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I Say Potayto, You Say Potahto

Some women have a thing for tall men.  Others have a thing for men with curly hair.  And then there are those women who go for muscles.  Visual stimuli, works for some, but not for me.  For me the attraction is aural.  

If you’re having trouble figuring that one out, or keeping your mind out of the sewer, look it up. 

Okay, back to my aural fixation…  I have a thing for English accents.  It’s an illness, really.  It all started in the 7th grade, when Miriam Greenblum beckoned me into her bedroom and said, “You have to listen to one of my sister’s records, it’s so cool!”  The record was The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour, and at that point my life changed forever.  I fell in love first with their music, then with them (predominantly George Harrison), and later on, when I saw their movies, with their accents.  I didn’t realize that they had working class Liverpudlian accents, I just loved listening to them talk.  I started watching any BBC production I could on public television.  Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Fawlty Towers, The Good Life, To The Manor Born, as long as they were speaking with that accent, I mopped it up.  

The First Husband was a Brit.  Still is, actually.  21 years of listening to him say ” ‘ello, luv,” well, let’s just say I didn’t divorce him because of his Cockney accent.  And then there’s Ju-boy, a/k/a The Last Husband.  Also a Brit.  He’s got a yummy accent, London with a touch of country.  Everything that comes out of his mouth sounds golden (to my fetished ears), even when he yells, “Oh Miriyummy, my sweet, my cherub, where the @#*! have you hidden my slippers?” 

But man plans, God laughs. While I ooohed and aaaahed over his accent, he did have this habit of correcting my pronunciation.  When I would ask him if he wanted some tomato in his salad, he would not answer yes or no, but would say tomahto.  He uses a tis-you.  He keeps to a she-jew-al.  It’s a tiny bit irritating, or, as he would say, it gets up my nose.  But still, I love to listen to him, even when he rolls his eyes when I’d ask him if he wanted a banana (he’d say no, he didn’t, he wanted a ba-naaaaah-na).  Finally, I confronted him.  “Do you want me to sound like Madonna after she moved to England?  Do you want me to tawk to you in my Bronx accent?  Yo!  Ju-boy!  Ya wanna tomahto?  Would you care for a spot of cawfee?”  He got the point.  And we continue to live happily ever after, for the moment. 

Oddly enough, in spite of the Gershwin lyrics, the Brits also say potayto.  Does it matter?  I’m getting hungry discussing this.  Which leads us to part of what’s for supper tonight, Golden Herbed Potato Wedges.  You can find the recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Israeli Kitchen.  Full of wonderful recipes, this blog is always a source of mealtime inspiration. 

Golden Herbed Potato Wedges -- before

Golden Herbed Potato Wedges -- after

Carbo heaven!

Once I was Anti, Now I’m Pro

Happy happy Independence Day!  Israel is 62 years old, the country snoozes off the celebrations of the night before, there’s a lingering smell of fireworks in the air, and I am digging around the kitchen for breakfast.  I love breakfast, it’s the most important meal of the day.  So important, in fact, that I could have breakfast for lunch and even dinner.  I should have been a hobbit, don’t they have a meal they call Second Breakfast?

Shovav, my dog, and I are rummaging around the house trying to find something tasty to eat.  Shovav gets his dogbreath chicken liver bits in a bowl, but I’m still looking.  I’m peckish, as my ex-husband used to say.  Not starving, just peckish.

And then I remember — Ju-boy is away in England for the week (and quite possibly longer thanks to the volcano whose name I dare you to pronounce).  While he’s gone I take advantage of the fact and buy certain foods that would never be allowed past his autocratic shopping dictates.  When Ju-boy is away I buy fruit just because it’s “pretty.”  I buy canned and processed goods that would otherwise never make it into the kitchen.  I buy real, dairy ice cream, and don’t share it with anyone!  This time, I was in Meatland, that glorious emporium that caters to a town full of Anglo immigrants who can’t live without their Dr Pepper, Walker’s crisps and biltong.  I was in there there other day looking for my Dr Pepper and Cadbury Crunchie fix when I spotted them, and I knew they had to be mine!

Yes, blueberries are an Israeli fruit.  We don’t really have the right climate to grow blueberries, but up north, in the Golan, you can find them in abundance.  Don’t expect to find them as easily as you would find the oranges, loquats, prickly pears and apricots, being sold on the side of the road.  These babies are meant for export, and off to Europe and even further they go.  I’ve bought Israeli blueberries in New York.  I’ve seen them in London.  And now I bought them in Ra’anana.  They were probably exported to Europe and then imported back into Israel.  At least, the price felt that way.

So blueberries in freezer and now in hand, I defrost them in a colander.  And then I start to play.  I take out a shallow bowl (blue and white, of course, it is Independence Day).  I ladle out a little yogurt, add some blueberries, more yogurt, more blueberries, isn’t that lovely!  A true blue and white breakfast. 

But wait, it needs just one more thing.  And not everything blue and white is actually colored blue or white.  I run (okay, amble) upstairs to my stepson’s windowbox farm.  Shyboy is growing all sorts of interesting things there from “found” objects.  He’s got a tomato plant climbing the walls just from some seeds he found in his salad.  One day he dug a bag of nana (mint) out of the fridge and it had been kept fresh in there for so long it had started to sprout roots.  So he planted it and now we have fresh nana.  I add a nana leaf to the top of my breakfast.  Ju-boy would be so proud, he thinks presentation is very important.

I have started buying pro-biotic yogurt.  Back when I was a little girl in the Bronx I remember my mom shtupping me full of anti-biotics.  And now we eschew those for pro-biotics.    I Googled why pro-biotics are so good for you, but maybe if the explanation had been written in iambic pentameter I would have better absorbed the explantion.  My friend Helene tells me it makes her feel better, lighter, less (or hardly even) bloated, and that’s a good enough explanation for me.  I now buy pro-biotic yogurt. 

Independence Day Breakfast for Two

2 cups of blueberries, fresh if you can get them, if not, frozen and thawed

2 (200 ml) containers of pro-biotic yogurt

1 sprig of nana (mint)

  • Defrost and thaw the blueberries if you don’t have fresh ones.  I did mine in a colander under some lightly running water.  Lightly, lightly, you don’t want Niagara Falls crushing them.
  • Use a blue and white dish, it’s Independence Day!
  • Start with a layer of yogurt, then alternate as many layers as you like, ending with a dollop of yogurt.
  • Top with a sprig of mint, it’s pretty, and you might want to take a picture for posterity.
  • Serves 2.

Man plans, God laughs — this is meant to serve two people.  Last night, sometime close to 11 PM, my daughter Didi and 30 of her best friends climbed into a taxi (think clowns in a Volkwagen) to go off and celebrate in dark and scary south Tel Aviv.  She got home safely and I assume will be asleep for most of the day, so instead of this being a breakfast for two, it was a large and leisurely breakfast for one.  Patriotic and healthy, I don’t feel any guilt whatsoever……

Just a question — if the yogurt is pro-biotic and the blueberries are full of anti-oxidents, have I just canceled everything out?  😉

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