Find a Home

 

 

The prompt for today was just too on point to ignore, when the paperback became available TODAY (!!!) and when so much of this novel is about what a home is, or what may at any moment become a place one is pushed out of or needs to run away from. The connection felt even more apt with how the holidays bring up for so many the very realities and stories of a home (or lack thereof).

“Apples in Applath” is a work of fiction, yet very real children do fall victim to policies and realities not of their choice or making. Also real is that what makes a home or family is not always immediately obvious; and that hope and wariness, need and conscience, often compete inside one’s soul as one seeks a safe space to call home.

I’m very excited for “Apples in Applath” – my fourth book and third novel. I hope you’ll check it out and share it with others who may find an interest. I hope that it may find a home in yours.

Even more so, my wish for you — and for all who are or once were children — is that you’ll always have a safe nest to call home.

 

For The Daily Post

Shakshuka

shakshuka InbarAsif

Photo: Inbar Asif

It is breakfast, it is brunch,
It is dinner, it is lunch …

Shakshuka makes a lovely dish any time of day (or night). The dish originated in North Africa and has become a staple food in Israel, where the one-skillet dish is served in endless variations, along with fresh crusty bread or pita for soaking up the delicious sauce. At its base, Shakshuka is a recipe of eggs cooked or baked in tomato and red pepper sauce, spiced with cumin, paprika and cayenne. Some add spinach, some add peppers, some add cheese. Once you get the hang of it you’ll see how easy it is to do as you please …

The sauce can be made quickly on the stove, then eggs are gently cracked into the pan to nestle in the sauce. The pan can be covered and let to simmer on the stove till the eggs are cooked, or better yet, moved into the oven to finish.

Here’s one variation for the Shakshuka inclined (~3 servings, depending on appetite):

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, halved and sliced
1 large red bell pepper, sliced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
⅛ teaspoon cayenne (or adjust to taste)
1(28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes with juices (if whole, then coarsely chop)
¾ teaspoon salt (or adjust to taste)
¼ teaspoon black pepper (add more if you like)
4-5 ounces crumbled feta cheese(about 1 1/4 cups) and/or chunks of goat cheese
6 large eggs
Chopped cilantro, for serving
Hot sauce, for serving
Thinly sliced red chili peppers, for serving

Preparation
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook gently until very soft (10-15 minutes). Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes until tender (take care not to burn garlic or it will be bitter). Stir in cumin, paprika and cayenne. Pour in tomatoes and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Lower heat and simmer until tomatoes have thickened, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle cheese over mixture.
3. Gently crack eggs into skillet over tomatoes. Season with a little salt and pepper. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until eggs are just set (7 to 10 minutes. If you don’t have an oven ready, you can cover the skillet and simmer on low heat till eggs are set.
4. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with optional hot sauce and chili pepper slices.
5. Serve with fresh bread, pita, or toasted baguette.

Have a little yum in your life!

For The Daily Post

World Genius

cameleon AmitiaAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

There’s a brilliance

To the cosmos

That shines brighter than

All stars.

An artistry

To nature’s glory

That far exceeds anything

I can actually

Understand.

 

 

For The Daily Post

Pedestrian

 

1374358_10151714962878406_1569699489_n

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

This photo makes me smile.

The vistas and the light and play of shade and stream and sun, yes … But more than anything, the path and the story it tells: the measured step of the dad with the baby on his back, keeping one eye on the older one; the exuberant skip of the boy; the plastic bag tied to the father’s carrier, containing who knows what but probably some leftover drink and snack; the other people in the background, strolling, skipping, taking in the fresh air and the sights.

A timeless story. Set in any place, in every language. Humans walking from one place to another, the oldest mode of transport since we’d swung down from the trees to become bipedal and free up our hands.

 

 

For The Photo Challenge

Re-Cornered

Upsidedown house SmadarHalperinEpshtein

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

I love this photo of an upside down house in Europe for its genius and exactness, but also for how it challenges our orientation and leads almost everyone to tilt their head ‘to see it better.’ Are the corners of the ‘roof’ still peaks of gables, or do they now make the bottoms of “V”s? If you look out from these windows, will the world itself be upended? How do we define up from down, right from wrong, vision from illusion? How cemented are our views about what is and what could be? Are we willing to paint ourselves out of the corners of our mind where we’d comfortably assumed we knew all that was to know, only to realize a whole world still awaits in readiness to shake our understanding?

 

 

For The Photo Challenge

Lollipop-it

So there’s that child with diabetes. Another whose family only eats raw foods. A third family is strictly vegan. There’s the child who cannot have any food additives. The one whose mom swears sugar turns her angel to a dysregulated mess. The (not so rare) kid who won’t touch fruits, let alone vegetables. The family that wants to move toward less junkfood but hates to put a damper on healthy treats.

There are many different solutions, and different reasons why many would want to try. As you probably know (and fairs and carnivals had proven), most yummy things are instantly better on a stick …

Here are some of the creative ideas parents have shared with me and/or I had suggested over the years. Some we have incorporated into the session (for sequence, cause/effect, before/after, all manners of narrative), others helped desensitize finicky mouths and tender palates. Mostly, they were fun! Enjoy and maybe share own!

  1. Watermelon lollipops! Less mess, better grip, perfect yum.

Watermelon lollies

 

  1. Kiwi lollipops! Good with chocolate ganache, of course … but also as ‘naked’ frozen slices, or if dipped in sweetened yogurt and frozen, possibly with coconut flakes or cocoa nibs.
Kiwi Lollies

via showfoodchef

 

  1. Flower Fruit Pops – fun to make and super fun to eat. Cantaloupe, grapes, watermelon (also works with strawberries, apples, nectarines, firm blueberries … you get the idea!)
flower fruit pops1

Via LindsayAnnBakes

 

  1. Easy Fruit Pops! For another variation on the theme, which works wonderfully for birthday parties, picnics, and other lessen-sticky-fingers-everywhere events.

fruit pops

 

  1. Veggie wands! For a savory alternative on a stick! Works well with ’rounds’ of sliced mozzarella stick, fresh mozzarella (pictured), or any firm cheese. Just as yummy with the whites of hard boiled eggs or cubed cooked meat. Also great with baked tofu cubes, for those who prefer vegan sticks.
sugarfreekids pop

via SugarFreeKids

 

  1. And … even the most incomplete list won’t work without frozen pops … Lollipops’ cool cousin! Make them with fruit, fruit and yogurt, and combinations galore! It works well to partially freeze in small paper cups or in old fashioned ice-cube-trays, then stick a craft stick or lollipop stick in when it is almost but not quite set.
frozen fruit yogurt

Via: Moncheriprom

 

As this list is by no means comprehensive, let alone exhaustive … Will you take a moment to share in the comments what your favorite ways and things are to lollipop-it?

 

 

 

For The Daily Post

A Moment in Time

Atara Katz - a moment in time

A moment in time (Photo: Atara Katz)

 

In the pause

Between the breath in

And breath out

There’s a moment

In time

Of

Eternity

Slowed,

All movements

Frozen,

Thawed,

Life

Buoyed.