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eG Foodblog: Swisskaese - The Israeli Table - Not Just Felafel and Or


Susan in FL
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That photo looks suspiciously familiar.

The Negev is gorgeous- and I remember staying on a kibbutz in the Negev that was green and lovely (though I think they had factories, not farm) - but is there a lot of growing in the Negev? What kind of crops, if any?

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The bread has failed miserably. I can't get the dough to rise properly.

You could make it into pita!

I was thinking that I could make pizza dough out it, but I just threw it away. I don't think I have the energy or ingredients to make pizza tonight. I think I have been quite hedonistic this week already.

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The Negev is gorgeous- and I remember staying on a kibbutz in the Negev that was green and lovely (though I think they had factories, not farm)  - but is there a lot of growing in the Negev? What kind of crops, if any?

In the northern Negev we grow wheat and artichokes. Further south, we grow wine grapes, peaches, cauliflower, cabbages, watermelons, melons and we also have fish farms and dairy cattle that produce the best chocolate milk in the world :wub: . And we have a liter waiting for us in the fridge. I will post the picture when the batteries are ready.

Speaking of watermelon juice.... Pam, I thought of you yesterday when I was in the supermarket. I saw a new Prigat juice from far away and it looked like a watermelon on the front. I raced over to take a picture for you, and it was guava/apple juice. Oh well, I will keep looking for you.

Edited by Swisskaese (log)
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This is an absolutely stunning account of a life so far removed from my own, yet so kin in the everyday tasks--cooking for family and guests, breadmaking, laying the table to befit the occasion.

And the markets, the bakeries, the scenery---all breathtaking in their own right, with the colours and the depths bringing out the flavour of each. The rocks of the Negev, the bottomless mirrorpool between the timeworn cleft---I did not notice the people until I had gazed for a long moment---the clouds drifting over the rock-strewn landscape---all combine to create a moment, an eon, a history of a land and a people. Just wonderful.

And I do think it oddly endearing that the most repeated/quoted picture in the whole blog is of the shopworn bride in her finery reminiscent of one of those Barbie-as-she'd-look-today cakes, the too-long-in-the-sun, footless pick inserted into too-sweet ribbons of frosting made by a well-meaning Mom intent on having every party detail JUST SO for her child. You have captured a most memorable image, just in that one photo.

Thank you for your time and your dedication to your task---it's been a glorious tour and an enlightening lesson.

Thank you.

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This is an absolutely stunning account of a life so far removed from my own, yet so kin in the everyday tasks--cooking for family and guests, breadmaking, laying the table to befit the occasion. 

And the markets, the bakeries, the scenery---all breathtaking in their own right, with the colours and the depths bringing out the flavour of each.  The rocks of the Negev, the bottomless mirrorpool between the timeworn cleft---I did not notice the people until I had gazed for a long moment---the clouds drifting over the rock-strewn landscape---all combine to create a moment, an eon, a history of a land and a people.  Just wonderful.

And I do think it oddly endearing that the most repeated/quoted picture in the whole blog is of the shopworn bride in her finery reminiscent of one of those Barbie-as-she'd-look-today cakes, the too-long-in-the-sun, footless pick inserted into too-sweet ribbons of frosting made by a well-meaning Mom intent on having every party detail JUST SO for her child.  You have captured a most memorable image, just in that one photo.

Thank you for your time and your dedication to your task---it's been a glorious tour and an enlightening lesson.

Thank you.

Wow, Rachel. That was a beautiful description. You should write a book.

It was really my pleasure. I have to give a big thank you to eGullet. I have met the most amazing people virtually and also here in Israel because of this site.

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As the sun is setting on Shabbat, I am finally able to show this morning's breakfast. We really like to have a nice long and relaxing breakfast on Saturday morning. This is the time when we get to enjoy a nice cup of Ilan's coffee, talk about life, our dreams, politics or catch-up on reading.

The pictures are not quite as extravagant as the pictures I showed in the first blog.

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First, I made herb omlettes. I added fresh thyme, parsley, chives and oregano. Sometimes I add tarragon, basil or fresh zaatar. It just depends on what herbs I have on hand.

To accompany this we had walnut-raisin bread, labane, bulgarian cheese spread, cheeses from the sheep dairy we went to last weekend, various jams, orange juice and of course coffee. Here are some highlights:

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Walnut-raisin bread from Artisanal Breads

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Slice of bread

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Sheep cheeses from Land Flowing with Milk. The one on the right is a very sharp cheese and the one on the left is a soft milder cheese. They are both delicious.

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Jams: Schwartzwaelder Sour Cherry Jam from my business trip to Germany. I go to Germany every three months and bring wine, jam and rote gruetze. I will show you what that is in a minute. The middle jam is fig jam and the jam on the right is fruits of the forest. We like all sorts of jam. I have bought grapefruit marmelade, quince, etrog, apricot, peach and strawberry.

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Cherry jam and labane. Yum!

Sometimes we also have smoked salmon or smoked makerel. Just depends on our mood.

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Yotvata chocolate milk. The best chocolate milk in the world. Creamy, chocolatey goodness. Not too sweet, just right.

Edited by Swisskaese (log)
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Shavua Tov everyone.

Shabbat has ended here and tomorrow is the beginning of a new week. This means that my blog is coming to a close. Thank you for all of your PMs during the past month. I really appreciated them. Thank you for your interest in my little piece of sky. I hope you learned something new or I helped you revisit places you have seen before.

I am sorry, if I didn't get to show you everything, such as falafel and the elite chocolate. I will try and do that another time on the Middle East thread.

I wanted to close with a picture of a few of the teas that we have. We both adore coffee, but we also love tea. Here is a small example of the variety of teas we have to offer our guests:

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Oolong from a trip to Taiwan and Twinings from my numerous trips to London

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Hibiscus tea with pomegranate and Jasmine tea from my trip to Taiwan

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Fruits of the Forest tea and diet tea with a variety of dried fruits and spices

I wish you all a good night and a future with peace, love and happiness. See you in eGulletland.

Shalom l'kulam, Shalom achshav!

Peace everyone, peace now!

P.S. - I am going to post a picture of rote gruetze in the morning. I will check in throughout tomorrow to answer any questions you may have.

Edited by Swisskaese (log)
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I'm so grateful for this blog Swisskaese. Thank you for sharing your country and its people and beautiful places with us. But I especially thank you for inviting us (me?) into your home. Actually yours is officially the first Shabbat dinner I've ever been invited to. :smile: Everything you prepared looked so delicious, especially the main course.

Thanks for reminding us of the liveliness and beauty of your country. We really needed it.

Shalom.

Edited to add: Of course next time I'm invited I INSIST upon eating. :biggrin:

Edited by divalasvegas (log)

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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Michelle - todah rabah! I thoroughly enjoyed your blog - it was beautiful.

Though I enjoyed your last blog - this one for some reason, really brought back all sorts of wonderful memories for me. (I've even started to think fondly of my time working on kibbutz Ein Tzurim.)

I could taste the fruits and the goodies from the markets and the juice (watermelon :wub: ) and cheeses and everything else you've shared with us. I'm ready to plan my next visit. Bishana haba'ah.

Thank you again.

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I'm so grateful for this blog Swisskaese.  Thank you for sharing your country and its people and beautiful places with us.  But I especially thank you for inviting us (me?) into your home.  Actually yours is officially the first Shabbat dinner I've ever been invited to. :smile:  Everything you prepared looked so delicious, especially the main course.

Thanks for reminding us of the liveliness and beauty of your country.  We really needed it.

Shalom.

Edited to add: Of course next time I'm invited I INSIST upon eating. :biggrin:

You are welcome to come eat in person anytime.

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gallery_28660_3420_72032.jpg

That photo looks suspiciously familiar.

The Negev is gorgeous- and I remember staying on a kibbutz in the Negev that was green and lovely (though I think they had factories, not farm) - but is there a lot of growing in the Negev? What kind of crops, if any?

D*mn, somebody beat me to it!

As I looked at this photograph and some of those above it, I thought, "The Negev is absolutely gorges!"

In the northern Negev we grow wheat and artichokes. Further south, we grow wine grapes, peaches, cauliflower, cabbages, watermelons, melons and we also have fish farms and dairy cattle that produce the best chocolate milk in the world :wub:

That sounds way cool, getting chocolate milk straight from the cow! I must visit and see these marvelous animals sometime. :biggrin::wink:

This has been an absolutely fabulous blog. Thank you for showing us all the culinary traditions you share with your Middle Eastern neighbors. 'Tis a pity that everyone in the region can't use these to truly break bread together. I look forward to the rest of the tour in the future.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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That sounds way cool, getting chocolate milk straight from the cow!  I must visit and see these marvelous animals sometime. :biggrin:  :wink:

This has been an absolutely fabulous blog.  Thank you for showing us all the culinary traditions you share with your Middle Eastern neighbors.  'Tis a pity that everyone in the region can't use these to truly break bread together.  I look forward to the rest of the tour in the future.

The chocolate cows are really special :wink:

Hope to see you at the Love Parade in Tel Aviv sometime. Bring your choir on a performance tour.

Edited by Swisskaese (log)
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The silvery gray cabbage-looking plant might be broccoli.  They look similar to broccoli fields I've seen growing in the Salinas valley.  Strawberries also like growing that area.

I will keep watching and let you know what it is in a few weeks.

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Michelle thank you so much, funnily enough I have been contemplating making aliyah of late (for everyone--that is immigrating to Israel) and this blog totally tugged at my heart & stomach rings! It made me think of my time on Kibbutz, like the person who posted above me (Ma'Ale Hachmisha), being able to eat fresh food that wasn't too far from its sorce, getting scolded in the shuk for touching the tomatoes a little too long. It also made me realize how much I missed out on as well! I never knew about the rice spices for instance.

Thank you & I"ll be anxiously awaiting a Part III

-----------------

AMUSE ME

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All what they said and more! My armchair traveler status has just logged extra sit-miles! :laugh: Beautiful food, beautiful country; thank you so much!

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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As promised, here is my last pictures for the blog. Rote Gruetze is a berry sauce that is usually served over vanilla custard. I really like it, it reminds me of the plum and fig compotes my oma used to make. I cannot make them here because raspberries and blackberries cost a fortune, and I can't get red and black currants here. So, I bring back a ready-made time I go to Germany. This one is made with sour cherries, red currants, raspberries, rhubarb and black currants.

I put this on top of a children's favourite, Karlo. Karlo is a pudding that is not too sweet. I really like the vanilla. I know it is not homemade, but this is the closest I come to using convience food.

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Edited by Swisskaese (log)
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Michelle thank you so much, funnily enough I have been contemplating making aliyah of late (for everyone--that is immigrating to Israel) and this blog totally tugged at my heart & stomach rings! It made me think of my time on Kibbutz, like the person who posted above me (Ma'Ale Hachmisha), being able to eat fresh food that wasn't too far from its sorce, getting scolded in the shuk for touching the tomatoes a little too long. It also made me realize how much I missed out on as well! I never knew about the rice spices for instance.

Thank you & I"ll be anxiously awaiting a Part III

Come on over, it is never too late. We are waiting for you with open arms.

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The silvery gray cabbage-looking plant might be broccoli.  They look similar to broccoli fields I've seen growing in the Salinas valley.  Strawberries also like growing that area.

I will keep watching and let you know what it is in a few weeks.

Cool; if it is broccoli, they grow off the center stalk, facing upwards and in the center of the "cabbage" leaves in a somewhat simlar position to growing artichokes.

As promised, here is my last pictures for the blog. Rote Gruetze is a berry sauce that is usually served over vanilla custard. I really like it, it reminds me of the plum and fig compotes my oma used to make. I cannot make them here because raspberries and blackberries cost a fortune, and I can't get red and black currants here. So, I bring back a ready-made time I go to Germany. This one is made with sour cherries, red currants, raspberries, rhubarb and black currants.

...

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I've heard of Rote Gruetze but have not yet made it myself. That is pretty neat that you buy a version all ready made in a jar!

Thank you for a wonderful blog, Swisskaese, with many beautiful photos. It's been an informative and lovely week.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Any idea what this is? I don't know. I am guessing some type of cabbage.

Cabbage it is, I believe. Anyway, the purply-silver ones on the right are an exact match for the three "purple" cabbages I've been nurturing ever since we planted our garden in late May. They have good-sized, shiny REAL cabbages growing in there now, bigger than softballs, and I hate that it's about time to harvest them.

What season is it now, so far away? Those look not-too-long planted.

My dear Daughter-In-Law is very fond of the "blue slaw" we make with those, and of the name itself, since it's been a family name for the coleslaw since my son was about four. And I'm thinking of making stuffed cabbage with all those huge rose-petal leaves around the bottom---much easier to remove than all that unwinding from the tight ones.

Thank you again for the lovely journey.

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