Tuesday, June 23, 2009

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We had one of those breathless evenings at the Port in Jaffa. Tel Aviv is celebrating the 100th Birthday and the city that never sleeps, is having one celebration after another. The Port at Jaffa, the Port at the entrance to Tel Aviv, the streets of Jaffa, the city all in all ,is one large celebration. Museums, galleries and public areas glow with events.

We chose the BLUE WHITE CULTURAL JAFFA NIGHT. There were families that live in the area, tourist, and visitors from all over Israel and of course the artists who never let you down. Different, individual and all looking for the spot light The guest performers were a medley of violinists, guitarists, sound performers and the singer of the evening Marina Maximilian Blumin. This fabulous performer was the runner up in the "American Idol" "KOCHAV NOLAD" show in Israel. She performed the Arabesque Groove, with style, enthusiasm and her great personality just wowed the audience. . Marina has come a long way
We loved her show.
We dragged ourselves away and visited the whole area, explored the stalls and craft sellers, ecological food stalls and the NALAGA'AT CENTRE. This is a unique performance centre. The people in the restaurant are either deaf or hearing impaired. Gestures and movement vibrate all over the place. The area you eat in is dark, the waitresses are either blind or visually impaired…………….I can go on for ages , but truly everyone should visit this place. Once is nor even enough.
More than 70,000 people have been there in the first year. Put this on your list
………call for a booking at 03 6330808 . www.nalagaat.org.il

Well by now lemonade. ices and wholesome pitot with za'atar and sesame seeds were not enough. We had an authentic Middle Eastern meal at Hezi Katil. The place was filled with moving eaters and fragrances of great foods. We had hummus, eggplants, tabouleh, great pitot, a rice medley with lots of turmeric, pickles, olives and the kind of food that makes you want more. The most amazing guests strolled in. There was a bride, resplendent with her hennaed hands of decorations up her arm and fingers. She sparkled with a heavily embroidered wedding gown, tiara, diamante earrings, a full crinoline dress and make up that was Dior at its best. The groom was simply dressed by comparison. The bridesmaid wore an ensemble of purple that made the sun look cool. She was bedecked in color and a happy smile. They sat down to cokes and a hummus meal as well.
Dessert ended the evening and we headed home. We had seen it all. Fellini, art décor surreal and people doing what they should do……having a good time. .

A quick cool treat.


Cube the watermelon pieces and cut up half a cup of mint leaves and cover. Place in the fridge to chill. Serve with cubes of Bulgari cheese and tooth picks on each. You can serve this on a large plate with a few washed grapes. I love this with Recanatti dessert wine....
Yasmin White Wine is great with Italian dishes and creamy cheeses. Cabernet Sauvignon is great with smoked piquant cheeses. Shiraz, is delightful with pastas and savory dishes.
Call me if you would like to visit the Recanatti wine House.


Take two cups of washed grapes, two cups of diced melon, two cups of diced water melon, two tablespoons of pine kernels, a peeled and cubed apple and mint leaves, two cups of apple cider. Place covered in a bowl for a few hours. Serve in a tall glass with a long spoon.


Choose a large glass plate or tray. Wash grape leaves or lettuce leaves. On these display a selection of cheeses. Cut some, cube others, use cucumbers or melons as a base. Have a few slabs of cheeses or blocks that can be sliced as needed. Decorate with washed figs, grapes , carrot sticks, celery stalks, tomatoes and cucumbers. Use mint leaves as décor and sliced kohlrabi. I have French loaves, crackers and biscotti on the side


Sunday, June 14, 2009

jewellery, design MICHAL NEGRIN


Today we had a delightful experience. We visited the fantasy world of creativity, imagination and sheer joy, of the world famous artist of jewellry, fashion and design, MICHAL NEGRIN. I recommend this to all your friends, artists, designers and visitors from abroad. The rooms are collections of beauty. The studio features excellent crafts man at work and the hospitality and ambience are a reflection of the owners and the Staff. Call me for more details. This is a great place to celebrate a birthday, visit with people who love beauty and want a very special gift, an individual piece for a bride, a treasure for a child, or a fashion piece of clothing, dresses, tops, bags and shoes.
This is a treasure house that makes us so proud of Israeli talent..........

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

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children, school holidays, bringing up kids in this world


Parents have a very hard time in this busy, competitive world. They are juggling life, jobs, relationships and bringing up the kid., It is not an easy job.I feel priorities are lost, confused and put aside for unimportant daily tasks and social ideas.

Nobody tells us how difficult the job will be. Yesterday some one sent me a list of what it costs to raise your kids, fees for college and all the needs of the modern age.. No one tells you that the sacrifice and duties are non ending and totally unconditional. You get up when you are tired, you do homework when your head hurts, you cook meals when you would rather have a half an hour sleep. You even smile when you feel like sitting down and having a good cry. Mothers and Fathers have extra responsibilities' The society has switched roles now. Sometimes Moms are bread winners, Dads work abroad and travel a great deal, granny and grand pa are in another country and families seem to live far from each other.
If you are lucky and have family support, never take it for granted. It is a gift to have love and caring down the road. It is joy to be able to call up and say I need help, and knowing some one will come. We need to count our blessings and embrace them

I read an interesting quote recently;
"In today's world parents find themselves at the mercy of a society which imposes pressures and priorities that allow neither time nor place for meaningful activities and relations between children and adults, which downgrade the role of the parents and the functions of parenthood, and which prevent the parent from doing things he wants to do as a guide, friend, and companion to his children."
Uri Bronfenbrenner. Russian born US Psychologist and advocate for families.
This set me thinking and realizing how precious child hood is. The everyday things are memories for life. We need to be responsible, caring and committed, to make the earlyyears happy, secure and precious

Holiday season is on the way. Don't complain that the kids will be home, under your feet and demanding all day. They need a break from routine, early morning rising and dead lines for buses, car pools, classes, after school activities, meals , bath times ………take the opportunity to make this a union of joy. The time you spend together is unique and a privilege. Make the holiday a time to remember

Take a moment to remember that the class room scene is tough. The teacher has to control, discipline, teach the kids something and put up with their moods, bad behavior and advice on how to do the work properly. Could you control forty kids for a year? Now you only have your two or three to deal with, so give a moment of thanks to the teachers who do their best all year…………………………

Firstly make a list of what you will do daily. Relax, beach, walks, trips to good nature spots , cooking a favorite dish and baking cookies and muffins. Paint the outdoor furniture. Take them shopping to choose paints, sand paper, brushes. gloves and learn the techniques. Paint their bedrooms in a swinging style of their choice.

Collect family photos and make albums, Write the events, dates and names next to each one. Create collages to frame. Make stencil drawings in graphic style. Tidy and file all certificates and awards. Put all cherished cards in memory boxes.

Ask the children if they have a special dream. Maybe to learn to play cricket, soccer or do a martial art. Perhaps the girls want to learn Flamenco or design beads. Try to give them a chance to fulfill a special wish.

Look at the newspaper or Internet and choose a show they would like to see. Check what the museums and galleries have on this month. Find places that have cherry picking, rides, kids activities and spend a day there.

The list is endless, but the main thing is to be happy and to cherish time with the family, that matter to you.
If you are a working mother, plan with others that they do morning outings and you have all the kids for a light snack and a movie at home one evening. Share the outings with friends. Go to visit zoos, factories, chocolate makers, newspapers printing presses, the fire men, a bakery and of course a wood shop and carpentry, a bee farm, the goat farm and cheese makers. The wineries and the flower and vegetable farms. have great tours.

Take time to go out with each child individually. They need the time and bonding. They appreciate having you to themselves and you will be amazed that they
'will chat and share moments with you that are impossible, when everyone else is around.
Do everything with enthusiasm, a positive attitude and love.When you live with a smile, the world is in colour and balance.
Love and light to all of you . HAPPY HOLIDAYS to the kids and to the parents, patience, love and enjoy the time with those you love.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

ginger the great spice.


Ginger is a great spice originally of Asian origin. It is used fresh, preserved in sugar or in a powder form. As a Tea it is great for nausea, sore throats, early morning sickness in pregnant women, and for cases of dizziness If you put half a teaspoon of fresh ginger, chopped up, into a glass of boiling water and let it stand for a few hours, it is an excellent aid to digestion, You can drink it before and after meals.
When you have over indulged or eaten heavy food, drink ginger water and after a few glasses you will feel better.
For a sore throat or post nasal drip, I grate about half a teaspoon of ginger and place it in a jug of two cups of boiling water. Cover and leave overnight. Drink this early in the morning and it will help to cleanse the troubled area.

Ginger has been used in cakes, cookies, Indian and Thai cooking, in sweets, jams, for ginger beer and ginger drinks. Crystallised ginger is a favourite sweet meat with everyone In China and Japan, it is used in marinades, boullions and soups. In India and Pakistan, people use ginger in meats, fish, rice and vegetable purees.


1 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, one teaspoon of ginger, one teaspoon of cocoa, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 1/2 to 3/4 cup of milk. 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, 1/4 lb butter. 1 cup of fruit, 2 tablespoons of honey,1 cup hot water.

Cream the butter and sugar add the honey and eggs. Sift the dry ingredients into the mixture and gradually add the milk and slowly the bicarbonate of soda. Dissolve the bicarb in 1/4 cup of boiling water before you add it.
Bake in an oven of 400 for half an hour. You can bake it in a loaf pan or two small ones. I sprinkle a little olive oil in the loaf tin and cover it with sesame seeds. Then when you turn it out, the cake has a lovely top.


I use a selection of fresh vegetables. Cut up onions, garlic, carrots, celery, strips of red and yellow peppers, cauliflowers and broccoli. Use a cup per person. Then stir fry these in olive oil with a tablespoon of soya sauce, two full teaspoons of freshly grated ginger. Salt and pepper and chopped parsley. You then add two cups of cut up mushrooms and two teaspoons of sesame seeds, chopped walnuts and a few slices of extra crystalissed ginger. Serve this over a bowl of 1uinoa or rice. It is also great with a pasta dish.
We love it with added chutney and coconut on the side.


1 tin of condensed milk..
Sliced preserved ginger in syrup…more or less two tablepoons.
1 cup whipped cream
Packet of cinnamon or good butter biscuits.

Caramelize the condensed milk by placing the unopened tin in a pot of water and boil three hours. Line a shallow dish with whipped cream'
Spread biscuits with the condensed milk and place side by side with cream. Sprinkle with ginger. Repeat the layers. Refrigerate three hours. Decorate with ginger and cherries.

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out of africa ..be real


I suddenly rushed off to Africa and my readers were left without new reading. So here I am, home and happy to be on the key board.
As we travel all over the globe, we re unite with friends and family. Growing into ones senior years is an awakening. As we gaze at faces of times in the past, we see how the years have worn. They too are looking at us and see the lines, frowns that show the wear and tear of living. I feel glad that we have a tale to tell, a story to relate and know we have lived a life.
My brother Jack was hospitalized for most of my visit. And my sister, brother in law and Jack's wife, had lots of time to chat and reflect on the years that rolled by. We all have dreams for the children, plans for growing older, worries re older parents and of course the chit chat of places, faces, eating, living and making days worthwhile. . I found that there are galloping changes in South Africa, with new directions and the present generation in the cyber space age. We realized that many of us have our kids, all over the globe. We use skype, phones and any device for constant contact. We see them less but have access to their daily activities, outings and hourly contacts. We need our hobbies; friends and new activities to us keep busy and create a balance of living.

Balance is being real. Less masks, living with reality and truth, being just you. We watch the unexplainable behavior of personalities, public figures and leaders. It would be great if we could respect them for their example to others. Their poor conduct and weaknesses are disappointing. Corrupt ways and lack of morals, and the absence of a characteristic called truth, destroy many people. Role models should be inspirational and set a shining example
. Being just you is a tall order…. Be real, fair and satisfied with your lot.
Let balance replace confusion and pressures that are created out of nonsense. Find the feeling that what you can do, what you are able to cope with, is just fine. Take your time to give moments of shared pleasure with family, friends and co workers. Say "How are you" and listen to the answer. Offer to help in a crisis, lend an ear to troubled souls, share a joyful event and take moments of joy as a gift that is precious.

I recommend meditation, reading , exercise, bridge, sports, yoga, but more than anything, try to be satisfied with who you are, what you have done, helping others and all in all, BE CONTENT. This is a way of life. Grateful for what you have, happy with the little things each day and glad that you can give a hand to less fortunate people.
Your pets give you pleasure……………delight in this.
The flowers and gardens are a source of beauty and color, embrace it all.
Birds and the bees balance the delicacy of nature - acknowledge their presence.
We want our children to inherit a better earth, so we must prepare and preserve it all.

Love each day and do little things to give joy to others. Volunteer to help less fortunate people. Grow herbs on the window and place a fresh bloom in your home. Pick up an old novel you never had time to read. I JUST DID AND LOVED IT . Carson Mc Cullers The Member of a Wedding. She also wrote The Heart of a Lonely Hunter.
Learn a new hobby, play the piano, chess and scrabble. Challenge yourself with the cross word, Sudoku or spelling bees. In short, create joy.

Be glad you are well each day and let THANKYOU be in your mind, We cannot take anything for granted. LIFE IS A BEAUTIFUL GIFT, KEEP IT WELL, SAFE AND CARE FOR IT DAILY. WISHING YOU A WEEK OF LIGHT RONA