Aley Chubeza #249, June 22nd-24th 2015

In honor of the upcoming summer vacation –

We are happy to invite you to join us in a drumming workshop in the field, full of sunny energy. We will start with a short tour of the field (very short… it’s too hot…) and harvest some vegetables for a hearty vegetable salad, after which Yifrach, a veteran Chubeza employee and currently a teacher, will conduct a joyful drum session in our sweet little grove. For dessert, we’ll serve a fresh salad from the vegetables we harvested in the morning. The workshop is geared for children age 6 and above, but adults who are young at heart are more than welcome…

When? Friday, July 3, 9:30

Where? The grove at the edge of our field. Click here for driving instructions.

Fee: 45 NIS per participant

How: Email Matan matan.israel7@gmail.com with the number of participants, names, ages and contact info

Places are limited. Sign up now!

If you cannot make it this time, Matan gives drumming workshops and classes at other events throughout the year. Give him a call for more details: 054-6698695

It’s summertime, the livin’ is easy, and the fruit is plentiful… Helaf from Melo HaTene is offering a special summer box with 4-5 varieties of fresh, delectable organic fruit. Each box contains a quantity suitable for five.

Now in season: apricots, apples, avocados, peaches, cherries, papaya

A month ago, Rachel Tal-Shir wrote in rave praise of Helaf’s special place at Moshav Karmei Yosef, neighbors of Chubeza – just over the hill. Here is a link (Hebrew)

A sweet and healthy Bon Appetite!

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It’s Spaghetti Season!!

Spaghetti season????

Well, it’s the season of vegetable marrow, golden macaroni, spaghetti marrow, spaghetti squash, and vegetable spaghetti — all names for one of the most distinctive squash we grow. Its uniqueness is expressed by the fact that after cooking, its flesh can be ferreted out with a fork, and then comes the magic: the cooked flash separates into thin “noodles,” not unlike spaghetti. Their flavor is a cross between a pumpkin and a squash, not as sweet as a pumpkin or butternut, but sweeter than zucchini. This is why the “spaghetti noodles” can be eaten just like you would eat pasta: with tomato sauce, olive oil and herbs, pesto, Parmesan (preferably not a heavy Bolognese), etc.

Spaghetti squash was one of the pioneering crops grown at Chubeza, from our very first year. For years we grew the good old yellow variety, which was common in Israel 20 years ago as well. Over the past several years, we’ve added a different variety, striped on the outside but still light on the inside, with a similar taste to the classic variety. A few years ago we had a lively innovation: an orange spaghetti squash called “oranghetti,” developed by an Israeli seed company “Origin.” This orange-hued delight is fortified with beta carotene and is sweeter. If you didn’t like spaghetti squash in previous years, we invite you to try this delectable vegetable once again.

All spaghetti squash recipes start with the same instructions: First cook, steam or bake till the flesh softens (to the point a fork penetrates easily), then wait 15 minutes till it cools enough to comfortably handle. (Spaghetti squash is really hot when it comes out of the oven or pot. But that’s nothing compared to how really, really hot it gets inside when baked or cooked whole. Do be careful).

Here are a few techniques for basic preparation. More complex recipes follow:

  • Baking whole: Puncture the peeling with a fork, pre-heat oven to moderate temperature and bake the vegetable for an hour.
  • Baking in halves: Slice the squash lengthwise (to create two ellipses), remove seeds, heat oven to moderate temperature, and place the squash in a baking dish face down. Bake for one hour.
  • Steaming: Puncture the peeling with a fork, place small amount of water in pot, insert a vegetable steamer tray and bring to a boil. Place squash on the steamer, seal lid tightly, and steam for 30 minutes.
  • Cooking: Bring enough water to cover squash to a boil, then place whole squash inside and cook for around half an hour.
  • Microwaving: Slice the squash lengthwise (forming two ellipses). Remove seeds and place face down in a microwave-safe baking dish. Cover dish and bake for 7-12 minutes.

Once the squash is soft, let it cool. If prepared whole, slice lengthwise and remove seeds. With a fork, gently separate the pulp into thin noodles and place them in a bowl.

Usually, the squash produces a surprisingly large amount of “spaghetti,” much more than you would expect from the looks of the outside. Apparently, sometimes the parts really are greater than the whole…

Make a sauce for your “spaghetti,” such as tomato, pesto, aglio e olio or olive oil and fresh herbs. You can even sprinkle parmesan on it, or simply season and consume with pleasure.

As this unique vegetable has made its way into the realm of haute cuisine, complex gourmet recipes have been added to the repertoire. You can find some in our recipe section, or simply experiment with preparing it in quiches, vegetable fritters, sweet/sour/spicy/Asian/Mid-Eastern seasoning, etc.

The whole squash will keep whole for over a month in a cool place. If cut, cover with plastic food wrap and keep in the fridge for two to three days. Cooked “spaghetti” should be kept in a sealed container for the same amount of time. You can also freeze cooked spaghetti squash dishes by placing them in freezer bags or sealed containers. Before serving, partially defrost and steam for five minutes till it’s warm, but not soggy.

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The month of Ramadan commenced last week, and so far, the weather is cooperating with the fasting population… We wish Mohammed, Majdi, Ali and their families a good, meaningful month with agreeable weather.

And may we all enjoy a good week!

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Yochai and the Chubeza team

_________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Zucchini, spaghetti squash/corn, scallions/leeks, lettuce, tomatoes, green/yellow beans, potatoes, watermelon/melon, cucumbers/fakus, parsley/coriander, eggplant/butternut squash. Free gift: mint

Large box, in addition: Acorn squash, basil, parsley root

Wednesday: corn, cucumbers/fakus, parsley/coriander, eggplant/butternut squash/cherry tomatoes, green/yellow beans, potatoes, watermelon/melon, tomatoes, lettuce, zucchini, small boxes only: acorn or spaghetti squash.

Large box, in addition: New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard/basil, parsley root, leek/scalions

And there’s more! You can add to your basket a wide, delectable range of additional products from fine small producers: flour, fruits, honey, dates, almonds, garbanzo beans, crackers, probiotic foods, dried fruits and leathers, olive oil, bakery products and goat dairy too! You can learn more about each producer on the Chubeza website. On our order system there’s a detailed listing of the products and their cost, you can make an order online now!

Aley Chubeza #206 July 7th-9th 2014

It’s Spaghetti Season!!

Spaghetti season???? 

Well, it’s the season of vegetable marrow, golden macaroni, spaghetti marrow, spaghetti squash, and vegetable spaghetti — all names for one of the most distinctive squash we grow. Its uniqueness is expressed by the fact that after cooking, its flesh can be ferreted out with a fork, and then comes the magic: the cooked insides separate into thin “noodles,” not unlike spaghetti. It tastes like a cross between a pumpkin and a squash, not as sweet as a pumpkin or butternut, but sweeter than zucchini. This is why the “spaghetti noodles” can be eaten just like you would eat pasta: with tomato sauce, olive oil and herbs, pesto, Parmesan (preferably not a heavy Bolognese), etc.

Spaghetti squash was one of the pioneering crops grown at Chubeza, from our very first year. For years we grew the good old yellow variety, which was common in Israel 20 years ago as well. Over the past several years, we’ve added a different variety, striped on the outside but still light on the inside, with a similar taste to the classic variety. Two years ago we had a lively innovation: an orange spaghetti squash called “oranghetti,” developed by an Israeli seed company “Origin.” This orange-hued delight is fortified with beta carotene and is sweeter. If you didn’t like spaghetti squash in previous years, we invite you to try this delectable vegetable once again.

  • Baking whole: Puncture the peeling with a fork, pre-heat oven to moderate temperature and bake the vegetable for an hour.
  • Baking in halves: Slice the squash lengthwise (to create two ellipses), remove seeds, heat oven to moderate temperature, and place the squash in a baking dish face down. Bake for one hour.
  • Steaming: Puncture the peeling with a fork, place small amount of water in pot, and insert a steamer. Place squash on steamer, seal lid tightly, and steam for 30 minutes.
  • Cooking: Bring enough water to cover squash to a boil, then place whole squash inside and cook for around half an hour.
  • Microwaving: Slice the squash lengthwise (forming two ellipses). Remove seeds and place face down in a microwave-safe baking dish. Cover dish and bake for 7-12 minutes.

Once the squash is soft, let it cool. If prepared whole, slice lengthwise and remove seeds. With a fork, gently separate the pulp into thin noodles and place them in a bowl.

Usually, the squash produces a surprisingly large amount of “spaghetti,” much more than you would expect from the outside. Apparently, sometimes the parts really are greater than the whole…

Make a sauce for your “spaghetti,” such as tomato, pesto, aglio e olio or olive oil and fresh herbs. You can even sprinkle parmesan on it, or simply season and consume with pleasure.

As this unique vegetable has made its way into the realm of haute cuisine, complex gourmet recipes have been added to the repertoire. You can find some in our recipe section, or simply experiment with preparing it in quiches, vegetable fritters, sweet/sour/spicy/Asian/Mid-Eastern seasoning, etc.

The whole squash will keep whole for over a month in a cool place. If cut, cover with plastic food wrap and keep in the fridge for two to three days. Cooked “spaghetti” should be kept in a sealed container for the same amount of time. You can also freeze cooked spaghetti squash dishes by placing them in freezer bags or sealed containers. Before serving, partially defrost and steam for five minutes till it’s warm, but not soggy.

May we have a peaceful week of summer.  Drink up and mind the sun.

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Maya and the Chubeza team

_____________________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Thyme/coriander, potatoes, tomatoes, melon/ spaghetti squash, acorn squash/butternut squash, eggplant, cucumbers, corn, zucchini/fakus, Small boxes only: Hilda pole beans, scallions/leeks/chives

Large box, in addition: Kale/ Swiss chard/New Zealand spinach, lettuce, onions, parsley, cherry tomatoes

Wednesday: Parsley, potatoes, tomatoes, Kora squash, eggplant, cucumbers, corn, zucchini/fakus, lettuce, cherry tomatoes/green peppers, Small boxes only: Hilda pole beans/leeks.

Large box, in addition: Kale/New Zealand spinach/thyme, melon/spaghetti squash, onions, scallions/chives

__________________________

Spaghetti squash recipes:

Vegan Moroccan-Spiced Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash Frittata Fritters

Spaghetti Squash with Feta, Dried Cranberries & Almonds

spaghetti squash kugel

Spaghetti Squash Medley

Spaghetti Squash Recipe with Spinach, Feta & Basil White Beans

Spaghetti Squash Curry

Aley Chubeza #161 , June 3rd-5th 2013

“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best—” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.

                        -Winnie the Pooh

We’re precisely at that “moment just before.” After our honey supply had dwindled to the point where we couldn’t help but constantly nag Tamir to renew it, he surprised us by arriving last week  with a new supply of blueberry honey.  Joy!

The delicious product is now in our order system, so please go ahead and enjoy this amazing honey from Tamir, a descendent of Ethiopian beekeepers who now resides in Moshav Sha’al in the Golan.

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And here’s another sweet opening from a letter I received from the Kaima Foundation which established the new organic farm in Beit Zayit (I wrote about it here)

 Dear Friends,

We are delighted to inform you that we will begin selling our produce. We invite you, who were partners in thought and action to the fulfillment of the Kayama dream in Beit Zayit, to deepen our relationship by subscribing to receive a weekly delivery of organic vegetables.

About Us

We are a group of farmers, educators and therapists who joined forces in the winter of 2013 to establish a social-agricultural project in the Jerusalem Hills. Aiming to find alternative routes for teenagers who are not part of the formal educational system, we established KaimaThe Farm in Beit Zayit which will provide supportive and educational employment for these teens.

We arrived at our field this past winter. The earth was wet and heavy, receiving us with gigantic boulders and many hues of green. Week after week we met with our volunteers who helped us prepare the earth for its first planting: we removed stones, prepared elevated beds, spread compost and finally planted and seeded the summer vegetables.

The seeds have already sprung out of this good earth. The plants have grown and developed, and now all that’s left is to eat, chop, stir fry and bake all this yummy healthiness.

So, how does it work?

You subscribe to a weekly vegetable box containing fresh organic produce harvested for you that very day, which you receive directly to your home. Kaima clients enjoy a direct connection with the farmer who grows the food in their plates, thus able to eat healthy food, free of toxins and pesticides. The direct contact between us saves you the profit margin, which allows the price to be reasonable.

Kaima’s vegetables boxes are more or less the same to all clients, and include a variety of vegetables. They change according to season and our open field in the Jerusalem hills. Your money, which goes straight to the farmers instead of various middlemen, enables the existence of a small farm, committed to your delicious, healthy and sometimes surprising boxes.

Our clients are members of the Kaima community, and you are always invited to participate in our farm work any day, or on special days when we invite you to join us in celebrating the spring blooms or the scent of autumn.  

So, if you would like to meet the faces behind your food and create a brand new story that goes with your salads, come join us!

*delivery areas: Beit Zayit (no cost), Ein Kerem, Mevasseret, Moza Elite and Ramat Moza.

To join, click here. For more information call 058-4447793 or join them on Facebook

_____________________________________

Spaghetti Season

My season began last week with a meal I shared with my best friend. We shared (a euphemism for “gobbled up”) one of the first Chubeza fruits of last week, a yummy, yummy spaghetti squash.

Spaghetti squash?

Vegetable marrow, golden macaroni, spaghetti marrow, spaghetti squash, and vegetable spaghetti are all names for one of the most distinctive squash we grow. Its uniqueness is expressed by the fact that after cooking, its flesh can be ferreted out with a fork, and then comes the magic: the cooked insides separate into thin “noodles,” not unlike spaghetti. It tastes like a cross between a pumpkin and a squash, not as sweet as a pumpkin or butternut, but sweeter than zucchini. This is why the “spaghetti noodles” can be eaten just like you would eat pasta: with tomato sauce, olive oil and herbs, pesto, Parmesan (preferably not a heavy Bolognese), etc.

Spaghetti squash was one of the pioneering crops grown at Chubeza, from our very first year. For years we grew the good old yellow variety, which was common in Israel 20 years ago as well. Over the past several years, we’ve added a different variety, striped on the outside but still light on the inside, with a similar taste to the classic type. Last year we had a lively innovation: an orange spaghetti squash called “oranghetti,” developed by an Israeli seed company, “Origin.” It’s fortified with beta carotene and has a sweeter pulp. This year, we decided to omit the less tasty varieties and stick exclusively with the sweet oranghetti. If you didn’t like spaghetti squash in previous years, we invite you to try this delectable vegetable once again.

Spaghetti squash recipes all begin the same way: first, cook or bake till it softens (till easily pierced with a fork), then wait 15 minutes till it cools so it is easier to handle. Note that the squash is very hot when it comes out of the oven or pot, particularly if baked or cooked whole, where it’s practically burning inside. Here are tips for easy preparation, to be used with the recipes that follow:

  • Baking whole: Puncture the peeling with a fork, pre-heat oven to moderate temperature and bake the vegetable for an hour.
  • Baking in halves: Slice the squash lengthwise (to create two ellipses), remove seeds, heat oven to moderate temperature, and place the squash in a baking dish face down. Bake for one hour.
  • Steaming: Puncture the peeling with a fork, place small amount of water in pot, and insert a steamer. Place squash on steamer, seal lid tightly, and steam for 30 minutes.
  • Cooking: Bring enough water to cover squash to a boil, then place whole squash inside and cook for around half an hour.
  • Microwaving: Slice the squash lengthwise (forming two ellipses). Remove seeds and place face down in a microwave-safe baking dish. Cover dish and bake for 7-12 minutes.

Once the squash is soft, let it cool. If prepared whole, slice lengthwise and remove seeds. With a fork, gently separate the vegetable’s pulp into thin noodles and place them in a bowl. Usually, the squash produces a surprisingly large amount of “spaghetti,” much more than you would expect from the outside. Apparently, sometimes the parts really are greater than the whole…

Make a sauce for your “spaghetti,” such as tomato, pesto, aglio e olio or olive oil and fresh herbs. You can even sprinkle parmesan on it, or simply season and consume with pleasure.

The whole squash will keep whole for over a month in a cool place. If cut, cover with plastic food wrap and keep in the fridge for two to three days. Cooked “spaghetti” should be kept in a sealed container for the same amount of time. You can also freeze cooked “spaghetti” by placing it in freezer bags or sealed containers. When you want to use it, partially defrost and steam for five minutes till it’s warm, but not soggy.

May we have a week full of surprises, renewal and of soothing sunshine.  Drink up, and keep cool!

Alon, Bat Ami, Ya’ara and the Chubeza team

_________________________________________

WHATS IN THIS WEEKS BOXES?

Monday: Lettuce, nana (mint), eggplant, tomatoes, scallions/chives, cabbage, cucumbers/fakus, spaghetti squash, potatoes, zucchini, leeks (small boxes only)

In the large box, in addition: green/yellow beans, beets, Swiss chard, cilantro/ parsley

Wednesday: Swiss chard, fakus (Armenian cucumber), spaghetti squash, cabbage, lettuce, zucchini, scallions/chive, potatoes, green/yellow beans, tomatoes, parsley/cilantro – small boxes only

In the large box, in addition: New Zealand spinach, cucumbers, beets, eggplants/garlic.

__________________________

Spaghetti squash recipes:

Vegan Moroccan-Spiced Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash Frittata Fritters

Spaghetti Squash with Feta, Dried Cranberries & Almonds

spaghetti squash kugel

Spaghetti Squash Medley

Spaghetti Squash Recipe with Spinach, Feta & Basil White Beans

Spaghetti Squash Curry

Aley Chubeza #117, June 25th-27th 2012

A HONEY OF A DEAL

At the beginning of this week, Daniella renewed our stock of delectable honey… and this is only the beginning!  A new supply is scheduled to arrive very soon. For now, we got wild flower honey and blueberry blossom honey, and we anxiously await eucalyptus blossom and raspberry honey. The entire list can be found on our order form.

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SPAGHETTI TREE, VERY PRETTY…

Summer summons new vegetables on a weekly basis, some familiar and loved (Hello, dear friend the corn! How we’ve missed you!), some less familiar, but definitely worth getting acquainted with. I am attempting to keep up with the rapid changes in your boxes and tell you about the many new guys in our summer neighborhood. This week it’s a gal, Madam Spaghetti Squash.

On April 1, 1957, BBC aired a documentary on a panorama show about the spaghetti crop in southern Switzerland. The program depicted the life of a Swiss family during their annual spaghetti harvest season. Women were seen carefully plucking spaghetti strands off the trees and drying them in the sun. The narrator pointed out how each strand of spaghetti always grows to the same length, thanks to years of hard work by generations of growers. At the end of the (hoax) program, the spaghetti harvest was celebrated with a toast and a “homegrown” spaghetti meal.

After the documentary was aired, many phone calls were received at the station. At that time, spaghetti was not a widely-eaten food in the UK, and was considered by many as an exotic delicacy.  Hundreds of viewers wanted to find out where they may find spaghetti seedlings to grow their very own homegrown spaghetti. In one comment on the BBC website, a man says that it took him years to stop believing that spaghetti grows on trees, and even today, at 56, whenever he drives through agrarian areas he keeps an eye peeled for a random spaghetti tree.

Alas, spaghetti does not grow on trees… but it does grow on bushes!

Vegetable marrow, golden macaroni, spaghetti marrow, spaghetti squash, and vegetable spaghetti are all names for one of the most distinctive squash we grow. Its uniqueness is expressed by the fact that after cooking, its flesh can be ferreted out with a fork, and then comes the magic: the cooked insides separate into thin “noodles,” not unlike spaghetti. It tastes like a cross between a pumpkin and a squash, not as sweet as a pumpkin or butternut, but sweeter than zucchini. This is why the “spaghetti noodles” can be eaten just like you would eat pasta: with tomato sauce, olive oil and herbs, pesto, Parmesan, (preferably not a heavy Bolognese), etc.

Spaghetti squash was one of the pioneering crops grown at Chubeza, from our very first year. For years we grew the good old yellow variety, which was common in Israel 20 years ago as well. Over the past several years, we’ve added a different variety, striped on the outside but still light on the inside, with a similar taste to the classic type. This year we have a lively innovation: a few years ago, an Israeli seed company (named “Origin”) developed an orange spaghetti squash called “oranghetti,” fortified with beta carotene and with a sweeter pulp. This year, we grew all three varieties: the classic yellow, the striped type and the sweet oranghetti. If you didn’t like the spaghetti squash in previous years, you are more than welcome to try it again.

Spaghetti squash recipes all begin the same: first, cook or bake till it softens (till easily pierced with a fork), then wait 15 minutes till it cools so it is easier to handle. Note that the squash is very hot when it comes out of the oven or pot, particularly if baked or cooked whole, where it’s practically burning inside. Here are tips for easy preparation, to be used with the recipes that follow:

Baking whole: Puncture the peeling with a fork, pre-heat oven to moderate temperature and bake the vegetable for an hour.

  • Baking in halves: Slice the squash lengthwise (to create two ellipses), remove seeds, heat oven to moderate temperature, and place the squash in a baking dish face down. Bake for one hour.
  • Steaming: Puncture the peeling with a fork, place small amount of water in pot, and insert a steamer. Place squash on steamer, seal lid tightly, and steam for 30 minutes.
  • Cooking: Bring enough water to cover squash to a boil, then place whole squash inside and cook for around half an hour.
  • Microwaving: Slice the squash lengthwise (forming two ellipses). Remove seeds and place face down in a microwave-safe baking dish. Cover dish and bake for 7-12 minutes.

Once the squash is soft, let cool. If prepared whole, slice lengthwise and remove seeds. With a fork, gently separate the vegetable’s pulp into thin noodles and place them in a bowl. Usually, the squash produces a surprisingly large amount of “spaghetti,” much more than you would expect from the outside. Apparently, sometimes the parts really are greater than the whole…

Make a sauce for your “spaghetti,” such as tomato, pesto, aglio e olio or olive oil and fresh herbs. You can even sprinkle parmesan on it, or simply season and gobble it up!

The small squash will keep whole for over a month in a cool place. If cut, cover with plastic food wrap and keep in the fridge for two to three days. Cooked “spaghetti” should be kept in a sealed container for the same amount of time. You can also freeze cooked “spaghetti” by placing it in freezer bags or sealed containers. When you want to use it, partially defrost and steam for five minutes till it’s warm, but not soggy.

May we have a week of summery surprises! Drink up, and mind the sun.

Alon, Bat Ami and the Chubeza team

________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday:  nana or basil, lettuce, Swiss chard, parsley. Zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers or fakus, eggplant, beets, spaghetti squash, corn or mini Pam pumpkin

In the large box, in addition: green beans, melon, scallions

Wednesday:eggplant, lettuce, lemon verbena or nana, tomatoes, leeks or scallions, zucchini, cucumbers or fakus, red potatoes, dill or cilantro or parsley, spaghetti squash, green peppers.

In the large box, in addition: corn, Swiss chard or New Zealand spinach, mini Pam ptmpkin or melon

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, dried fruits and leathers and organic olive oil 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

___________________________

Spaghetti squash recipes:

Vegan Moroccan-Spiced Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash Frittata Fritters

Spaghetti Squash with Feta, Dried Cranberries & Almonds

spaghetti squash kugel

Spaghetti Squash Medley

Spaghetti Squash Recipe with Spinach, Feta & Basil White Beans

Spaghetti Squash Curry

 

 

Aley Chubeza #77, July 25th-27th 2011

Don’t miss this week’s flyers in your boxes from Amit, featuring his hand-ground tehina “Kasumsum” You can order this delicious, nutritious treat via our order form or by phone/email.

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This week we continue our parade of extraordinary squash and pumpkins emerging from the Chubeza patch. After last week’s close-up on the acorn and kuri squash (this year’s crop has ended for now—see you next year!), the Musquee de Provence pumpkin, and the familiar butternut, it is time to focus on the final two members of the ensemble:

The spaghetti squash is one of the more unique squashes in the Chubeza collection. This squash comes with a touch of magic: after cooking, scrape out its skin with a fork and voila! The cooked flesh separates into strips, similar to thin noodles or spaghetti. It tastes somewhere between a squash and a pumpkin– not as sweet as a pumpkin or butternut, but sweeter than a squash. The neutral taste of this squash allows the “spaghetti” to be prepared as a true pasta dish, with a variety of options for sauces–preferably not a heavy Bolognese—as described below.

The spaghetti squash was not born of genetic engineering, nor even a hybrid or some modern development, but rather an actual heirloom that originated like the rest of the squash and pumpkins, from Central or North America. On the outside, the original ripe fruit is yellowish and elliptical. This is the variety we grow, which was popular in Israel 15-20 years ago. Several years ago an orange spaghetti squash was developed, termed “oranghetti,” fortified with beta carotene and with a sweeter taste. This variety, too, can be found in Israel.

Spaghetti squash recipes all begin the same way: first cook or bake till it softens (till easily pierced with a fork), then wait 15 minutes till it cools. Note that it is very hot when it comes out of the oven or pot, particularly if baked or cooked whole, where it’s practically burning inside. Here are tips for easy preparation, to be used with the recipes that follow:

Baking whole: Puncture the peeling with a fork, pre-heat oven to moderate temperature and bake the vegetable for an hour.

Baking in halves: Slice the squash lengthwise (to create two ellipses), remove seeds, heat oven to moderate temperature, and place the squash in a baking dish face down. Bake for one hour.

Steaming: Puncture the peeling with a fork, place small amount of water in pot, and insert a steamer. Place squash on steamer, seal lid tightly, and steam for 30 minutes.

Cooking: Bring enough water to cover squash to a boil, then place whole squash inside and cook for around half an hour.

Microwaving: Slice the squash lengthwise (forming two ellipses). Remove seeds and place face down in a microwave-safe baking dish. Cover dish and bake for 7-12 minutes.

Once the squash is soft, let cool. If prepared whole, slice lengthwise and remove seeds. With a fork, gently separate the flesh of the vegetable to thin noodles and place them in a bowl. Usually, the squash produces a surprisingly large amount of “spaghetti.” Sometimes the parts are greater than the whole… Make sauce for your “spaghetti,” such as tomato, pesto, aglio e olio or olive oil and fresh herbs. You can even sprinkle parmesan on it, or simply season it and gobble up! The small squash will keep whole for over a month in a cool place. If cut, cover with plastic food wrap and keep in the fridge for two to three days. Cooked “spaghetti” should be kept in a sealed container for the same amount of time. You can also freeze cooked “spaghetti” by placing it in freezer bags or sealed containers. When you want to use it, partially defrost and steam for five minutes till it’s warm, but not soggy.

The second vegetable of honor this week is the queen mother, the large and luscious Tripolitanian pumpkin. As it slowly, leisurely ripens, its color changes from green to cream. On the inside, it’s a bright orange. This is *the* pumpkin. One look and you understand why Cinderella’s fairy godmother chose it to turn into a magical coach. Of course, Chubeza workers who dragged the pumpkins from their patch (sometimes in pairs!) would definitely not rush to volunteer for a job as Godmother’s helpers. This pumpkin can be huge and very heavy!

We stack the pumpkins in our warehouse, forming a beautiful pile. Every week we slice pieces of this pumpkin, as the pile gradually grows smaller and disappears. For now, enjoy this lively orange! What’s nice about the pumpkin, which ripens in summertime but keeps till winter, is that it is duo-seasonal: in summer you can lightly stir fry or eat it cold, in a spread, or even raw. In winter you can add it to your stews and soups. Bon appetite!

We discussed the popular characteristics of the squash, a vegetable whose sweet flesh is a delight to eat. But deep inside this vegetable, at its heart, are yummy little treasures, the seeds. Our squash exert great efforts to produce the seeds, protecting them with a cover of soft fiber. Perhaps you usually scoop out fiber and seeds and toss them into the compost. But wait! Squash and pumpkin seeds are delectable, healthy and bountiful! Pumpkin seeds have been used as food for thousands of years, known as a remedy for worms as well as enlarged prostate. They are also delicious. They are usually roasted with salt, but also used to produce oil for salad dressings. The seeds and oil are rich in essential acids, vitamins B and C, minerals, protein, zinc and magnesium. Below are instructions for easy, tasty roasting.

But even if you love eating the pumpkin seeds, try to save some to seed in your garden next year (or sprout at home and watch how beautifully they germinate). Since pumpkins are picked at such a mature time in their lives, the seeds within them have already reached maturity and are ready for drying and storing. You can keep seeds from Chubeza pumpkins. Just wash, dry and store the dry seeds in a cool, closed place till the end of next winter.

And till then… it’s going to be a very hot week. We remind you all to drink up, and eat lots of cucumbers, squash and melons, which cool the body and supply it with important liquids. Take care of yourselves!

Have a good week, Alon, Bat Ami and the Chubeza team

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What’s in This Week’s Boxes?

Monday: okra or yard-long beans, butternut squash,  basil, potatoes, beets, tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro, onions, lettuce . Small boxes: corn or melon

In the large box, in addition: eggplant or zucchini, scallions, melon, corn, pumpkin

Wednesday: lettuce or pumpkin, okra or yard long beans or cowpeas (lubia), cucumbers, parsley, tomatoes, basil, scallions, butternut squash, cherry tomatoes, corn or melon, potatoes.

In the large box, in addition: eggplants or zucchini, onions, lemon verbana (louiza)

And there’s more! You can add to your basket a wide, delectable range of additional products from fine small producers of these organic products: granola and cookies, flour, sprouts, goat dairies, fruits, honey, crackers, probiotic foods and sesame butter 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.

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Spaghetti squash recipes plus pumpkin seeds:

Vegan Moroccan-Spiced Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash Frittata Fritters

Spaghetti Squash with Feta, Dried Cranberries & Almonds

spaghetti squash kugel

Spaghetti Squash Medley

Basic recipe for toasted pumpkin seeds