Aley Chubeza # 90 – November 7th-9th 2011

As winter waits in the wings, Hilaf, the fruit grower of ?Melo Hatene” is at your service to help prevent colds, flu and other cold weather-related ailments, by offering healthy organic fruits. Over the next three months, you will be able to purchase by the kilo: oranges (6 NIS), lemons (8 NIS) and pomegranates (8 NIS). We will be glad to add these to your boxes upon order.

(Thank you, Ornit, for initiating and setting this into motion)

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Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me by Mary Oliver

Last night
the rain
spoke to me
slowly, saying,
what joy
to come falling
out of the brisk cloud,
to be happy again
in a new way
on the earth!

Rain came in perfect timing, on the eve of the seventh of Cheshvan, Thursday night. The seventh of Cheshvan is the date we start adding a prayer for rain. When pilgrimages to the Temple in Jerusalem took place over Sukkot, this cutoff date in Cheshvan marked the time that most pilgrims had already returned home. With all due respect to the much-needed rain, when it surprises you on your way home with all your luggage, it puts a real damper on any warm, fuzzy feelings that precipitation evokes. So in order for people to pray for rain and actually mean it, they had two weeks to get home after the festival before they actually started praying for rain.

Back to the present, the rain began falling even before Friday morning, before that first sanctified prayer for rain. On Thursday night a long, saturating, thirst-quenching rain began, and our field broke into a frenzied dance. Thursday night is perfect timing for us at Chubeza as well, as we have just finished our weekly assignments. Of course, we welcome rainfall any and every day of the week, but then we have to work between raindrops. On the weekend, however, we can take our time to make a nice, hot “white savory” tea (to prevent flu), pile some yummy “Samar” dates on a plate, take cover and watch the silvery sheets of rain douse the field.

On Sunday, the sun was out and we woke up to a beautiful after-rain day: clean air, spongy saturated earth and lots of mud… The eight boxes of carrots we picked were reduced to a little less than seven… The tubs where we rinse off the vegetables looked like they were used to cook chocolate soup. Our pants were painted brown as we crouched to pull out the chubby, muddy sweet potatoes. We had to take special caution when picking the cauliflowers, so as not to dirty their clean blond heads. What a delight!

So your boxes are changing. We still have a few weeks of corn, our huge pile of pumpkins is now greatly diminished and hiding timidly in the corner of the storage house, the eggplants are still bearing fruit as are the resolute beans, but all of them are preparing for their winter slumber. The sweet potatoes are already feeling at home in the boxes, and the radish family has introduced itself more than once. The carrot is now a permanent visitor, with and without leaves, and this week the cauliflower will make its debut. And of course, bunches of fresh greens that are no longer suffering the summer heat now decorate the box with their cool décor. Our greens are varied, and perhaps you’re not acquainted with them all. I promise to introduce them properly over the next few weeks. In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding their identification or use, please contact me for an advance meeting with the green.

The cold season brings with it the need to protect yourself from colds and other ailments. Hilaf, our fruit man from Karmei Yossef, will come to your rescue with healthy, curing fruits. Our tea herbs are an excellent possibility to protect yourselves as well, enjoying a hot “cuppa” in the interim. Tea made of White savory herbs is an excellent way to clear up those airwaves, as well as easing stomach pains and cleaning wounds and eye inflammations. Lemon Verbena is excellent in treating obstructions within the digestive system, sore throats and urinary tract infections. The ancient Greeks made compresses out of oregano brews to treat wounds and aching muscles. Chinese medicine employs it to ease fever, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice and the itch. In Europe, oregano tea is used to improve digestion and to ease a cough. Thyme tea will assist in fighting a mucus cough, general exhaustion and will help restore bowel activity.

Of course, there will still be sunny days—that’s what Israeli autumn is all about. But this first rain that was so timely and did such a good job of quenching the earth’s thirst, fills the heart with expectations of a blessed and rainy season filled with generosity, warmth and love. In its honor, we welcome back our recipe corner, overflowing with hearty soup recipes.

Wishing everyone a good week, and a happy Id El Adcha to Mohammed,

Alon, Bat Ami and the Chubeza team

__________________________

What’s in our After-the-Rain Boxes?

Monday: Arugula, bell peppers or eggplant or cowpeas (lubia) or beans, red mustard greens, sweet potatoes/pumpkin, leeks, tomatoes, cucumbers or sweet red peppers, dill or coriander, carrots, corn, daikon

In the large box, in addition: beets, cauliflower, red kale

Wednesday: sweet potatoes, spinach, red peppers, arugula, tomatoes, red betts, leeks, red mustard, corn, carrots, radishes

In the large box, in addition: cauliflower or pumpkin, eggplants or cowpea (Lubia) or yard long beans, cilantro

There is still a cucumber shortage. We were only able to obtain half our needed quantity, so only some of you received cucumbers. The others were compensated by sweet red peppers instead.

And there’s more! You can add to your basket a wide, delectable range of additional products from fine small producers: granola and cookies, flour, sprouts, goat dairies, fruits, honey, crackers, probiotic foods, sesame butter and dried fruits and leathers too! You can learn more about each producer on the Chubeza website. The attached order form includes a detailed listing of the products and their cost. Fill it out, and send it back to us soon.

________________________

Soup Recipes to Welcome rain

Sweet corn soup

· A tip I learned from a veteran Chubeza member: even if you’ll never sacrifice your corn for a soup – add the leftover corncobs to any soup for a delicious “hint of corn.”

Minestrone soup with sprouted beans

Daikon radish miso soup

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