Friday, September 01, 2006

I Love Fridays!

I love Fridays. I really, really love Fridays!

That doesn't mean to say that I don't like other days of the week, I do, but Fridays here are special. When I have lived elsewhere I didn't jump up and down at the thought of the weekend. Don't get me wrong, I love weekends, who doesn't? But here for some reason, weekends are just more "weekendy" for me.

Maybe it has to do with the fact that we are a country which, until very recently, was on the 6 day workweek (and for alot of smaller, older companies they still are). Maybe it has to do with the fact that the work day is 8:30-5:30 but they expect to get at least an extra hour out of you every day. It also might have to do with the fact that even after almost 10 years here I still find it weird that my weekend starts on Friday and that my workweek starts on Sunday, perhaps, subconsciously I feel that I am losing a day somehow.

At any rate, on Thursdays I am known at work for my little "it's Thursday - yaay!" dance. I even have people call me up to see if the dance has been done. I can be very enthusiastic about my weekends.

Friday mornings I get up early, I hate sleeping in because I get the feeling that I am wasting my free time with something far too mundane. I have a regular routine for Fridays. I make myself some good coffee and drink it while I clean house and do laundry. This way I can enjoy my little nest while I am at home. It doesn't particularly matter during the week how chaotic my place gets - and I can be the Queen of Chaos sometimes, because I am home and awake for so little time.

Then, at around 7:30 I get a call from SistR asking if I am awake yet, I have a little conversation with Jesamine, and by 8 I am upstairs being greeted by the munchkin, her mom and the 4 cats. After the usual balagan of getting out of the house we are off the the kindergarten to drop Jes off.

The highlight of the day is wandering through the Carmel Market (which will get a post or two all of its own in the near future) deciding what we will have for our respective Friday night dinners. We aren't being disloyal to Chubeza, we are just enhancing what we have left from Monday's delivery. It is also where we get our fish - my current favourite is Tilapia - any herbs , charcuterie and meat and exotica that we may need.

Sometimes we stop for a boureka at Sammy's,

and sometimes we stop for a coffee and croissant, but almost always we get a fresh juice, be it carrot, orange or my favourite - pomegranate.

Then it's back home, unload the groceries, eat lunch and preparate dinner. I smirk to myself while I potter around my mousehouse, thinking of everybody who slept in and were only now frantically doing their Friday chores in the heat of the midday sun.

If I don't go upstairs to SistR's for Shabbat dinner, then my Cactus friend usually comes by. We split a bottle of wine, methode champenoise from France or a local - Israeli wine, eat and talk.

If, like yesterday, Cactus isn't drinking then I might have a bottle of local Taybeh beer.

As always, we had a green salad using my organic lettuce and red peppers with some really luscious and creamy Bulgarit cheese (which is very similar to feta, but tends to be less acrid).

There was quinoa as the starch, and oven roasted organic butternut squash, red peppers and red okra - which turns green when it is cooked - that had been tossed in olive oil, nutmeg and cumin, and finished with Maldon salt and shredded basil.

Our main course
was chicken wings with hawaij', nutmeg, mace, chili peppers, tons of garlic and Silan

Hawaij' smells neutral like turmeric, but once it is cooked into something it takes on a wonderfully spice-laden smell that is a bit like curry but not. Silan is date syrup and is a bit like molasses, but muskier, with the distinct mouth feel of really gooey Medjoul dates.

What all that translates into is a very middle eastern version of honey garlic wings.

There wasn't really any room for dessert, but after a bit of settling down time we had

iced almond milk with a shot of Frangelico,

which, because it is so white it doesn't photograph so well, but which we considered to be a very suitable end to a very relaxed and shanti Friday night.

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