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tiripou in b_eretz

Gifts, music, doctors, jelly doughnuts

If you're going to be visiting friends of friends in Israel, what is a nice gift to bring with you?

I've been exploring Israeli music on Amazon.com and Wikipedia. I thought American music was diverse; Israeli music is amazing! What artists are fairly popular (among adults) right now? I rather like the music influenced by Middle Eastern styles, but is there another style that Ashkenazi Israelis are more likely to listen to?

I'll need to find a chiropractor in Jerusalem. Do doctors ever advertise "We speak English" -- do Israeli doctors even need to advertise? The school has told us where to buy private insurance; do you know whether or not all doctors take it?

Finally, I was just reminded that Israelis eat jelly doughnuts during Chanukah. Forget the invention of cell phones and the pentium chip; do we need any other proof that Israelis are smarter than the rest of us?

(or, at least, that they have cleaner kitchens after Chanukah than the rest of us.)


OK, I'm curious: why is eating jelly doughnuts smart? What do American Jews eat in Hanukkah that's so messy? I'm asking because making good jelly doughnuts is a very messy process - yeast dough, lots of flour on the counter top for kneading, messy jelly bowls and jelly syringe, lots of oil to get rid of, and sugar powder to make things even stickier. In fact, I think jelly doughnuts are one of the messiest pastries to make.
Whow! You make your own jelly doughnuts?!

See, I was assuming you went to the local bakery, which is how an American would obtain a jelly doughnut.

We eat potato latkes, which are labor intensive, very messy, and which don't look or taste particularly festive. One year, I worked very hard to keep my kitchen clean during the latke-making process; a few days later I noticed potato and oil on my ceiling! (Since then, I've stuck to my signature recipe, ginger-bread rabbis.)

Jelly doughnuts are lovely to look at, they taste delicious, and you one can pick them up at a store. Perfect festive treat. (Hm, wonder how they'd be with champagne...)

It would never have occurred to me that jelly doughnuts could be made at home. Very impressive!

Edited at 2009-10-12 04:16 pm (UTC)
Ah, yes. I suppose most people do buy them in supermarkets and bakeries these days. Home cooking and home baking are not as common as they used to be when I was a kid.

But commercial doughnuts are, well, heavy, oily, and usually they don't even bother injecting the jelly inside, but instead just pour it on the top to attract flies. I rarely buy doughnuts in Hanukkah.

We also make latkes, but I can't see how they'd be that messy. On the ceiling? Wow, that requires extraordinary powers. ^_^

We eat latkes with sugar on top. Others use thick sour cream. In any case they are about as messy as pancakes. You have the batter bowl (in this case, the potato mix), and you have a pan. They don't even require deep frying as doughnuts do. 1/4 cup can do the trick nicely.

There is another thing we make (but it's rarer and rarer these days) which my mom calls "torn underwear". They are ribbons of pasta-like dough, twisted in a particular fashion, then deep-fried, which make them puffy and crunchy. Then covered in powdered sugar. Yummy. The North-African Jews make something similar but it has a different shape, and it's dipped in syrup.

Hanukkah is a merry festival. Too bad there is no national holiday at all on it except for schoolchildren.
Extraordinary powers. Yeah, I really am a messy cook. Whenever she visited, my mom used to follow me around the kitchen cleaning up after me and laughing that she'd picked up the wrong baby at the hospital.

I'll try sugar on my latkes this year. But next year, in Jerusalem, I will have to broaden my Chanukah horizons. The North African treat and the "torn-underwear" sound great.