Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Sunrise, Sunset...

After a 15 hour day at the office there is not much to say except...

Was there a sunset today???

Oh well, livings must be earned.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Friday in Jerusalem

Last Friday I was in Jerusalem...

Everybody told me I shouldn't go, that there was lots of tension because of the ramp going into the grounds of the Dome of the Rock.

The only tension I saw was from the very few people dashing rapidly through the square by the Wailing Wall. Prayer sayers were in the minority - a thing that I have never seen before. There were reportedly 3000 police and soldiers in the old city. I think I must have seen about 2897 of them, mostly lining the ramp or positioned at the entrance to the square. The other people who were out in force were the media vultures, waiting for a violent clash that never happened.

Any tensions I had were assuaged by lunch at the American Colony Hotel. Actually it was hight tea, complete with crustless whitebread sandwiches with cucumber, tomato, smoked salmon or lettuce all, of course, with butter. There was a very flat, very sweet scone, strawberry jam, sweetened whipped cream, and a date biscuit that would have been very nice with a sharp cheese. Beginning of season strawberries were the finishing touch.

The location was wonderful, but the service was pretty awful, and not at all up to a hotel that is under the Relais Chateau label. We had to ask to give our drink order and only ever received part of it, and I had to make 3 requests for milk to go with my tea. This is not up to the standards you would expect of a 5 star hotel. The worst of it was the waiter who laid the table and threw the napkins down... And when I say threw I mean just that, mine slid all the way to the far edge of the table.

Maybe he was suffering from local tensions too...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Something Different

This is a pancake made with some extra dough from The Bread.

When I patted the dough into shape before the second rise, I decided I had a bit too much for my new little casserole, so I mixed up a lump with some milk, sugar and cinnamon and made it gloppy like normal pancake dough. Then I let it rise again, and a couple of hours later made myself some lovely pancakes.

They had a completely different structure and mouthfeel from normal pancakes. I could have added a bit less milk, but they were tender and crispy and absolutely delicious dotted with the last of my Canadian Maple Syrup.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Working Like the Proverbial Dog...

There's lots of spice in my life right now...

Just not the right kind

The company I work for is in the midst of a merger.

Personally, in terms of anything other than an increase in work for me, this means nothing.

  • Am I getting an increase in pay? No.
  • Am I getting additional perks? No.

But all this nothing actually does mean something…

My office computer and I have increased the depth of our relationship and we spend many hours sinking soulfully into each others gaze – merging ourselves if you will…

And just so you understand, I am not a bigwig in the company, just a secretary. Personal Assistant to the CEO, if you want to make a big deal out of it. Which I don't.

This intensified bond has had a negative effect on my relationship with my significant other – my personal computer. In fact, I have been returning home with my eyes swirling around in my head like Ka's in the Jungle Book. My bare necessities are now sustenance and unconsciousness (with no phones ringing). Forget cultural enrichment or even a night out with friends – my social skills have been reduced to incomprehensible monosyllables…

I do admit to going to my pottery class once a week - mainly so I can take out my anger management issues on the lumps of clay. I can't complain though, there are some decent dividends too.

Mind you, my quality eating moments have decreased significantly too… Actually, they seem to have disappeared.

I honestly can't bring myself to blog about the Israeli version of Kraft dinner (which is what I ate twice last week – once freshly made and once with leftovers). My supplies of homemade frozen meals have been reduced to 0 which is why I resorted to WackyMac.

Spagetti ali oli, is another quickie, or sticky rice with satay sauce, if I remember to soak the rice in the morning – in the morning coffee gets precedence, naturally.

But I digress.

My brainpower, creativity and resources are nil by the time I get home. Weekends are now used to recover so I can work another week.

Admittedly I did make another batch of The Bread this past weekend,

mainly so I could use my newest, smaller sized, casserole.

I wanted to check out how it works, which turns out to be really well.

This time around The Bread was made with white, spelt and whole wheat flours. I used a pair of scissors to cut the top - very effective and made the presentation most professional looking, I thought.

And I did make chili crabs for my Friday night dinner.

But I added red cabbage which lost its colour in my iron wok.

Everything turned an unappetizing shade of blue-grey, which I should have realized would happen, except that my brain was still hiding under the duvet, never having joined my body when I got up on Saturday.

And the cloud ear fungus that I mixed in generously, though it added a great crunchy texture to the dish, didn't add any visual oomph.

Overall, it tasted great, but looked absolutely appalling {the picture was taken about 3 seconds before everything turned blue}

Good thing I didn't have company. Blue food is not as cool as it sounds - it looks cyanotic and even a bit dangerous.

Oh, and just so that you know, I have come home drenched more than a few times in the past couple of weeks – scooters and rain are not a great mix, and all I want to do is get dry, eat something hot and quick, and crawl into bed with my buckwheat heating pad.

Maybe one day, not in the foreseeable future, but sometime sooner rather than later, I hope, I can re-establish my acquaintance with my computer and be more faithful with my blogging.

This is known as Jewish guilt,
Because who is really concerned about this, other than me?