I’ve been absent from my blog lately. Jeff and I are busy (and exhausted) trying to get our permanent housing situation sorted out here, in addition to which all the bad news from Japan and here in Israel has made writing about food seem a little… trivial. Nonetheless, we have continued to cook and eat (thank goodness) in what is soon to be one of the many kitchens-of-our-past. I’ve been thinking lately that these first few months here will seem like a blip in retrospect, a whirlwind of newness, of trying to sort out our life and connect to the ground. It’s a somewhat unfortunate fact of life that one cannot skip over the hard/uncomfortable times in order to get to the better, more settled times. Right now I am looking forward to the future.
Last week was cold and rainy here in Tel Aviv. Although one of my new guilty pleasures is complaining when the temperatures drop below 55ºF, last week I really meant it. I was cold. Especially inside, where there is no central heating, the dampness seeps in to your bones and the laundry hanging in the living room takes 4 days to dry.
Happily, the sun has returned, making life a little easier as we prepare for our move to Haifa (see above). Although I have enjoyed Tel Aviv a lot, this little cartoon about a young zionist who goes to the Israeli emissary explains some of the reasons why it is not the ideal city to live in long-term (‘Friar’ means ‘sucker’).
Red Quinoa Salad with Walnuts and Ginger
2 cups cooked red quinoa (quinoa must be rinsed well before cooking to remove its bitter exterior. I use 1 1/2 parts water to 1 part quinoa)
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 small kohlrabi, cleaned, and chopped into very small cubes
1 cucumber, finely chopped
1/3 cup cilantro (or parsley) finely chopped
2 yellow bell peppers, ribs and seeds removed, and finely chopped
1-2 Tablespoons of fresh ginger, minced
salty goat cheese (something that can be crumbled)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (untoasted)
Mix cooked, cooled quinoa with veggies and herbs. Mix in a few tablespoons of a good-tasting olive oil, plus some black pepper (you can add salt too, but our cheese was salty enough). Sprinkle on walnuts and cheese, and mix again. Serve at room temp.