection nonetheless. It so happens that Mrs. S.’s mom and Ju-Boy used to work together once upon a time in the last century. Mrs. S. never actually had the pleasure of meeting Ju-Boy in the flesh, but her family tells a story about him, and I quote (with permission, of course):
Sixteen years ago, before my sister’s wedding, my mother told her coworkers that the wedding was going to be starting on time and that they should plan accordingly.
[Ju-Boy] didn’t believe her. He joked that EVERYONE claims that “we’re starting on time” but that no Israeli wedding ever does. However, my mother insisted that this wedding would be different, and so they bet on it. They determined what “on time” means and decided that the loser would have to give the winner a chocolate bar.
Anyway, as anyone who knows my parents could have guessed, but to the shock of those (like [Ju-Boy]) who had never attended one of our family’s smachot, the wedding was — of course — very much on time.
My mother didn’t come into work for the first few days after the wedding, but when she finally returned, she found a whole chain of mini chocolate bars covering her desk… 🙂
Okay, maybe life really is that trippy…
And in one of the most awkward segues in the history of this blog, that leads us to the recipe for this week — Chocolate Chicken. Okay, let’s not all throw up at once. It really isn’t Chocolate Chicken, but the recipe does have chocolate in it. Mole (pronounce molay) sauce is common in Mexico and usually served over a variety of different foods. I like to serve it over chicken. The original Mexican recipe can have over 20 different ingredients and may or may not contain chocolate. I like to add the chocolate since it gives the sauce a rich body, serves as a good talking point and supplies excellent shock value to your guests.
- 8 chicken pieces (we use the thigh quarters, known in Israel as the meshulash, or the triangle)
- salt, pepper and paprika to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, for browning
- 1 more tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped medium fine
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 1 large can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (now empty can) filled with water
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon chili powder (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 50 grams (2 ounces) dark, bittersweet chocolate
- Rub the chicken pieces with the salt, pepper and paprika. Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven or a large, heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the chicken pieces top-side down and brown. After about 5 minutes, turn and cook the bottom sides for another 2 minutes or so. Remove to a baking dish. You may have to brown the chicken in two batches, but make sure you have enough space in your baking dish that the pieces are all on one level.
- Add the one tablespoon of olive oil to the pan in which you browned the chicken, and bring up to heat again. Toss in the chopped onions and let caramelize until golden.
- Toss in the minced garlic and stir for a moment.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, and then take the empty can, fill it with water and add that to the pot. Stir and bring to a boil.
- Add the paprika, chili powder, cumin and coriander. Stir.
- Taste, and then add the salt and pepper.
- Bring the heat down until the sauce starts to bubble, and then let it bubble until reduced by one-half. This could take anywhere between 15 minutes to half an hour.
- Add the chocolate and stir until melted.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 F).
- Pour the sauce over the chicken, cover and bake for 1/2 an hour.
- Serve with rice, tortillas, quinoa, anything you like, but serve with panache!
The blogosphere is full of contests. I’ve even held one or two here on Miriyummy. One of my favorite bloggers and longtime reads, A Mother in Israel, posted a contest where you could win a tallit. Now, granted, I don’t actually use one myself, but I was tempted. The company offering the prize, Galilee Silks, had some gorgeous tallitot for women.
It was a simple contest, really, just either blog about the contest on your own blog, or tweet about it. I did both. It seems I was the only entrant to do so (blog AND tweet), and guess what? I won!
In spite of the fact that there were some really cool blue and pink and red tallitot for women on offer, I gave my prize to Ju-Boy. The man can be pretty outrageous at times, but his taste in tallitot is really
boring sedate. It seems my man does not want to be a peacock in shul.
The prize arrived just in time for Chanuka. I’ve wanted to get a picture of him wearing the tallit for a while, but he’s made this his Shabbat tallit, and the camera doesn’t come out on Shabbat in the Miriyummy household. This past Saturday night he took it out to give it to Optimus Prime, who’s going to be adding the tekhelet, so I got my supermodel husband to don the tallit for everyone to see.
Galilee Silks has some seriously gorgeous tallitot and other prayer accessories for sale. They seem to cater to the international market (prices are quoted in dollars), but it’s worth stopping by just to look and admire their work.
I have just lit the yahrzeit candle for my father. Tonight and tomorrow is his yahrzeit, 8 years since he passed away, according to the Jewish calendar. He had had problems with his heart his whole life. First it was broken in the Holocaust. His family was wiped away, most of them taken off to Auschwitz. In the late 40s he patched it together and found, loved and married my mother. In the 60s my parents adopted first me, and then my brother, and each time my father’s heart grew stronger, strengthened by family, the one thing that made life worth living for him.
It was in the late Seventies that he had his first heart attack. Another two followed in the 80s, and an “incident” in the 90s. In 2002 he had a quadruple bypass. He survived the surgery, but complications set in, hindered his recuperation, and he died six weeks later.
My father always said that he felt he was given a second chance at life. He loved life, and taught me and my brother that it was precious and not to be wasted. He so desperately wanted to live in Israel, but my mother had had enough wandering and he settled down with her in New York, and lived vicariously through me and my life in Israel. He once told me that it made him so happy that my children were the first members of our family in two thousand years to be born in the Jewish homeland.
So because my father loved life, revered it, I have chosen to celebrate his life on his yahrzeit, not to mourn him. Every year I cook up a big Hungarian feast, making all the foods he loved, and we invite friends and sit down at the table and raise a glass to a life almost extinguished, but brought back into the light.
Last year my father’s yahrzeit fell on the day that I was traveling to the States to clean out my mother’s apartment after she died. I didn’t have the time, and being deep in mourning for my mother, the inclination to put on a festive meal. So I went to a Hungarian bakery and bought some cakes and we celebrated the sweetness in life with the sweetness of Hungarian pastry. This year, this week, on this day my life, both vocational and personal, has taken a turn for the busy. Very busy. So on my way home from work I stopped off at that bakery once more and brought home some kyortosh, which isn’t really a Hungarian pastry, but is making a splash here in Israel as one. My father, who enjoyed a sweet nosh just as much as a savory bowl of my mother’s gulyas, would have enjoyed a bit with a hot cup of coffee, I know it.
Something else my father used to enjoy was singing songs in Hebrew, any song. Badly. My father so could not sing, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying him serenading me with a little Numi Numi each night as he put me to bed. And later on, after we had traveled to Israel for my brother’s Bar Mitzvah, the song Rak B’Yisrael got stuck in his head and we all had to listen to him singing that as he sat reading the paper. And davka today my attention was brought to something that my father would have loved. I have a collection of photos on Facebook, and album called Only in Israel, filled with pictures that are unique to our sometimes odd but always wonderful and country. My friend Judi sent me an email to congratulate me, my Facebook album has been set to music and has been turned into a YouTube video. Here’s the link. My father would have loved it!