It snowed this weekend in Jerusalem! It wasn’t much snow, but it was enough to impress a Texas girl and an Ecuadorean boy, and enough to entice the neighborhood kids (okay, and us too!) to toss a few snowballs. The view from our window:
Let me tell you, it was a really cold weekend to be in our apartment, which doesn’t have central heat, but the snow was lovely! Here is a picture of the courtyard in front of our apartment building.
Rodolfo recently gave me a really cool gift…
A star! In a beautiful and unique romantic gesture befitting of an astrophysicist, Rodolfo has named a star in the constellation Ursa Major (the Big Dipper) after me! If anyone out there is ever looking for an awesome gift for someone special, this takes the cake! I was really touched, because Gifts and Tokens is my main Love Language, and Rodolfo (who speaks a different Love Language entirely) put a lot of thought into this gift to make me feel special and loved. Here is a chart and a photo of the star itself.
For those of you that missed it, this week I posted an in-depth virtual tour of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. This hill is an important one for Jews, Christians and Muslims alike and contains many interesting places to visit. View the post.
I wrote the post in response to a call for “Love the Place You Live” posts by Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom. View more posts about other bloggers who love the places they live over at Design Mom.
This week’s recipe is delicious teriyaki pineapple chicken! And it’s a bonus; you can make a bunch of it like we did and freeze them for later use when you’re on the go. First, we made teriyaki sauce based on this recipe from Food.com. You can find bottled teriyaki sauce in Jerusalem, but it’s not as easy to come by as it usually is in the U.S. Then, armed with this large jar of homemade teriyaki sauce…
…we made a large batch of chicken based on a recipe in this post from Ring Around the Rosies. Her recipe was made for a slow cooker, but we adapted it for the stovetop since we don’t have a slow cooker. Also, there are no bags of “baby carrots” in Jerusalem, so we used five large carrots and cut them up. And since we cooked it on the stovetop, we kept out some of the pineapple juice in order to give it more of a stir-fry taste. Next time I would suggest to keep out almost all of it; it’s already marinated in the pineapple juice, so just cooking it in the teriyaki sauce would be best. Also, we cut the chicken into small cubes instead of keeping the breasts whole, and we split them into three quart-sized bags instead of two gallon bags. So here is our adapted version:
Make-ahead Teriyaki Chicken
- 5 carrots, halved the long way and sliced
- 1 red onion, cut into large wedges
- 2 large cans pineapple chunks (and their juice)
- 4 crushed or diced garlic cloves
- 6 chicken breasts, cleaned and cubed
- 2 cups teriyaki sauce for preparation
- 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce for cooking
Also this week, while shopping at the shuk, Jerusalem’s open air market, we tried a delicious local delicacy for the first time: a Middle Eastern drink called sahlab. It’s essentially flour made from ground orchid bulbs (!) mixed with hot water and milk. Then they put cinnamon, sugar and ground peanuts on top for you to mix in. The consistency is a little gross, kind of like papier-mâché glue, but it tastes like drinking flowers! It’s delicious, and nice and warm on a cold day! Learn more about sahlab (or salep) here.
In Holy Land news, this week a team of archaeologists found a tomb decorated with a very interesting ancient carving believed to depict the story of Jonah, the Old Testament man whom the Bible tells us was swallowed alive by a whale when he tried to disobey an order from God. The carving, which was seen by a camera on a robotic arm inserted into a sealed tomb, depicts a large fish eating a sideways stick figure, which is poking its head out of the fish’s mouth. Read the story and view photos of the find here.
Today, a much-anticipated package arrived: a very sweet care package from Rodolfo’s mom in Ecuador! She sent it almost a month ago, and it’s taken it this long to get here. But it was worth every second of the wait: delicious treats and beautiful gifts from Ecuador, plus a few surprises from Rodolfo’s family in South Africa! Muchísimas gracias, Luly!
To all of our friends the world over: have a wonderful week!