Last week we bade farewell to Ya’ara, who worked with us diligently and professionally over the past year. In my name and yours, I would like to thank her for her excellent work. I cannot imagine how we would have gotten through the expansion of our clientele and other changes over the past year without her fantastic efforts. Thank you so much, Ya’ara, and good luck in your new endeavors.
Ya’ara will be replaced by Maya, Alon’s charming wife, who has been with Chubeza from Day One. She will work with me in the office and the packing house, and this is a great opportunity to remind you that we do need your cooperation in order to get the job done in a relaxed, organized manner.
We would appreciate if you could make your any changes to your standing orders via our Internet system. Those of you who haven’t yet experienced it are welcome to take a look and make your acquaintance. Changes for your upcoming delivery can be made by noon of the day before delivery! If you still wish for us (humans) to order these changes, we would be happy to help, but your request must arrive by the morning before delivery day so we can update the order on time. We cannot make any promise to accept late changes. After 4:00 PM our phones are off the hook, we go off to our life-outside-of-Chubeza, and do not take messages. Thank you very much for your cooperation!
It’s not easy being green…
Though the weather forecast predicted local showers, our Sunday was bright and dry, albeit cool. Winter should have been here by now….Our mornings are chilly and evening creeps up fast, but midday is still sunny and the skies are dry. Our last summer crops are celebrating their final weeks in the field. We will soon bid the eggplants and black-eyed peas farewell, and the sweet potatoes and squash are becoming scarce as the Brassicaceae’s burst joyfully onto the scene to take over!
I know its wintertime when my green-o-meter shows a dozen emails with the common subject “What are the green leaves in my box this week?” Some of you are very happy with the plethora of greens over the winter, and even request we do not remove the beet and turnip leaves so as to make use of them as well. Yet others of you are a bit overwhelmed, and wonder what can be done (again) with all those greens.
For those who are still wondering, I am proud to present:
“Chubeza Winter Greens – A Guide to the Perplexed”
A sibling of the beet, differing by growing huge leaves instead of a thick root. Perfect in soup, quiches, and stuffing, as well as steamed or tossed, and even used fresh in a salad.
Here are all sorts of recipes.
Tatsoi (Spinach mustard, Spoon mustard, or Rosette bok choy):
A traveler from the Far East, member of the choy or soy family, belonging to the Brassicaceae or חרדליים dynasty. Its flavor is just slightly bitter, not spicy but very distinctive. Goes perfectly with spicy flavors (mustard and black pepper), ginger, sesame and the sweetness of fruit.
Tatsoi can be used fresh in salads, tossed or cooked, like mustard greens or Swiss chard, in soup, quiche, omelets, etc.
Here are some thoughts about it and a recipe. Scroll down and you’ll find some links to other recipes.
Depending on the season, the bed in which it’s grown, and the timing of its harvest, spinach can sport huge leaves or resemble “baby” spinach.
It definitely tastes green (I used to be surprised when people described a flavor as “green”), just slightly bitter, and then just a little sweet, chock full of rain and freshness flavors.
Like its cousin Swiss chard, spinach can go fresh in a salad or can be cooked, added to soup, a quiche, dumplings, an omelet or warm salads. They all work.
New Zealand Spinach
As indicated by its name, its origins are in Australia and New Zealand. Discovered by Captain Cook on the beaches of New Zealand, this green was harvested, cooked and even taken on journeys to fight tetanus resulting from a vitamin C deficiency. New Zealand spinach is suitable for our local climate because it loves warm weather. It sprawls and spreads, and its leaves are meaty.
New Zealand spinach can go with any recipe calling for mustard greens, but is definitely suitable as a Swiss chard replacement. To prepare for cooking, one must remove the leaves from the stem which is hard and inedible. Unlike regular mustard greens or Swiss chard, it is not recommended to eat raw, but rather first soaked in hot water for a few minutes, then washed with cold water.
It goes by many names: arugula, rucola, roquette and rocket lettuce. Its flavor is spicy, typical of the Brassicaceae family. Like the spinach, arugula can come in many forms, from huge and meaty to small and dainty.
The arugula leaves are spicy, but they have their own distinctive type of piquant flavor which can make them an interesting addition to a salad, even together with sweet fruit. Cheeses go very well, and a very light cooking can temper the spiciness a bit.
You can find many recipes if you conduct an internet search for “arugula” or
A green belonging to the Brassicaceae family, considered to be one of the most healthy foods around. An acquired taste, but definitely worth getting used to and falling for.
Due to its relatively rigid texture, kale is usually cooked or added to a green shake, but you can make chips from it or eat fresh in a salad—-it’s great!
Vegetable greens like being connected to their roots and the earth. When you want to store them after harvesting, you should attempt to prevent two side effects: drying up and rotting. There are a several methods for long-term storage. First, in order to prevent rotting, avoid wetting them and only wash them prior to use. To keep them moist, large leaves like lettuce, Swiss chard, tatsoi, spinach and mustard greens should be wrapped (unwashed) in cloth or paper and placed in a plastic bag in order for the moisture to be absorbed without actually drying up.
But for all this green abundance to actually grow, we desperately need winter showers! Now, when it has been a month since the 7th of Cheshvan and the pilgrims of old have returned home dry and safe, you are all welcome to mention the rain in your personal prayers. But don’t stop at that: do a rain dance! Beg, nag, insist, hope, and pray for the rain. Whatever it takes!!
That’s all for now. I hope the green picture is a little clearer now. You are always welcome to question unrecognizable guests in your boxes by phone (054-653-5980, although often it’s hard to get ahold of us) or by email ([email protected]).
May we all enjoy a week of good fortune, health and growth,
Alon, Bat Ami, Maya and the Chubeza team
WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?
Monday: Parsley/coriander/dill, sweet potatoes/pumpkin, broccoli, tomatoes, tatsoi/Swiss chard/kale, lubia/green beans/Jerusalem artichoke, lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, kohlrabi/daikon. Small boxes only: beets
In the large box, in addition: Arugula, corn/cabbage, leeks/garlic chives, eggplant/ cauliflower
Wednesday: arugula/spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, cabbage/eggplants, dill/parsley, sweet potatoes, carrots, kale/Swiss chard, kohlrabi/turnip, tomatoes, small boxes only: green black eye peas/green beans/Jerusalem artichoke.
In the large box, in addition: corn, beets, broccoli/pumpkin, leeks/chive