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A note to readers using Google Reader

As you probably know by now, Google Reader is shutting shop tomorrow — July 1. If you use it in order to read blogs — and my stats tell me that several hundred of you do — you’ll need to export your feeds in order to continue reading them somewhere …

red-and-white-tahini2

A tale of two tahini mills

After a few wrong turns that led us up and down the bleached stone staircases of Jerusalem’s Old City, we’d found ourselves standing outside what looked like a small convenience store. There were no other storefronts in the immediate vicinity. The nutty smell of sesame was everywhere. But where was …

okra

Caramelized okra with tahini mashed potatoes

If you’re going to eat okra, you’ll be eating it stewed in a tomato sauce. For some reason that dictate is observed as if it were religiously mandated. Why is that? It tastes good, of course. But right now is okra season, these itty bitty green nibs are being sold …

roasted-eggplant

Smoked eggplant with sheep’s cheese and radish sprouts

Once so often you encounter a dish that’s really stellar and memorable. This eggplant was one such dish. The setting: A stormy winter night at a seaside restaurant. Low lighting. Dark decor with black leather chairs. An eye-level view of the raging Mediterranean sea, waves the height of a small …

vegetable-patties

Vegetable patties with spinach and herbs

Ah, babies are unpredictable. The first time I made these vegetable patties, my son scarfed them down. Crispy and soft inside, I handed them to him hot off the stove and he couldn’t get enough. I was thrilled. It’s not like he doesn’t eat vegetables, but he’s given to bouts …

Ramle-vegetable-seller

Eating lunch at Israel’s markets

To market, to market. It’s been a busy few months, and not because we’ve been up to anything in particular — mostly just due to life. Raising a toddler, working, toddler, work, and then the day is over. It’s not that I haven’t been cooking — cooking has become even …

potato-kubbot

Potato kubbeh with mushroom filling, and a tempest in a semolina shell

Kubbeh got a brief blast of attention when a pop-up kubbeh restaurant briefly appeared in New York City last month. Reading about it from afar, I was pleased that kubbeh was getting some much-deserved focus — kubbeh is quite popular in Israel, but nearly entirely unknown in the United States. …

prasa

Prasa (leek) patties for Passover

Leek dumplings are a traditional Passover food for many people of Turkish and Balkan descent, my family included, though I couldn’t tell you what makes this specifically Passover food. To be honest, it’s not really a dish that my family makes anymore — at this point, the koftes de prasa …

mushroom-fava-beans

Braised mushrooms and fava beans with spring garlic and scallions

There’s something invigorating about visiting the market on one of the earliest days of spring. I don’t mean spring in the true calendar sense, as sticklers will point out that officially we have a week or two of winter left. And I also don’t mean it purely in terms of …

spring-matzo-ball-soup2

Springtime matzo ball broth

Is it that time of year again? The time when it becomes socially acceptable to start planning for Passover? My, how time flies. Our Passover is likely to be a particularly hectic one, since we’ll be spending it in a new apartment. After 6-plus years in our little Tel Aviv …