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August 23, 2014 / 27 Av, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘coffee’

Café el-Fishawy, Cairo

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Some 240 years ago, a man named al-Fishawy began serving coffee to his friends in an alley of Cairo’s Khan al-Khalili district each evening after prayers. The al-Fishawy’s gatherings grew larger and stretched longer, and the rest is history.

Qahwat al-Fishawi (Fishawy’s Café) is the most renowned café in the Arab world and a monument to the traditional Egyptian way of relaxing with friends—and the occasional stranger— over coffee, tea and tobacco.

We pray for the residents of Cairo to be able to emerge from their current strife and to return to their sweet and harmless (except for the tobacco thing) way.


Don’t Drink Alone

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

It occurred to me that with so much of this website being devoted to politics and the Islamist threat, we should probably use some of our space contemplating the simple pleasures of life. So, today, when both the United States of America and the NRP-Bayit Yehudi Party are facing the vote that will decide their foreseeable future, I figured it was a good time to contemplate the notion of having a cup of coffee and reading the morning paper with your dog sitting in your lap.

The picture was taken in downtown Jerusalem this week, and in my humble opinion spells out the idea of civilization most successfully.

We have cats, so we can only do the coffee and paper thing with them at home. But I assure you it is just as civilized.

Upside-Down Coffee

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

This is a normal cup of Israeli coffee, the kind you can order practically anywhere. This particular shop, in fact, is usually associated with gas stations. It’s called Kafe Hafuch or Upside-down coffee, the local equivalent of the French café au lait. It goes for between 8 and 14 shekel, or $2 to $3.5.

Here’s the HUGE difference, though, between the average Israeli coffee and its American counterpart: the average, lowly, gas station coffee in Israel beats by far the most expensive coffee shop coffee in New York. I don’t even want to mention a certain Seattle-based coffee shop chain where they burn the coffee so bad you can hear the cries coming up from below the floor boards. I’m talking about every doughnut shop or coffee shop in the city (depending on your kashrut standards, obviously) – in all those places the coffee has usually stood up on the heating pad for half a day, it’s sour and bitter, and you drink it basically for the kick you need so desperately before going into an important meeting.

But in Israel (depending on your kashrut standards, obviously), with very few disappointing exceptions, the coffee is delicious. It has just the right amount of kick, it’s made fresh at the espresso machine, and if you’re lucky the counter person knows how to make those lovely illustrations in the foamy milk that break your heart when you end up drinking their art.

Nancy says it’s all about the milk, meaning that Israeli coffee is, basically half milk, steamed, so no matter how lousy the coffee underneath is, the milk covers it up. Maybe she’s right. Maybe it also explains why I shell out 11 shekel per cup (just under $3), but I’ll tell you, I’m happy to pay knowing my coffee will be good every time.

Except for the guy at the lobby of the Maccabi HMO offices in Netanya, whose coffee is bitter. So stay away from coffee shops in HMO buildings, otherwise, trust me, Israeli coffee is the best.

Looking Up

Friday, September 28th, 2012

In the hustle and bustle of New York City, it’s nearly impossible to stop and slow down – even for a second. The gulps of coffee, swish of a lipstick, and the tying of your shoelaces need to be accomplished in a matter of minutes. The clock is ticking. Everyone is perpetually on the go, not appreciating the present because the future is waiting impatiently. Though I am a New Yorker through and through, I’ve never stopped to ponder this hasty way of living.

A planned trip to an unexpected destination gave me an opportunity to experience another route to living. I’ve inadvertently popped the insular bubble that has enveloped me during my 22 years of existence and stepped into another perspective. A cruise to Alaska shed light on a world that may be worth investing time in. Alaska has a beauty that doesn’t shout for attention; it speaks for itself with its quiet and calm aura. The majestic mountains and turquoise waters are serene and contagiously tranquil. I automatically felt a wave of peacefulness, a rare feeling in New York City. It was as if my senses had been longing for this, gulping a glass of what Alaska had to offer me.

I imagined myself waking up to an Alaskan view, drinking my ritual coffee, and enjoying the sights. I envisioned a day where rushing wasn’t part of the schedule. In Alaska, life is calm, as if the environment commanded it to be. While the typical Alaskan individual works to make a living, there seems to be an ease that is indigenous to them. A New Yorker needs to be fast-paced in order to stay in the game called life. It would be nice to slow down once in a while. While a destination is the sole reason for a journey, why don’t we appreciate the road taken? Can’t we enjoy life for just a moment? We might miss out if we don’t look up and face the world.

After returning to my home turf, it’s hard to conjure up the same tranquility I experienced in Alaska. However, maybe I can take some of what I experienced and give back to my hometown. We should all try and enjoy the nature and beauty around us. G-d has given us a precious gift that we all need to appreciate. People have their eyes open, yet aren’t really looking. We need to stop and realize where we’re going. Is this the path we want to go? Are we haphazardly making our way to a place we’re not happy in? If we pause for just a moment, we may reroute ourselves to a place that may be greener on the other side and the journey is just as fulfilling as the destination.

Fit And Trim

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Dear Tanya,

There are some diet delivery services that are kosher. Do you recommend I try them? In the past, one of the reasons I had a hard time sticking to a diet was because I hate preparing for myself, and when life gets hectic I just don’t have the time.

Signed,
Do I?

Dear Do I?,

From what you are saying, it sounds like you would benefit from this type of service. Many women would prepare a three course, customized meal for any member of their family, but when it comes to ourselves, we get lazy and find every excuse not to do it. With a kosher diet home delivery service, all the work is done for you. Although the price may seem high, it really isn’t if you consider how much you spend on groceries and take out. Plus, long term you save money – if it works for you then you won’t have to keep spending money on a nutritionist or a fitness program. The key is not to eat anything outside of these meals (unless it is required in the program). Be sure to do your research, as not all the diet services are the same. Find a program recommended by a qualified nutritionist and make sure the food is not only kosher, but tasty as well so that you enjoy it.

Dear Tanya,

I’m wondering if it’s possible to target a specific area of my body, without working other areas. I am short on time so when I exercise, I want to target the areas that bother me the most.

In need of target

Dear in need of target,

As good as it may sound, the results of targeting specific areas for reducing or even muscle building, are usually disappointing and often prove to be of little or no use. The only body part that shows any real potential for spot training are the ab muscles. The reason is that the storage areas for your excessive weight are predetermined and genetically imprinted. These areas are the first to show gains and last to show losses. This is not to say you cannot lose fat in these areas, but change require an approach that burns calories overall, which, in turn, affects these specific areas. Spot building by targeting a certain muscle or muscle group can have slight benefits, but the results are more often marginal due again to individual genetics. The best way then to see results is to eat a good healthy diet, and to make sure that your workout includes fat burning cardio as well as toning for all areas of your body.

Dear Tanya,

How do I get more energy? I am so tired all the time. I tried coffee and even caffeine pills and they don’t seem to help much, maybe just a bit short term. Any suggestions?

In need of energy

Dear In need of energy,

Your energy throughout the day is affected by many different factors. The most common include overall health, mental stress, sleeping patterns, activity/inactivity, diet, prescriptions, drugs & alcohol.

Sleep: Obviously, if you are not sleeping well, your energy levels will be directly affected. We need 6-8 hours of sleep per day. Though everyone is a little different, most of us fall into this category. If you are not sleeping at least 6 hours a day, you are most likely dealing with sleep deprivation.

Stress: Not allowing your mind to relax from everyday concerns at the job, at home, in life, relationships and uncontrollable events will deplete your body’s immune response and make you susceptible to increased sickness/illness/disease as well as rob you of daily energy levels.

Activity: We need to be active enough to sleep better & lessen stress, as well as increase our metabolism, which in turn provides more energy. The more active you become, the more energetic you feel (as long as you get sufficient rest between workouts). The increase in activity also burns more calories, which assists in weight loss.

Diet: Your diet has enormous effects on your energy levels throughout the day. It is advisable to start every morning with a full glass of water, some type of fruit or yogurt, or oatmeal. Few of us have an hour-long lunch. But for those who do, this is an ideal time to get some energy through activity. If possible, get in a 40-minute workout/walk/jog/run or 30 minute swim/aerobic type class followed by a 10 minute cool down. Lunch can be taken back to the site, office or desk for leisurely consumption.

Coffee and Me

Friday, March 16th, 2012

I love coffee, but I cannot drink it. This has been the case since my doctor issued the verdict last month – no coffee and no milk. I was quite disappointed to hear that as I love coffee, but I was determined to follow expert medical advice. That conviction, however, did not last more than one week into a new semester with a full course load. After three days of experiencing the overworked, sleep deprived college life, my determination began to waver, and I gave in. so I had a cup of coffee.

It was decaf and whitened with soymilk. It was bitter, it needed a lot of sugar to be sweet enough for my taste, and it left a bitter aftertaste in my mouth long after the cup was finished. And yet, I kept drinking it. Several times a week, I would drink a bitter cup of decaf coffee which I did not enjoy and which was not even effective as a stimulant. With every cup I told myself that I would stop. I questioned the logic of drinking something I did not like, but the logic was not strong enough. So, I kept going for the coffee because for me, coffee means something more.

It started when I was a small child, drinking a sip from my father’s coffee thermos which he would take every day to work. And from that first sip, I was hooked. Well, perhaps not quite hooked, since the next time I tasted it was several years later, and I did not enjoy it at all, but still, looking back, I see that first coffee encounter as a positive introduction to a drink that I would later come to enjoy.

I didn’t just enjoy coffee. It wasn’t just a drink. For me, coffee was comfort. Coffee was the warmth of a steaming brew in a disposable cup that I sipped in high school on those mornings when I really did not want to be in school. And a year later, in seminary overseas, coffee came to mean even more.

It’s not just that in Israel you can find the most delicious cappuccinos and lattes. It was the comfort of connecting with something familiar from home during those first few homesick months. And over the year, coffee came to mean friendship, the warmth of conversation and times shared with friends from different countries and states, on so many occasions, in various cafés around the country.

Even in Israel, despite the excellent quality of all things milk based, it wasn’t just the taste that made the coffee. As much as I loved my mochas and lattes, some of the best coffee I had was that shared with my principal, late at night in her apartment, which was always instant and usually decaf.

After completing the academic year and returning home, coffee was a tangible connection to Israel. It brought me back to so many places I had been, and while it induced longing to be back in the Holy Land, whenever I drank a really good cup, the way they make it in Israel, in some small way, I felt like I was back there.

Back home, post seminary, I continued to form positive associations with my special drink. As in Israel, coffee meant friendship and good times shared with my local friends who I had missed when I was abroad. And so, I kept drinking coffee.

When I started college, my coffee intake really soared. I needed the caffeine for energy on all those early mornings and late nights, and the sweetness was great company during all those hours I spent locked up in a room with nothing but my laptop and a stack of books. And of course, over coffee, I continued to make new friends and nurture old friendships.

But now I am told I mustn’t drink coffee. And so I don’t drink the real thing. I avoid the caffeine, I avoid the milk, but I can’t avoid the memories. The struggle to relent and have a coffee, compromised though it may be sans caffeine and milk, is still so very strong, and I often give in. And so I keep drinking bitter, decaffeinated coffee, illogical as it may be, because the associations I have with the drink are so very positive. Despite my best reasoning, I keep drinking something whose taste I don’t enjoy, and whose effect I have defeated by using the form without caffeine. Because to me, coffee is not just a drink. For me, coffee is comfort.

Hachnossos Kallah of Greater Miami to Hold Benefit Tea

Friday, February 10th, 2012

South Florida’s Lana Ditchek Goldberg Hachnossos Kallah will observe its 28th anniversary with a delightful evening featuring Israeli singing sensation Rachel Factor. The women-only event will include delicious sushi, dessert buffet, coffee bar, boutique and raffle prizes.

The event will take place on Tuesday, February 21, at The Shul of Bal Harbour, 9540 Collins Avenue in Surfside. Complimentary valet parking will be provided.

This year’s honoree is Barbara Dahav, well known for her many acts of chesed throughout the South Florida community. She has served Hachnossos Kallah of Greater Miami since its inception and is treasurer of the group.

Hachnossos Kallah enables young couples needing financial help to have weddings they can remember with pride. The organization also provides aid in setting up a Jewish home. This is an expensive undertaking that many cannot afford.

The annual Hachnossos Kallah event provides a unique opportunity to ensure that Jewish newlyweds begin their marriage with dignity and simcha. Locals and visitors are invited to participate.

General admission is $36; Sponsors, $50; Patrons $100; Supporters, $180; Benefactors, $250; Silver Benefactors, $360; Gold benefactors, $500; and Diamond Benefactors $2,500 and up.

For more information about the event or the work of Hachnossos Kallah, call Judy Mayberg at 305-534-8635.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/south-florida/hachnossos-kallah-of-greater-miami-to-hold-benefit-tea/2012/02/10/

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