Thursday, September 14, 2006

It's Friday!!!

Well, technically it's Thursday...

... but even after 10 years of living in a country where the last day of the work-week is not Friday, I am just not used to it. I am exactly like Pavlov's dog and salivate over the word Friday, but say the word Thursday (even though it is named after a sexy Norse god) and I just nod my head "uh huh" - no reaction no racing pulse, just blah blah blah...

So I kind of end up having 2 Fridays, a Saturday and no Sunday (cause Sundays are Mondays in disguise here). Weird. But you live with what you've got.

I have to say right off the bat - today was an annus horribilis rolled up into just a single day, starting with me being incredibly fragile at work and bursting into uncontrollable tears that continued to reappear at the most inconvenient times (I can be very emotional and dislike being yelled at at the best of times, and today most certainly could not be considered best). It continued on to just being incredibly hectic, and then half an hour after I was supposed to have left to meet Cactus Flower, a crisis erupted and I ended up spending an hour on long distance calls and giving out my personal cellphone so the foreigners could keep me up-to-date on the status of the problem.

And just to keep me entertained, my leg, which ripped a muscle as I climbed Masada, and left me hobbling for the past week like a horse with a stone in its shoe , decided that it didn't like trying to walk quickly through a traffic light and completely went out of control. I can't describe it except that the F word (and we're not talking Friday) vented freely from between my clenched lips and tears sprang from my eyes, hitting the lamp post with a zing! This is an experience that I do not recommend.

But I am stubborn and refused to cancel dinner reservations at Toutoune in the old city.

I practically crawled through the Flea Market, avoiding the dancing children

but when I got caught on a traffic bump I vented, with exquisite graffic descriptions, my feelings as to what exactly could be done to the bump, my leg and the world in general. I apologize if your ears burned or blisters mysteriously appeared.

The one redeeming factor of the having to go slow through Jaffa thing is that I could take my time looking around and noticing things.

Sea grass against the night sky

looks very different from the way it looks during the day.

By the time we got to the restaurant I was ready for my bottle of wine. My head, on the other hand, wasn't quite prepared for the effects of said wine on an empty stomach. But at least my leg appreciated the anesthaetic.

Dinner was a prix fixe Jaffa Festival tasting menu - 69 Shekels (about $15). For starters we had a choice of mixed salad, mushrooms stuffed with chopped almonds, garlic and butter, or blintzes with mushrooms and a spinach cream sauce.

We had the mushrooms and salad, the latter coming with Belgium endive, hearts of palm and white asparagus, avocado, tomatoes, peppers, olives, corn niblets, lettuce and lots of very coarsely cracked pepper with a nice unassuming vinaigrette. We were also given a basket of ciabetta and whole grain bread and a dish of frozen garlic herb butter to spread about. It being a nice warm evening, and us sitting out on the terrace overlooking Kedumim Square, the butter was soft enough to spread within minutes. The mushrooms were nice but could have done with more garlic. The salad was successful.

The main course was chicken breast in a mustard mushroom sauce, troute amandine, or St. Peter's fish (no clue what it is called in the real world - I think tilapia, but don't quote me!) in a lemon butter.

The chicken was nice and moist, with a generouse dose of mustard in the sauce (IMHO there are never enough mushrooms). The potato had been scooped, mashed, restuffed into its skin and grilled with a non-descript local cheese know as "yellow".

My fish would have benefitted from not being frozen, not being overcooked, and being given a more generous dousing of butter and lemon.

My camera batteries died in time for dessert - but imagine a simple white vanilla icecream with fresh fruit salad on top (melon, pear, mango, passionfruit, peach) and a splash of rosewater to bring everything together. Actually perfect - cool and clean and not too heavy.

And then reality struck - I had to walk home...


veuveclicquot said...

Oh my. What a day you had!! Hope your torn muscle feels better soon. :)

aja said...

Thanks... Any suggestions as to how I can get this to heal quicker? You sound like you know a bit (ok, alot) about fitness stuff 8^P

burekaboy said...

st peters fish = tilapia

... one of my all time faves.

aja said...

Hey BB,
Thanks for the confirm re St. Peter. Tilapia is one of my all time faves too. It also happens to be Sistr's daughter Jesamine's fave fish (we are talking about a 5 year old here) Her nickname also happens to be Musht, which is the street name for tilapia,

Under the grill with some olive oil, a squish of lemon, a sprinkle of salt and yum... 8^)