Sunday, January 31, 2010

eggs + one chicken

i still think it's awesome every single time i go and collect eggs in the chicken coop. such a sweet deal: food leftovers for eggs.

last week D forgot to close the door and they all ventured into the garden. not a big deal, they will eventually return to the coop. only minus is that they leave chicken crap everywhere. and that's not so cool when the kids run around and play. plus, they eat from the veggie garden (but we don't have anything out of the ground yet these days. just planted a whole lot of potatoes, onions and tomatoes, though).

when the kids got back from kindergarten i had them chase them back into the coop, poor things (the chickens - kids had a blast). when we were done there was an extra chicken in the coop. no idea where it came from.

i have been a little busy, and have not visited many blogs lately. i am looking so much forward to catch up, but for the time being i will have to restrain myself every time the urge comes around. *sigh*

ps: thank you for all the sweet feedback to my little wild thing illustration from last post. i have been working on several things - can't wait to share with you.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

memories of a season

yesterday was a really chilly day. unusually cold for israel, but the sun was shining and the sky blue-blue. i felt like wearing a summer dress.

despite that it is winter.

i felt the early danish summer days, in a floral dress with my feet in rain boots. putting on a big old sweater to keep me warm when walking out into the garden in the chilly mornings with a cup of hot coffee to warm my hands.

but it is winter. and maybe i am just making up my memory. because it felt different than what was, but still right.

everything is blooming. it's green and you can almost see it growing. finally, it's all coming back. the sun burns with no mercy throughout july and august, leaving nothing untouched. then the rain begins in the fall, and now it is the time to watch all the magic it brings. just like early summer back home.

yesterday was the day i finished my mom's fig and ginger jam. from the fig tree in the garden. today is her birthday. wishing you a happy day, mom.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

corner view - favorite hangout

:: the ocean, any day, any weather.

:: in my bed those rare mornings where i can wake slowly, quietly, while watching the morning light through the window. (if i have the kids sleeping right next to me, squeezed in between us, listening to their sweet breathing, looking at their pretty little faces, it's just about the best place to hang out).

:: some cozy little place, having a glass of wine with a good friend.

now go hang out with jane of spain daily and let her guide you to even more hang outs around the world.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

in the meantime

i am running around these days. from haifa to jerusalem, back again and then some running around the house. ok it's more like driving and being home doing all kind of things that need to be done. but it feels like running. and it certainly feels like no time to post or read blogs.

in the meantime, a random selection of images, enjoy :) i will be back soon.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

another thing, another season, another week

a have a thing with garlands. besides bears. maybe you noticed?

the rain is back, but we had a beautiful, sunny weekend. went for a walk with the kids and picked some wild flowers. it's good to see green and colors again. yay for the winter rain and all the beauty it brings.

now i have the house to myself, the smoke has cleared and i need to get things back in place and the mud off of the floor.

wishing you a happy new week.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

on the wall

walked through neve tsedek the other day on my trip to tel aviv. before the rain started. and ended again.

passed by beautiful asymmetry, saw the sweet music, and found some peace and love, todah (thank you).

and then i had a glass of limonana with a friend (limonade with nana, the hebrew word for mint). it was good.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

corner view - personal style

these days i am drawn to dark blue, silver, grey, pearls. and i love that old leather belt i recently found (i'm obsessed with natural leather). plaids and flowers are not my usual choice, but i love that secondhand jacket and the floral dress. the black and grey scarf has been around my neck for quite a while. not sure it comes off anymore. my mom gave me the nike sneakers for christmas (handpicked by me). they have been attached to my legs ever since.

i feel almost naked without my gold ring. we married very casual and didn't get wedding rings, so D gave me this after little D was born. it's made of three rings twirling together. one for each boy of ours.

so, enough of me. continue your stylish adventure, with the lovely jane of spain daily as your guide.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

they just keep on coming

still loving bears. and they just keep coming. some still in process, some (i think) done. and then others just appearing.

ps. i know. it's corner view. but it just didn't happen for me today. maybe i will follow up in the coming days, but only if the weather get's better. it's so awful cold in the house i just cannot get out of my big, soft, woolen cocoon. and it's not my style. or at least not the style i would like to pretend i have. like "normal clothes" style

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

time to bring out the oxtail

the sun has left the building. and with that the little summer we enjoyed this weekend. it's actually ok. if there's one thing i know for sure, it is that i will get plenty of sun sooner or later. this is, after all, the middle east. but for now we're indoors, listening to the rain and the wind.

good thing is, that this weather calls for some heavy and hearty food, so what better time than this to bring out the oxtail? i love oxtail. for soup or, like here, stew. i was one of those kids. i loved oxtail, liver and heart. and the neck of the chicken or the turkey. in fact my older brother and i would have a ritual fight about who would get the heart and who would get the neck when we had chicken. and my mom would shake her head (and probably be slightly worried about our sanity).

but seriously, oxtail is so tasty and oh so yummy. and i recently had D's mom get me a stash of oxtail for the freezer. and then i was waiting for a day like this. a cold and rainy day.

so, if you're ready to try, this is what you do:

  • braise the oxtail pieces (i had about 1/2 a kilo cut into 4-5 cm pieces) in a heavy pot, then take them out for a moment, while frying a finely chopped onion.
  • add the oxtail again plus 8-10 whole, peeled cloves of garlic, and just about cover the oxtail with water (1/2 liter maybe). add salt, thyme, bay leaves, and - if you like spicy - some chili powder, as well as half a chili pepper finely sliced.
    (i knew the kids would not eat this, if they were i would have left out the chili. the garlic on the other hand is ok. it cooks for such a long time that it becomes mild and not strong at all).
  • leave the oxtail to simmer in the crock pot under heavy lit for three hours.
    if you are to make this into a soup skim some of the fat away before adding extra water (you might want to do this no matter what you are making depending on how much fat was on the oxtail pieces and whether you cleaned them from some of the fat before you started cooking). you could add a bit of port wine too, or chicken/beef/vegetable broth if you like, but i don't think it's necessary.
  • when it's boiling again, add your veggies. i used one little celery root, two carrots, two red onions and a leek. i cut celery and carrots in little cubes, onions in little "boats" and leek cut into one cm slices. cook until carrots and celery are done (approx. 15-20 min).
  • some people would prefer to take out the oxtail and remove the meat from the bones and then add it to the stew/soup again. i like to eat it as finger food with the bones. but it's greasy and nasty, and not recommended if you are to eat this meal with people, who you would like to think of you as a classy lady.

i served it with mashed potato, but it could also go well with rice, and if you make it into a soup, noodles would be good too. i am pretty sure a scoop of sour cream would have made it even more perfect, but that's a matter of taste, i guess.

definitely a meal for cold weather. it's slow cooking, filling the house with a smell of goodness while simmering away. and it warms all the way to the soul.

focus, please

i read this post by polly of sotto voce a little while back. and it stayed with me. focus should be my new mantra. ever since i lost my job i have been thinking about what to do. and thinking is the keyword here. i have so many half ideas, but cannot stay focused long enough to do much about anything.

what do i want to be when i grow up? i am getting re-acquainted with that question, but it's not a question that gets me all excited. not like back then, when the future was an eternity away and you were on a solo trip, making the all-options-open adventurous and exciting. cause if you didn't really like it, you could just do something else. right now, all-options-open makes me feel stressed out and uncomfortable. it's kind of tiring to wake up in the morning not knowing who you are, or at least who you would like to be.

i mean, i have the fundamental things pretty defined: i am a mother, a wife, a daughter and a friend. but those are all things that define me in a relation to others. which is good, can't live without that. but i have this urge to define myself in in relation to... well me. is that spoiled? unrealistic with little children, bills that need to be paid, laundry that needs to be done?

i feel a bit spoiled. especially when i compare my existential concerns to those with real problems in the world. like having your entire life literally turned into rubble and chaos in an earth quake. it feels a bit like when you were a kid and didn't want to eat and appreciate the food you were served, only to have some adult person remind you about all the starving children in africa. it makes you feel bad.

so, don't take me wrong. i do feel lucky. to have the time to struggle with existential issues and the good old who am i is pretty privileged, but that doesn't make it any less frustrating.

so, where was i? focus, that's right. i need to focus.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

yup, it's hot here

we went to the beach yesterday. it was beautiful and warm. and that's me in the second photo. i just wanted to show you that i actually wore a t-shirt yesterday. and if i did that, it was a really warm day (because usually i am the last one to get rid of the layers :)

after wards we went to the local fishermen. they have their own little place where they sell fried fresh fish with salad, hummus and chips. nothing fancy, just a few tables, and a impromptu kitchen in a small wooden shed (ok, it's been there for a few years, so not really impromptu anymore, only the feel of it is). but the view is something else. and the fish... let me tell you: it's good!

hope you're enjoying your weekend too. i'm off to the city with a good friend for brunch and, you know, city life.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

bear loving

i have been making bears lately. in drawings and stitches. not sure why, but they fascinate me. do you have periods where you are drawn to something, just because?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

corner view - holidays

i love the light of the holidays. december was so full of candles. christmas calendar candles, advent candles, hanukka candles, and just candles. and fairy lights.


i have been a mother of twin boys for four years. two years ago little D came along and joined the fun. still, mentally i have not fully adjusted to the new reality of the holidays. that holidays are not relaxing. not about sleeping in, cuddling up, forgetting myself in a book, watch episode after episode of a favorite show, eating brunch and reading newspapers for hours.

for the past four years holidays have been exhausting. not in a bad way, but still exhausting. they start early with three boys taking over my bed. and then the jumping, running, shouting, playing, talking, arguing, laughing, crying and everything else that comes along with those three little boys. and me and D trying to organize, direct, redirect, guide, comfort, entertain (or sneak in a moment to regain sanity). until by evening they are once again asleep. and i can hardly see straight anymore (see the photos ;)

and that's when the still comes. that sweet quiet that follows a day filled with the kind of noise only kids can make. happy, angry, ultimate, energetic, full of life. it blends with the silence in the air, and i need it, just like i need oxygen.

i still miss the old kind of holidays, and i dream about the day they will return. but i try to breath in the new times, every second of it. even when i'm about to go crazy. cause i know they will be over before i know it, and i will miss them too.


need a few more holidays? jane of spain daily will lead the way.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

fresh bread and morning sun

i baked this bread in the weekend. i do that quite often, because, well, it's the best bread ever. so simple, so good. it's baked in an iron cast pot, which makes the crust to die for. this time around i used 2/3 wheat flour and 1/3 whole wheat flour. i added some quinoa and oats as well as dried dates.

just out of the oven it is so hot you can hear the crust cracking as it adjusts to the cold. you can even see it changing a tiny bit in the structure. i love to watch and listen. this particular morning it was extra pretty, as the early morning sun was shining through the window. the kids were still snuggling up in bed with D, leaving me alone in the quiet kitchen with a cup of coffee in my hand. standing there, surrounded by golden morning light and the scent of freshly baked bread mixing with the smell of my coffee, i felt content.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

persimmons and the good mess

i don't buy persimmons very often. but when i do we just eat them raw, like fruit. is it considered a fruit or a vegetable? they look really pretty and i wonder if i can cook with them. how do you eat persimmons?

did you have a good weekend? we did. as in did absolutely nothing. last weekend was so very hectic with birthday parties of both friends and family, so this weekend was a stay-at-home kind. it was good.

today sunday (which in the rest of the world is better known as monday, the day the week begins) i spent the entire day cleaning and organizing. those weekends at home with the entire family playing, resting, gardening, eating, cooking, etc, they sure create a mess. a good, warm, fun mess though.

Friday, January 8, 2010

what i brought home

hello little lady, i said, when i saw her in the most bizarre little yard sale in tel aviv.

a little sign on a busy street in the middle of the city saying cheapest yard sale now, with an arrow pointing towards a tiny shed in a back alley filled with cheap plastic crap, boxes of old tools, books and clothes. and then this old, but very well-kept golden dame.

i always liked these wooden sketch dolls. and this one was particularly nice in old, toned wood.

wishing you a wonderful weekend :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

life goes on

i signed up for the 365 group on flickr created by julochka of moments of perfect clarity. which made me actually take photos these past days of feeling not so good, like those two above, that i really like. they make me happy.

it's a very inspiring group with talented people offering great feedback. i already feel i have learned so much - in theory at least - from reading comments to mine as well as to other photos in the group.

i have not really read any blogs in the past week. nor have i replied to any of those sweet and encouraging comments you left me in this time regarding my career doubts and me being a bit sick. but please do know that i am so grateful and that i so appreciate your concern and to hear your thoughts. i feel better now, in body and mind, and went through my blog feed. so much goodness waiting for me out there in blog world. i will catch up soon, but not today.

i wish there was a pause button for ordinary life to push when you yourself need to slow down for a day. or three. but no such thing. so today, since i am feeling better, i have some catching up to do around the house. i think i will get started with this (and that's just the clean pile).

ps: that knitted wool throw on the couch. i love it. it's handknit, and i found it a couple of years back in a thrift store in denmark. ridiculously cheap. it's only used those few months of cold we have here in israel. it's just impossible to even look at thick wool like this in the hot summer days without starting to itch and break into a sweat. maybe that's why i treasure it so much more.