November 25th-27th 2019 – Magic spells in the field

Sometimes, when our expectation for rain combines with the anxiety of the rain’s failure to arrive, resulting (yet once again) in a make-believe winter, I get the urge to turn to witchcraft. I’d love to have a book of incantations with instructions for concocting a brew from thirsty clods of earth, dried up-snails, a few strands of tresses turned white from worry, and summer vegetables (who have no urge to return their gear to the quartermaster and head off into the sunset). After mumbling some mumbo jumbo, abracadabra – the heavens would open up and shower us with a luscious, rainy, cold and satiating winter. Or not……

So even though this week’s forecast is looking rather glum and the temperatures are way too high for the month of November, we cling to our hopes and prayers for a blessed, rainy winter. Joining us in our hope and anticipation are the winter vegetables, including the very prominent Cruciferae/mustard family. One branch in its family tree is the lovely Brassicaceae kin, including broccoli, kohlrabi, cauliflower and cabbage who have already visited your boxes, as well as their close cousins, the very strong roots growing underground. If any vegetables can make magic happen, it’s them! So, in honor of the return of the Brassicaceae family’s radish roots, I am re-posting a well-rooted bewitched and super mustardy newsletter. Cackle, cackle…

Radish, Turnip, Eye of Newt………

In a popular Hebrew book that my daughters love about five witches (by Ronit Chacham), radishes and turnips are major ingredients in the brew concocted for a spell cooked up by five very amusing witches. As it turns out, not only witches crave these vegetables.  Among us mortals and muggles, the turnip and radish (along with baby radishes and daikon) can be just as vital in a potion to ease the common cold, cough, mucous buildup, hoarseness, infections and other winter ills. Winter is the season in which the members of the Brassicaceae/Cruciferae families thrive. They are cousins, not siblings, since the radishes belong to the Raphanus genus and the turnips to the Brassica genus, but today we will sandwich them all together (or stir them in the same cauldron) and discuss their common characteristics.

So we already know that they all belong to the prominent Brassicaceae family, along with such fellow members as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kohlrabi, kale, mustard greens, tatsoi, mizuna, arugula and others. Its former name was Cruciferae, (from the word “cross”) after the four-petal flowers resembling a crucifix. Here are some examples:

 

Wild Mustard

Erucaria

Maltese Cross Ricotia

Wild Radish

The Brassicaceaes are a venerable winter family, and we eat various parts of their plants: sometimes the flower buds (broccoli, cauliflower), sometimes the stem (the thick part, as in kohlrabi) or the leaves (mustard, cabbage, tatsoi, arugula and others) and also the roots, to whom this newsletter is dedicated today: the radish, baby radish, daikon and turnip.

Truth be told, this is a populist division. The good parts of the turnip, daikon and radish are not only found underground – a number of parts of these vegetables can be eaten. For instance, turnip greens are very tasty, and some turnip varieties are grown specifically for their leaves, not roots. Leaves of the large radish are bitter and coarse, but the greens of baby radishes have an esteemed place in the culinary arts. The French add baby radish leaves to potato soup and to add a hint of pungency to salads made of steamed spinach.

Other varieties of radishes and turnips were developed in order to make oil from their seeds. These oils were used in the past, and Maimonides mentions them in discussing oils permitted for Sabbath candle lighting (see Mishnah Torah, Shabbat, 5;11). They love the cool winter climate, which slows down their breathing and expands the quantity of carbohydrates, a process which improves flavor. Unstable conditions will produce woody roots and a sharp flavor, and they will turn bitter in warm or dry weather (which is why we make sure to water them in weather conditions such as the present). This is also why they are winter symbols in Israel – the plants develop thickened roots and fancy leaf inflorescence on their crowns.

And now, some words on each of these vegetables:

The turnip is an ancient domesticated crop that was possibly grown in gardens of old in China, Greece, Rome, Egypt and also here. In kitchens throughout, it was a basic, common vegetable. Assaf the Physician (Assaf Harofe Ben Brakhiyahu who lived in 6th century Tiberias) praised the leaves and seeds of the turnip: “The leaves will be useful for all mental distresses and for malaria, while its seeds will be useful in treatment of pain and all sorts of ailments that lead to death.” However, even the juice produced from the root itself is known in folk medicine as beneficial in treating coughs, hoarseness, mucous buildup, and dryness of the nose and mouth. In natural medicine, turnip juice is used to treat malaise as well as kidney stones. In order to produce juice, one must press the root. Half a kilo of roots makes one glass of juice. Half a kilo of squeezed leaves will make half a glass of juice.

At Chubeza, over the past few years we have been growing the familiar type of turnip, with a purplish stain on top, in addition to a special type – a white, round and very sweet turnip. Even confirmed turnip haters have got to try this one!

The radish, too, is ancient and prevalent like the turnip. It is considered to be an appetite stimulant and to assist digestion. Take advantage of its refreshing flavor by serving a fresh radish salad between meal courses to cleanse your palates and prepare for the upcoming flavor. The radish’s medicinal virtues are similar to those of its cousin the turnip, beneficial in treating both respiratory and kidney ailments. In addition, turnips are friendly to pregnant women, known to intensify fetal movement (and not as fattening as chocolate) as well as decreasing gas. Soak swollen feet in a radish bath and feel the relief!

There are many varieties of radishes, differing in size, shape, color, and degree of pungency. At Chubeza, we grow radishes and daikons – the long, white Japanese radish. Take a look at several radish beauties:

small colorful radishes

Black radish

Daikon radish

Red radish

Instructions for Storing:

  • Radishes and turnips are roots, i.e., their function is to absorb food and water from the earth in order to supply them to the plant as needed. When picked, we disconnect the plant from its current supply, and the roots hurry to transform the material they accumulated to the plant’s leaves in order for them to continue to grow. The root itself will eventually become depleted. Therefore, when you receive a radish, turnip, or daikon (and the same goes for beets and carrots) with leaves attached, you must snip the leaves in order to preserve the root’s contents, to keep it fresh and firm for as long as possible.
  • It’s best to store root vegetables in a closed container to isolate them from the processes in the fridge and the materials secreted from other vegetables and food.

Radishes and turnips are great served fresh in a salad or sandwich, but don’t forget to use them in cooking as well. Yes, baby and regular radishes – as well as daikon – can be baked and stir-

fried. In our home, daikon season hails the commencement of Miso Soup season!

Go ahead then: relish the radishes and turn up for turnips. They will add some freshness to this sultry November and warm your hearts.

Awaiting the rain, which may hopefully arrive at the end of this week. Keep your fingers crossed, like this Daikon fella from our field…

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

_____________________________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Swiss chard/kale/New Zealand spinach/totsoi, beets/kohlrabi, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, broccoli/cabbage, carrots, parsley/dill, lettuce/arugula, fennel/daikon/baby radishes. Small boxes only: scallions.

Large box, in addition: Lubia Thai yard-long beans/Jerusalem artichoke/okra, celery, eggplant/red bell peppers, cauliflower.

FRUIT BOXES: Avocados, oranges, pomelit, clementinas, bananas

Wednesday: Swiss chard/kale/New Zealand spinach/totsoi, beets, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, broccoli/cauliflower, carrots, parsley/dill, lettuce/arugula/mizuna, fennel/daikon/baby radishes, scallions/celery.

Large box, in addition: Lubia Thai yard-long beans/Jerusalem artichoke/okra,  eggplant, cabbage/red bell peppers/kohlrabi.

FRUIT BOXES: Avocados, oranges, pomelit, clementinas, bananas/apples.

 

November 19th-21st 2018 – Magic spells in the field

Sometimes the combination of our expectation for rain mixed with the anxiety of it not arriving leaves us once again with a make-believe winter. Nothing has helped to date, so……the time has come to turn to witchcraft!

What we need is a book of incantations, brewing up a concoction of some thirsty clods of earth, dried up-snails, a few strands of tresses turned white from worry, summer vegetables (who just want to return their gear to the quartermaster and head off into the sunset), mix them all together, mumble some mumbo jumbo, and abracadabra – the heavens open up and shower us with a luscious, rainy, cold and satiating winter. True winter.

But in the meantime, we appreciate every droplet of rain in our field, cheering on the drop in temperature, hoping and praying and wishing for a blessed rainy winter. Joining in our hope and anticipation are the winter vegetables, including the very prominent Brassicaceae family. One branch in its family tree is the lovely mustard family and its members, the broccoli, kohlrabi and cabbage who have already visited your boxes. The cauliflower is on her way soon, along with their close cousins the very strong roots growing underground. If any vegetables can make magic happen, it is them! So in honor of the return of the Brassicaceae roots, I am re-posting a bewitched Newsletter. Cackle, cackle…

Radish, Turnip, Eye of Newt……………..

In a popular Hebrew book that my daughters love about five witches (by Ronit Chacham), radishes and turnips are major ingredients in the brew concocted for a spell cooked up by five very amusing witches. As it turns out, not only witches crave these vegetables.  Among us mortals and muggles, the turnip and radish (along with baby radishes and daikon) can be just as vital in a potion to ease the common cold, cough, mucous buildup, hoarseness, infections and other winter ills. Winter is the season in which the members of the Brassicaceae family (formerly the Cruciferae) thrive. They are cousins, not siblings, since the radishes belong to the Raphanus genus and the turnips to the Brassica genus, but today we will sandwich them all together (or stir them in the same cauldron) and discuss their common characteristics.

So we already know that they all belong to the Brassicaceae family, along with such members as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kohlrabi, mustard greens, tatsoi and others. Its former name was the Cruciferae, after the shape of its four-petal flowers, which resembles a crucifix. Here are some examples:

 

Wild Mustard

Erucaria

Maltese Cross Ricotia

Wild Radish

The Brassicaceaes are a venerable winter family, and we eat various parts of their plants: sometimes the flower buds (broccoli, cauliflower), sometimes the stem (the thick part, as in kohlrabi) or the leaves (mustard, cabbage, tatsoi, arugula and others) and also the roots, to whom this newsletter is dedicated today: the radish, baby radish, daikon and turnip.

Truth be told, this is a populist division. The good parts of the turnip, daikon and radish are not only found underground – a number of parts of these vegetables can be eaten. For instance, turnip greens are very tasty, and some turnip varieties are grown specifically for their leaves, not roots. Leaves of the large radish are bitter and coarse, but the greens of baby radishes have an esteemed place in the culinary arts. The French add baby radish leaves to potato soup and to add a hint of pungency to salads made of steamed spinach.

Other varieties of radishes and turnips were developed in order to make oil from their seeds. These oils were used in the past, and Maimonides mentions them in discussing oils permitted for Sabbath candle lighting (see Mishnah Torah, Shabbat, Chapter 5, halakha 11).

Radishes and turnips love the cool winter climate, which slows down their breathing and expands the quantity of carbohydrates, a process which improves flavor. Unstable conditions will produce woody roots and a sharp flavor, and they will turn bitter in warm or dry weather. This is why in Israel they are winter symbols – the plants develop thickened roots and fancy leaf inflorescence on their crowns.

And now, some words on each of these vegetables:

The turnip is an ancient domesticated crop that was possibly grown in gardens of old in China, Greece, Rome, Egypt and also here. In kitchens throughout, it was a basic, common vegetable. Assaf the Physician (Assaf Harofe Ben Brakhiyahu who lived in 6th century Tiberias) praised the leaves and seeds of the turnip: “The leaves will be useful for all mental distresses and for malaria, while its seeds will be useful in treatment of pain and all sorts of ailments that lead to death.” However, even the juice produced from the root itself is known in folk medicine as beneficial in treating coughs, hoarseness, mucous buildup, and dryness of the nose and mouth. In natural medicine, turnip juice is used to treat malaise as well as kidney stones. In order to produce juice, one must press the root. Half a kilo of roots make one glass of juice. Half a kilo of squeezed leaves will make half a glass of juice.

At Chubeza, over the past few years we have been growing the familiar type of turnip, with a purplish stain on top, in addition to a special type – a white, round and very sweet turnip. Even confirmed turnip haters have got to try this one out!

The radish, too, is ancient and prevalent like the turnip. It is considered to be an appetite stimulant and to assist digestion. Take advantage of its refreshing flavor by serving a fresh radish salad between meal courses to cleanse your palates and prepare for the upcoming flavor. The radish’s medicinal virtues are similar to those of its cousin the turnip, beneficial in treating both respiratory and kidney ailments. In addition, turnips are friendly to pregnant women, known to intensify fetal movement (and not as fattening as chocolate) as well as decreasing gas. Soak swollen feet in a radish bath and feel the relief!

There are many varieties of radishes, differing in size, shape, color, and degree of pungency. At Chubeza, we grow radishes and daikons – the long, white Japanese radish. Take a look at several radish beauties:

small colorful radishes

Black radish

Daikon radish

Red radish

Instructions for Storing:

  • Radishes and turnips are roots, i.e., their function is to absorb food and water from the earth in order to supply them to the plant as needed. When picked, we disconnect the plant from its current supply, and the roots hurry to transform the material they accumulated to the plant’s leaves in order for them to continue to grow. The root itself will eventually become depleted. Therefore, when you receive a radish, turnip, or daikon (and the same goes for beets and carrots) with leaves attached, you must snip the leaves in order to preserve the root’s contents, to keep it fresh and firm for as long as possible.
  • It’s best to store root vegetables in a closed container to isolate them from the processes in the fridge and the materials secreted from other vegetables and food.

Radishes and turnips are great served fresh in a salad or sandwich, but don’t forget to use them in cooking as well. Yes, they can be baked and stir-fried, and they will warm your hearts by adding some coolness to this year’s sultry November.

Impatiently awaiting the rain, which may hopefully arrive at the end of this week. Keep your fingers crossed, like this Daikon fella from our field…

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

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

This season is abounding with fresh, delicious greens. This week, we’re sending you a special winter gift of an additional green vegetable. Enjoy!

Monday: Eggplant/potatoes, green & red bell peppers, lettuce, radishes/daikon/baby radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli/cabbage, spinach/totsoi, coriander/dill/parsley, Swiss chard/ kale. Special gift: arugula

Large box, in addition: Turnips/beets, Jerusalem artichokes/Thai yard-long beans, celery.

FRUIT BOXES: Apples, bananas, avocadoes, oranges, clementinas.

Wednesday: Sweet potatoes/potatoes, green & red bell peppers, lettuce/mizuna, radishes/daikon/baby radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, spinach/totsoi, coriander/dill/arugula, Swiss chard/kale.

Large box, in addition: Turnips/beets/cabbage, Jerusalem artichokes/Thai yard-long beans, celery.

FRUIT BOXES: Apples, bananas, avocadoes, oranges, clementinas.

October 23rd-25th 2017 – Bewitched!

More new and wonderful signs of renewal: The Ein Harod almonds are back! Beginning this week you will be able to order excellent organic almonds from the Ein Harod Kibbutz in the Jezreel Valley. For the past several years, they have been growing almonds and selling them directly to consumers via small farms. Every year the demand outnumbers the supply, and the almond stock is exhausted in just a few months. Highly recommended! Don’t wait – order via our order system now!

—————

Tomer and Hamutal began producing their apple juice from fruit residuals of Kibbutz Tzuba, and in the process made some very fortuitous mistakes. An error in production resulted in their dry apple cider and apple vinegar (from over-fermented cider). You can read about their nutritious and medicinal virtues in this information page sent by Hamutal (Hebrew.) Also, check out this very sweet article about them by Ronit Vered in Ha’aretz – lots of compliments and true stories. Read all about it!

Tomer and Hamutal’s apple and pear juices are seasonal. They remain with us from the end of summer till the end of fall, after which we sit around and pine for them… Taste them now for an extraordinary treat! As usual, order via our order system.

—————

In honor of the return of the Brassicaceae roots (and Halloween), I am re-posting a bewitched Newsletter. Cackle, cackle…

Radish, Turnip, Eye of Newt……………..

In a popular Hebrew book that my daughters love about five witches (by Ronit Chacham), radishes and turnips are major ingredients in the brew concocted for a spell cooked up by five very amusing witches. As it turns out, not only witches crave these vegetables.  Among us mortals and muggles, the turnip and radish (along with baby radishes and daikon) can be just as vital in a potion to ease the common cold, cough, mucous buildup, hoarseness, infections and other winter ills. Winter is the season in which the members of the Brassicaceae family (formerly the Cruciferae) thrive. They are cousins, not siblings, since the radishes belong to the Raphanus genus and the turnips to the Brassica genus, but today we will sandwich them all together (or stir them in the same cauldron) and discuss their common characteristics.

So we already know that they all belong to the Brassicaceae family, along with such members as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kohlrabi, mustard greens, tatsoi and others. Its former name was the Cruciferae, after the shape of its four-petal flowers, which resembles a crucifix. Here are some examples:

Wild Mustard

Erucaria

Maltese Cross Ricotia

Wild Radish

The Brassicaceaes are a venerable winter family, and we eat various parts of their plants: sometimes the flower buds (broccoli, cauliflower), sometimes the stem (the thick part, as in kohlrabi) or the leaves (mustard, cabbage, tatsoi, arugula and others) and also the roots, to whom this newsletter is dedicated today: the radish, baby radish, daikon and turnip.

Truth be told, this is a populist division. The good parts of the turnip, daikon and radish are not only found underground – a number of parts of these vegetables can be eaten. For instance, turnip greens are very tasty, and some turnip varieties are grown specifically for their leaves, not roots. Leaves of the large radish are bitter and coarse, but the greens of baby radishes have an esteemed place in the culinary arts. The French add baby radish leaves to potato soup and to add a hint of pungency to salads made of steamed spinach.

Other varieties of radishes and turnips were developed in order to make oil from their seeds. These oils were used in the past, and Maimonides mentions them in discussing oils permitted for Sabbath candle lighting (see Mishnah Torah, Shabbat, Chapter 5, halakha 11).

Radishes and turnips love the cool winter climate, which slows down their breathing and expands the quantity of carbohydrates, a process which improves flavor. Unstable conditions will produce woody roots and a strong flavor, and they will turn bitter in warm or dry weather. This is why in Israel they are winter symbols – the plants develop thickened roots and fancy leaf inflorescence on their crowns.

And now, some words on each of these vegetables:

The turnip is an ancient domesticated crop that was possibly grown in gardens of old in China, Greece, Rome, Egypt and also here. In kitchens throughout, it was a basic, common vegetable. Assaf the Physician (Assaf Harofe Ben Brakhiyahu who lived in 6th century Tiberias) praised the leaves and seeds of the turnip: “The leaves will be useful for all mental distresses and for malaria, while its seeds will be useful in treatment of pain and all sorts of ailments that lead to death.” However, even the juice produced from the root itself is known in folk medicine as beneficial in treating coughs, hoarseness, mucous buildup, and dryness of the nose and mouth. In natural medicine, turnip juice is used to treat malaise as well as kidney stones. In order to produce juice, one must press the root. Half a kilo of roots make one glass of juice. Half a kilo of squeezed leaves will make half a glass of juice.

At Chubeza, over the past few years we have been growing the familiar type of turnip,with a purplish stain on top, in addition to a special type – a white, round and very sweet turnip. Even confirmed turnip haters  have got to try this one out!

The radish, too, is ancient and prevalent like the turnip. It is considered to be an appetite stimulant and to assist digestion. Take advantage of  its refreshing flavor by serving a fresh radish salad between meal courses to cleanse your palates and prepare for the upcoming flavor. The radish’s medicinal virtues are similar to those of its cousin the turnip, beneficial in treating both respiratory and kidney ailments. In addition, turnips are friendly to pregnant women, known to intensify fetal movement (and not as fattening as chocolate) as well as decreasing gas. Soak swollen feet in a radish bath and feel the relief!

There are many varieties of radishes, differing in size, shape, color, and degree of pungency. At Chubeza, we grow radishes and daikons. Take a look at several radish beauties:

small colorful radishes

Black Radish

Daikon radish

Red radish

Instructions for Storing:

  • Radishes and turnips are roots, i.e., their function is to absorb food and water from the earth in order to supply them to the plant as needed. When picked, we disconnect the plant from its current supply, and the roots hurry to transform the material they accumulated to the plant’s leaves in order for them to continue to grow. The root itself will eventually become depleted. Therefore, when you receive a radish, turnip, or daikon   (and the same goes for beets and carrots) with leaves attached, you must cut the leaves in order to preserve the root’s contents, to keep it fresh and firm for as long as possible.

 

  • It’s best to store root vegetables in a closed container to isolate them from the processes in the fridge and the materials secreted

from other vegetables and food.

Radishes and turnips are great served fresh in a salad or sandwich, but don’t forget to use them in cooking as well. Yes, they can be baked and stir-fried, and they will warm your hearts by adding some coolness to this year’s sultry October.

Impatiently awaiting the rain, which may hopefully arrive at the end of this week. Keep your fingers crossed, like this Daikon fella from our field…

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

ֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹ——————————-

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S AUTUMN BOXES?

Monday: Coriander/dill, bell peppers/eggplant, lettuce, cucumbers, red/green mizuna , tomatoes, corn, turnips/radishes/baby radishes, slice of pumpkin/red potatoes, sweet potatoes,leeks/ onions.

Large box, in addition: Arugula/New Zealand spinach, beets, Jerusalem artichoke/yard-long beans/okra.

Wednesday: Coriander/dill, bell peppers/eggplant, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, beets/baby radishes, slice of pumpkin/red potatoes, sweet potatoes, leeks/ onions, arugula.

Large box, in addition: New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard/kale, red/green mizuna, okra/yard long beans/Jerusalem artichoke.

And there’s more! You can add to your basket a wide, delectable range of additional products from fine small producers: flour, sprouts, honey, dates, almonds, garbanzo beans, crackers, probiotic foods, dried fruits and leathers, olive oil, bakery products, granola, natural juices, cider and jams, apple vinegar, dates silan and healthy snacks, ground coffee, tachini, honey candy 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 #312, November 7th-9th 2016

A Fairy Tale Turnip

As a child, we had an old storybook with innocent, old-fashioned drawings in light colors. I don’t remember the plot of any of the stories, but I do recall that one was about a turnip. The children in the story sowed a turnip in their yard, or ate it for lunch or something along those lines. I remember we kids being astonished: what is a turnip? We imagined it to be an exotic European vegetable that only grows in harsh winters (maybe the children in the illustrations were wearing coats?), and with a heavenly taste (cause the children seemed so happy from their delectable meal). In Israeli reality, the turnip rates very minimal acclaim. It is considered to be a boring, tasteless vegetable. But in stories, it is generally highly regarded.

The well-known “Eliezer V’HaGezer” story is originally the tale of a huge turnip that required the cooperation of all members of the household to pull it out of the ground.

The original Jack O’Lantern was an Irish drunkard who scooped out the insides of a turnip and placed a candle inside to act as a lantern.

 

A Grimm Brothers tale tells of two brothers, one rich, one poor. The poor brother grows a huge turnip in his yard, and because he can’t figure out what to do with it, brings it to the king who enthusiastically rewards him with a huge fortune of gold. When the rich brother hears, he comes to the king with his own gift: gold and horses. The king is enthralled by this gift, and in thanks, sends the rich brother home with his gift: a huge turnip.

But beyond fairy tales, the turnip deserves real respect for being a truly great vegetable. True, it’s probably underrated because its mild taste is less pronounced than other vegetables. Which is unfortunate, because I fear we’re getting used to the strong tastes of over-seasoning, brought to us by fast food and nosh that bombard us with overbearing flavors. We then miss out on the more gentle savors, the ones that don’t grab the stage and holler. Many times, they’re the ones hiding the treasure…

The modest turnip is an ancient cultivated crop, known in Greece, Rome, China and ancient Egypt. Its origins are in China, Central Asia and the Near East. In Israel, the turnip was grown during the times of the Mishnah, where it is mentioned as a popular garden vegetable. It belongs to the Cruciferae family, a cousin to cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, arugula, mustard, horseradish, radishes and others. Like the rest of the family, the turnip favors a cold winter climate that slows down the plant’s breathing and raises the quantity of the carbohydrate reserve, a process that improves its taste. Variable, unstable conditions will produce a woody root and strong flavor, and the turnip turns bitter if the weather is too hot or dry. Perhaps that’s the reason for the Israeli turnip being a true winter vegetable. The plant develops a dense root with a crown of leaves atop its head, similar to the radish. There are many varieties of turnip: spherical, round, oblate and skewered, and their colors range from pink to purple to yellow.

Here in Chubeza, over the past few years we have been growing the familiar turnip, the one with a purplish patch on top, as well as a special variety, a round white turnip that is oh so sweet! Even confirmed turnip-haters may see the light after taking one bite of these delectable treats.

In Israel, the root is the edible part, but in the Far East and southern United States it’s the greens that are eaten, with some species specially developed for their leaves (similar to beet root vs. beet greens). The root is eaten raw, cooked or pickled, and the leaves are cooked like spinach. There are countries that produce oil from the seeds.

Somewhere in cyberspace I read about a Canadian who married a gal from the US south, and one day they decided to have turnip for dinner. At the supermarket he placed a turnip root into his cart, to his wife’s astonishment. She was used to feeding the root to the hogs, and demanded the greens instead. He declared that as far as he’s concerned, the turnip IS the root, and greens are animal fodder. The moral to the story: a turnip’s beauty is in the eye of the beholder (and both its root and greens are delicious).

So indulge yourself with turnips in everything from soup to meat dishes to cholent. Use the turnip as you would a carrot (crusted, steamed with butter, glazed) or a potato (chips, pureed). Combine long, thin pieces of raw turnip (made with a peeler) in a vegetable salad. Or, while it’s young and raw, pickle it for two days in a sweet and sour brine consisting of a cup of plain vinegar, a cup of water and a cup of sugar boiled together.

The turnip also has medicinal qualities. According to Nissim Crispil, it relieves coughing and hoarseness, mucus buildup and breathing problems. In natural medicine, quaffing turnip juice is said to improve your mood (and some of these recipes are bound to give your mood a boost!) It is also beneficial for the kidneys. Turnip roots contains calcium and potassium; drinking turnip-green juice aids in neutralizing excess blood acidity and fortifying bones, hair, fingernails and teeth. Just 500 grams of turnip root will produce a glass of juice beneficial for anemia, arthritis, asthma, disruptions in the menstrual period, bladder obstruction, heart disease, fever, and kidney, liver and lung function. And 500 grams of turnip greens will produce half a glass of juice (one quarter in the morning, a quarter in the evening) to heal a cough, ease a hoarse throat, and remedy hair loss.

To your good health, and Bon Appétit!

This Tuesday marks the 7th of Cheshvan, the date by which most Sukkot pilgrims of old had had ample time to return home from their journey to Jerusalem. From this point onwards, Jews add an explicit request (no longer a mere longing) for rain to their daily prayers. So now that Autumn has run out of excuses, we hope that the coming weeks will bring upon us blessed rains and plentiful precipitation.

Pray and hope along with us,

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Yochai and all the other Chubez’O’Lanterns

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Coriander/parsley, kale/Swiss chard/ New Zealand spinach/winter spinach, kohlrabi/white turnips, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, corn/eggplant/ bell peppers, lettuce, carrots/pumpkin, radishes/baby radishes, baby “mesclun mix” greens, tomatoes.

Large box, in addition: Lubia/okra/ Thai lubia, leeks/scallions, beets

Wednesday: lettuce, sweet potatoes, peppers/eggplants/corn, coriander/parsley, kale/Swiss chard/ New Zealand spinach/winter spinach, kohlrabi/white turnips, daikon/small radishes, tomatoes, carrots/pumpkin. small boxes only: broccoli/cabbage.

Large box, in addition: Lubia/okra/ Thai lubia/Jerusalem artichoke, leeks/scallions, beets, baby “mesclun mix” greens/arugula/mizuna.

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, apple juice, cider and jams 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 #270, November 30th-December 2nd 2015

A Fairy Tale Turnip

As a child, we had an old storybook with innocent, old-fashioned drawings in light colors. I don’t remember the plot of any of the stories, but I do recall that one was about a turnip. The children in the story sowed a turnip in their yard, or ate it for lunch or something along those lines. I remember we kids being astonished: what is a turnip? We imagined it to be an exotic European vegetable that only grows in harsh winters (maybe the children in the illustrations were wearing coats?), and with a heavenly taste (cause the children seemed so happy from their delectable meal). In Israeli reality, the turnip rates very minimal acclaim. It is considered to be a boring, tasteless vegetable. But in stories, it is generally highly regarded.

The well-known “Eliezer V’HaGezer” story is originally the tale of a huge turnip that required the cooperation of all members of the household to pull it out of the ground. The original Jack O’Lantern was an Irish drunkard who scooped out the insides of a turnip and placed a candle inside to act as a lantern.

 

A Grimm Brothers tale tells of two brothers, one rich, one poor. The poor brother grows a huge turnip in his yard, and because he can’t figure out what to do with it, brings it to the king who enthusiastically rewards him with a huge fortune of gold. When the rich brother hears, he comes to the king with his own gift: gold and horses. The king is enthralled by this gift, and in thanks, sends the rich brother home with his gift: a huge turnip.

But beyond fairy tales, the turnip deserves real respect for being a truly great vegetable. True, it’s probably underrated because its mild taste is less pronounced than other vegetables. Which is unfortunate, because I fear we’re getting used to the strong tastes of over-seasoning, brought to us by fast food and nosh that bombard us with overbearing flavors. We then miss out on the more gentle savors, the ones that don’t grab the stage and holler. Many times, they’re the ones hiding the treasure…

The modest turnip is an ancient cultivated crop, known in Greece, Rome, China and ancient Egypt. Its origins are in China, Central Asia and the Near East. In Israel, the turnip was grown during the times of the Mishnah, where it is mentioned as a popular garden vegetable. It belongs to the Cruciferae family, a cousin to cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, arugula, mustard, horseradish, radishes and others. Like the rest of the family, the turnip favors a cold winter climate that slows down the plant’s breathing and raises the quantity of the carbohydrate reserve, a process that improves its taste. Variable, unstable conditions will produce a woody root and strong flavor, and the turnip turns bitter if the weather is too hot or dry. Perhaps that’s the reason for the Israeli turnip being a true winter vegetable. The plant develops a dense root with a crown of leaves atop its head, similar to the radish. There are many varieties of turnip: spherical, round, oblate and skewered, and their colors range from pink to purple to yellow.

Here in Chubeza, over the past few years we have been growing the familiar turnip, the one with a purplish patch on top, as well as a special variety, a round white turnip that is oh so sweet! Even confirmed turnip-haters may see the light after taking one bite of these delectable treats.

In Israel, the root is the edible part, but in the Far East and southern United States it’s the greens that are eaten, with some species specially developed for their leaves (similar to beet root vs. beet greens). The root is eaten raw, cooked or pickled, and the leaves are cooked like spinach. There are countries that produce oil from the seeds.

Somewhere in cyberspace I read about a Canadian who married a gal from the US south, and one day they decided to have turnip for dinner. At the supermarket he placed a turnip root into his cart, to his wife’s astonishment. She was used to feeding the root to the hogs, and demanded the greens instead. He declared that as far as he’s concerned, the turnip IS the root, and greens are animal fodder. The moral to the story: a turnip’s beauty is in the eye of the beholder (and both its root and greens are delicious).

So indulge yourself with turnips in everything from soup to meat dishes to cholent. Use the turnip as you would a carrot (crusted, steamed with butter, glazed) or a potato (chips, pureed). Combine long, thin pieces of raw turnip (made with a peeler) in a vegetable salad. Or, while it’s young and raw, pickle it for two days in a sweet and sour brine consisting of a cup of plain vinegar, a cup of water and a cup of sugar boiled together.

The turnip also has medicinal qualities. According to Nissim Crispil, it relieves coughing and hoarseness, mucus buildup and breathing problems. In natural medicine, quaffing turnip juice is said to improve your mood (and some of these recipes are bound to give your mood a boost!) It is also beneficial for the kidneys. Turnip roots contains calcium and potassium; drinking turnip-green juice aids in neutralizing excess blood acidity and fortifying bones, hair, fingernails and teeth. Just 500 grams of turnip root will produce a glass of juice beneficial for anemia, arthritis, asthma, disruptions in the menstrual period, bladder obstruction, heart disease, fever, and kidney, liver and lung function. And 500 grams of turnip greens will produce half a glass of juice (one quarter in the morning, a quarter in the evening) to heal a cough, ease a hoarse throat, and remedy hair loss.

To your good health, and Bon Appétit!

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Yochai and all the other Chubez’O’Lanterns

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Lettuce/mustard greens, coriander/parsley/dill, potatoes, kohlrabi/fennel, tomatoes, Swiss chard/kale/spinach, cucumbers/red bell peppers, sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli/cabbage/eggplant, turnips/beets.

 Large box, in addition: Arugula/totsoi, Jerusalem artichokes, celery.

Wednesday: Lettuce, mustard greens/arugula/totsoi, coriander/parsley/dill, kohlrabi, fennel/turnips/beets, tomatoes, Swiss chard/kale/spinach, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, carrots, small boxes: broccoli/Jerusalem artichokes.

 Large box, in addition: Jerusalem artichokes and broccoli, celery, radishes.

 

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 products too! You can learn more about each producer on the Chubeza website. Our order system also features a detailed listing of the products and their cost.  Make an order online now!