Crescent on top of mosque in Kafa Kama

Crescent on top of mosque in Kafr Kama

Striped minaret, Kafa Kama

Striped minaret, Kafr Kama

One of the small villages near my sister’s kibbutz is the Circassian community, Kafr Kama.  My nieces go there to get their hair cut, and Audrey and Alberto like to buy their soft, round cheese from a local cheesemaker there.

Strainers ready for the next batch of cheese

Strainers ready for the next batch of cheese

Fresh, hand-crafted cheese, Kafa Kama

Fresh, hand-crafted cheese, Kafr Kama

My visit to Kafr Kama was one of the highlights of my Israel stay because it was so picturesque and full of culture.  This village has an interesting history.  It is home to the Circassians, an exiled group of Sunni Muslims from the Caucasus Mountains.  They were expelled from their homeland in 1864 after fighting the Russian czar.  According to the Circassian Heritage Center in Kafr Kama, “The Circassians were accepted by the Ottoman Empire and were settled all over the Middle East, including Israel, and today there are about 4000 Circassian in two villages in the north of Israel . . .”

The homes in Kafr Kama are built with the regions’s dark basalt rock rather than the more typical adobe-colored materials.  I was charmed by the rustic, rusted grillwork and weathered doors.  The homes, while old, were tidy with well-kept gardens.  The women wore pristine white headscarves.  It was a very picturesque place.

Resident of Kafa Kama

Resident of Kafr Kama

Blue double door with fancy grillwork

Blue double door with fancy grillwork

Minaret viewed through grill

Minaret viewed through grill

Circassian symbol on metal door

Circassian symbol on metal door

Circassian symbol on window of parked truck

Circassian symbol on window of parked truck

Another blue door

Another blue door

Detail, door

Detail, door

Succulents on a colorful porch

Succulents on a colorful porch

Traling succulents on a balcony

Trailing succulents on a balcony

Stone building with weathered shutters

Stone building with weathered shutters

Woman, Kafa Kama

Woman, Kafr Kama

Rustic door

Rustic door

Flower pot in a window

Flower pot in a window

Rusted grillwork

Rusted grillwork

Cloths drying in the sun

Cloths drying in the sun

Woman on the streets of Kafa Kama

Woman on the streets of Kafr Kama

Coke for sale, Kafa Kama

Coca Cola for sale, Kafr Kama

Blue doors

Blue doors.  Doesn’t this just shout out Mediterranean to you?

Barge on the River Spaarne, Haarlem

Barge on the River Spaarne, Haarlem

Don’t you love it when you travel to a foreign country and it actually looks and feels exotic and different from your accustomed surroundings?  When I was in Haarlem I felt immediately that I was in Europe.  The houses, buildings, canals, narrow stone streets, doors and windows, sidewalk cafes — everything exuded Old World charm.

Spring in Holland was at least a month behind Seattle’s, and though I was looking for tulips, I saw only snowdrops and crocuses and a few yellow daffodils.  I had planned on renting a bike and touring the countryside near Haarlem, but it was too cold (reached freezing overnight) so I spent my 1-1/2 days there simply walking.  And that was a delightful way to spend my time.  The AirBnB home where I stayed was a 45-minute walk along the River Spaarne from central Haarlem.

Haarlem, like much of the Netherlands, is flat, densely populated, and cosmopolitan.  It is a very walkable city, crisscrossed by canals and the river which are lined, wall to wall, with old gabled homes and buildings, houseboats, and little cafes.  The public transportation on trains and buses is a marvel — clean, on time, and affordable.  I was so taken with the biking culture here that I will devote my next post to bicycles.

Let me share some of the sights and delights of Haarlem with you here:

Rooftop view of Haarlem with Grote Kerk dominating the city's center square

Rooftop view of Haarlem with Grote Kerk dominating the city’s center square

Rooftop view of Haarlem from the 6th floor cafeteria in the V&D Department Store

Rooftop view of Haarlem from the 6th floor cafeteria in the V&D Department Store

Lovely old canal houses along the River Spaarne

Lovely old canal houses along the River Spaarne

Shabby chic -- rustic table and chairs on a canal barge, Haarlem

Shabby chic — rustic table and chairs on a canal barge, Haarlem

River reflections

River reflections

De Adrianne windmill in Haarlem; notice the short rail track from the water to the mill.

De Adriaan windmill in Haarlem; notice the short rail track from the water to the mill.

Cut tulips brighten a window

Cut tulips brighten a window

Bridges and arches over the canals; notice all the bikes on the bridge.

Bridges and arches over the canals; notice all the bikes on the bridge.

I loved seeing "Stinke" cheese spread at the Grote Market

I loved seeing “Stinke” cheese spread at the Grote Market

Butcher stall at the Grote Market in the central square

Butcher stall at the Grote Market in the central square

McDonalds sign.  "Chain stores abort vacation vision." -- Alexandra Horowitz

McDonald’s sign. “Chain stores abort vacation vision.” — Alexandra Horowitz

Even the crows are different from the ones at home in Seattle.

Even the crows are different from the ones at home in Seattle.

Flowers grace a houseboat along the canal, Haarlem

Flowers grace a houseboat along the canal, Haarlem

Door of alms house, Haarlem.  (Wealthy merchants charitably funded homes for widows and poor women.  I took a self-guided walk to see some of them.)

Door of alms house, Haarlem. (Wealthy merchants charitably funded homes for widows and poor women. I took a self-guided walk to see some of them.)

Coffe break at the V&D

Coffee break at the V&D

My mother always told me to clean my plate.

My mother always told me to clean my plate.

 

 

Apple Cheese Bread

August 29, 2010

Apple Cheese Bread

Warm bread with butter -- yum

The apples are falling from the trees, and I like to take advantage of this bounty.  I found this recipe for Apple Cheese Bread in the new September/October issue of Hobby Farm Home magazine.  It’s a good one.

Apple Cheese Bread

1/2 c butter
2 eggs
2/3 c sugar
1-1/2 c peeled, shredded apples (I left the skins on mine)
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan.

Mix together the butter and sugar.  Add eggs.  Stir in apples and cheese.  Then add dry ingredients and nuts.

Bake for 55 – 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.