Salt & Pilpel

Connecting Jewish Americans and Israelis in North NJ

Pea Soup for a Wintery Shabbat Dinner January 27, 2011

Filed under: Friday's Cake for Shabbat — foundintranslation18 @ 10:37 pm
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I love this short and simple recipe by Sheli. It is the perfect tummy and soul warmer.

Add some thinly sliced ‘kabanus’ to it and you’re sure to get complimented!

How to?:

Chop 1 onion – fry.

Add 1-2 carrots – fry together with onion.

Add green peas.

Add water, soup broth, salt and Pilpel (…)

Bon Apetit!


Larger Than Life’s Valentine’s Party January 26, 2011


Photography Today-Natan Dvir January 22, 2011

Photography Today-Natan Dvir: An Israeli born photographer, now living in New York:

Born in Israel in 1972 Natan Dvir received his Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA) at Tel
Aviv University in 1998.
Dvir began his photography career shooting for a number of Israeli publications. Today, he lives in New-York and works as a freelance photographer represented by Polaris Images, specializing in documentary and editorial photography focusing mainly on the human aspect of political, social and humanitarian subjects.
Some of his most interesting work is a series called “Eighteen” in which he photographed Arab men and women turning 18. In an interview he explained what’s behind this project:

“While Israel is defined as the Jewish state, over a fifth of its population is
Arab (Muslim, Christian, Druze and Bedouin)…..Although I grew up in Israel and spent most of my artistic career
photographing its citizens, I felt I did not really know or understand this society….…In this highly political environment I became interested in the human stories of these people living as a minority in a country defined by its majority religion. Wishing to examine forward-looking aspects of this Arab-Jewish coexistence, I decided to focus on Arab men and women at a crucial point in their lives – turning18 years old….….As a Jewish Israeli man, I expected most of my subjects to regard me with suspicion and distrust. I chose to photograph them in their close surroundings wishing to present the pictures with a sense of place and attempting to reveal the social context within which they live.” (For the full interview

Also very interesting is the series he calls “Belief” which includes aesthetically stunning but also piercing and sometimes disturbing images of different religion practices and political situations driven by strong believes.

And if all this politics is too much for you… don’t miss the project titled “The Tel-Avivians” and the series of portraits of prominent israely figures.

To see the images:

Written by: Nitsan Tal

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A Winter Vacation January 20, 2011

A winter trip

So winter vacation came and with a lot of planning we are set to go.

3 families and 3 cars loaded to the roof with ski equipment, coolers, blankets, gadgets and smiles that can light up any dark sky.

You would imagine that once on the road the goal was to drive straight to Vermont (about 3 ½ or 4 hours drive) but as organized as we are, we planned a stop at COSTCO and purchase all the food needed to feed this bunch. Oh boy ……. Let the kids out of the car and into Costco……. Result: 8 kids stacking all sorts of things on to the carts. “We need cookies, how can we not get this chips” as they put stuff into the cart, Shiri and I took them out.  An hour later we are on our way. But an hour later into the road trip….. ” I need coffee, I need tea, I need to pi, and can we stop?” So we pulled at the rest stop .

Finally, we arrived.  The view was amazing, white powder dressing up the trees, the roofs filled with snow; you can clearly see the ski trail.

We rented a very nice house that can accommodate all of us. Everybody grabbed something and we ventured inside , the kids ran in as I make a silent  prayer  for a clean environment ( you never know what you get when you rent a house from a website). To my surprise it was exactly as the pictures but only with one surprise.

The owner of the house was a cow collector, yes I said COW, I am not kidding they had cows in pictures, cows as stuffed animals, kitchen gadgets, door stoppers, cow vacuum cleaner, cow broom, cow dust pan, cow wall paper, cow pillows, cow light switch, entrance cow, cows on top of the fire place, even a cow manikin in the middle of the living room (that Ron was scared of so Shiri had to turn it facing the wall). It was a cow invasion.

I declared myself the designated cook, I am the only member of the crew that is not ski friendly ,I needed to get some office work while on vacation plus I was going to take ONLY ONE SKI lesson just to have it checked on my bucket list. I was pretty happy with the indoor cow environment.

I have to admit I was petrified of taking the ski class, I am a control freak and the day of the class I was getting the butterfly on my stomach feeling. How will I stop, what if I fall, what if I need to pi in the middle of the mountain, what if I am so uncoordinated  that I will not learn at all. STOP ! Think positive, you can do it, one class what is the worst that can happen? Think of something else!!!!!!!

I am happy to report that I took the class, my mind was set to nail it, I did not fall, I did not freak out, I did not pi at all. I was so surprised and confident, it felt SO GOOD.  Learning to ski…. CHECKED

We spent 5 days in the cow house, eating like pigs (I fed everybody from schnitzel, hamburgers, matzo ball soup, pasta & deli sandwiches with the help of my sous- chef Shiri). Tal even made cookies, yummy .

At night we played Pictionary and found ourselves screaming the answers before the sand clock completed the minute.  A shesh besh  match between fathers & sons was the highlight. The fathers thinking that they have more experience and can conquer any opponent ( ha ha ha) , kids putting on a Kippa to win the match ( luck is needed at this point) . My husband losing the game to and my son   …… priceless.

As the trip came to an end and with sad faces to go back home, we all bonded, friends & family, we had a great time. The cows did not follow us home (thank G-d).

Next trip ….. Laufer’s/ Sofer’s please lets pick a tropical location  xoxoxo.

From any family trip you will always get great memories, and with time these are the stories that your kids will remember and cherish forever.

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Photography classes by Nitsan Tal January 19, 2011

Many times I had friends ask me to help them figure out why they can’t get good pictures with their cameras. The pictures may be too dark, too light, out of focus or blurry. Many times they assume they just need to invest in a better camera but mostly that’s not true.

So…I would like to offer a photography class for beginners. I will call it “beyond Auto mode”.

The class will cover the basics of camera controls, Aperture, shutter speed, lens length, ISO, what they mean, what they do and when to use what, how to get better pictures indoors and outdoors, use of cheap or home-made accessories to better control difficult light conditions etc.

The only equipment needed for the class is a camera with manual shooting mode.

Classes will be held once a week in Old-Tappan,  every week I will give a shooting assignment to reinforce the concepts that where taught, and we will look at the resulting pictures together and discuss them. Every class will be 90 minutes, the initial series will be of 5 classes, the cost 35$ per class. Class size will be small (5-6 people) so I can pay attention and answer all questions.

If you are interested, please send me contact info (e-mail is best), do you prefer morning (10:30-12:00) class or evening (8-9:30)?


Nitsan Tal

Nitsan Tal Photography

My web site:

Facebook :!/pages/Nitsan-Tal-Photography/147074808652762


IMAGINATION/ Yael Chamay January 17, 2011

Filed under: Yael's corner — foundintranslation18 @ 6:44 pm
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It has been a long time since I wrote a piece for the blog. As always I have been all over with a very busy schedule. But you already know that. I have so many ideas on things I want to write about that I don’t know what to choose.  But I flipped a coin so here it goes

In my very limited free time I love to watch TV, I am a junkie when it comes to OPRAH, the home makeovers type of programs and reality shows ( this last one according to my husband is a waste of brain cells, but I just cannot resist. Between the Millionaire matchmaker & Gene Simons from Kiss…. just to name a few)

So I was watching a certain program on TV of a team that comes to your house and renovate a room for you, ONLY ONE ROOM IN THE HOUSE. All of a sudden my husband tells me ….. Yael why don’t you apply for  the show? You might win a kitchen renovation, you never know. You are always complaining that you have no room in the kitchen? …..

OMG he is so right, did I tell you that I talk to my  pots when I take them out of the closet ( they are all stacked up and to take one out something always falls on me) or that I always take out the wrong container lid and curse at it till I find the right one.

In less than a millisecond I was in fantasy land. Oh can you imagine, they take over and throw this wall down, and push this outside , and install  a new floor, and change for wider windows,  and give me tons of storage place, build me an island, with some stools so we can all gather in the kitchen and chat with the kids as I cook, install a music system so I can sing as I cook , new appliances will be nice, might as well expand to the dining room since it is next to the kitchen and make it a bigger open area with cool light fixtures and a bigger table that can fit tons of people, a long buffet where I can serve food & entertain guests . Can you imagine?

My husband tabs my shoulder in order to bring me back to reality not so harshly and with  a very big smile tells me  …. Honey I think you should first send the application to the show so you can actually win.

This is so typical of me ( and I bet you are the same) , I was so happy for  a few seconds, I savored the entire remodeling and imagined every detail in my head , and yes I had also a big smile on my face .

I once heard someone say that having happy thought increases days to your life and happiness to your soul.

Boy oh boy…. my soul must be dancing and hope to live a long life 🙂

PS. I did send the application to the TV show…….. you never know


Our Chala Project is under way and here are the photos January 16, 2011

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