Shabbat, November 17th, 2012/7am PST~San Diego, CA
This morning while writing a letter to a friend of mine, I had an inspiration and a new idea occurred to me as I wrote. Here’s an excerpt from my letter…
My newest plan is to make a short-term return into the domestic service profession, while at the same time returning to school. In this economy it makes sense to have a cash-generating business; a product or service that most everyone needs and not just wants. So far people still need help in their homes and as you know, I am very good at homey things. I make love to a home and create sure magic!
So far I have one weekly house cleaning/cooking/nanny gig and am looking for 2 others. I want to maintain at least three clients so that in the event that I lose one, I’ll still have an income and can find a replacement client.
Any income I receive from my Matrix Momma Studios internet business will be “extra income” to use for school. I am launching MMStudios this fall and already have two clients. MMStudios will give me the opportunity to meet and work with other creatives who need a presence on the net.
Additionally, I have a phone meeting next week with my brother, Chef Bruce B. Piatek II, to discuss my newly re-visited idea to become a pastry chef. I have no idea what he will say and if he will think I can succeed at that line of work, or not? If he does think that I can do it and will give me his blessing and later, perhaps, indorse me, then my plan is to get a pastry chef certificate from a community college.
I like very much the idea of feeding people. Maybe someday I’ll have a pita shop like the one Shabtai and I ate at in Old Yafo, (Jaffa, near Tel Aviv) Israel in December 1996?! Oh, the aroma of that place! The sheer beauty and alure of all those stacked-up piles of round loaves: old world flat breads, sumptuously spread out in an open-air corner market; patties of delightful varieties….seeded pita, cheesy pita, garlic pita, pita with an egg in the middle, large, Arabic pita with Za’atar seasoning, and the list goes on…
Breads baked on hot stones over an open fire!
Hey, I could specialize in selling flat breads from around the world! Any and every nationality could find a home in Shoshi’s Bread Shop. I could decorate with all the flags of the nations hanging as banners around the shop! And at night, I can clear out the bakery floor, move the cafe tables to the periphery of the room, and voila, it’s a dance cafe! And in the dance cafe we will dance international folk dances from around the world. Everyone will hold hands in a circle. On the walls around the Bread Shop Dance Cafe, will hang photos of nature scenes from around the world. I love all people! I’ve had the seed of every nationality in my hands! *wink*
COMMON GROUND: Bread and Dancing!
Now there’s an idea for world peace, eh?!
I crack myself up!
THIS IS THE BAKERY SHABTAI TOOK ME TO…
Review: The Legendary Abulafia Bakery in Jaffa, Israel (near Tel Aviv)
Sambusac Stuffed with Potato, Mushroom, Cheese and Hardboiled Egg
Here are your directions. (1) Board plane for Tel Aviv (2) Clear immigration and customs (3) Ask taxi driver to take you to Abulafia. You could tell him that it is in Jaffa, but he already knows.
SP’s dad, you mention anything related to the Middle East and his eyes glaze over with desire as he tells you about how you have to make it to Abulafia.
Do you get what I’m trying to say here? This 24-hour streetside bakery has been located at the same corner in Jaffa since 1879. They pretty well have the recipes tweaked out at this point. That turnover, calzone looking item you see above is called a sambusac, and this one was filled with silky smooth mashed potatoes, onions, mushrooms, and cheese. Big deal right? When you order it, they put it on the grill for a minute, then cut it open and add a sliced hardboiled egg. The warm, creamy potatoes, the rich egg and cheese, slightly chewy but tender dough, lots of black pepper. Dang! Suddenly I understand what all the other pastries I’ve ever eaten filled with cold, dry mashed potatoes were referring to.
Just up the street, Abulafia has another location that serves sit down meals and apparently has unbelievable hummus, according to Hillel. I didn’t have room for it today.
If you are doing any more web research about the bakery, be sure and check multiple spellings. Even on their own sign they have both Abuelafia and Abouelafia, and I’ve also seen Aboulafia.
While you are in Jaffa, you can stroll up to beautiful overlooks of Tel Aviv and the Mediterranean, and walk through one of the nicer, cleaner Old City areas I’ve seen, with some high quality, not so touristy art dealers.
Just to whet your appetite further, here’s a picture of Abulafia’s pita with zatar, if you don’t mind looking through the glass.
Pita Bread Covered in Zatar
BELOW IS A POEM I WROTE IN 2003 WHILE MISSING SHABTAI ONE DAY…
Prelude Muse to the poem coming to me:
I was eating lunch and drinking margarita’s at El Torito’s in San Diego; missing Shabtai and dreaming of immigrating to Israel. Later that same year I wound up abandoning my Zionist dreams after meeting with the emissary from the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles. We met in the conference room at my former employer–the United Jewish Federation of San Diego County. I will never forget that meeting.
He asked me what my skills were and what I would do for work in Israel. I said that I wanted to plant trees. He laughed and replied: “Only the Arabs plant trees and they make, if they’re lucky, $300.00 dollars a month.” The emissary then proceeded to explain how hard it is to survive in Israel and that my best bet would be to find a rich, Israeli husband, or, to just go there and find my way by the seat of my pants!
Just before we ended the meeting and parted ways, I shook his hand and thanked him. He was so impressed with my firm handshake that he shook my hand a second time! He said to me: “Ah, you shake hands like a man, not like a woman with a flimsy hand; I like that.” I chuckled and replied: “Yes, my Momma taught me to always give a firm handshake and look a person in the eye while shaking their hand.” He grinned.
This poem was originally entitled: “Salsa Anyone”. It is much more inspiring to hear me dramatically recite it with my breathy, lustful voice but my headset-microphone combo took a dump over the summer and I’ve not gotten a new one. Sorry to those of you who love my voice and voice blogs!
dipping, chipping, sipping
Ahh, I can’t wait-
to get there
“Israel?” you ask
face screwing up
like I’m crazy
Yes, say I
You must not know her
or her people
‘cuz if you did
you wouldn’t query.
How lusty they are!
Lusty, lovely, lucious!
Talk about dips!
with flecks of garlic
with herbs; oregano, corriander
and this is only the beginning….
You’re sitting across the table
from a drippy-eyed, gorgeously
Uzi at his side and in his pants
Feeling quite oozy yourself
smothered with eggplant salad
intoxicated by garlic
but he doesn’t care
about the garlic, I mean
Just go ahead and
and he’ll tell you
“I love garlic”
while he strokes your inner thigh
with his warm, olive colored
that’s how the air feels
at your pita, garlic, olive table
in the salty air
of the Mediterranean
Spell it out now…
Now that’s poetry!…..
And suddenly your senses
begin to understand why
all the whole world has fought
over this tiny piece of property
for so damn long
in the air
in their air
By the way
did you know
garlic is an aphrodisiac?
Forget about it!
In my next post I will finally be sharing the images from my 1996/97 Israel trip with Shabtai Levi. There are over 100 photos in the set and it will take some time to scan, sort and upload. Have a GREAT weekend, my friends.