Monday, August 18, 2014


This has been a hard war. All wars are hard, obviously, but everything in all ways nowadays seems hard, hard, hard and too painful to face. Every time I open the news I am hit with a wave of sorrow that seems to swallow my body, so I've stopped reading the news. But it's hard to escape. There are very few degrees of separation in this country.

In the midst of all this, people are coming and people are going. I'm leaving jobs and starting new ones. The hardest one, I think, is my friend Hannah. Hannah is one of my oldest friends here in Israel. She claims we met on a bus. I have zero memory of that interaction. I remember that we met when we were paired together as study partners on a program we both attended. Somehow, we started talking about books and that was that. We were in. We remained study partners for three years. But more than that, we became friends. Hannah and her family sort of adopted me. I was with them for holidays, on the weekends, on family outings, and when things got tough for me, as they often did, those first few years after I moved, I shut myself in their guest room for a few days until I was ready to face the world again. Hannah and I spent years talking about books and boys and movies and life and now she's moved across the ocean. It's a good thing, her move. Her husband is going to educate young minds. Hannah is going to be writing a brilliant dissertation on Conrad and Dickens. But still, I'm going to miss her. I already miss her.

Hannah and I often call each other for cooking tips. One day, we were chatting on the phone about life type of things, when I mentioned that I had an unholy amount of cilantro sitting in my fridge, needing to get used. "Oh," she said, "I've got a recipe for you." The recipe was simple-just eggs, onion, tomato, chili pepper and a lot of cilantro- but great. It's the type of thing you make when you are starving, busy and desperately in need of something warm and delicious to eat. Something about the tomatoes keeps the eggs creamy and soft and the cilantro and pepper give it a burst of flavor and heat.  I've made a few small adjustments over the ten million times I've made it, but mostly it remains just the way Hannah gave it to me. And now I'm giving it to you.

Come home soon, Hannah.

Scrambled Eggs with Onion, Tomato and lots of Cilantro

Adapted from Hannah Landes

1 onion, chopped
1 tomato, diced
1 green chili pepper, (or to taste) diced
a huge bunch of cilantro
a pinch of cumin
2 eggs, lightly beaten

1. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. When melted and bubbly add the onion. Saute until soft. Add the tomato and pepper. Cook until the tomatoes have started to release liquid and have made a sauce of sort. Season with cumin, salt and pepper. Add the cilantro and give it a toss and then, almost immediately add the eggs. Scramble as you would scramble eggs (everyone has their own method, yes I know), the eggs will remain soft and creamy. Eat with bread and butter, or stuffed in a pita.