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Friday, November 21, 2008


A Walk in Foothill Park and Green Olives from the West Bank


It was a cool autumn afternoon, with just a hint of overcast sky, when we began our walk in Palo Alto Foothill Park. Took the Steep Hollow Trail west and found a good spot for picnic on a meadow with a view of Windy Hill slightly to north of us.

As I took the food out of my day pack, I told JHL about the small Middle Eastern grocery store run by a Palestinian couple that I found in San Mateo. I was looking for Harissa. The owner said that he had it but had some trouble finding the small cans. Harissa is a North African condiment, the main ingredient is red chilli paste. The can said Made in France but that was OK. North African immigrants are now ubiquitous in some cities in France. When I went to the counter to pay, the owner asked if I wanted some Pita bread. The pile of bread looked fresh and inviting. I picked up a pack.

Then he said "you want some olives" ? He pointed me to the shelf where the jars and cans of olives were. I looked and found green olives packed with slivers of garlic. The can read "Product of West Bank". That reminded me of a recent report about the destruction of olive trees by Israeli settlers.

Uprooted olive tree in Jayyous© www.eappi.org/.../eappi/images/gallery/07.jpg

Destroyed olive tree in Gith

© Rabbis for Human Rights


Palestinian farmers from the West Bank village of Gith claimed on Monday that Jews from the settlement of Havat Gilad had cut down at least 20 of their olive trees.

The Palestinians have yet to file an official complaint, but Judea and Samaria District Police officials said they would look into the matter.

"We can only approach our olive groves in coordination with police and IDF forces," 64-year-old Nasser Sachan told Ynet. "Today I arrived at the groves and couldn't believe my own eyes. The trees, some of them 40 and 50 years old, had been chopped down."

Before leaving the store I added a pack of Bulgarian feta cheese to my purchases.

JHL and I had risotto with butternut squash ragout, the green olives mixed with slices of fresh bell pepper, Persian cucumber and red onion; pita bread cut into wedges, accompanied by a Californian Syrah. Finished with black coffee and some lemon bread from Trader Joes -- good.

On the way back we walked on Valley View Fire Road to the crossing of Trapper's Fire Road and Madrone Fire Road, turned around returned to the parking lot via Sunrise Trail. We stopped to look at a flock of Canada Geese near the bank of Boronda Lake.

Windy Hill

JHL looking west

With a good cup of Jo
© J.O.H. Lazar

Canada Geese near Boronda Lake (I)

Canada Geese near Boronda Lake (II)

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