Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Here are two things I hate: moving and jet-lag. When I first started writing this post, almost a month ago. I was faced with both of them.

After months of a soul-destroying apartment search, I finally signed a lease on a new place about a month ago-a week before I left to the United States for two weeks to spend Passover with my family. I arrived back in Jerusalem about three week ago, with exactly two weeks to pack up my apartment and move. Needless to say, I haven't been using my kitchen much in the last two to three months. And even when I have been using my kitchen, I haven't been doing much inspired cooking. I'm sorry to say that I've been eating a lot of cereal, pasta and takeout lately- not that those are bad things- but it's been nothing to write home about, so to speak. It's hard to feel inspired when you are so totally in between- in between homes, in between packed and unpacked, in between time zones, in between selves. It's hard to cook and it's hard to write. My kitchen pretty bare for a while right now- waiting to be packed and then unpacked. I kind of feel the same way, slightly empty, dusty and just waiting for a big change.

I did, however, do quite a bit of cooking in my mom's kitchen in Chicago. I always do.I made the usuals- carrot-fennel soup, almond cookies, meringues, braised chicken with garlic and white wine, etc. That's what Passover is for, long stretches in the kitchen, followed by long stretches of eating. I like cooking in my mom's kitchen. I like the silence as I watch the sun come up through the French doors at the back, awake and restless with jetlag during the first days after I land. I like the noise and chaos of three adults and five children, bustling and helping and cooking.  The kitchen in my new apartment actually reminds me a lot of my mom's kitchen. It's quite a bit smaller, but like my mom's kitchen it is long and narrow, with black marble counters and a view of a garden. I hope my garden will one day be as nice as hers. I think it is the kitchen that made me say, yes. This place. I can live here.

Somehow I am the dessert maker hence, the almond cookies, meringues and some spectacular macarons from the New York Times. It's just a thing that happened. I do the desserts. I always want to make ice cream, but my mother doesn't have an ice cream maker and more often than not, we have one or more family members who don't want to be eating semi-raw eggs. This year though, this year I had cream and limes and tequila all staring me in the face. God bless, Nigella Lawson then, for providing me with this pretty glorious recipe. No Churn Margarita Ice Cream, doesn't that just sound spectacular? When I read the recipe, I though maybe the lack of a custard would make the ice cream feel anemic, and that if I didn't churn it it would crystallize and turn horrid and awful when I froze it, but neither of these things happened. The ice cream was smooth and rich and tangy. It all seemed so magical.  So go my friends, get yourself some tequila and limes and cream- or go wild and play around. I bet this recipe can be used as a template for any number of excellent ice cream flavors. The lazy days of summer are about to be upon us. Settle in.

No Churn Margarita Ice Cream

Adapted from Nigella Lawson

1/2 cup lime juice
2.5 tablespoons tequila
2.5 tablespoons orange juice
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 cups heavy cream

1.  Pour the lime juice, tequila and juice into a bowl. Add sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the cream and whip with a hand mixer (or in a stand mixer) until thick, but not stiff.

2. Transfer into an airtight container and freeze overnight. Serve in glasses if you're feeling classy like that.