At the beginning of this week we will be charging your cards for the last week of July and the month of August and endeavor to have the billing updated by the end of the week.
You may view your billing history in our Internet-based order system. It’s easy. Simply click the tab “דוח הזמנות ותשלומים” where the history of your payments and purchases is clearly displayed. Please make sure the bill is correct, or let us know of any necessary revisions. At the bottom of the bill, the words סה”כ לתשלום: 0 (total due: 0) should appear. If there is any number other than zero, this means we were unable to bill your card and would appreciate your contacting us. We always have our hands full, and we depend on you to inform us. Our thanks!
Reminder: The billing is two-part: one bill for vegetables & fruits you purchased over the past month (the produce that does not include VAT. The title of that bill is “תוצרת אורגנית”, organic produce). The second part is the bill for delivery and other purchases. (This bill does include VAT. The title of the bill is “delivery and other products.”)
Preparing for the holidays…
Changes in delivery dates over the holidays: • There will be no deliveries to those of you scheduled to receive a box on Monday, September 14th. However, deliveries in Modi’in, Jerusalem, Gush Etzion and South Tel Aviv will be made on Thursday, September 17th. You will soon receive a detailed email regarding the holiday delivery schedule.)
* Wednesday delivery will be moved to Thursday, September 17th and the ordering system will close on Wednesday, September 16th at 9:00.
• The of Yom Kippur: Monday delivery as usual (September 21st). Wednesday delivery moves up to Thursday, September 24th and the ordering system will close on Monday, September 21st at 12:00.
• During Chol HaMoed Sukkot, there will be no deliveries, thus you will not be receiving boxes on Monday and Wednesday, the 28th and 30th of September.
On the week after Sukkot and Simchat Torah:
*Monday deliveries move up to Tuesday, October 6th and the ordering system closes on Sunday, October 4th at 9:00.
* Wednesday deliveries as usual (October 7th)
If you wish to increase your vegetable boxes before the holidays, please advise as soon as possible.
Subscribing to our weekly newsletter: The best way to receive messages and updates is via our weekly newsletter, which is published on our website and, in most cases, arrives directly to your email inbox. Those who do not receive the newsletter and wish to do so, please advise. If you prefer to receive a hard copy along with your box, please notify me.
Open Day at Chubeza In keeping with our twice-yearly tradition, we invite you for a Chol HaMoed “pilgrimage” to Chubeza to celebrate our Open Day. The Sukkot Open Day will take place on Thursday, October 1st, the 18th of Tishrei (third day of Chol HaMoed), between 12:00- 5:00pm. The Open Day gives us a chance to meet, tour the field, and nibble on vegetables and other delicacies. Children have their own tailor-made tours, designed for little feet and curious minds, plus special activities and a vast space to run around and loosen up. (So can the adults…)
Driving instructions are on our website under “Contact Us.” Please make sure you check this before heading our way.
Wishing you a Chag Sameach and Shana Tova from all of us at Chubeza. We look forward to seeing you all!
Hold your horses before you complain about the shriveled, hard-as-rock corn you received this week. Read on for the true story behind the kernels:
Traditionally, the end of each summer heralds the popcorn season. Over the next few weeks, you will be receiving smaller and stiffer corn cobs than usual. Don’t toss them out figuring Chubeza’s crop went bad this week. These are actually rare, delectable treats. It’s popcorn! In honor of this joyous corn creation, we are renewing The Popcorn Newsletter. Sit back in your chairs and enjoy the show!
Back around 3500 BC in a cave in North America (somewhere central-west of today’s New Mexico), the guys were hanging out together, glued to the TV of the era, the blazing campfire. As the flames danced and brought joy to their hearts, they had to nosh on something. But for reasons that remain shrouded in mystery, they somehow did not polish off everything from their plates. Remains of that late-night-nosh were discovered over 5000 years later by archaeologists in 1948, in what became known as world’s oldest popcorn. (It still looked quite crunchy and yummy, but a tad too stale to nibble on.)
The popcorn is indeed a special species of corn. They were seeded in March along with the first round of corn, but after the plants grew dark red-bearded cobs, we cut off their water and allowed the cobs, smaller than the sweet corn variety, to fully mature and dry on the stalk. Last week we picked the dry, hard cobs and stored them in our warehouse for further drying and hardening. How wonderful to munch on food that bears a history of thousands of years of noshing!
Popcorn comes in many colors and forms. Here are a few of them:
An especially cute type is strawberry popcorn, which looks like this:
Native Americans used popcorn even before they discovered the corn we know and love so well. They probably fell onto popcorn by chance, as some random kernel rolled into the fire and suddenly popped. This surely led to attempts to reenact the wonder, and later to make it an institution. In ancient times, they would roast the popcorn by heating the cobs over direct flame or in a pit in the ground filled with sand and heated to a high temperature. The cobs were placed into the pit whole, and the kernels would pop on the cob, wrapped in its sheaf and protected from the sand. Prehistoric cooks also made special utensils to roast this snack, clay pots with feet to place atop the fire.
Primeval Americans used the popcorn not only as nosh. They made soup and beer out of it, and it was used as a decoration in ritual ceremonies, as well as for jewelry and head ornaments. Tlaloc, the Aztec god of rain and fertility, was adorned with popcorn-string necklaces, and the god of water and protector of fishermen would receive an offering of “hailstones” made from popcorn. Europeans who arrived ashore were also welcomed with gifts of popcorn necklaces, and to this day there are those who decorate their Christmas trees with fresh, aromatic popcorn.
One modern, non-conventional popcorn-based attempt—which ultimately failed—was to use popcorn as an ecological, biodegradable substitute for Styrofoam packing material. You must admit that this is a very captivating idea, yet sadly the popcorn’s natural appeal attracted insects and other pests and organisms to the party. The popcorn completely lost its beneficial packing qualities when wet, and was prone to flammability. Alas.
Popcorn, or in its scientific name, Zea mays averta, is a subspecies of flint corn. Flint corn got its name from its hard-as-rock shell, one of the required components for popping. Also required are a proper level of humidity and a high level of starch within the kernel. Due to the kernel’s hard shell, when it’s heated, the moisture locked inside turns to steam and the pressure builds up. The starch inside the kernel gelatinizes and becomes soft and pliable. The pressure continues to mount until reaching the breaking point of the hull: The steam forcefully explodes, exposing the soft starch. The starch expands and dries rapidly to become the dry, crispy, puffy foam we call popcorn.
Here is film that illustrates the process a very dramatic, slow motion presentation:
– For the foam to dry quickly, place the kernels in a pot in a thin layer to create crispy popcorn that will not reabsorb the moisture from the pot.
– FYI, popped popcorn kernels expand exponentially beyond their original size. Two tablespoons of raw popcorn kernels produce 2 ½ cups of the popped product!
– In its natural form, popcorn is an excellent choice for a healthy snack. Air-popped popcorn is naturally high in dietary fiber, low in calories and fat, and is both sodium and sugar free. This, of course, relates to clean, fresh popcorn, minus the addition of butter and oil, salt or caramel that transform it from a handsome prince to a scary toad.
– And, please take care of the children: do not allow popcorn to children under 4!
Storage: Popcorn kernels might look tough, but they won’t be if you don’t treat them properly. Storing popcorn in the fridge may dry it or make it too moist to allow popping. Best to keep popcorn kernels in a dry, dark cupboard away from heat, moisture and light.
It is advisable to separate the kernels from cob and store in sealed jar, ceramic container or sealed tin.
Here is a short demonstration of how to best separate the kernels from the cob. (Starring Chubeza popcorn, and the hands of Talya, our website wizard).
Making fine popcorn is an art in itself. The quality and quantity of the popping depends on the rate at which the kernels are heated. If heated too quickly, they’ll explode before the starch in the center of the kernel can fully gelatinize, leading to half-popped kernels with hard centers (what was the hull). The tip of the kernel, where it attached to the cob, is more sensitive than the rest of the hull. Heating too slowly will crack the tip and allow steam to escape, preventing the build-up of pressure and the ultimate popping. In the past, making popcorn in a pot was a task that required training, specialization, and great skill. In today’s microwave era, everything is so much simpler, but still it’s a good idea to put aside a few kernels and try the old-fashioned popping method of yesteryear.
In microwave: Place small quantity of kernels (approximately 2 T) into a paper bag you received in your box (make sure it’s dry and not torn), and fold the edge of bag to seal. (At last: a way to re-use those paper bags!) Set timer for 2-3 minutes, and listen carefully. After a few seconds the kernels will start popping loudly, setting the bag into a lively, throbbing dance. When 3 seconds without any popping have elapsed, remove paper bag from the microwave. Caution! It’s hot. Make a small opening for ventilation; allow steam to escape, and then cool. Add the seasoning of your choice and nosh away.
In a pot: (from the website of Kibbutz Sha’ar Hagolan)
You will need: Popcorn. A pot. Oil.
We all know the black and sooty telltale spots shamefully lining the pots, reminding us of unsuccessful popcorn, or the sad “old maids,” the unpoppod kernels that will never receive another chance.
Here’s how to avoid these embarrassing failures, step by step.
Use a wide, tall pot so the kernels have room to expand.
The rule is 3 T oil for each ½ – ¾ cup of popcorn. The oil should cover the bottom of the pot and coat each kernel. (You can combine oil and butter, if desired.) Timetable 1: Pour the oil and wait a bit till it warms up. (Can use one or two kernels to test.) When oil-bubbles form around kernel, it’s time to start. Question: Should we toss the kernels? A: In the beginning of the process, you can give the pan a little shake to arrange the kernels in one layer and for the oil to cover. Timetable 2: Leave the kernels on medium heat. When you start hearing the first to pop, lower the flame. Babysitter: Keep an eye on them. This is no time to check your email. Listen to the sound of the popping kernels. When the popping diminishes, it’s time to turn off the flame. Do not open the pot till you hear the silence of the all-popped popcorn.
Wishing us all a great beginning of school year, specifically to Chubeza’s very own first graders: Geffen, Eliyahu and Tamar. May you have years of wonder and joy!
Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Yochai and the Chubeza team
WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?
Monday: Eggplant, cilantro/mint (nana)/ parsley, pumpkin/butternut squash, potatoes, tomatoes, corn, scallions/garlic chives, popcorn, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, Thai long beans/ okra.
Large box, in addition: Leeks, red+green bell peppers,/ basil/New Zealand spinach.
Wednesday: potatoes, cucumbers, parsley/cilantro/mint, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, okra/Thai long beans, popcorn, pumpkin/butternut squash, corn, scallions, small boxes: eggplants/red bell peppers.
Large box, in addition: green peppers, leeks, basil/New Zealand, eggplants
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!