Sunday, August 28, 2011

Crepes Disaster

Yes I did this tonight...I blame the blender, luckily we had plenty of ingredients to make more. Not the best start to cooking gourmet crepes at someone's home...but the bright side is that the ones that actually made it on the pan turned out delicious (as always). Thanks to KW, JLS, IW, and HB for cleaning it up!

If Being Adorable Was A Competition...

Then my little ladies would win, hands down.

Love these girls!

Friday Night Feast At Leilee's

Friday night Leilee and her family hosted us for a fabulous feast. It was so wonderful. Her Dad is a master on the grill. Each dish was delicious and she made her amazing blueberry crumb cake (Lucy's favorite)! My photo only teases at how amazing the evening was. You should check out Leilee's food blog here. She is very talented.
The sweetest part of the evening was spending time with these wonderful folks: Pete, Leilee, Lucy, and Roy. My first team at HP and still my closest friends. I was very lucky to work with them for so long and miss them. You'll never find a manager better than Roy (we would all agree). It was so fun catching up and visiting about life, work, "meals", growing old, and the future. For as much as they all tease me for my Idaho accent and other things that will remain unmentioned, I think they are all pretty great! Thanks again Leilee for such a delightful evening!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Greatest Grilled Cheese EVER

Tuesday we had a DB Dinner, DB chose the menu: Grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup, and salad. Now do you see why I love DB? A girl after my own heart! We will miss having her around, but my couch is always available for visits!

TB, marked mine with a J and look how well it turned out?
Golden, extra cheese, and my initial = Greatest Grilled Cheese Ever!

The Dead Sea-Sneak Peek

The Dead Sea, Jordan is on the other side of the sea. Britta, her Dad, and I went to the Dead Sea on a Wednesday and had a blast...we also left the camera in the car. We loved it so much that we went back on Friday, with LS and our cameras. The tragedy is that my camera died about 10 mins into being at the Dead Sea so for the awesome photos we'll have to wait until LS sends me the photos...so stay tuned for those.
PS: Driving a wheelchair is hard, especially one-handed. LS is a hero among mortals as I watch her successfully maneuver through just about every type of obstacle.

Tel Aviv-Joining 300 Protesters

The week before I left for Israel KM sat by me in RS and said: So are you excited to be with the 300 protesters next week? I looked at her blankly and said: What? In true KM fashion I got the eye look that says: You're kidding me, you don't know? I know, following the news is last on my list of things to do most days... Thanks to KM being much more versed in news than I, we were ready to join the 300 friendly protesters in Tel Aviv, protesting housing costs. Of course, we had to document it, if only for KM!
BE's friend Michael photographing for us...taking a classic shot of himself.
We are so adorable...
Housing conditions?
An argument...not surprising
Entering the protest...which was really just a huge amount of tents setup on a highly trafficked street in Tel Aviv, populated by hippies (I mean friendly protesters), their children, and of course their pets.
Among the locals...
See the tents? As we sat on a bench for awhile I became increasingly more nervous in my surroundings. Not because it was a violent protest but because the "living conditions" were a breeding ground for fleas and I was just sure that I was going to come home with fleas since they love my blood (not kidding folks, I am itching as I type...luckily I haven't found any bites on me thus far...). Yet the risk of another flea infestation was well worth the chance to document the news for KM! We heart you, KM.

The Crepe Cook-Off:The Israel Competition

BE had a brilliant idea that her Dad and I have a crepe cook-off (mostly so she, LS, and CR could enjoy the fruits of our labor) one evening.
The cooks
The masterminds and bias judges.
The golden crepe...it took me several crepes to get the pan just the right temperature but finally it was ready for judging. It is really hard to compete on foreign soil, without my own pan and spatula (it really does make all the difference).
The scoreboard and a crepe that I consumed immediately after this picture.
RE won (based on bias judging and one piece of criteria that isn't really in the control of the cook: whether you can get it in your mouth without making a mess, yeah right BE!) I will say however, RE's crepes are delicious. RE and I agree that we now need a cook-off on my home turf, to make it fair.
The proud winner (wearing ME's morning bonnet)

Jerusalem- Day 3

What an amazing and interesting city. My favorite spot was the garden tomb. The spirit was so strong there. As I approached the tomb I was experiencing yet again the aches and pains of my mortality (my legs and back have had a rough go of it the last couple of days). When I got to the tomb I imagined how the Savior arose and for a tender moment felt His embrace. My friend turned to me and said, the Resurrection Jess Berry. I replied: I cannot wait, it will be a sweet day. Probably my sweetest day, to be resurrected with a perfected body, void of physical deformity and pains. Those aches and pains are just a tangible reminder how sweet that day will be.

The remainder of the day was a vivid movement of culture, the old city, the Western wall, people watching, Herod's temple, and being sadden by how the Orthodox Jews treat the Arabic people (both sides are to blame for the pressure cooker that is Israel, not just the "Arab terrorists"). I imagine Heavenly Father weeps by how the inhabitants of such a Holy Land treat one another.

The Ellwangers having lived in Israel seven years gave us both an historical and current cultural/political tour. It has been so eye-opening. One Orthodox Jew pushed me in the Arabic market, I almost decked him (haven't been that upset since CB called me names in PE and did get decked). This is very typical behavior of the Israeli people, somewhat rude to everyone.

The most wonderful words spoken in history!
Golgotha (surprisingly close to the garden tomb)
Christ's tomb
The tomb itself was rather small I thought
BE and LS in the tomb
The Damascus Gate and Arabic market (love the walls)

The love Ninja Turtles!
Walking into the market...
For MPR...thought of you when I saw these!
Butcher shops everywhere...very cool! Maybe my next profession?
Dome of the Rock
Sweet view of Herod's temple
Up close view of the temple
The Western Wall, it was very interesting to people watch at the Western Wall...the lady below was my favorite by far.
She had to have been 10 months pregnant, I was a little worried I was going to have to help her when she went into labor. She stood up, took her Torah, closed her eyes, started swaying/dancing, and then reciting her prayer. She was very involved in her worship, so much so that she didn't open her eyes as she ran into multiple children walking pass her...nothing was going to stop her. 20 minutes after we left the wall this same lady was on the street corner begging for money (rather common since almost all Orthodox Jews don't work in Israel).

The Galilee Valley

Day 1 we went to the borders of Syria, Jordon, and Lebanon! Okay, not exactly to the borders but very close! Those three countries all border Israel by the Sea of Galilee and we drove as close as we could get...while still being safe obviously. We also went to Capernaum, the Valley of Armageddon, and had some amazing foods...and ended my day with ice cream (the only way to end a day of traveling, a Jess Berry rule of traveling). Visiting Capernaum was cool, given that that was where Christ lived most of his three year ministry and the original steps to the synagogue that is referred to in the scriptures is still there and was interesting to see. The sea of Galilee is gorgeous!
The view of the Sea of Galilee from Tiberia.

BE, ME (our wonderful hostess, BE's Mama, and our tour guide, she made the experience wonderful!), and I on the balcony of the LDS church in Galilee. Can you say, lucky members that attend that branch?
With LS
You know, just the latest form of transportation on a busy Israeli street...the man has a death wish driving that on the street.
Arabic "salad"
Obviously based on my face, delicious!

Attempting to look like a tourist...
The remaining walls of Peter's home in Capernaum.
On the temple steps.
Original Capernaum city walls
Temple in Capernaum.
I was the driver all day on Day 2. ME is a very brave lady to hand the wheel over to a California driver...It was frightening at first, no one obeys traffic laws here but after awhile I started to get the hang of it and I am alive to tell about it! It helped me not get car sick though today so that is a plus! After only three days in the country I became a true Israeli driver according to BE. This bus was trying to butt into my lane of traffic, I laid on the horn, waved my hands, starting yelling: No, No, and then sped up so he couldn't cut us off. You are either on the defense of offense driving in Israel, no middle ground. The aggressive nature of the drivers probably will have lasting effects on my driving...yikes.

The Ellwangers took us to a friend's house for a traditional Arabic meal that evening It was so AMAZING!!! I mean I have had most of these foods through the years in the Bay but none of them compare to this meal. The family was so hospitable! They fed us eight delicious desserts! EIGHT and I tried all EIGHT! The husband is a retired CPA and we had lots to visit about. Every day I've been here I've met someone either from Idaho (2 last night) or people that know people I know. It could be that the LDS community is small or that I'm Ron Berry's daughter...probably a combo.
See how tight I'm gripping that steering wheel?
Putting on a brave face for the passengers.
The Sea of Galilee from the Mt. of Beatitudes.

Love this! That husband gets major bonus points for carrying the wife's purse.
Mt. of Beatitudes
Real olive press
The location thought to have been where Christ performed feeding the 5,000 using 2 fishes and 5 loaves of bread.
Picture for Mama Berry (I bet you love the curly hair, right?)

The Galilee Valley is beautiful, probably the prettiest part of Israel.