It was not merely by chance that I always timed my arrival for a few days prior to Yom Hautzmaut as this has always been my favorite time of year.
The balmy weather, green fields and late Spring flowers were certainly part of the attraction but, in truth, it was Israel's Independence Day itself that was the main draw card.
I loved being here to share in celebrating the independence of the country I loved best and today, nearly 6 years after we made this move, my joy at marking Israel's birthday is undiminished.
Yom Hautzmaut is also colloquially known as 'Go Out & Eat A Cow Day'.
It's for this reason that it seemed especially apt that I share this barbecued burger recipe with you this week.
SPICE UP YOUR YOM HAUTZMAUT FLAVORFUL BEEF BURGERS
450g minced beef
1 garlic clove, crushed
2,5 cm root ginger, grated
2 spring onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon garam masala OR baharat*
pinch of hot paprika
3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander*
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chutney (optional)*
2 tablespoons canola oil
1: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well with your hands.
2: Divide the mixture into flat burgers and refrigerate till ready to cook.
3: Brush burgers with a little extra canola oil and barbecue over medium-hot coals for 8-10 minutes, turning until lightly browned and cooked through.
COOK'S NOTES: Coriander can be replaced with chopped parsley if you really have to. Garam masala is available at spice shops while baharat is available at both spice shops and supermarkets. Neither of these spices are hot - they are more like an aromatic cinnamon flavor - so don't be scared to add them. Chutney is sold at many butcheries and at Meatland.