Archive for September, 2008

Omnivores Delight

Found this meme on my friend Wrekehavok’s page. I had a lot fun going through the list and deciding what I would and would not eat. Some of it was easy, as I only eat kosher food and a bunch of things here don’t qualify. Some are hard to get kosher, but would be possible. Although I eat only kosher food now, I did eat non kosher food in my youth, so I can bold some things on the list that are not kosher.

There were also those things that I had never heard of, but looking them up was fun too!

the rules:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at http://www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

  1. Venison – Despite a few chances I have not yet had venison. Until recently is was not easy to get kosher venison, but it is now.
    2. Nettle teaI am a BIG tea person, but tea needs to have tea in it, not flowers and herbs.
    3. Huevos rancherosEggs any way are GREAT!
    4. Steak tartareAlthough I LOVE beef, I am not interested in eating it raw.
    5. CrocodileNOT KOSHER
    6. Black pudding
    NOT KOSHER, and I would not eat it if it was!
    7. Cheese fondue
    8. Carp

    9. Borsch
    10. Baba ghanoush
    11. CalamariNOT KOSHER
    12. Pho – This can be kosher, just never found it. Would absolutely eat it!
    13. PB&J sandwichAw, come on. How many people said they never ate this!
    14. Aloo gobi
    15. Hot dog from a street cart
    16. Epoisses – I assume this is the cheese from France.
    17. Black truffle
    18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
    19. Steamed pork bunsNOT KOSHER (although I have had steamed vegetable buns)
    20. Pistachio ice creamYUM!!!
    21. Heirloom tomatoes
    22. Fresh wild berries
    23. Foie grasYUCK!
    24. Rice and beans
    25. Brawn, or head cheeseTotally gross!
    26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepperDon’t think I am daring enough!
    27. Dulce de leche
    28. Oysters NOT KOSHER
    29. Baklava
    30. Bagna cauda – Sounds good
    31. Wasabi peas
    32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
    – I’ve eaten Clam chowder and soup in sourdough bowls, don’t know if together.
    33. Salted lassi
    34. Sauerkraut
    35. Root beer floatDouble YUMM!!
    36. Cognac with a fat cigar Don’t smoke, never will!
    37. Clotted cream tea – Clotted cream is fine, but not in tea!
    38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
    39. Gumbo
    40. Oxtail
    41. Curried goat
    42. Whole insectsNo Thanks (although many are Kosher!)
    43. Phaal
    44. Goat’s milk
    45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more – Definite YES!
    46. FuguNOT KOSHER
    47. Chicken tikka masala – Hard to make kosher due to yogurt, but possible!
    48. Eel NOT KOSHER
    49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnutTriple YUMM!
    50. Sea urchinNOT KOSHER
    51. Prickly pear
    52. Umeboshi
    53. AbaloneNOT KOSHER
    54. Paneer
    55. McDonald’s Big Mac MealDon’t think they had the “meals” when I ate non kosher!
    56. Spaetzle
    57. Dirty gin martini
    58. Beer above 8% ABV
    59. Poutine
    60. Carob chips
    61. S’moresQuadruple YUMM!
    62. Sweetbreads
    63. KaolinClay????
    64. CurrywurstNOT KOSHER
    65. Durian
    66. Frogs’ legsA field trip with French class years ago. They do taste like chicken!
    67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cakeQuintuple YUMM!
    68. HaggisNOT KOSHER (thank God)
    69. Fried plantain
    70. Chitterlings, or andouilletteNOT KOSHER
    71. Gazpacho
    72. Caviar and blini
    73. Louche absinthe
    74. Gjetost, or brunost
    75. Roadkill That’s just disgusting!
    76. Baijiu
    77. Hostess Fruit Pie – Still one of the few mass produced snack items that is not kosher due to Lard in the ingredients.
    78. Snail
    79. Lapsang souchongA real tea, finally! Smoked black Chinese tea. In NYC I get an Earl Grey that is smoked in this manner!
    80. Bellini
    81. Tom yum – If made Kosher.
    82. Eggs BenedictNOT KOSHER (although I make something similar, poached egg on toasted English muffin topped with cheese)
    83. Pocky

    84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant. – Would love to if it could be kosher!
    85. Kobe beef – Cannot get this kosher, although you can get Wagyu Beef, which is the American version of Kobe beef.
    86. HareNOT KOSHER
    87. Goulash
    88. Flowers
    89. HorseNOT KOSHER and should not be legal!
    90. Criollo chocolate
    91. SpamNOT KOSHER
    92. Soft shell crabNOT KOSHER
    93. Rose harissa
    94. CatfishNOT KOSHER
    95. Mole poblano
    96. Bagel and lox What do you think!
    97. Lobster ThermidorNOT KOSHER
    98. Polenta
    99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffeeI HATE COFFEE
    100. SnakeNOT KOSHER

Song of the day

Continuing a look at some beautiful Hebrew songs, I am including a beautiful song called Livkot Lekha, or To Cry for You. As I said many of the beautiful poetry songs of modern Israel come from the fact that Israel is a nation always at war with its neighbors and the poets write about their loss and their hopes. This particular song, however, while steeped in this style of songwriting, was written by Aviv Geffen in memory of his Nir Shpiener who was killed in a car accident in 1992 at the age of 18. Later the song was taken to be a sort of anthem for soldiers who were taken before their time. It is interesting to note that more people die from automobile accidents in Israel than anything else. The country has a fairly low rate of death by automobile accident when compared to countries like the US, but Israel has a very low death rate from accident to begin with.

Here are the English words:

I am going to cry for you, be strong up there
My longings are like doors opened at night.

Forever, my brother, I will always remember you
And at the end we will meet, you know,
I have other friends but they all fade away
Against your unbelievable light.

When we are sad we go to the sea,
that’s why the sea is salty

And it is very sad you can return equipment
But you can not return the longings.
Forever, my brother….

And like the waves we are getting smashed
Against the pier, against life.

So I am going to cry for you, be strong up there.

Forever, my brother, I will always remember you

So I’m going to cry for you,
be strong up there

I could not find a youtube with this song, so I am creating one myself with audio only.

Enjoy!

Rosh Hashana and Politics

Is it possible to have a blog post about both?

Happy Holidays!

Enjoy!

Song of the day

I missed the song of the day yesterday and I am sorry about that. This week I am gearing up for Rosh Hashana, so my posts may have that as a theme. In terms of my song choices I am going to put in some wonderful Hebrew music this week. If you don’t understand the words I will give a translation.

The most well known popular Israeli music deals with themes that are not too often seen here in America. Often songs talk about loved ones lost to wars and the continued difficulties that the country endures. These songs are some of the most beautiful poetry you will ever read. I want to start with a song that is a little more uplifting.

The song Shir Lashalom, Song for Peace, was written in 1969 for an entertainment troupe of the IDF (Isarel Defense Forces). The song was not well received in the military establishment due to its anti-war message. The song became sort of an anthem for the peace movement in Israel. After the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 the song became forever associated with the assassination and its effects on Israeli culture. The song was to be sung at the rally where he was speaking when he was killed. A copy of the songs lyrics was found on Rabin’s body, soaked in his blood.

Here are the English words:

Let the sun rise
light up the morning
The purest of prayers
will not bring us back

He whose candle was snuffed out
and was buried in the dust
bitter crying won’t wake him up
and won’t bring him back

Nobody will bring us back
from a dead and darkened pit
here,
neither the victory cheer
nor songs of praise will help

So just sing a song for peace
don’t whisper a prayer
Just sing a song for peace
in a loud shout

Allow the sun to penetrate
through the flowers
don’t look back
let go of those departed

Lift your eyes with hope
not through the rifles’ sights
sing a song for love
and not for wars

Don’t say the day will come
bring on that day –
because it is not a dream –
and in all the city squares
cheer only for peace!

 

This video is from the national celebration of Israel’s 60’s birthday.

Enjoy!

Favorite Lyric Friday

It’s time once again for favorite lyric Friday. Today’s song was actually mentioned during covers week. One of my favorite songs (certainly in the top 10) is American Pie by Don McLean. This song is perhaps the most iconic of all American popular music. It has been interpreted, reinterpreted and re-re-interpreted. McLean himself is very hush hush about the meaning. He felt that he has something to say and he said it. It is not worth rehashing what has been done already. I am not going to enter into a discourse about the meaning of the song. I will say though that it is clear that the “day the music died” is a reference to the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper. That much McLean has said himself. The song seems to be a nostalgic look by an unnamed narrator back at the previous decade (the 1960s). Bye Bye Miss America Pie is probably the narrators way of saying farewell to the simpler times that preceded the 60s.

To pick favorite lyrics from this song is almost impossible. You can find the lyrics here.

Enjoy!

Barack Obama

I get very upset when people, republican or democrat, conservative or liberal, say things like “I don’t like either choice for President”, or “I’ll vote for the lesser of two evils”. I cannot believe the number of people I have spoken with who say they just may not vote this year. Aside from being a defeatist attitude that I can do without, it is also naïve and uninformed.

I am very happy to say that I am voting for Barack Obama, and I want to explain a few reasons why. First off, I was a Hillary Clinton supporter at the beginning of the primaries (well actually John Edwards, but it became very clear early on that he was not going to win). I felt that she would be better suited to get things done, but alas, more people preferred Obama.

But now that the candidates are set, Obama’s message is one that I agree with totally, and fully support. I want to talk about a couple of areas of his platform as it would be futile to try and cover it all.

As an American Jew, I feel the need to discuss Jewish issues first. In actuality, I don’t believe that so called “Jewish issues” should be how I choose the president of the United States, but when speaking with friends and neighbors that is what seems to come up, especially at Synagogue. What are “Jewish Issues?” First thing that always comes to mind is Israel. Is Obama good for Israel and is he good for the Jews? That is what people keep asking. Well, I want to say that the answer to both is unequivocally YES.

Let me look at the last part first. Is Obama good for the Jews? When I hear this question, I cringe. What does it mean? What is good for the Jews? In America, it seems to me; whatever is good for America is good for the Jews. We are privileged to live in the greatest country that has ever existed on this planet. We have more freedoms and more possibilities that any Jews ever had; anywhere, anytime. There is nothing that I can imagine that would be good for America but bad for the Jews or vice versa. The two are forever intertwined. Is Obama good for America? That is easy. Our country and our planet is facing threats that were unfathomable in past times. Climate change, energy crisis and unaffordable education and health care are issues that every American should be using as their tests to choose the next president. People who see these issues in cyclical terms need to open their eyes and see what is happening right in front of them. Only Obama and the democrats will work towards a future that we will be proud to live in.

With five justices of the Supreme Court 70 years of age or older it is quite possible that the next president could be appointing as many. Of those five, three are on the more liberal side of the court and the appointment of conservative justices in their place will forever change the course of this country. I will not speculate what could change, but it is a very frightening thought in my mind.

Is Obama god for Israel? I choose to answer that second, because for the most part I find it an irrelevant question. I am an American and I vote for a president first and foremost based on how good he or she will be for America. Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and America’s only real ally there. It is impossible in my mind to foresee ANY president break the bonds between Israel and the United States. Israel needs the United States and the United States needs Israel. So I find using Israel as a litmus test for electing a president to be very distasteful.

There you have it. I am proud to be an Obama supporter and pray for his election in November.

Song of the day

On September 18, 1970 Jimi Hendrix, one of music’s greatest musicians died in London from a possible overdose of sleeping pills. The world lost perhaps the greatest guitar player of that generation. Hendrix was a major influence for later guitarists and musicians, such as Ernie Isley or the Isley Brothers and most recognizable Prince. He is credited with paving the way for hard rock and heavy metal. Hendrix was listed number 3 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock and also number 3 on their 100 Best Pop Artists of all time.

His best known works are perhaps Purple Haze and Dylan’s
All Along the Watchtower. Both are below in youtube videos. For me, I will always remember the scene of Hendrix playing the Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock.

Enjoy!