Warmth in Jerusalem

One might think that being in Jerusalem would feel warmer than much of the rest of the world right now…especially other places I might be living:


Not the case. I think it’s a combination of Jerusalem stone buildings and no insulation, but I honestly think it’s colder in my Jerusalem apartment these days than it ever was in my Minneapolis apartment…yes, even when it was -30º. I am just thankful my apartment has some form of heating – no matter how inadequate – instead of just space heaters like many people use.

In other news, a little Jerusalem humor to brighten up the cold day:


But, if misdirected text messages aren’t enough to warm you up, check out the joyous gathering that was my Thanksgiving last week.

Thanksgiving in Jerusalem, you say? Well, in a country of immigrants, there are a lot of uprooted Americans, and Thanksgiving makes itself known. Many of the grocery stores (especially those in anglo parts of the city) have pumpkin and cranberry sauce appear on shelves in mid-November. The week of Thanksgiving itself, stores get in turkeys – but do your shopping early or you might have to fight someone for the bird you want!

My Thanksgiving day started with a siyum (closing) in my Chumash (five books of Moses, ie, the Torah) class. We have a siyum every time we finish a parasha (weekly Torah portion). Last week, we finished Parashat Noach – the story of Noah and the ark and the flood…maybe you’ve heard of it? 🙂 Since the timing coincided with Thanksgiving, we decided to have the best of both worlds and make it a ‘Noah on the Mayflower’ party:


For the big festive meal, I joined together with about 30 others and enjoyed probably my most extravagant Thanksgiving meal to date. I guess if 30 people contribute to a meal, things get reallllll fancy. The table was dressed to impress and there were so many dishes we had to cycle the food through since it couldn’t all fit:

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The hosts cooked a whole turkey…if you dare, locate the neck in the remains below:


And, in closing, PIES!


I also brought the applesauce brownies mentioned in this post as my contribution to the meal.


Yesterday, I found this little fellow behind my apartment:

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He stayed perfectly still while I took these pictures – I think he was scared and thought I was predator and figured that if he didn’t move at all then I wouldn’t notice he was there. No such luck, buddy. Still, I felt bad when I did eventually walk inside since he startled so badly.

Today, our bunny friend has been buried in a tomb of snow!!!

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I hope bunny made it out okay, but really, Minnesota, this is just cruel. Everyone thought it was almost spring. Then this happened:

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And this:

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When will it end?!?! I hope that the weather is clear for my half marathon next weekend, since I definitely don’t feel like running 13.1 miles in the snow.

Snow + Warm Bananas

The weather here in Minneapolis took a dramatic turn towards ‘winter wonderland’ today. This was the view at 2:00pm after only about 20 minutes of snow:


…and one hour later it looked like this:


There is so much snow now! Maybe this will facilitate some cross-country skiing next weekend. 🙂

Obviously, a cold snowy day calls for something warm and delicious. Given how much I adore bananas, they were the ingredient of choice. I mixed two sliced bananas with 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil:


Arranged on a greased baking tray:


Cooked in the oven at 375° for 30 minutes.


mmmm, look at that caramelization! I will be including this in my breakfast tomorrow for sure.

Treadmill Test

Today I tried my new running shoes for the first time. Since I’ve been fighting an injury, I haven’t been running as much as usual, and I also didn’t want to use my shoes outdoors the first time just in case I didn’t like them and wanted to return. My plan was to try a fairly easy 4 miles on the treadmill and see how it went:

ready to go!

ready to go!

I was surprised at how good I felt! I had a little discomfort in my knee (which is where the whole trouble started), but besides that I didn’t have any hamstring or major IT band issues. I ended up going for a little more distance than I had planned – 4.4 miles in 40 minutes.

After the run, I definitely felt a little soreness on the outside of my knee but nothing terrible. I think I’ll try another run the day after tomorrow to test the waters again. When I got home I had a post-workout breakfast. I cooked 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill 10-grain hot cereal with 3/4 cup water in the microwave and topped with 1/4 cup trail mix, coconut milk, and a sliced apple.

this is good

this is good

Considering my beloved Minneapolis is currently a -2.2°, the day definitely called for a warm breakfast.