MY SHOP

Wednesday

The Good The Bad And The Smelly

Hello World,

I have recently been employed at a very special work place.
It is a small art and jewelry gallery in Israel, right next door to a boutique olive oil press. The location is stunning in its beauty and calmness, the people are all smiley and very loving - so I thought!
I decided to write this blog about my surreal life in this unique working "Cucu" place. We are currently seven co-workers. One of which is actually a customer living in the NYC who keeps thinking she is the manager - and in deed we treat her at times like that - we don't have much choice. Another is an annoying street cat that calls our gallery "home".
This blog is about me, the employees and most of all the customers and their stories.
To justify myself from not getting fired I might add some products at the end of each story.
--------------

Peeing Myself

There is a famous saying in Yiddish "A pish un a fortz iz vi a khasene un a klezmer!" In other words - A pee without a fart, is like a wedding without a band!
A couple of days ago, we had a middle aged lady walking in the doors. She was looking for nice artefacts to decorate her home with - just another customer. So I put my sales hut on and went to show her around. We discussed the artists and their art in the gallery and it all seemed very nice except that something smelled fishy about this lady. Every 2-3 minutes there was a slow release of excess air into the atmosphere.
I thought to myself that here was a scientific proof that women do fart - but of course I acted like I never heard or smelled anything. On the other side of the gallery I could see Gabriella my co-worker starting to lights incense - very soon the place looked like a Buddhist temple.

We spoke more... and then she told me something that happened to her just the other week.
Apparently this lady suffers from chronic flatulence (I personally know of some people who I suspect suffer from the same sickness).
Last week she went to have an MRI Scan. She had to stay silent for some 35 minutes - or else they will have to do the whole thing again.

So she did. For some 30 minutes she lay there. Although every while and again a voice from the heaven was telling her to "hold still" -  she did well. But than it happened, a fart sneaked out - the confined space caused the sound to be amplified and to her it sounded like it was World War 3 breaking out with a row. Immediately 'the voice' told her to "keep calm!"

First she was embarrassed wishing this machine had a hatch she could close and sink it deep in the ocean. Than an uncontrollable laughter caught her. She could imagine the faces of all the technicians analyzing her fart signals.
At this point of her story I could not hold my self and let out myself a big fart (is it a virus?).
We were standing there laughing our ass off - literally.

The story had a good ending - apparently enough images were taken that she did not need to retake it again.
 
Needless to say we gave her a 10% discount.

When she left we all had to catch our breath!

Here are some similar vases that the lady purchased.



http://www.the-gallery-shop.com/Wendy%20Mor%20Vase%20/%20Sculpture%20one%20of%20a%20kind


http://www.the-gallery-shop.com/node/40

Olive Oil Commercial

We all read how olive oil in particular and Mediterranean diet in general are good for your health. Now comes the movie.  

Monday

WD-40 a symbol of Peace and Happiness.

The door was squeaking  for weeks. Every evening the same promise "I will fix it first thing in the morning". Sadly every morning was always the same thing, everyone is in such a hurry that I simply had to jump the "first thing" just so that I can do the second and third. 
It went like this for two week, until I had no choice but face reality, I was going to go hungry the whole day with unironed shirts if I don't fix the tweaking door today!


Frankly speaking I did not mind, after all I can always get a cheap Fallafel around the corner as for the shirts mmm who.... . But it was much deeper than this, I had to get to the "hinges" of the problem, and so I found myself looking for WD-40 at the middle of the night just so that I can have something other than a Fallafel for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 


It than occurred to me that for the sake of peace at home I could use some precious extra virgin olive oil. 


Years later, and after a lot of mess the door is still not squeaking and I am still "hero of the house". 


Now, why am I telling this story? Because I realized the other day that olive oil has many surprising benefits one of which is taking care of your cat. Just as human can benefit from good healthy olive oil, so too can dogs best friends.

According to an insider source simply add a teaspoon of olive oil to your cat’s food to help prevent hairballs, as well as promote a shiny, healthy coat. After all olive oil is likely to be more gentle on a cat's system than petroleum-based anti-hairball lubricants. Off to get some Fallafel balls. 

Meow.



Cat hair ball collection.I think I just lost my appetite for Falafel balls. Cornflakes anyone?



Tuesday

Small Batches of Olive Oil Production in Ancient Times - not mass production(Part1 of 5)


Manuel Methods of Olive Oil Production in Israel

The production of high-quality from small batches of olives generally used only simple manual methods.

There were generally two parts to the process: 1) Crushing 2) Pressing & Separation

1) CRUSHING - Oil is never extracted from the whole fruit; the olives are first crushed to make the process more efficient. Producers of the very finest oil even used to pit the olives before crushing.

In the future coming parts of this article I would talk about the different methods of crushing. For example, warming the olives and mashing them in small quantities between a hand-held stone and a flat rock. 
Or the faster method of crushing was to roll a stone cylinder over a small pile of olives spread on the flat surface of a rock or in a shallow depression cut into it. 

Authentic Poll Dancer.
Crushing olives with a stone roller. The stone was rolled back and forth between people until the olives were crushed. 


For our audience in N.America, the following is an olive oil press machine in no other place then California. But this seems obvious nowadays. 
However this picture was taken at around 1942. Ohhh America .... everything is so advanced .... :-)



"I think this machine needs some oiling"























Want to purchase authentic extra virgin olive oil? order here.

Monday

Aladdin and the Holy Land


Recommended usage: Rub well every 3 months with silver cleaning cloth
Everybody knows the story of Aladdin and the Genie. We have even watched the full color documentary by Disney (narrated by Robin Williams and Dan Castella).

A beautiful true story.

During recent archaeological digging based on anthropological research, an ancient map, none working compass and a monkey, an Israeli research team managed to locate and extract the holy lamp!
Using my personal connections with Dr. I. Jones (search team leader) and  silversmith artist  Miriam (from Kibbutz Nechalim, Israel)  we were able to replicate how a "well-to-do" Genie "house" looked during the Second Temple era.
Did You Know?
The first light was invented by G'd "And there was light". The largest luminary was too invented by Him. Indecently He still hold the Guinness book of record for it. There were some lousy imitations, whether it came from the Greeks, Persians or Romans (and of course the Chinese - they copy since the beginning of time). The Jews however were a slightly more successful with the Menora in the Temple J
Indeed the in the ancient civilizations of Babylonian and Egyptian (3000 BC), light was a luxury. The Arabian Nights were far from the brilliance of today. The palaces of the wealthy were lighted only by flickering flames of simple oil lamps. These were usually in the form of small open bowls with a lip or spout to hold the wick. Animal fats, fish oils or vegetable oils (palm and olive) furnished the fuels.

Miriam sells her beautiful replicas in museums and art galleries. I offered her to sell them through my blog, each 925 silver sterling lamp comes with a stander. If you would like to purchase a lamp that would en-lighten your home, press here.  
Grape motif - one of the seven species which the Land of Israel was blessed with.


Pomegranate Oil Lamp

Wednesday

Victoria's Secret

These are acctually her Special Events - Royal Pants
Everybody thinks they now know Victoria's Secret.
A mystery bidder paid £9,735 for the large silk bloomers at an auction in Edinburgh.

The underpants were on sale with other Royal belongings, including a pair of the Queen's silk stockings, which sold for more than £5,000.

This is not the first time perverts buy used underpants!

However important this item might be for its historical and cultural benefits, it pales in comparison to the real Victoria's Secret.
That secret every house-wive will kill for - What to serve on the perfect Tea Party.

The following article is a reprint of 'Tea with the Queen: A Victorian Menu,' featured on Eras of Elegance.

Eras of Elegance is highly recommended place to get all the other things you will need in-order to get into the right Victorian mode.

Tea with Queen Victoria (1837-1901)

Bloomers or Bed Sheets - You decide!
Henry James wrote, "There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as an afternoon tea." Afternoon tea was invented by Anna Duchess of Bedford (1783-1857), one of Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting. During this time, the noble classes ate large breakfasts, small lunches and late suppers. Every afternoon, Anna experienced what she referred to as a "sinking feeling," so she requested that her servants bring her tea and petite-sized cakes to her boudoir. Many followed the Duchess' lead, and thus the ritual of afternoon tea was birthed. In fact, a culture of sorts emerged around the tradition of drinking tea. Fine hotels began to offer tea rooms, while tea shops opened for the general public. Tea dances also became popular social events at which Victorian ladies met potential husbands. Our special "Tea with Queen Victoria" menu includes the following recipes:

TEA SANDWICHES

Tea sandwiches are traditionally light, delicate sandwiches sliced small enough to be picked up with the fingers or a pair of sandwich tongs. Teas sandwiches can be cut into triangles or, using cookie cutters, shapes for special occasions. White or wheat bread, with the crusts cut off, can be used for these sandwiches. The following recipes are modern interpretations of Victorian tea fare.

CUCUMBER SANDWICHES

  1. After cutting off the crusts of the bread and cutting the bread into triangles or shapes, butter both sides of the bread.
  2. Cut seedless cucumber (sold in gourmet supermarkets, always wrapped in cellophane) into very thin slices, and place between bread slices.
  3. Garnish if desired.

TUNA SANDWICHES

  1. Mix one can of tuna (drained) with tuna seasoning and enough mayonaise to make a thick spread.
  2. Spread on prepared slices of bread. You may add thin slices of cucumber if desired along with garnish.

SALMON SANDWICHES

  1. Spread cream cheese on prepared slices of bread.
  2. Place thin slices of smoked salmon (Nova is particularly good) between slices of bread.

EGG SANDWICHES

  1. Mix sectioned boiled egg and mayonnaise (or use store bought egg salad) and season as desired.
  2. Spread on slices of prepared bread.
  3. Add thin slices of cucumber if desired, along with garnish.

WATERCRESS SANDWICHES

  1. Spread cream cheese on prepared slices of bread.
  2. Rinse and dry watercress and lay between slices of bread.
  3. Garnish if desired.

SCONES WITH LEMON CURD AND CLOTTED CREAM

Scones are traditionally served with afternoon tea and accompanied by lemon curd and clotted cream. You can add a variety of treats into the batter, such as raisins, fresh apple bits, orange peel, cranberries, and chocolate chips. Lemon Curd is a traditional spread for scones, and is usually served with Devonshire (or clotted) cream. The lemon curd is rich and smooth, and can be kept refrigerated for up to two weeks. You can buy "English Double Devon-cream" at any fine grocery store or use the simple recipe (below) for clotted cream, which is perfect for spreading on scones.
English Cream Scones (Yield: 12 scones)
  • 2 cups Five Roses All-purpose flour (double-sifted)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 5 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs beaten lightly
  • 1/4 cup of half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup of chopped mixed nuts and 1/4 cup of raisins
  1. In a bowl, sift the flour, baking poweder, and sugar. Add butter and blend until mixture resembles coarse meal. In another bowl, beat together the half-and-half and eggs. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Add the nuts and raisins and stir until dough is formed.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, pat the dough into a round 1/3 inch tinkc, then, with a 2 1/2 inch cutter, stamp out rounds. (Optional) Brush scones with egg-whites and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
  3. Transfer rounds to a buttered baking sheet, arranging them 2 inches apart, and let stand for 20 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit. Bake the scones for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly golden.
Lemon Curd
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup butter
  1. Wisk 1 cup sugar and 2 large eggs in a bowl until blended.
  2. Sift in 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice.
  3. Pour into a saucepan and cook over low-medium heat stirring constantly for 20 minutes. Do not let the mixture come to a boil (lest it curdle or burn), but allow it to gradually thicken.
  4. When the mixture thickly coats the back of a metal spoon, remove pan from heat and stire in 1/4 cup butter until melted.
  5. Pour the mixture into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 4 hours. The lemon curd will thicken as it cools.

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Confectioner's sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  1. Mix 1 cup heavy cream and 2 tablespoons Confectioner's sugar using an electric mixer. Whip until stiff peaks form.
  2. Gently fold in sour cream and mix until thick.
  3. Place in refrigerator and chill until time to serve. If made ahead of time, it will keep in the refrigerator up to 4 hours.

Many special dishes were created in Queen Victoria's honor during her 64-year reign. Among them was a dessert called Cherries Jubilee, which was invented for Victoria's Diamond Jubilee celebration in 1897. This Jubilee Cake, which uses Cherries Jubilee as a filling, is a truly fancy dessert in grand Victorian style.
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Cream cheese filling: 8 oz. cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons cherry jelly
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Cherry filling:
  • 1 quart pitted black cherries
  • 1/2 cup claret 1 cup or less sugar (to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
To make cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Beat the egg whites until they stand up in soft peaks.
  3. Beat in the 1/4 cup of sugar a tablespoon at a time.
  4. Without washing the beater, beat the egg yolks with the lemon juice until thick and lemon-colored.
  5. Gradually beat in the 3/4 cup of sugar.
  6. Pour the yolk mixture over beaten egg whites and fold together gently with a spoon or spatula until well blended.
  7. Sift the flour and salt together and fold into the egg mixture.
  8. Spoon the batter into two unbuttered 9-inch layer pans.
  9. Cut through the batter gently several times to break any large air bubbles.
  10. Bake about 30 minutes. Test by pressing lightly with a finger. If the cake springs back, it is done.
  11. Invert on a wire rack and cool.
To make cream cheese filling:
  • Cream the sugar and cream cheese together.
  • Add remaining ingredients and beat until thick.
To make cherry filling:
  1. Dissolve the sugar in the claret and pour over the cherries. Let stand for several hours.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of the cherry juice.
  3. Heat the cherries in a sauce pan to the boiling point.
  4. Lower heat and stir in cornstarch mixture. Simmer, stirring constantly until thickened.
  5. Remove from heat, add spices and lemon juice and allow to cool.
To assemble cake:
  1. Place one layer of sponge cake on a cake platter and spread a layer of cream filling about 3 inches wide around the perimeter of the top of the cake.
  2. Cut out the center (in a heart shape if you are using heart-shaped pans) of the other layer, leaving a 3-inch border.
  3. Put aside the center piece you cut out. Place the layer with the cut-out center on top of the other and press down to make the layers stick together.
  4. Decorate by placing a paper doily on top of the cake and sifting confectioners' sugar over the doily.
  5. Carefully remove the doily and fill the center of the cake with the cherry filling.

VICTORIAN KISSES

  • 9 eggs
  • White sugar
  • Lemon
  1. Beat the whites of nine fresh eggs to a stiff froth.
  2. Mix egg white mixture with fifteen spoonfuls of fine white sugar and five or six drops of essence of lemon.
  3. Drop mixture on paper with a teaspoon, sift sugar over them, and bake them in a slow oven.

A Storm in a Tea Cup

During a recent stroll around the web looking for yet more cool things to show to my dedicated blog readers ("Hi mom & dad") I came across a designer who took the term "a storm in a cup" quite literally.  
If J-Lo wants tea, you stir it counter-clockwise only - OK?
Relogik - by the world renown designer & innovator Damjan Stankovic' showacase some of his ideas - all of which are fantastic.

Strewberry tea
"The Chigra - Blowing into the cup is part of everybody's tea ritual, so much so that it is almost instinctive behavior. What if we could, having that in mind, make the ritual more … more enjoyable and colorful? What if our children could start a healthy tea drinking habit while having fun at the same time?
The chigra infuser is made out of a light, plastic propeller lid and stainless metal body promising years of use. The lid is filled with air which allows it to float while the body is submerged. The propeller lid makes the infuser rotate when you blow into the tea. The container holes are created at an angle which allows for faster blending."
 

Tea -v- Coffee "After Parties"

               After Party


Obama:"Just not Tea!" (Source: Haaretz)




















Its early morning - after party - election time. It seems more than half the United States population voted for Tea.
I ask what is wrong with Coffee?

Three Excellent Reasons for a Coffee Party

1) Mypressi


Source: mypressi.com

2) Solar Coffee Maker

In the scenario that your party goes into the morning.... .

"You can replace your chess knight with me"

"Coffeesynthesis???"
Find out more: Sang hoon Lee

3) When morning sun just won't make it.

"Do they have a wrist watch edition?"

"Mmmm ...Miso Soup"

Tuesday

News flash: Edible Beauty

During my intensive "research" on "Divine Tastes" - the only place which combines spirit with body on the web, I came across a very interesting food/beauty product.

The hard science behind this products goes something like "You are what you eat". I guess you cant argue with it much.
The only problem is, will you eat it?

EIWA COLLAGEN MARSHMALLOWS 4000MG X5 PACKS
"EIWA GRAPEFRUIT COLLAGEN MARSHMALLOWS X5 PACKETS FOR ONLY $20 JAPANS BIGGEST SELLING BEAUTY PRODUCT, NO NEED FOR INJECTIONS JUST SNACK ON THESE TASTY CHERRY FILLED MARSHMALLOWS WITH 3500MG OF COLLAGEN PER ONE PACKET."

This reminds me... . Not so long ago I was talking to a lady who had her lips done. From what I understand they took some tissues from near her cheek butt. If my understanding is correct, than she was literally speaking out of her ass.

"3500 Calories per Marshmallow"

Thursday

Ever wanted to become a hand model?

After the great success we had helping thousands of our readers to become "hair models" (Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow - recommended reading - thank you for all the "thank you" letters!) - call me a philanthropist :-)

It is now time to help all those looking for a career in the competitive market of "hand modeling".

This highly complex but natural and extremely effective hand peeling method is sure to reinvigorate your skin and to give you a very refreshing feeling.

Natural Hands Peeling

Step (1): Rub your hands with olive oil for about 30 seconds.

Step (2): Add a spoon of sugar to rub your hands with.

Step (3): Wash your hands with your favorite dish washing liquid and dry.

Obvious Recommendation: Have the sugar ready prior to rubbing your hands with the olive oil.

Natural Nail strengthener

Rub some lightly heated extra virgin olive oil on the nails and around. This will strengthen the nails soften the skin around.

Do you have any great natural cosmetics tips? Let us know.

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