israel, part two

tel aviv

if the farm was just one of those things like a couch that could be strapped to a u-haul and moved to another place and if with some crazy effed up futuristic wizardry, the spot where i'm sitting right now just vanished and minnesota went missing and we were forced to relocate where would we go?? what would we do? could i bring my little town and all of its cozy winters?

would we go to montana? maybe!

asheville? when we retire.

tel aviv?????? right now??? yes.

that place is the tits! i have never felt more at home in a place that was so far from my home. sure, the food is great, the sun is always shining, there's a party every night, etc., etc., but what really made this place more than just a hummus-y beach vibe backed by the sweet sounds of matkot and hydration via shoko b'sakit was the people. everybody that i met was so welcoming and nice. not just nice in a pleased-to-meet-you/that's-a-pretty-shirt way, but nice in a real honest warm way, like how they all make sure you have somewhere to go for friday night dinner, how they open up their home if you feel like inviting instagram over, and how if you mention that you'd like to sharpen your pita skills, they're there with flour and an oven. 

if i was tel aviv's mum i'd be kvelling. 

i had countless wonderful experiences in my short time there, from making tahini cake and pretzel challah for al hashulchan, to feasting on three courses of the best shrimp i ever ate with naama and lamato l'chaim-ing with so many amazing friends, old and new...

one of these days i'm gonna get on the mic and ask if any of you in tel aviv would like to swap houses for a winter. so get ready, go buy a coat.



here are some things i would like you to know about tel aviv if you're planning to go there:

going on a tour with delicious israel is a requirement if you care about food. inbal, the owner, knows everything about everything and will not take no for an answer if, for example, the special secret spice man at the levinsky market has closed up shop for the day but you're about to board a plane and need an emergency stash of ras el hanout. 

catit is where josh, jeff, and i lost our shit over what was easily one of the top three meals of our lives. it was fancy and beautifully plated and i yelled at jeff for wearing shorts to it, but it wasn't stuffy, it was just so good.

i had a really great almond pulpy cocktail situation at imperial.

yom tov's halva is a *revelation* and their cheese stuffed hibiscus is something everyone needs to try at least twice.

the turkish breakfast at the cookbook cafe is everything i aspire to make for the breakfast table.

bread and co was two doors away from my airbnb and i am positive that if i lived in tel aviv, this is where i would sit every day with my shakshuka in a bread bowl and a cold coffee and morning twitter.

feincook is a very cool hip kitchen studio space with fun cooking classes and the most delightful people.

the freshest, most beautiful sodas in the world may be found at café levinsky 41, and sipped alongside colorful balls of homemade marzipan.

dr. shakshuka, abu hassan, orna v'ella, lehamim bakery, and night kitchen were a few more places that i loved.

mizlala, miznon, north abraxus, eatwith habanot, mashiah, and port said were the ones that got away, but they're at the top of my list for next time.



food pictured in this post: a chocolate chili ganache cake with marzipan hearts and a halva + berry pizza made with the extraordinary bazekalima tahini + fig cake and kashkaval stuffed pretzel za'atar challah which will be in the november issue of al hashulchan, fig + silan + tahini + dukkah toasts, a feta + watermelon + mint cake which, ok, is actually #notacake.

-yeh!

israel, part one

haifa, jerusalem, the dead sea, tzfat, the negev, the galilee

the funniest thing happened this week! i got on a plane all sweaty and smelly from the thick israeli summertime and 24 hours later, got off in grand forks, shivering because suddenly i was in the center of fall. it's like i had traveled through time, so consider me a regular marty mcfly.

on my first morning home, i woke up right in time to hear macaroni sing his cockadoodledoo. what a sound!! i imagine it's kind of like hearing your human kid talk for the first time. i piled on a blanket and scurried into the kitchen to brew coffee from a little instant packet that's been hiding in my suitcase since the first kibbutz of my trip (and thank goodness it was there, apparently eggboy was too busy with harvest to replenish our coffee beans while i was gone). i sprinkled it with hawaij and then left it to cool while i ran outside to say hello to macaroni and yank some onions from the ground for my morning salad. oh man it was cold! two weeks in 110º will really make you forget what 60º feels like.

and then in the fall morning light, over salad and tahini and coffee laced halva and hawaij laced coffee, i unpacked and repacked all of my most favorite memories from the past two weeks into imaginary little jars that i will keep forever and ever:

the dash to the tzfat lahoh man, and his hotter than hot zhoug,

a successful (painless!!!) dip in the dead sea,

chili halva, nougat halva, stringy halva, nutella halva...

a rugelach threesome in the middle of mahane yehuda,

the hummus to end all hummuses, in haifa, with a hardboiled egg and a pool of magic tahini,

asaf avidan singing that one day, baby we'll be old, while we snaked through the desert and into an area that was so close to the border, my phone thought we were in jordan,

riding a camel named monica,

my first ever bites of kubbeh, 

a speakeasy in jerusalem,

40 new friends...

i could go on and on, but i'm saving some for my tel aviv post! and i've still got to unpack and find places for the pounds of halva and tahini that almost made my suitcase overweight. *almost* (and if it was, you know i would have chugged that tahini cognac-style so it wouldn't go to waste.)

-yeh!



thanks so much to israel experts for sponsoring this post! a majority of these past few weeks was spent as a staff member for israel experts' culinary themed taglit birthright trip. it was the same one i attended as a participant two years ago and i loved it! if you're interested in applying for this trip, you can find out more information here. registration opens september 8th, but pre-registration has already begun, so you can begin your process here with the referral code mynameisyeh33 and israel experts will contact you to choose a trip option. questions can be directed to: info@israelexperts.com or 1-800-218-9851!

corn, two ways: maple bacon polenta + mexican corn salad

greetings from my last day in israel! i am about to begin my zillion hour, three-flight journey home, and if my calculations are correct, i will return right in the thick of wheat harvest. 

i love wheat harvest. the golden wheat fields and the green grassy yards and the bright blue skies make the most rockin color blocking vibe, and the whole place smells like pizza. it's like a pizza-scented rothko. a scratch n sniff rothko.

it's great.

and of course another great thing about harvest is the farm lunches!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

most of the days this summer, eggboy has been able to come in for lunch, but during harvest, if there is good weather, work doesn't stop for lunch. which is laaaaame because that means i gotta put on pants and go outside when i wanna see him during daylight hours (#hermit), but awesome because i was made to pack cute lunches. and while i shouldn't take credit for all of the farm lunches, as eggmama is by far the main farm lunch maker, occasionally the inspiration strikes and i go on a lunch-making binge, complete with fresh scones and love notes.

before i left, inspiration hit in the form of corn. and bacon. and eggboy's love of mexican food. and the cutest little fold-up spork i ever did see*. this maple bacon polenta is exactly what it sounds like: creamy, buttery cornmeal polenta with a swirl of sweet maple syrup, topped with a handful of crispy bacon. it's super quick and easy to make and the combination of corn, maple, and bacon is delicious. and the other dish here, the mexican corn salad, is a sporkable version of elotes, mexican street corn on the cob that's been covered in cream, cotija cheese, cilantro, and lime. this version is a little extra spicy and a fresh contrast to the polenta.


maple bacon polenta

makes 4 servings

ingredients

4 slices bacon

2 c water

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 c corn meal

1/4 c whole milk

3 tb unsalted butter

1/4 tsp paprika

Black pepper, to taste

3 tb maple syrup
 

clues

crisp up the bacon in a skillet. while it's cooking, make the polenta.

Place the water and salt in a saucepan and bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, whisk in the corn meal very gradually, and continue to whisk until the mixture has thickened. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the milk, butter, paprika, black pepper, and maple syrup. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

When the bacon is done cooking, pat off excess fat and give it a rough chop. Sprinkle the bacon over the polenta and serve.

enjoy!

 


mexican corn salad

makes 8 servings

ingredients

2 tb flavorless oil, like canola

8 ears of corn

kosher salt and black pepper

1/4 c mayo

1/4 c sour cream, crema, or plain greek yogurt

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp cayenne

2 tsp lime juice

8 oz feta or cotija

2 tb chopped cilantro

 

clues

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Chop the corn kernels off of the cobs and add the corn to the skillet with a good pinch of salt and a few turns of pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes, until browned. 

In a large bowl, mix together the mayo, sour cream, paprika, cayenne, and lime juice. Add the corn and stir to coat. Stir in the feta and cilantro. Serve immediately or chill and serve it cold.

enjoy!


-yeh!


*the cutest little foldable spork i ever did see has come c/o the newest member of our sturdy farm lunch container family, genuine thermos brand®'s new dual compartment food jar. it has a section that'll keep your polenta hot for five hours and a separate section for your mexican corn. it's sturdy enough to get the eggboy seal of approval (i.e. it can get tossed around a tractor on a regular basis), and yes, that spork, i squealed when i saw it.

thank you so much to genuine thermos brand® for providing compensation and product for this post! all opinions are mine.

nutella egg cream

hey, my husband's name is eggboy and i just made an egg cream. hold your tongue on the jokes, i already made them all, they are already so last week. (actually if you have a good one, i wouldn't be opposed to you saying it.)

but ok, egg creams! a classic new york drink that has nary an egg, just whole milk, seltzer, and chocolate syrup. my percussion teacher in college, gordon, informed me during one of our timbale lessons that it has to be fox's u-bet syrup. absolutely has to be. (it's not an egg cream without fox's, molly, now please show me how much cascara you practiced this week...something like that.)

past the basic ingredients, everybody has a different way of making it and everybody's way is the best. some add the syrup at the beginning, some add it after the milk and seltzer, some have strong opinions about the type of glass used... and i am just a shy middle-of-nowhere dweller, very far away from the closest fox's and there is a nutella stain on my pants. do you get where i'm going?

here's a photo of rob and me on the night i had my first egg cream, at sammy's roumanian. r.i.p. my bangs. i didn't hate my first egg cream, i didn't love it, but over the years the sensation of drinking a fizzy chocolate milk has grown on me so much, especially because it makes me all nostalgic for sammy's and rob and brian and my earlier years in new york. it's a fun drink, a festive chocolatey one, and something that everybody should try twice.


nutella egg cream

makes 2

ingredients

1/2 c nutella

3/4 c whole milk, very cold

1 c seltzer, very cold

clues

in a bowl of measuring cup, whisk together the nutella and 1/4 cup of milk to make a syrup.

divide the remaining milk between two glasses and then top with the seltzer. mix in the nutella syrup, dividing it evenly between the glasses. enjoy!


this post is part of sherrie + renee's #drinkthesummer party!!!! i wish it was an i.r.l. party bc holy crap is it hot in israel. i need a cold drink. but it's on the internet, the second best party place in town! go to their blogs to check out all of the other amazing drinks that are part of this party!

-yeh!