Wednesday, April 1, 2009

OII #8- Patience and Products

I'll admit it: I was scared stiff. Yes, that would be me, the shy, nervous trembling person standing in the corner.
Why, you may ask?

Well, I was about to embark on a big step: Ordering my Pesach butcher order.

Don't laugh, it's not a funny business. When I moved here to E"Y, I knew the basics. Salamon- Salmon. A+B- Gefilte fish. Of- Chicken. And, so on.

Succos- I didn't order anything special or out of the ordinary. And, slowly I learnt more. I learnt there was Nile perch, sole, tuna, pike, carp, and silver carp. I learnt that Rolada meant a roast, and that I could get a bag full of Atzamot- bones for soup.

But, Pesach is the large order, the one that I can't afford (literally) to get wrong. And, I panicked. I mean, how in heaven's name could I figure out the Hebrew words for half the stuff I know how to cook? And then make sure it's Pesachdik? That was a challenge.

I came prepared. I marched in, and told them (my butcher only speaks Hebrew) in my best Hebrew the basics of my order. And then I got stuck.

I blanked out. I wanted ground pike and whitefish to make homemade gefilte fish, but I couldn't seem to get anyone to understand my wording.

Patiently, my butcher took time out from his busy schedule to try to help me decipher my own words. Slowly, we went through each fish, every single name, and he explained to me which ones were for which. And slowly, I figured out that pike is Booriy, and that there is no whitefish in Israel, but I could substitute silver carp- Kasif.
Meanwhile, he had customers waiting, but he took the time to patiently help me, the English speaker, without making fun of me.

For my meat order- I had to do more research. You see, in Israel, it's not done by name- like London broil, or sirloin, or ribeye steak. It's done by number- 1, 2, 3...with each representing a different cut.
So, I went home and turned on my trusty laptop, and lo' and behold- I found an amazing website- IsraelEasy, which showed me I'm not the only Olah to have this problem. Here's the links to the meats and fish of Israel- if it is of use to anyone.

And, my butcher was patient with me yet again, and helped me decipher my meat order as well, in slow Hebrew and broken English.

Thank G-d for kind Israelis. Otherwise, how would I eat!


Ezzie said...

That's a really cool list on that site. Thanks.

(ironic word verification... dignif)

tembow said...

that butcher was really nice to you!! i never thought it would be such an experience to order meat and fish in israel, but i guess it is.

(word verification- LIMBO!!)

daughtersintheparsha said...

uhm, you could ask someone who has been living in Israel a long time...
But part of living in Israel is the experience of shopping and dealing with everyday people.

and it can be a challenge to shop in America before pesach, too. Come on, battling for parking spaces in Brooklyn? Everyone needs help navigating that!

Mikeinmidwood said...

I cant believe an israeli could be that helpful.

nmf #7 said...

Ezzie- Yup, and very useful blog that I didn't know about before.

Tembow- B"H- it is an experience here, at least until I learn how to totally navigate everything. But, he was nice, and relaxed, and okay with my language barrier.

Daughtersintheparsha- I could.

However, there is a slight problem. You see, I live in a neighborhood where there are people who just can't afford meat. Period. I could ask someone, but- like someone showing off their new car- asking someone who may not be able to afford it might not be so great. So, I decided to wing it.

Heh- I remember parking in Brooklyn. I used to say there are only 3 types of parking spots in Brooklyn- hydrant, driveway, or street cleaning!

MIM- Yup- definitely Israeli. But very nice.

Anonymous said...

Good post and thanks for the links.
See below for details of 'The Chicken Lady' in Ramot - a special person who tries to make sure that no-one goes without Shabbat and Yom Tov chicken.

Chag kasher v'saemach

nmf #7 said...

Anon613- I actually wrote about her, way back when...
Chag Kasher V'Sameach to you too!