Baking in Nazareth

Making pastries in Nazareth

Today was a lot of fun – I went with friends Jen and Naz to an Arab woman’s home in Nazareth to bake traditional Arab pastries. It was an outing organized by a woman here in Israel who is a foodie and writing a book about food in Israel. She is especially interested in families who grow organic food and keep traditional ways of cooking.

She took us to the home of Balkes (‘bal-keys’). A very modest home with Arabic writing sprinkled around. We sat around a long table in the living room and watched Balkes make two kinds of cookies: one a butter cookie filled with pistachios and another filled with dates. She made the dough, then gave it to us to roll, pinch, fill, etc. Then we made two kinds of savory pastries: one filled with a fresh spinach mixture and another filled with fresh homemade goat cheese. Everything was just incredible and we enjoyed them over a delicious lunch of salad, pita, okra in tomato sauce and a lentil-bulgar mixture. Thanks to Jen for motivating us to go!

Click for more baking photos.

Last Monday, John and I were off work for Martin Luther King Day. We went to Benedict’s, a 24 hour restaurant known for its breakfast. It was wonderful, especially with the glass of champagne they serve with it!

We went to two happy hours this week. The New Professionals Association had happy hour at Gordo’s on the beach Wednesday night, then on Friday, the CLO (Community¬†Liaison¬†Office) sponsored a happy hour at the bar/restaurant next to the Embassy. Both were fun.

I also got some good work done this week, wrapping up some projects. Feels good to get things off of my desk!

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