Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Friday Shabbat Dinner: Tel Aviv, Israel

Date:  vendredi 10 fevrier 2012
Location:  Private home in Herziliya Pituach, Israel

Friday Shabbat dinner is a wonderful thing here in Israel, for better or for worse, according to some.  For me, as a foreigner and a foodie, it's always nice knowing that I have something to do on Friday night (revolving around warm food, of course!).  And very good food too, might I add. 

I've been extremely lucky in my world travels to have met some pretty fantastic people who have become lifelong friends.  One friend in particular took me under his wing for no particular reason at all - other than - as I like to think, his having a soft heart and feeling my need for genuine friendship and help acclimatizing to Tel Aviv from a multi-cultural perspective.  Amongst glib English speakers.  :)  His friends quickly became my friends.  I also received the selective invitation (more than once) to attend Shabbat dinner on Fridays at his parents' beautiful home in Herziliya Pituach (a very nice area, liken it to the Beverly Hills of Israel). Coming from Chinese culture, it is not every day that we invite  people into our home for family dinner (too paranoid of our dirty laundry being picked up on and spread out into the public!).  So, I am eternally grateful for these gestures.   Never to be taken for granted.  

At the Kolitz home, it is always warm inside and many hugs and kisses are shared as we arrive.  In these recent winter months, we arrived inside from the outside cold, wet, and windy night.  I am always especially excited to see what home cooked meals are going to be served on the beautifully arranged dining table.  Everyone speaks very well English, which actually is not the norm in Israel.

Mostly, I arrive feeling like the big bad wolf - tongue dripping and salivating, cannot wait to see and taste what's going to be served that night!  Ariel's Mom and their house keeper are excellent chefs.   And thank God they do not overly salt anything at all!

When I reflect upon my Israel Adventure-Journey, this is one of the events I feel most honored to be part of.  The open warmth and welcoming from one particular very generous and giving individual, and my life in Israel was suddenly very much more than OK. :)

I love proper place settings!  :)

This was DELICIOUS warm soup... prepared with lentil beans, tomatoes, onions, and light spices.  Of course, you can see I am a little bit of messy eater when I get excited!

There is always red wine at the table.  :)  2006 Castel Cabernet.

Home-made mustard from mustard seeds!  Can't get enough of this stuff!  The jar was empty by end of dinner.  :)  

YUM!!!  Freshy boiled winter artichokes.

I <3 roasted AUBERGINE (but not in Green Curry - NEVER!) prepared Middle Eastern way.  Always comes out a bit smoky tasting, love it!

Always a healthy, fresh, salad or vegetable.  

Beautiful roasted beef, prepared with herbs!  Wonderful!

Delicious freshly homemade tahini (please don't say it with the HGEBREGEEEWW accent, I can't stand it!).  

 Roasted juicy chicken and potatoes!  My favorite was the roasted parsnips in there!

It's always great eating POMELLO when someone else has already peeled it for you!