Antwerp

Guestblog: Marie-France Vodikulwakidi showing us ‘her’ Antwerp.

 

On a Saturday afternoon, Sien and I met up, and we took a stroll to the places I love in Antwerp.
First and foremost we stopped by Corto, a lunch bar with a homely feeling, where we had a succulent chicken pasta soup.

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Hanging out at the exotic market, in the same neighborhood, we took the opportunity to buy some scrumptious chouchous also called Caramelized Peanuts.

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To stay away from the crush of Antwerp’s main shopping area, the Meir, we’ve passed by the Stadsfeestzaal a neo-classic, very bling bling 20.500 m2 space, housing numerous shops. Always at the same spot, a recognizable group of skilled Israeli salesmen is so good at selling the magical products from the dead sea.

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To avoid the threatening weather, we hopped in the subway which took us to the main train station.

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I used to come to work by train but due to my irregular PR working hours, traveling in my own car ‘bubble’ seemed a much better option to me! This summer during the heatwave (unusual in Belgium, counting approximatively 200 raining days per year) Marilyn and I showed  the city around to a friend.  Antwerp Central station was on top of our list!  This railway cathedral  from the 19th century has been named by the american magazine Newsweek as the fourth most beautiful train station in the WORLD!

1400769_10152045948770837_2048453932_oCopyright Amir Feingold

We went to the same place with Sien to capture the hugeness of the edifice.

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As daylight faded we headed to Lombardenvest ( a posh-er shopping area) where all the christmas lights displayed reminded us that christmas is just  around the corner.

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Marie France

Food · History · Judaism · Tel Aviv

Hanukkah, a festival of lights

Chanukah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. Every night, we light the candles of the Hanukiah to commemorate and celebrate the miracle of Light: the Jews only had enough oil to create light for one night, but the miracle made it last for 8 days…

 photo 2-1Jewish family spirit, Tel Aviv December 2012 – photo by Sharon Erde www.twitter.com/sharonerde

Being a secular Jew doesn’t mean I don’t honor values and follow rituals of the Jewish holidays. Families always gather around a big food table.  Family & food. Celebrating the miracle of oil also means eating fried food. While some of us yearn for Sufganyot (they’re like doughnuts and come in various shapes, colors and with many different fillings); some rather eat Latkes (Yiddish word) or Levivot (Hebrew word) which are a kind of potato pancake.  Here’s my favorite recipe for you to try at home – thank you Ameloush and thank you Doda Anny from Belgium…

Ingredients:photo 1

  • 5 potatoes (big red ones preferably)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons self-rising flour
  • salt, pepper and white pepper
  • canola oil to fry in

Preparation:

1. Heat +/- 1 to 2 cm of canola oil until boiling and ready to fry
2. Meanwhile, start peeling and grating the potatoes (feel your muscles?)
3. With your hands, squeeze out all the water from the potatoes (very important!)
4. Add the shredded onion, eggs, flour, salt&pepper and mix with a spoon or  photo 2with your hands
5. Make flat round shapes with your hand/spoon and fry till golden brown 6.Before serving, make sure you use a lot of paper roll to remove as much oil as possible.
7. Bete’avon, you can eat your latkes with sugar, mustard or whatever other weird family ritual you have.

Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah Song, part. 1; there’s also part 2 & 3 if you want more…

Lyrics:

“Put on your Yamakkah, here comes Hanukkah… so much fun-Hakka to celebrate Hanukkah. Hanukkah is the festival of lights… instead of one day of presents, we get eight crazy nights. When you feel like the only kid in town without a Christmas tree, here’s a list of people who are Jewish, just like you and me.

David Lee Roth lights the Menorah, So do James Caan, Kirk Douglas, and the late Dinah Shore-ah. Guess who eats together at the Carnegie deli, Bowzer from Sha-na-na, and Arthur Fonzerrelli. Paul Newman’s half Jewish; Goldie Hawn’ss half too, Put them together–what a fine lookin’ Jew. You don’t need deck the halls or jingle bell rock, cause you can spin the dreidl with Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock-both Jewish!

Put on your Yamakkah, it’s time for Hanukkah… The owner of the Seattle Super Sonic-ahs celebrates Hanukkah. O.j. Simpson- not a Jew… But guess who is…hall of famer Rod Carew-he converted! We got Ann Landers and her sister dear Abby, Harrison fords a quarter Jewish-not too shabby! Some people think that Ebenezer Scrooge is, Well, he’s not, but guess who is: all three Stooges.

So many Jews are in show business… Tom cruise isn’t,but I heard his agent is. Tell your friend veronica, it’s time you celebrate Hanukkah…I hope I get a harmonica, on this lovely, lovely Hanukkah. So drink your gin-and-tonic-ah, and smoke your mara-juanic-ah… If you really, really wanna-kah, have a happy, happy, happy, happy
Hanukkah! Happy Hanukkah!”

Happy Hanukkah…may the light shine… in and around you….

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