Monday, November 30, 2009

what i brought home

two flora danica flower porcelain plattters from a new friend. how amazing it is when someone you only recently began to call a friend just gets you. and then give you such a beautiful birthday gift. i feel so lucky.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

look at that book!

ok, i want to read this book. as in this exact book. or more like, watch this book and listen to that voice. absolutely stunning. especially if you, like me, are fascinated by papercut art.

apparently this has worked its way around blog world lately, but i only now discovered it via little monarch. enjoy!

Friday, November 27, 2009

passing by

pumpkins. which makes me think about pies, soups, plain, good food. i love pumpkins.

when we walk home from the kindergarten we pass the neighbor's open barn, where his pumpkins are drying. the kids love to climb them. i love to look at them, kids and pumpkins.

a couple of weeks back i walked by alone, and they just looked amazing in the golden afternoon light.i forgot about these photos, but came across them today. mmmmm, i think we need some pumpkin soup tonight.

wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

seeing beauty

today i am guest blogging on a new simple something. when shokoofeh asked me to contribute to her beautiful blog, i felt really honored. it's such a peaceful, awesome place to be. never fails to please the eye, and i always leave feeling that the world is indeed a beautiful place.

corner view - on the local menu

this is kunafah, kanafe, knafe... sweet child has many names. and sweet it is. it's a traditional arabic pastry made of cheese inside pastry dough and rolled in threaded, orange-colored sugar "strings". you eat it fresh and still warm. and it's absolutely yummy.

for more lovely local treats, visit the sweet jane of spain daily

Monday, November 23, 2009

as the sun sets

i came home and the loveliest smell filled the air. i looked around and found that the apple tree in the front yard is in full bloom. smelling crazy awesome. and it looked just gorgeous, there in the late afternoon light as the sun was setting. so weird to be met by this smell in the fall. or what we call fall down here. this smell, not to mention the sight, which i associate so deeply with spring.

but, let's continue to something really important: the winner of last weeks vintage botanical print giveaway is the sweet ritva of lumetta. congratulations!

i must admit this giveaway thing took me by surprise. i totally felt like everyone should win and wish i had enough prints to do that. because i really appreciate all of you so very much. i love the comments and all the feedback that i get from you guys. so, i will soon be back with another giveaway.

and ritva, please send me an email to with your snail mail address

Sunday, November 22, 2009

it was a good one

thank you for all the nice comments to my previous post. i was a bit overwhelmed by dirty laundry and a sick family. but boy, did i let go this weekend..., and yes, it felt good!

of course some laundry was done, a guest room organized and there was some cleaning and tidying up here and there. but mainly it was just one of those easy going weekends, where you go by the flow.

which meant plenty of dirt digging in the garden, relaxing in bright sunshine by the sea, watching tiny flames by the fire and listening to the soothing sounds of big blue waves rolling over beach pebbles. because all those things are just about the most calming and peaceful things i can imagine.

and topped off with massive amounts of freshly squeezed juice from the new clementines in the garden, i think we're all ready and set for a new week.

ps: there's still time to enter the giveaway. i will pick and announce the lucky winner tomorrow.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

letting go

i think we're on a mend. still reading, watching and resting a lot around here, and i am pretty sure it will be another quiet weekend. i am hopelessly behind. i have work to do, a house to clean, piles and piles of dirty laundry, a guest room to prep for my parents (yay!), and snail mail to send that should have been sent out a long time ago. and then of course i have started to think about christmas. not to mention all the blog posts i am longing to read.

yes, we celebrate christmas in this culturally mixed house. just after chanukka. usually in denmark, in which case i don't really decorate around the house, since we will anyway leave when it gets close and serious. but this year we're staying home. and it might be the holy land, but it sure is hard to get the christmas groove going. i know i will miss it, and that i will be slightly sad not to be "home" for christmas, so i am thinking i need to get this house ready for christmas by the first advent.

so what was i saying? oh, yes, i'm behind. with everything, but i hope i can be zen about it and relax a bit with the rest of the guys. they are all more or less still recovering. and i kind of need to recover too. at least mentally. this florence nightingale thing gets pretty frustrating in the end. it's not that i mind letting go of work and plans. but the problem is, that work and plans don't always agree. and thus, a lot of stress builds up while you sit there holding a sick child and think of all the things you should or could have been doing. or when you stare at a computer screen, completely blank because you didn't sleep much last night, but there's work that should be done. in fact it should have been done yesterday.

at least that's how it seems to be for me. having a sick family is a great lesson in letting go. i am trying...

and so, with perfect timing, i started my weekend now. because of that little strange detail, that we have weekends on fridays and saturdays. i'm still not used to that after seven years, but it sure comes in handy with an early start right now.

wishing you a happy weekend.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

corner view - cell phone madness

busted! these are not cell phone photos. sorry about that. i took photos all week with the cell phone. but as i was to post my last minute corner view i found out that i have no clue how to get them out of the phone. there's supposed to be a cable... right? so instead you just get five random dinner table photos from the past week. a week of fever, quiet, lot of time at home, in bed, on the couch. so far it's just me who has not been hit. crossing my fingers that my part in this is to be the florence nightingale of the house.

for some real cell phone corner views, visit jane of spain daily.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

pecan pie

we have been collecting pecans. not only this day, but many times since. this specific pecan tree is huge, it's on our neighbors property and he told us the other day, that he used to sell them. a few years back he used to collect 300 kg of pecans. that's a lot of pecans. now he just collects what he needs, and lets others, like us, his lucky neighbor, pick as many as we like. and it's amazing. every day there are pecans spread out all over the ground under the tree. hundreds of them. and we pick. this year they are kind of small, like the clementines we can pick these days in the garden. it's because of the dry spell this spring and summer.not enough water make the fruits small, but very sweet and oh-so-tasty. so unless you're a farmer and sell it by weight, it's really not that bad that they are small.

but one can only eat that many fresh pecans. so we started cooking. the other day i made pecan pie. and it was really, really good. so, if you can get your hands on some pecans, the fresher the better, you should give it a go.

pie crust (enough for a size25-30cm):
1 ½ cup all purpose flour
150 g butter
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
1 egg

  • crumble the butter into the flour, then mix in sugar and vanilla sugar.
  • collect the dough with the egg. add a bit of flour if too wet, or a bit of water if too dry. Remember, pie crust should be slightly wet.
  • freeze it down for 30 minutes. it makes it easier to work with (and should also prevent the side of the crust to slide down during baking).i actually only used 2/3 of the crust and left the last part in the freezer. 
  • place the dough in the pie dish. i usually press the pie dough to the bottom of the pie dish first. then make a long “snake" and press it onto the edges, as this gives a firmer and more even edge to the crust. preheat oven to 200° celcius. and head on over to the filling:
 pecan pie filling:
 2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup silan aka date honey (can be substituted with syrup, just make sure it’s not too sweet)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon cinnamon (can be left out)
11/2 cup of lightly chopped pecans.

  • mix the slightly beaten eggs, date honey, sugar, flour, vanilla, cinnamon and salt.
  • add half the pecans to the mix and spread the other half over the pie crust. then pour the mix over pecans and pie crust.
  • bake at 200° celcius for 40-45 minutes. the filling should be set, but not hard. you might want to add some aluminum foil over the pie crust edge, to make sure it won’t burn.
after it has been removed from oven it should be allowed to cool off for a while.i prefer it to still be slightly warm, but it tastes delicious after it has cooled down, and even straight out of the fridge.

it’s a pretty full. sweet too, but in the good nutty, cinnamon-spiced way. it lasted 3 days, so i think you could easily serve 6-8 people if you want to use it as a dessert. we had it just like that, but a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side would make it pretty close to perfect.

and if you need some salty stuff after the sweet, these salt-roasted pecans are just too good to be true. this is D's thing, but i watched as he cracked the nuts open, but left them inside. then placed them in the oven tray, added half a cup of water, lots of sea salt and left them at 180° celcius for 30 minutes (or until you think they are good for you). perfect snack, but totally addictive.

and last but not least: don't forget to join the vintage botanical print giveaway.

Monday, November 16, 2009

giveaway - vintage botanical prints

finally! it's been a bit of a fever roller coaster around here. or more like one step forward, two steps back. so i need a bit of fun: it is time for that birthday giveaway i announced last week

thanks to amazing husband (who got me a new camera this weekend after the awful camera water meltdown) i am now able to take photos again. like these of the two vintage botanical prints i will be giving away. .

the details: they are from an antique learning book that was among my late great grandmother's book treasures. the book is falling apart and i have decided to take out the prints, so that they can be fully enjoyed on the wall by fellow botanical print lovers. each print measures approximately 16cm x 24cm and they have holes from the book nails on their left side, which i find charming (but i believe you can frame them so they won't be visible if you prefer).

the book cover is a beautiful gray-toned print with art nouveau style letters, flowers and leaves (not part of the giveaway) and the title is vilde planter - i have, paa mark og eng (wild plants - in garden, field and meadow). it was published by the church- and school ministry of denmark in 1913.

one winner will receive both prints, so if you love vintage botanical prints like i do, just leave a comment, and check out next monday, november 23rd, to see if you are to be the lucky owner of these two beautiful prints.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

weekend still

it's weekend. i cannot remember a weekend this relaxed. i did absolutely nothing. i mean, i have three little ones, so obviously i didn't just sleep the days away, but close. J got sick yesterday, so D took N and little D to safta (grandma in hebrew). and i stayed at home with the sick one. pretty much just slept, relaxed and read books, mine or his, all day. we all went to bed early and got up early, and J seems to have miraculously recovered, no fever, no weakness.

today has been yet another day at home, but today with everyone around, in the garden and in the house. i have stayed away from the online world, which feels good, though i have some blog reading to catch up with. i didn't even get around to the corner views with favorite dishes yet, which i am looking very much forward to. but i had to make a quick post to tell you the best thing of the weekend... the month... ever!: i have a new camera. yes, i have. YEAH! D went to the nikon lab the other day and they declared the d60 completely done and over with. i was really bummed, but guess what: D came back and surprised me with a brand new camera, a nikon d5000. and then i went to heaven. still there.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

corner view - favorite dish

my favorite dish, or rather dishes along with my cups, glasses and plates, would be everything with a history. whether i bought it with a friend on a special trip, just before leaving my country with the one i love. or if it's that single part of a whole set that was given to me, knowing that brothers and cousins have their unique parts as well. or if it's those dishes i have looked at my entire childhood and adult life, but never actually used, inherited from my great grandmother, the things i found on the flea market just after moving to israel. so many favorites, each containing a story, a memory or a time in my or my family's life. all of which i remember and cherish every time i take a bite, a zip, pour a glass or just look at it as it stands in the kitchen cabinette.

for more favorite dishes, inspired by joyce, visit jane from spain daily.


thank you so much for all your birthday wishes yesterday. i had a wonderful day. and thank you for your sweet words on my camera loss. i am still bummed, it's probably gone. it's in the nikon lab in tel aviv now, but i am not optimistic, since they weren't. now i know: never ever switch on an electrical equipment if it has been in contact with water. and now you know too. being without a camera will be my challenge in the coming days/week. to post old photos or find images from other sources. that could actually end up being a fun experiment.

wishing you a lot of fun too.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

birthday and bad luck

it's my birthday today. i am getting older (i know, we all are, but...). last year i could still - without bending the truth too much - claim i was in the middle of my thirties. but 38... no can't do. this is officially going on 40. it's ok, don't get me wrong, but i cannot help but think about how i perceived 38, or 40 for that matter, when i was say 20. it was old. so i am struggling a bit with these previous perceptions of age and what is old, and where i should be and not be at this age.

but who cares about numbers? let's just celebrate with a tiny garland of dried leaves and purple cottons string and a big hooray for today. this day should be fun (and certainly funnier than yesterday...)

so, what happened yesterday? my beloved nikon d60, a surprise present from D back in july when he went to new york, it died. a complete blackout. and i was, and i am, devastated. there it was, in my bag, my bag on the bed in the guest room/office. in comes a child (not sure who, and it doesn't really matter either), takes a sip from a water bottle, puts water bottle down on the bed (without cap on), bottle falls as bottles tend to do when placed on a soft bed, but child doesn't notice and, yes, that's it. nikon d60 and bag fills with water. its pretty much soaking wet when i find it. and when i try to dry it and then test the damage nothing happens. except it smells burned. not a good sign. i almost (maybe even did a bit) started to cry. such awful bad luck. i still cannot believe it.

this also means that my planned birthday giveaway, which i think you will love love love, has been postponed. because a giveaway without pictures of the giveaway... it's just not the same, right? but i will give you a hint: we're talking vintage botanical prints, yes, it's that awesome (says the vintage botanical print freak), so you might want to stay tuned, as i am planning to find that old point and shoot i forgot all about - including where i put it - when i got my may-she-rest-in-peace d60.

consider these board shots a little interlude until the giveaway has been photographed. i told you i miss fall in my 25 degrees celcius heat wave. at least i miss my dream of it, because i can totally live with the warm weather. but i still miss fall. so i made a little fall for the board. that was of course before i got fall in the mail from joyce. now i have plenty of sweet golden fall in the house.

now i will go and forget about the sad camera tragedy, put on good smile and have a happy day. wishing you a happy day too.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

fall in the mail

look what we got! a package all the way from joyce of a perfect beginning in the usa. she had heard i was looking at pictures of all those pretty acorns and red leaves from the cold and dark places of the world. which made me miss home and 'real" fall. not like here, where we now have a heat wave of 25 degrees. in november. which is pretty ok after a week of rain and thunder, but still... i miss the cozy feeling of fall. and now we got it, nicely wrapped, with a lovely note and beautiful acorns with an acorn tray and red, golden leaves (that already found their way to my board). and it's warm and sunny outside. couldn't be better.

thank you so much, joyce. i am so thrilled and happy that you took the time to collect, dry and send these beautiful treasures my way.


we had a great birthday party yesterday. i didn't sort through the photos yet, so the update will have to wait. but i can tell you that it included a giant, orange dinosaur...

Friday, November 6, 2009


this week, while it was still rainy and cold, we did manage to go out now and then. one of those times we went hunting for pecans. not much hunting needed, though, as the storm had brought them to the ground, where we just needed to pick them up.

it was a cold and dark afternoon, not much light to take photos. i was expecting rather grainy photos, and they are. but i really like this peculiar light and texture.

so, did i tell you that we were expecting a heat wave after the awful weather? we did. and it arrived! 25 degrees celcius, sun and flip flops on again. which means that the double up 4 years birthday celebration we canceled last weekend due to the rain and the thunderstorm, will in fact happen this weekend. which also means i have a ton of stuff to do. alas, i am off.

happy weekend to you all, may you find something worth celebrating this weekend as well, big or small.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

just a week ago

when mud was still something you had to work for. before the rain started. that said, we actually had lots of sun and blue sky yesterday. and we are even expecting a heat wave by the end of the week. yeah!

we recently made a sandbox with an old electricity pole we got from D's brother. cut it into four pieces, made a square and filled it with sand from the nearby beach (not sure that's legal... don't tell anyone). they can spend hours playing with mud. it's messy, but it seems to have an almost meditative effect. and i will choose dirty, happy and calm outside over clean, restless and noisy inside any day. so good we got the sun back.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

corner view - contrasts

"i know corner view is always on wednesdays. in fact i thought about it several times in the past week, but still i didn’t prepare a corner view."

a linguistic contrast describes the relationship between two segments in a discourse. It is often characterized with the use of a contrast marker such as but, however or yet.

so, a linguistic contrast could be, for example, to say that someone (say me) knows of a certain event and therefore it is to be expected that he/she (also me) will be prepared for it. nevertheless, by introducing the linguistic contrast marker "but" and stating that he/she (me again) did in fact not prepare for such an event (like a corner view, for example), a linguistic contrast has been established.


by the way, i really didn't have much time this week. blame it on the drops of water and the work and baking problems that followed.

and the image of a chameleon is not only to show you that we have awesome wild life in the garden. i figured it is also a nice example of how the lack of visual contrast, resulting in effective blending in with your surroundings, can be very useful sometimes. though he is not really doing such a good job, is he? say if you don't look at him with the green trees as a background, but look from below against a blue sky. then he's pretty much green against blue.

i guess everyone sticks out in some way or another, it just depends on the angle.


for more contrast, visit dana, who has been such a wonderful host of jane's corner view these past few weeks.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

more drops

today the rain seems to be taking a break. we have had blue sky and no rain since early morning. i needed a break. it's good for the country, but i need a break. because it's not fun to be stuck indoor while it hails and the thunder storm is making the day as dark as night, which results in restless kids, the house being an utter mess and me slightly irritable.

and it didn't make my mood any better when the roof started to leak yesterday. yup, nice drops in the living room, the guest room and in the end, even in the dining room. israel is not build for the rain, or should i say, israel doesn't build for rain. streets get flooded, train stations under water, and our roof starts to leak. there are four places where the water is supposed to run down from the roof, but sometimes they get blocked by leaves and stuff, as they did yesterday. i called D to tell him about the indoor rain and he asked if i couldn't just put a bucket to catch the water. i was like "a bucket? you must be kidding me, i need a bath tub!" it wasn't like one place, more like long cracks where water dripped along the entire stretch. for some crazy lucky reason they moved around and exactly missed television, couch and bookshelves.

so, i had three kids running energetic around the house, trying to direct them away from our living room covered in towels . and as much as i love the open plan with no doors between kitchen, living room and dining room, it is not easy to create a no-trespassing zone when needed. i eventually put the tv on in our bedroom, but the weather made the satellite shaky, so every few minutes the signal disappeared, which made the kids pretty frustrated, as you might imagine.

oh, and the electricity tends to disappear too. every now and then it went out for just a second. not bad, but just enough to shot down the computer (as i was trying to work last night) and the oven (as i was trying to bake a cake for the late birthday party in the kindergarten today). i had candles lit on strategic places all over the house in case the electricity would go for a longer while. it happens a lot in this weather. and i was alone with the kids, so i needed to be able to get them together fast since they get scared if they are alone in a room and the light suddenly disappears.

so, what was i saying? oh yes, i need the rain to take a break. please!

all that said, it's still pretty, the rain and the rain drops. so indulge me. i had to show you a few more drops of water (but i will spare you the miserable sight of drops flooding my living room floor).

and see! we have fresh lemons coming. there are still some older ones left on some of the trees, but they are getting a bit dry. so these little darlings are the new batch that will add some freshness to a warm cup of tea in january and february.