Christmas Eve – Jerusalem
Unlike how it’s done in the UK, we had our Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve in Jerusalem. Sedrick from Brazil cooked a meal of rice, chicken and mushroom cream sauce. Myself and Miriam contributed with falafels from the Falafel King stand at Damascus Gate, Hummus, bread and salad. The meal was delicious, and the beers helped to wash it all down!
Christmas Day – Bethlehem
We arrived in Bethlehem in the evening of Christmas Day for a local experience! Our host, George – a Christian Palestinian, took us to his cousin Walid’s home for what should have been a BBQ. Walid – a hunter, farmer, chef, and all round self-sustainable guy, changed his mind and decided on a one-pot meat dish with vegetables (the meat he hunted himself, and the veg was straight out of his garden). The dish was made in his wood-fire oven (he mad that himself too) which also acted as a heater to warm up the eery room. The room itself was rustic and The Beat FM playing old school r’n’b music set a contrasting unique scene – I’ve never seen so many instruments for hanging meat (spooky)! I have to admit, when we first arrived in the old, dark outter house, I was a little uncomfortable and skeptical. But once the wood-fire warmed up the room, the conversations flowing revelled more interesting things about Walid’s country living, the mint and sage leaf tea warmed my troubled stomach, and the smells from the food teased my senses, I relaxed and enjoyed the atmosphere!
This was the first time I ate red meat in almost 10 years… And of course I paid the price for it after just the first mouth full when my stomach clinched in pain! I’m in no hurry to adapt meat into my diet, but I’ll admit, despite the bad stomach craps I suffered from that night, it was worth the mouthfuls!
Both meals were great, but I would say the meal in Bethlehm stole the show simply because I would never have imagined myself in such an environment. It was a truly unique experience with local Palestinians and Walid’s lifestyle opened my eyes to the benefits of being self-sustainable… You might find me living on a farm in the near future (after university of course)!