• Hummus coexistence

    I’m visiting Israel. Crazy? Maybe not…

    I can write about many things I see, but what hit me as so damn obvious here is coexistence. It’s not that I never saw it before, but in the current situation, and when Israel is being bashed by so many nitwits, it became so revealing. What do I mean? I’ll explain.

    This morning I woke up early, picked up a friend, and we went to eat hummus in Jaffa, the southern part of the Tel-Aviv Jaffa municipality. Ali Karavan is the name of the restaurant. One of the best hummuses you can get anywhere in the world (OK, OK, this is debatable, but it is excellent hummus). This place opens early in the morning and closes when they sold all the hummus they had, usually sometime mid-day. A big portion of hummus might seem to some as a strange choice for breakfast, but take my word for it, this one is worth it. The point is – it is owned and operated by Israeli Arabs, catering to Israelis and Arabs and anyone else that comes in including many tourists of all origins. Coexistence.

    The day before I went with my mother to the pharmacy by her house, in Ramat Aviv, a nice part of Tel Aviv. She had to argue about insurance coverage, nothing special about that. The pharmacist that was helping her was an Israeli Arab, and so was his assistant. Coexistence.

    I walked by the university which is close by. Two young students holding books and folders walked in front of me, speaking Arabic. One had her head covered. Coexistence.

    We went to the supermarket in the mall across from my mother’s house. We were looking for honey. A nice employee, with Arabic accented fluent Hebrew helped us find it. Two out of the cash register employees were Israeli Arabs, one with her head covered, the other not – and I could see that she was pretty with a beautiful smile. The third had a heavy Russian accent. The manager that came to help one of them spoke with a heavy Arabic accent. Coexistence.

    As I sat down a couple of hours ago to watch TV, I saw an Interview in Hebrew with a guy that had Arabic accent. Apparently he just left his job as a writer at one of the three big Israeli newspapers, moving to Chicago to pursue a job offer as a university professor. He was with tears in his eyes describing how tough it was to join his son in his last day in the Israeli school, where the teacher told him that his son sang the Jewish Shabat songs better than anyone there. Coexistence.

    Now that we established how Israel fully accepts Israeli Arabs as any other citizen (as it should be, yet not a given), and that they embrace Israel as their country (as it should be, yet not a given), let’s think about Gaza, and most other Arab countries for that matter.

    Just think of an Israeli, or Jew, or Christian, or the wrong sect Muslim, in Gaza. The life expectancy of such a person is measured in minutes. Nonexistence.

    This reflects the mindset difference.

    On one side Israel’s quest for peace and proven coexistence. On the other side Hamas, terrorists that have no tolerance to anyone else.

    I call any nitwit like UN’s Navi Pillay to answer where they would prefer to live, in Israel or in a Hamas (or alike) governed state. If they are insane or dishonest enough to say Hamas, I suggest buying them a ticket to visit Gaza so they can start the process of moving there. A one way ticket would be just fine.

    Tel Aviv supermarket
    Tel Aviv supermarket. Israeli Arab Employees. Coexistence.

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  • Why Palestinians are so damn lucky that Israel has Iron Dome to protect it?

    • I’ll mention again that peace is all I wish for. I want no fighting; I don’t even want to spend time writing about it. It doesn’t mean that I cannot fight, or will not fight if I need to defend myself – ruthlessly if needed – when left with no other choice.


    So…Imagine a scenario where Israel did not have the Iron Dome system to protect its citizens. Last month, during the second week of July, Hamas fired over a thousand rockets toward Israel, targeting civilians. Yes, this is in the first week only. Without Iron Dome many of these Hamas missiles would have landed on heavily populated areas in Israel, killing dozens, hundreds or even thousands of Israelis.

    What would have happened if that was the case? Israel would have flattened Gaza with air strikes within hours. Probably during the first or second day of that week. No warnings, no hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of text messages, phone calls and leaflets to say “here we come, run away”, no small “warning” missiles before blowing up missiles-holding buildings, no surgically targeted strikes, no considerate door to door carefull cleanup…

    A complete annihilation of Gaza within hours. So fast no halfwit UN anti-Israeli representative will have time to say “but we saw Hamas videos showing kids…”. Actually, Hamas would not even had a chance to take any fabricated videos let alone “set them up” to show women and kids, or to distribute those fake videos. Too fast for Gazawood Fakeumentaries. (did I just coin that?).

    Bunker Busters, missiles, bombs. No gloves. Heavy and fast. Bye Bye. Instant flat. Two dimension. Flatland (book’s name, not my credit).

    If missiles would have come down heavily on Israel, on populated areas, it would have left Israel with only one choice – stop it, stop it fast, and stop it for good. No other choice really.

    So… Palestinians are so damn lucky that Israel is so dedicated to defend itself. Lucky that such innovation exists in Israel. Lucky that Iron Dome’s development was fast enough to have it fully operational in time for this month-long-thousands-of-missiles Hamas attack. It is what prevented Hamas missiles from hitting Israel cities and from a devastating unprecedented response to it by the IDF.

    I think that Palestinians should start a fund. It should be called “The Iron Dome Fund”. All proceeds will directly go to the IDF’s defense systems. Palestinians should start lobbying Qatar, Kuwait, Dubai, UAE, and yes, USA, UK, hell, everybody! Start a Kickstarter project if you have to! Shout out to the UN and to everybody! “Save us! Please finance Iron Dome, please give Israel all the money needed!”.

    Iron Dome saved thousands of Palestinian lives by saving Israeli lives.

    Unfortunately, with the fanatical terrorists that live among Palestinians, it might be needed again.

    Raise money Palestine! Support Israel! If you didn’t understand it yet, Israel is your only hope. Hamas is your demise.

  • Know who your enemy is.

    I’m calling all peace-seeking Gaza residents. Know who your enemy is. It should be obvious.

    Hamas, as we clearly know now, does not want peace. If the majority of the people in Gaza want peace, why don’t they fight Hamas? That is your enemy.

    Even if people in Gaza are not armed, by now, in the chaos and craziness, with many Hamas terrorists dead and injured, there must be enough weapons for anyone to scavenge. Hamas is so busy with fighting with Israel that for the people in Gaza fighting Hamas from the inside should be much more practical now than ever.

    Or do they rather die or watch their women and children being forced by Hamas to act as human shields, their houses, schools and hospitals used as missile launching pads and fighting center for Hamas?

    Why all the so-called humanitarians are not calling for the “innocent Gaza residents” to resist Hamas? To fight against them. To join Israel in the fight to eradicate these terrorist barbarians.

    If the majority is really seeking peace, they should fight for it, like many nations did and still do. USA is fighting for peace. Even Switzerland, the country most associated with neutrality, is taking part in peacekeeping activities, have mandatory army service and all are in army reserve after serving, and even keep their weapons at home. Peace unfortunately doesn’t come nor stay with no maintenance. If someone threatens your peace, sometimes you have to fight in order to regain peace.

    Israel fights for peace. If you are a Gaza resident and want to live peaceful life – help Israel get rid of the ones that terror your life, the ones that use your money to prepare to attack Israel instead of building schools and hospitals and improve your life, the ones that use you, your wives and your kids as human shields for their blood thirsty campaigns – get rid of Hamas. Standing on the sidelines and doing nothing or crying for the world to help will not save you. Hamas will relentlessly use you for their fanatic fight that see no moral borders.

    I call all in Gaza that are Hamas victims to fight. Fight against Hamas. Save your women, children and yourself. It’s a fight for peace.


  • Quiche Veggie and Not-So-Veggie

    I cooked for a dinner party here a couple of days ago. My sister is vegetarian, but we have a bunch of carnivores, so I decided (among other things) to make two versions of quiche, veggie, and not so veggie. Both came out pretty excellent.

    Note that I added spices to the dough. It gives it flavor and color.

    Quiche two ways
    Quiche two ways

    Serves a hungry family, extended family if you make both versions.

    The dough (these quantities are for one quiche. Double if you make two):

    • 1 cup flower
    • 1/2 tsp backing powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp paprika (or smoked paprika)
    • Pinch of Cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 cup ice cold water
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1 tbsp clarified butter (ghee) or melted regular butter.


    1. Mix well the dry ingredients and spices.
    2. Whisk the olive oil and water to combine, then add the butter and whisk some more.
    3. Add liquids to dry mix and mix to get a uniform dough.
    4. Create a ball of dough, then roll it to a circle about 11″ in diameter.
    5. Press into a 9″ pie plate.
    6. Set aside

    Veggie filling:

    • 1 tbsp butter
    • 2 large onions cut to 1/8″ rings
    • 2 cups of Shiitake mushrooms, cut to 1/4″ strips.
    • 1 cup steamed broccoli cut to 1″ pices
    • 3 baby bella mushrooms
    • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper (or a pinch of smoked habanero pepper)
    • 4 eggs
    • 1/3 cup heavy cream
    • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella.


    1. Cut from baby bellas 6-7 nice circular pieces for garnishing and set aside. Chop the leftovers
    2. Sauté in the butter onions, Shittake and chopped part of baby bellas until onion is translucent.
    3. Add garlic and all spices, stir and sauté for another minute
    4. Add broccoli, stir and set aside
    5. Whisk eggs and cream, add mozzarella and mix well

    Carnivorous filling:

    • 1/2 pack bacon (4-5 strips) cut to 1/4″ pices
    • 3 precooked chicken thighs meat (I made chicken broth with them and then used them here) cut small or shredded (if cooked well it will pretty much shred by itself while cutting it).
    • 2 large onions cut to 1/8″ rings
    • 1/2 cups of Shiitake mushrooms, cut to 1/4″ strips (optional)
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper (or a pinch of smoked habanero pepper)
    • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
    • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
    • 4 eggs
    • 1/3 cup heavy cream
    • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella.
    • 12 1/4″ strips of Canadian bacon or smoked ham


    1. Pan fry the bacon for a couple of minutes
    2. Add chicken and spices and stir fry until chicken and bacon are brown and and crisp.
    3. Remove bacon and chicken from pan, sauté onions, Shittake (if used) in bacon grease until onion is translucent.
    4. Add garlic stir and sauté for another minute
    5. Add back in meats, stirr, set aside.
    6. Whisk eggs and cream, add mozzarella and mix well

    Combining and baking either filling type:


    1. Let the stir fry cool a bit (lukewarm is good)
    2. Pour the stir fried mix into the egg/cream/mozzarella mix and stir
    3. Pour mixture into the pie plate (over the dough)
    4. Optional – spread 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella over it
    5. Garnish with either the baby bella circles or the Canadian bacon strips
    6. Optional – spread some Nigella seeds (Hebrew – קצח) on top (thank you sister for giving it to me).
    7. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30-40 minutes. Eggs should be set and top browned.

    Note – Carnivores were observed eating both versions.

    Quiche not so veggie

    Quiche not-so-veggie


  • I just saw Herzl at a bar.

    Benjamin Ze’ev Herzl at a bar
    Benjamin Ze’ev Herzl at a bar

    I just saw Herzl at a bar.

    You know, Benjamin Ze’ev Herzl.

    At first I thought, oh boy, maybe he’s here to drink away his sorrows, with Israel, the modern state he envisioned, forced to fight, defending itself from Hamas’ barrage of missiles, and from ridicules public opinions, blamed for not being careful enough in its fight against terrorists that use civilians as human shields, and want nothing but  killing all Jews.

    Benjamin Ze’ev Herzl Drinking Water
    Benjamin Ze’ev Herzl Drinking Water

    So I looked carefully. All he drank was water. I thought, hey, Benyoomin, you don’t seem so stressed. What are you really thinking about?

    Then he texted a bit. Maybe tweeted. Glanced at me for a split second. Watched a bit of TV. Looked pretty calm. Not as troubled as he was during the Dreyfus Affair. Interesting.

    Benjamin Ze’ev Herzl Tweeting

    Benjamin Ze’ev Herzl Tweeting

    So it looks like he’s pretty chill. Maybe it’s something to learn from. What’s on his mind? I tried to imagine what he could be thinking now:

    Israel is a strong state. Innovative and creative, highly educated population, with an amazing infrastructure built over the last 66 years. An army that is considered one of the world’s best. Peace-striving yet strong enough to defend itself against most anything.

    Times are tough, no doubt. Civilian targets being attacked day and night by Hamas. Some, from the UN through the likes of Roger Waters and Barak Obama, show different levels of irrational thinking condemning Israel’s actions, while being blind to the facts and actions of terrorists and organizations that threaten not only Israeli, but western life and culture as a whole.

    But Israelis are tough. Their motivation is aligned with right causes and a strong righteous code of behavior. Being Innovative and strong-willed does and will prevail. Naysayers will eat their hats. This cannot result in anything but Israel winning.

    Well Benji, I agree. Now I know why you’re calm. Just as I considered  to maybe walk over and buy him a round of Pellegrino, he walked out, and I thought to myself, if a man that had such an amazing forward looking ability stays so calm, he must have a reason. He surely knows that there is no other way this will end but with Israel on top.

    Benjamin Ze’ev Herzl Walking Out Of  a Bar
    Benjamin Ze’ev Herzl Walking Out Of a Bar

  • Really Roger? My response to Roger Waters

    This is in response to Roger Waters’  “A note from Roger – July 11, 2014“, and to his overall anti-Israel opinion.

    Really Roger? I’d like to see your reaction if Italians would break into your house and try to butcher your wife Laurie. Or try and shoot your son Jack in his house, or bomb your kids Harry and India’s houses. I’m sure you will say “Hey, it’s fine, Brutus is Britain’s founding father, Italians have the right.” And then when they will poke your eyes out laughing at you while you try to talk sense to them, I’m sure you’ll say “Oh well, it used to be their land after all”. Should Dutch descended Americans justify a Native American trying to scalp them in their home because they were there first? Mexicans bomb Texas at will? I’m sure you loved the IRA killing Brits. Really Roger?

    You are naive Roger. I’m sure you are a good man by heart. But I’m also sure you try to use common sense to analyze Hamas and co.. A big mistake. You assume these terrorists think like you. Can you use your common sense talking with a fanatic suicide bomber? Or a person who brainwashed a teenager to be a suicide bomber? Telling him 72 virgins will wait for him in heaven? Did Americans understood the Kamikaze in Pearl Harbor? Do you justify the fanatics that crashed their plains into US civilian targets on Sep 11 2001 or the ones that bombed London targets on July 7 2005?

    Let me quote from Wikipedia one of the London bomber’s:

    ‘Tanweer argued that the non-Muslims of Britain deserve such attacks because they voted for a government which “continues to oppress our mothers, children, brothers and sisters in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and Chechnya.” ‘

    So you do you oppose British security profiling and taking action against these terrorists because you think that their cause is justified? This is what Israel is doing. Trying to prevent terror. Israel’s official stand, and the vast majority (there are always exceptions) of its citizens would love to live in peace, and they tried to do so for many years, unlike Hamas and co. Israeli forces are doing their best to prevent civilians getting hurt. You believe Israel should not strive to secure the safety of its citizens? Really Roger?

    Dear Roger. You sit in your $20M house in England and do a white board analysis of a situation you do not understand. I wish that you had the opportunity to talk to one of the terrorist that bombed the Boston Marathon and try to understand from him why he did it, try to convince him it is wrong. You’ll be frustrated by feeling you are talking to a brick wall. I feel for you Roger. They say ignorance is a bliss, but you have too much exposure in this world to show off your ignorance as you do. And your opinions? You are as fanatic as these terrorists, your messages shows you do not try to understand the situation, but rather blindly try to prove a point you dug yourself  into, not trying to understand the situation.

    London has the risk of becoming an extremist Islamic city in the near future. You might think it will never happen. Ask my mother. She and her uncle are the only family survivals of extremists. The vast majority of her Polish-Jewish family did not survive the holocaust. Other than her, her “crazy” uncle that foresaw the future and left to Israel was the only survivor. She was raised as Christian by the family house maid until she was ten, and bought back by her uncle (yes, he paid to get her). You were blessed with easy life Roger (in comparison, so did I). I tip my hat to your success and I’m sure it required hard work, but the fact that my kids can enjoy the Dark Side of the Moon, is due to the fact that my uncle was smart enough to see the trend and save himself and my mother. You read the world wrong Roger. Very wrong. People will die. People are dying. Innocent people. And not the ones you try to protect.

    This should not even be called a conflict. This is Israel trying to prevent terrorism. I don’t think you support terrorism. If I’m mistaken and you do support it, you are part of the problem the world is facing. I hope you’re not.

    Israelis are of the most innovative and entrepreneurial people you can find. They want nothing to do with killing any Arabs. Israelis do not want to spend any time nor effort defending themselves. Of course you’ll find exception, there’s always a crazy person shooting at school because he doesn’t like Mondays (thank you Bob), it doesn’t reflect on the whole population.  Israelis have to defend themselves, they do it out of necessity.

    Serving in the army for a mandatory 3 years (2 years for women), serving in reserve for what is for most a month out of every year, risking life and spending so much precious time because of the need to defend Israel from suicide bombers that target civilizes, from kidnappers and murderers of kids, from barbaric lunatics that brutally kill anyone who think other than them (including their own if they are gay, abused women or anyone who doesn’t agree to be their human shield or is not a Muslim). You really think Israelis shouldn’t defend themselves? Really Roger?

    I don’t expect you to admit you’re wrong. To a man like you who has experienced so much success and feels so powerful, the public humiliation of admitting you are wrong would be devastating to you at this point. Maybe softly toning down will be best. But please stop showing everyone, especially fans of your great musical creations, how you so miserably fail in understanding life. Get out of the Dark Side Roger, and into the light. We want to remember you for what you did best, not what you show us now you do worst.


    Bibi Netaniahu
    I was never a big fan of Bibi, but this sentence does capture the situation nicely.

  • Low Carbs Banana Bread

    We love banana bread. Yesterday I looked at the three “riper than desired” bananas on my kitchen island and though that would be their destination, but wanted to reduce the carbs bomb a bit….

    So I replaced the flour with almond meal, a few small tweaks, and it came out so good!

    Almond Meal Banana Bread
    Almond Meal Banana Bread

    You can get almond meal in many places now, I got mine at Trader Joe’s. It’s pure almonds, nothing else.


    • 2 cups almond meal.
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
    • 3/4 cup Sugar in the raw
    • 1 tbsp molasses or honey
    • 3 overripe bananas, mashed
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted, room temperature

    Note: You can substitute the sugar in the raw and molasses with dark brow sugar.

    1. Mix well all dry ingredients
    2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well
    3. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan.
    4. Bake for 50-55 minutes at 350F, until a toothpick comes out “pretty clean”.
    5. Let cool for 10 minutes before carefully turning it out from the pan.

    So good…


  • Eggs Bellapepper

    I asked my daughter what she wants for breakfast. She said “food”. That of course narrowed down the options tremendously. This was the result.

    Eggs Bellapepper
    Eggs Bellapepper


    Serves 2

    • 4 slices, 1.5″ high, of a big Bell Pepper (3.5″-4″ in diameter).
    • 2-4 pieces of bacon, cut into 1/4″ squares.
    • 4 eggs
    • four tbsp heavy cream
    • two tbsp water
    • 1/4 tsp chipotle pepper (or Cayenne).
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
    • 1/3 tsp salt


    1. Beat the eggs, cream, water, salt and black pepper until uniform.
    2. On a high flame, place the bell pepper slices in a pan, wider opening facing up.
    3. Mix the bacon with the chipotle pepper and place an equal amount of it in each slice.
    4. Let fry for 1 minute until the bacon fat melts and start frying the bacon.
    5. Pour slowly just enough egg mixture to cover the bottom inside each of the pepper slices.
    6. Once the bottom starts to set, pour the rest of the egg inside all slices to reach an equal height.
    7. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium for 3 minutes.
    8. Reduce the heat to low for 2 more minutes.
    9. Turn it back to high for 30 seconds.

    If you have too much egg mix, don’t over fill the peppers! The egg will rise out of control!

    The egg “inflates” nicely and firms fluffy and moist, the bottom becomes crispy and flavorful.

    Can be garnished with parsley, good with anything really – avocado, tuna, bread, hot sauce or harissa, salad of course, etc.


  • Spaghetti Carbonara Plus

    My daughter and I try to cut down on carbs, but yesterday I decided to give us a break. And it came out so good I’m writing it down:

    Spaghetti Carbonara Plus
    Spaghetti Carbonara Plus

    Serves 4-6


    •  Half a package of thick bacon (4-5 pieces) cut to 1/2″ squares
    •  One very big onion chopped to 1/4″ pieces
    •  One small chorizo (5″ long) cut to 1/4″ cubes
    •  One tbsp butter
    •  Half basket baby bella mushrooms (4-5 good size mushrooms) sliced
    • Optional – a few drops of white truffle oil
    •  4 garlic cloves, chopped
    •  3 eggs
    •  1 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
    •  1/3 cup heavy cream
    •  1 tsp black pepper
    •  A pinch of smoked Habanero or red hot pepper
    •  One package of thin spaghetti
    •  Chopped parsley
    1. Beat eggs, add heavy cream and cheese and keep beating until uniform and smooth. Set aside.
    2. Set the pasta to cook pasta with some salt added to the water while continuing with the next steps.
    3. In a large pan on medium hear cook bacon until starts to get brown/crisp.
    4. Add onion, mushrooms and butter and cook until the onion starts to get translucent.
    5. Add chorizo and let all cook for 2-3 minutes while stirring.
    6. Add the black and hot peppers, truffle oil and the garlic, mix and set aside.
    7. Strain the cooked pasta, setting aside a cup of the cooking water.
    8. Mix the still hot pasta with the still hot bacon/onion/chorizo mix until the pasta is nicely coated.
    9. To the still pretty hot mix add the eggs/heavy cream/cheese mix and stir until uniform and creamy. Add some of the pasta cooking water if needed.
    10. Serve garnished with chopped parsley. Add Parmesan and black pepper on top as desired.

    * Note that no salt is added – the bacon, cheese and chorizo are salty, and the pasta is cooked in salty water, so usually there’s no need for any more salt.
    Optional is adding cooked green peas at the end.
    Please be advised that this should be enough for 4-6 people, try to refrain from eating it all by yourself, at least not in one sitting.

  • Smoked Ham Broiled Open Sandwich

    Sometimes you just need a good sandwich that will hit the spot.

    Smoked Ham Broiled Sandwich
    Smoked Ham Broiled Sandwich

    Feel free to modify/adjust as you like… Ingredients:

    • 1 slice of a good multi-grain bread
    • 1 Slice (1/8″ thick or a bit more) smoked ham (the size of the bread slice you’ll use)
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • A pinch habanero or cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 tsp sugar
    • A pinch salt
    • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp onion powder
    • 1/4 tsp paprika
    • 1/2 avocado
    • 1/2 Lime
    • 2-4 grape tomatoes slice in half lengthwise, mixed with a bit of slat and black pepper
    • Spicy paste of your choice (I used Green Thai Pepper paste I made) or Tabasco/Cholula etc hot sauce
    • Some coarsely chopped cilantro
    • 2 tbsp shredded mozzarella
    1. In a small bowl mix oil, sugar and all spices.
    2. Cover the both sides of the ham with it
    3. Either sear or pan fry until browned/crisped, just a minute of two.
    4. Lightly toast the bread.
    5. Spread the spicy paste on a few drops of the hot sauce on it.
    6. Spread the avocado on it, squeeze some lime juice on it, a bit salt and a bit of the cilantro.
    7. Place ham on top of the avocado-ed bread and then the tomatoes and cilantro on top of the ham.
    8. Spread some mozzarella over everything, and place in a toaster oven set on broil for a couple of minutes until the cheese starts to brown.

    And then just enjoy…. A side of some more cut grape tomatoes with salt, black pepper, lime and olive oil works perfect with it. Oh, I’m getting hungry.