My life recently hasn't contained a great deal worth blogging about, largely due to my horrendous financial situation. For those who don't know, Jerusalem is really expensive - even a student from Paris complained to me about the cost of living here. Add to that the fact I am having bureaucracy issues with organising my student allowance and you have my dismal situation, where I have literally been looking for spare shekels under my bed, inviting myself to friends' houses for meals and eating delicious scraps my flatmates feed me.
(Pictured above in our kitchen, Leeor (Israeli) and Yael (British/ Israeli) - two of my lovely flatmates. Last night Yael and Izzi cooked us all a delicious roast chicken. Bless their hearts).
The positive offshoot of my situation is that I am learning about frugality. For a Libran, this is not a particularly natural or enjoyable state of affairs, but I can certainly see the use-value. For example, I wanted to contribute to the roast (like everyone else did), so I found a delightful apple cobbler recipe and made that - most of the ingredients are things you already have, you just need to buy a bag of apples.
Tonight, I was hungry with only 9 shekel of spare change (approx $3nz) and barely anything in my cupboard. I do have a bag of brown lentils, so I googled 'lentil salad' and found a wonderful recipe for Mediterranean lentil salad. With my 9 shekel jangling in my pocket I strolled down to my local arabic green grocer and bought the pictured items: (I had to leave out numerous things in the actual recipe, but I did add in fresh rosemary, ginger and tomato)
This salad is cooked in a pot of water and makes the whole kitchen smell like heaven.
Tada! Ok, I'm never going to win any food presentation awards for this (it would certainly look more beautiful with the celery component added), but it did taste delicious and made me feel really sated. The dressing is olive oil/ lemon/ salt/ pepper which sounds basic, but when mixed with the bay leaves/ ginger/ rosemary and made using our fantastic Palestinian olive oil, well!
I will be making this again (and again!).