Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Happy Halloween from Jerusalem!

My first year here I decided that I wouldn't force myself to re-create American holidays here in Jerusalem. I thought that now that I am living in Israel, well, I'll try to be an Israeli. Turns out that I am not Israeli. I am a non-Jewish American living in Israel. I missed the holidays. The past year felt like one long month without the traditional markers that help me know that a year has past.

For Halloween I decided to make some stew and invite a couple of people over for some jack-o-lantern carving fun. The day before yesterday, after finding a recipe for a beef stew that I though we might enjoy, I headed to the shuk for the ingredients. The whole way to the shuk I was practicing Hebrew phrases that I would need to use: "Red meat cut into cubes for stew." People probably thought that I was crazy mumbling to myself. I found everything that I needed for the stew.

While at the shuk, I looked for a pumpkin to use for a jack-o-lantern. I've seen large baking pumpkins there before and was hoping to find one. No luck though. Plus the idea of getting it home wasn't sounding too fun either - a cause for a cab ride splurge.

Yesterday morning I started the stew. There is something so comforting to me about making food for for others. It's like an act of love. Then I was out again to find a pumpkin...

Here are my friends Matt and Demetri hanging out after eating their fill of beef stew.

Then came jack-o-lantern carving time. As you can see, I never did find a pumpkin. But a watermelon was an excellent substitute. I did miss the pumpkin smell and being kind of grossed out by scooping out the pumpkin meat. The red insides of the watermelon helped make our jack-o-lantern extra scary.

Here's Yaacov holding our cute little jack-o-lantern.



At 11/01/2005 4:12 PM, Blogger Savtadotty said...

What a great idea, to substitute a watermelon for a pumpkin! Next challenge: finding a whole turkey for Thanksgiving. One year, a vegetarian friend of mine sculpted one out of mashed potatoes!

At 11/02/2005 6:23 PM, Blogger Sam said...

I love the watermelon jack-o-lantern!

At 11/02/2005 11:35 PM, Blogger Yael K said...

A watermelon pumpkin -- wow what a GREAT idea. Hey that puppy is much scarier with the red insides showing through. I didn't even realize it was Halloween (my all-time favourite holiday!) until it was the day after. Waaaaaa. I missed it too once I realized I missed it.

Ya know what though, you are an Israeli (hey me too!) --just one that misses Halloween and had the creativity to make one damn kewl pum...uh watermelon. :)

At 11/06/2005 11:25 AM, Blogger Liza said...

I remember one of my first Thanksgivings here. I was pretty homesick, and when my (Israeli) husband came to pick me up at work I started talking about the holiday, and maybe we'd go to eat somewhere just to make it a little special. He was insistent that we go home, and when we got there, I found that he'd made me a whole pseudo-Thanksgiving dinner (pseudo because he'd used chicken instead of turkey, given that neither of us really likes turkey). It was great! It's gotten easier since then, but I still miss some of those holidays.


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