Saturday, July 27, 2013

Abeer Haela Brewery, Zafririm

Friday 19 July
A week ago on the day of our arrival at Zafririm, we went for a beer-tasting at the brewery and restaurant run in a pleasant reed-roofed alcove by Aram Dekel (who brews and grills) and Bat-Sheva (who makes goat cheese and other tasties).  
We tasted Crispy (a wheat beer; all the others were barley); Deep Soul (our favorite, with date syrup); Touching Blade (with allspice), and Black Ice (a porter with chili).  There was also a myriad of appetizers, excellent garlic dip and baba ghanouj, salads, wafers, fresh hot pita, and pickled vegetables.

So today, when we're all leaving in various directions, we went back for a real meal.  Along with the beers and appetizers, we shared a platter each of grilled homemade chorizo and köfte kebabs, each served with abundant hot fries and salad; and the vegetable special above, an artful platter of beets and kohlrabi with three spicy sauces.
And after dinner, Rona drove us off to the airport.  It'll be a long flight, but we get to break our journey in a place, and with people, we love.

Dinner at Ricky and Peter's

Thursday 18 July
Kathy, Holt and I were invited to dinner at Ricky and Peter's, along with Ahuva, Ken and Marsha.  And it was truly a feast, if not a fress.
Ricky began by serving cooling beer, along with nuts and salty snacks.  Then she and Ahuva began to put out so many dishes on the table that we thought we were back at Dvorah's again, except that there was meat: actual, tender, grilled chicken breast pieces, which shows that Israeli chickens are not just thighs and schnitzel. 

You can get an idea by looking at both halves of the table (i.e. making a panoramic photo by overlapping Ken in the middle).  

The vegetable platters included mushrooms, fried cousa squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, baba ghanouj, carrot salad with cilantro, sautéed green beans, brown rice, white rice pilaf, and two kinds of salad.  And right along with it went both wine and limoncello.
I think there were pastries for dessert, but by that time I was dizzy with food, and maybe limoncello.

Penne alla Gorgonzola

Wednesday 17 July
Kathy's spiritual home is Rome; and what's more, she has Pasquale Pesce's secret recipe for penne alla gorgonzola, made with no cream, just the starchy water from the pasta pot. 
It was served with lots of raw carrots alongside, which luckily our vegetarian would eat.

A Fine Frittata

Tuesday 16 July
Thanks to Vernon's robot-coupe, which is almost the same antique vintage as ours, Holt whipped up a cold melon and nectarine soup with yogurt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and clove
He then made a spectacular frittata with just-picked squash blossoms and amaranth, basil, onion, and some grated artisanal goat cheese made by Bat-sheva at the Abira rural beer joint, where we had tasters on arrival three days ago, and would go for dinner in a few days more. 
Dessert was just fruit: cherries and Vernon's fresh figs.  Again, that's all you need.

Penne with Tomato Sauce

Monday 15 July
Today Kathy cooked: she made penne with an ancestral recipe for tomato sauce, flavored with halved onions; and two salads, one hearty with avocado, tomato and cucumber, the other with arugula and other leaves.  There were cherries for dessert.  Simple, and tasty.