Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

The Second Exodus – Israel – CCLXXVI. Moshé (2 of 3)

There are two things I shared with Moshiko during the four years I befriended him:  Finding the ideal mate, and eating.

I will talk in details about the first issue in my next section.  The second one was not even a passion, just a matter of looking for the best.  Moshé was a small eater and was thin as a reed; ditto for me.

He went in search of the best restaurants, and cased the joint before taking me there.  There are three that I remember after all those years.

That restaurant had the best falafel and tehina* in all of Tel-Aviv.  He was well-known, and the place was usually packed.  I can make tehina in my own kitchen, but it never equalled the tehina of that establishment.  I asked the owner for his proportions (how much of this and how much of that?), his response was:  “Ata retsini?”  (Are you serious?)

[* Tehina (a paste made from ground, hulled sesame seeds) is the ingredient that gives hummus its consistency.  It can be prepared by itself (it doesn’t need chick peas) as a dip by adding spices, lemon, and water until it attain the required consistency.  Properly balancing this mix is no easy task.]

For the best kebab in those days, you went to an Arab restaurant in Yaffo.  This restaurant had the best kofta kebab I have ever tasted.  What spices he put in his minced meat, I cannot imagine.  The owner was an Arab from Jerusalem.  His other dishes such as foul, molokhea, and chackchouka were unmatched in all of Yaffo.  I didn’t ask for his secrets, for the truth was that even with detailed recipes, I could have never duplicated his dishes.

The last place was a gem.  We kept the secret to ourselves.  A Romanian friend had told Moshé about this restaurant.  It was really nothing more than a hole-in-the-wall.  It was owned and operated by this Romanian lady; and she did everything.  She cooked, served, and cleaned.  On any given day, she had one special.  But the two of us were not there for that; we had come for her karnatzel and potatoes-in-the-oven.  Only poetry can do justice to this food, but alas, I am no poet.  All I can tell is that only one restaurant (in Montreal) served me a better karnatzel; her potatoes though retain the top prize!

Moshé’s marriage did not have any impact on our friendship.  Clara insisted that I visit them, and I was often able to enjoy their hospitality.

I was still able to spend hours with Moshiko and talk about subjects of common interest.  Clara never joined us; she was giving us our own space; and the gesture was greatly appreciated.

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