Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

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


Susan in FL
 Share

Recommended Posts

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?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

gallery_28660_3420_132498.jpg

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:

gallery_28660_3420_106957.jpg

Walnut-raisin bread from Artisanal Breads

gallery_28660_3420_197350.jpg

Slice of bread

gallery_28660_3420_91335.jpg

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.

gallery_28660_3420_48314.jpg

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.

gallery_28660_3420_227445.jpg

Cherry jam and labane. Yum!

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

gallery_28660_3420_222643.jpg

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

Edited by Swisskaese (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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:

gallery_28660_3420_39138.jpg

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

gallery_28660_3420_232787.jpg

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

gallery_28660_3420_275874.jpg

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)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

gallery_28660_3420_20049.jpg

gallery_28660_3420_103024.jpg

Edited by Swisskaese (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

...

gallery_28660_3420_103024.jpg

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"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

  • Similar Content

    • By Duvel
      The first week of November are „autumn holidays“ in the area where I live. We wanted to use that time to go to Paris, but when my parents-in-law somewhat surprisingly announced they‘d be coming over from Spain for the whole of November, we scrapped that idea and looked for something more German …
       
      So … Berlin. Not the best time to travel (cold & rainy), but with a couple of museums for the little one and the slightly older ones to enjoy together, plus some food options I was looking forward it was a destination we could all agree on. The Covid19 warnings in the Berlin subway support that notion …
       

       
    • By liuzhou
      Note: This follows on from the Munching with the Miao topic.
       
      The three-hour journey north from Miao territory ended up taking four, as the driver missed a turning and we had to drive on to the next exit and go back. But our hosts waited for us at the expressway exit and led us up a winding road to our destination - Buyang 10,000 mu tea plantation (布央万亩茶园 bù yāng wàn mǔ chá yuán) The 'mu' is  a Chinese measurement of area equal to 0.07 of a hectare, but the 10,000 figure is just another Chinese way of saying "very large".
       
      We were in Sanjiang Dong Autonomous County, where 57% of the inhabitants are Dong.
       
      The Dong people (also known as the Kam) are noted for their tea, love of glutinous rice and their carpentry and architecture. And their hospitality. They tend to live at the foot of mountains, unlike the Miao who live in the mid-levels.
       
      By the time we arrived, it was lunch time, but first we had to have a sip of the local tea. This lady did the preparation duty.
       

       

       
      This was what we call black tea, but the Chinese more sensibly call 'red tea'. There is something special about drinking tea when you can see the bush it grew on just outside the window!
       
      Then into lunch:
       

       

      Chicken Soup
       

      The ubiquitous Egg and Tomato
       

      Dried fish with soy beans and chilli peppers. Delicious.
       

      Stir fried lotus root
       

      Daikon Radish
       

      Rice Paddy Fish Deep Fried in Camellia Oil - wonderful with a smoky flavour, but they are not smoked.
       

      Out of Focus Corn and mixed vegetable
       

      Fried Beans
       

      Steamed Pumpkin
       

      Chicken
       

      Beef with Bitter Melon
       

      Glutinous (Sticky) Rice
       

      Oranges
       

      The juiciest pomelo ever. The area is known for the quality of its pomelos.
       
      After lunch we headed out to explore the tea plantation.
       

       

       

       

       
      Interspersed with the tea plants are these camellia trees, the seeds of which are used to make the Dong people's preferred cooking oil.
       

       
      As we climbed the terraces we could hear singing and then came across this group of women. They are the tea pickers. It isn't tea picking time, but they came out in their traditional costumes to welcome us with their call and response music. They do often sing when picking. They were clearly enjoying themselves.
       

       
      And here they are:
       
       
      After our serenade we headed off again, this time to the east and the most memorable meal of the trip. Coming soon.
       
       
    • By FoodMuse
      Hello everyone,
      eGullet was nice enough to invite me to write a food blog chronicling what I've made or eaten out for one week. I'm so excited about it! Thanks guys.
      About me:
      I dream about food, I wake thinking what's for dinner and I'm so excited to share it with you. I'm part of the food world in New York. By that, I just mean that I'm so fortunate enough to be invited to great events where I get to eat great food. I'm also a nerd and a part of the technology world. I produce, edit and sometimes host food related web videos and I'm also a part of the tech world.
      I'm launching a website called Please, Pass the Gravy. www.pleasepassthegravy.com We let you create a menu, invite friends and then collaborate on that menu. Never host another potluck with 8 pasta salads. You could use it now, but we're alpha launch, it works but it's ugly. It's my ugly baby. So, if you use it be kind and message me if you have improvement ideas. I thought it would be ok to write about it here because it is food related.
      I live in Brooklyn with a lovely guy who likes to eat and a small corgi mix dog. I cook pretty much every night and do a nice brunch on the weekend. I am not a crazy dog lady, but I do admit to cooking food for the dog. I have an excuse, beyond doting, he had seizures that have stopped since not feeding him dog food.
      Foods I cook:
      Spicy foods! If you look at my blog I have a simple papaya ketchup with habanero that is pretty darn good.
      I love great cheese. This may be the week for Beer Cheese Soup.
      I try to limit carbs, though I do cheat.
      In any given week C. and I probably eat cauliflower, broccoli and green beans as a side.
      Tonight's dinner will be Vietnamese inspired. We'll see how it goes. I'll post about it as soon as I can.
      Any requests? Questions? I'd love to hear from you.
      -Grace
    • By Duvel
      In these challenging times, a full summer vacation is not an easy task. For the last 1.5 years we have been mostly at home with the clear plan to visit Catalonia (or more precise my wife’s family) latest this summer. And it looked good for a while. Unfortunately, the recent rise in case numbers in Spain have resulted in …
       
      OK, let’s skip this part. Long story short - my wife and me are fully vaccinated, as are >90% of the people we care about in Catalonia. After some discussion (after all, Germans tend to prefer to be on the safe side of things) we simply fueled up the car, got each a test (for the transit through France) and started to drive …
       
      After a leisurely 11h drive we arrived at a small fishing town somewhat north of Barcelona around 3.00am. We unloaded the car and my wife an the little one went straight to bed. 
       

       


      I found an expired beer in the elsewise pretty empty fridge and enjoyed the cool breeze on the terrace. Holidays, here we come …
       

    • By liuzhou
      Last week, Liuzhou government invited a number of diplomats from Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar/Burma, Poland, and Germany to visit the city and prefecture. They also invited me along. We spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday introducing the diplomats to the culture of the local ethnic groups and especially to their food culture.
       
      First off, we headed two hours north into the mountains of Rongshui Miao Autonomous County. The Miao people (苗族 miáo zú), who include the the Hmong, live in the mid-levels of mountains and are predominantly subsistence farmers. Our first port of call was the county town, also Rongshui (融水 róng shuǐ, literal meaning: Melt Water) where we were to have lunch. But before lunch we had to go meet some people and see their local crafts. These are people I know well from my frequent work trips to the area, but for the diplomats, it was all new.
       
      So, I had to wait for lunch, and I see no reason why you shouldn't either. Here are some of the people I live and work with.


       
      This lovely young woman is wearing the traditional costume of an unmarried girl. Many young women, including her, wear this every day, but most only on festive occasions.
       
      Her hat is made from silver (and is very heavy). Here is a closer look.
       

       
      Married women dispense with those gladrags and go for this look:
       

       
      As you can see she is weaving bamboo into a lantern cover.
       
      The men tend to go for this look, although I'm not sure that the Bluetooth earpiece for his cellphone is strictly traditional.
       

       
      The children don't get spared either
       

       
      This little girl is posing with the Malaysian Consul-General.
       
      After meeting these people we went on to visit a 芦笙 (lú shēng) workshop. The lusheng is a reed wind instrument and an important element in the Miao, Dong and Yao peoples' cultures.
       

       

       
      Then at last we headed to the restaurant, but as is their custom, in homes and restaurants, guests are barred from entering until they go through the ritual of the welcoming cup of home-brewed rice wine.
       


      The consular staff from Myanmar/Burma and Malaysia "unlock" the door.
       
      Then you have the ritual hand washing part.
       

       
      Having attended to your personal hygiene, but before  entering the dining room, there is one more ritual to go through. You arrive here and sit around this fire and wok full of some mysterious liquid on the boil.
       

       
      On a nearby table is this
       

       
      Puffed rice, soy beans, peanuts and scallion. These are ladled into bowls.
       

       
      with a little salt, and then drowned in the "tea" brewing in the wok.
       
      This is  油茶 (yóu chá) or Oil Tea. The tea is made from Tea Seed Oil which is made from the seeds of the camellia bush. This dish is used as a welcoming offering to guests in homes and restaurants. Proper etiquette suggests that three cups is a minimum, but they will keep refilling your cup until you stop drinking. First time I had it I really didn't like it, but I persevered and now look forward to it.
       

      L-R: Director of the Foreign Affairs Dept of Liuzhou government, consuls-general of Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos.
       
      Having partaken of the oil tea, finally we are allowed to enter the dining room, where two tables have been laid out for our use.
       

       
      Let the eating, finally, begin.
       
      In no particular order:
       

      Steamed corn, taro and sweet potato
       

      Bamboo Shoots
       

      Duck
       

      Banana leaf stuffed with sticky rice and mixed vegetables and steamed.
       

      Egg pancake with unidentified greenery
       

      Stir fried pork and beans
       

      Stir fried Chinese banana (Ensete lasiocarpum)
       

      Pig Ears
       

       
      This may not look like much, but was the star of the trip. Rice paddy fish, deep fried in camellia tree seed oil with wild mountain herbs. We ate this at every meal, cooked with slight variations, but never tired of it.
       

      Stir fried Greens
       
      Our meal was accompanied by the wait staff singing to us and serving home-made rice wine (sweetish and made from the local sticky rice).
       
       
       
       
      Everything we ate was grown or reared within half a kilometre of the restaurant and was all free-range, organic. And utterly delicious.
       
      Roll on dinner time.
       
      On the trip I was designated the unofficial official photographer and ended up taking 1227 photographs. I just got back last night and was busy today, so I will try to post the rest of the first day (and dinner) as soon as I can.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...