When Istanbul Met Vienna
Sharon and Shlomo

Oh my gosh, incredible! I don’t even know where to start. Should I start from the beginning? A woman from my maternity club gave me Sharon’s number. She said Sharon makes awesome Turkish pastry that she had learned to make from her mother in law. Frankly, I was expecting nothing beyond that, and had already begun calculating how to turn it into a story.

But sure enough- I was surprised. No, sorry, amazed. Not only by the pastry, but by the whole vibe of Sharon’s magical house. As I step into the yard, Sharon’s husband- Shlomo, invites me in. From the first moment, I feel welcomed. I could not hide my dazed eyes, staring at the decorated walls. The house looks as if it were randomly composed of countless unique pieces. Soon enough I will learn that the house, very accurately, represents the nature of its inhabitants.

While I study at the grey wall, the sitar in the corner, casseroles on the ceilings; Shlomo is sitting on the couch, the world will wait for him, no rush. Frankly- I am jealous. Staying relaxed in the western 21st century is a challenge, at least for me. Work, family, and the endless flow of information our brains need to process, often create an overwhelming feeling that perhaps explains the rising levels of anxiety and depression in our societies. But you can’t find a trace of it in Sharon and Shlomo’s house.

The world will wait

“You should strongly believe that everything that should happen will happen. If you are to make so and so money this year, you will make it. Even if today you will rest. even if you will rest for three weeks in a row, the work will come to you. So there are no worries. Humans have disconnected from nature”, Shlomo shares with me the secret, “You can’t make the plant grow faster, you should give it time. That’s the way nature is designed. There is no reason to hurry up”.

While “No hurry and no worry” are still echoing in my mind, Sharon has already prepared the vegan Borekitas stuffed with sweet potatoes and mushrooms, stuffed Turkish bagels with feta, and is now starting to work on the homemade filo dough for the Bulemas (or Boyus). This is a spiral pastry, stuffed with spinach and cheese or potatoes with cheese or grilled eggplant with guess what? yes, you are right- feta cheese.

All the way from Istanbul to Pardes Chana

These are all classic Turkish pastries. Sharon learned how to make them from her mother in law. Shlomo’s grandparent’s parents arrived in Israel from Istanbul in the middle of the 20th century. Back in 1947, they got married. A day after the wedding, his grandfather ran away to the Holy Land. A year later he moved all the family to Ramleh (Israel). His grandmother’s father made Turkish pastries for a living. Years went by, and his father and uncle opened a diner, (a working class restaurant, ‘Misedet Poalim’ מסעדת פועלים in Hebrew) offering the food they grew up with.

Shlomo made his first steps in the kitchen by sitting next to his grandmother, watching her work. But as many young people, he grazed in foreign fields, and went to work in other kitchens. He met Sharon, who’s origins are from Austria, when working together in a busy Tel Aviv bar. The young couple moved to Pardes Chana, a small town an hour away from Tel Aviv, and established their family there.

They expanded their family, bringing 4 children to the world, and in the meanwhile expanded their house. For many years they practically lived in one room, creating the rest of the house using sustainable methods, ensuring their honor and connection to nature.

Creating as a way of living

Sharon and Shlomo are creators. They create design, art, food. Through the course of years, they designed houses, restaurants, created art, paintings, running an on-demand catering, cooking for all different kinds of events and even weddings. With their green, wooden cart, they offer their food at festivals and at the local Friday market.

The house is full of different pieces of art, paintings created by Sharon, some of them representing her four pregnancies.

Now she is starting to open the filo dough she made last night. For many years she watched her mother in law doing this. Now she is replicating the hand moves you can learn only from practice. She fills the pastries with the beautiful vegetables, rolls them- they already look delicious, and now they go to the oven for about 40 minutes. Melted in the inside, and crispy on the outside.

Soon, the neighbors will come over to have a Friday (in Israel the weekends are Friday- Saturday) morning breakfast and proceed to their weekend routine. I grab a hot piece of freshly made boyoes, with an egg, some tomato dip and run away. Friday is always busy. At least I got my piece of peace for today!

And if you want to join Sharon and Shlomo for a breakfast, or find out where they are with the cart today, you can find them on facebook:
@haasam.duchanochel

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