Monthly Archives: May 2015

Post 116: My reaction to Catch the Jew by Tuvia Tenenbaum: the work of the Institute for Zionist Strategies to combat the NGO’s in Israel, a JEW travels where they are not permitted to travel in Israel. Making Almond cheese


‘Catch the Jew!’ was reviewed in the Algemainer, and given the title: Replete With Diverse People in an Ideological Minefield

MAY 10, 2015 10:51 AM


avatarAmelia Katzen / with my additions  in green.


In the recently published Catch the Jew! Tuvia Tenenbom is a German journalist playing the role of a Martian, but he lands in middle of the state of Israel. His publisher has given him the assignment of writing about Israel by interviewing its inhabitants over the course of seven months. He arrives in Israel more or less a tabula rasa, a blank slate, with no political agenda or expectations. What does he find? People of all sorts, who are surprising, predictable, infuriating, self-serving, dedicated, funny, sad, uplifting, depressing, and enlightening. There’s something for everyone.

Tenenbom was born in Jerusalem to an ultra-religious and anti-Zionist family, left the fold as a young man to live in the United States, and later moved to Germany, where he works as a journalist. He is fluent in Hebrew, English, German, and Arabic, all of which he uses both as cover and to ingratiate himself as needed with the subjects of his interviews. In private, he refers to himself as a zekel beiner, “a sack of bones.”

Why the Title?, Whenever Tenenbom probes his subjects and they start to sweat their response is, “You must be a Jew! I’ve caught you. Hence anything that you say must be a lie”. He visits the areas that are under PLO control, where a Jew is not permitted: Ramallah, greater Hebron, Jerecho, etc. all very beautiful, fully funded by American and European NGO’s 

(From the Institute for Zionist Strategies) The book is particularly important  because now the Israeli government is waking up to the influence of European and American NGO’s attempts to control Israeli elections. This was seen in the last election in March in Israel, by  outright planning demonstrations by NGO’s in Tel Aviv. In a subsequent blog, the Knesset’s  steps to keep track of the NGO”s in Israel will be discussed 

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) wield very significant political and legal power in Israel, particularly through their use of the language and frameworks of human rights and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians. These NGOs are also a major and often hidden channel for external influence in Israeli foreign and security policies.

Much of the funding for political lobbies that claim to be based in Israeli “civil society” comes from foreign sources – particularly European governments, including the European Commission – as well as foundations such as the New Israel Fund, the Ford Foundation, and the Open Society Institute. By using the generous resources made available by these external donors, the Israel-based NGO network is able to promote particular political ideologies, and to oppose the policies of the democratically elected government on many issues.

The NGOs discussed in this analysis are highly active and visible participants in both the international and national debates on issues such as the status and future of Jerusalem, the disputed territories in the West Bank, and the actions of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). These NGOs issue high-profile statements and reports, generate media publicity, organize demonstrations, speak to student groups and army units, and use the courts to advance their political agendas.

In the international arena, the same NGOs submit statements to United Nations frameworks such as the Human Rights Council, run major media campaigns, and spearhead lawsuits in various countries. Using the tens of millions of shekels, euros, and dollars they receive each year, the externally funded NGO network is far more powerful than other Israeli organizations that do not enjoy similar support from foreign governments.

For example, as this Institute for Zionist Strategies report demonstrates, foreign-funded local NGOs are responsible for a significant portion of the petitions brought before the Israeli High Court of Justice. Citizens, residents, and even non-residents have standing to litigate in the Supreme Court, without having to provide evidence of potential or actual injury. Thus an individual or an organization that opposes a policy, law, or administrative action can initiate legal proceedings, even if the individual or organization is not directly affected by it. Furthermore, Israeli courts play a central role in public policy making, particularly with respect to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, thereby amplifying the impact of NGOs that operate in this arena.

Israeli courts have become a central arena for engaging contentious social and political issues, with major advantages for groups that have the resources to devote to this activity. Extensive support from European governments and private foundations gives political and opposition NGOs based in Israel the ability to carry the costs of numerous petitions and filings. This external financing allows these NGOs to become “repeat players” in the Israeli legal process, and thus to exert significant influence on policy formation.

As a democratic country with an open and pluralistic political system and facing a largely hostile external environment, Israeli society is particularly vulnerable to manipulation by externally funded NGOs. Outside political influence of this kind resonates throughout civil society. This hidden foreign intervention infringes on the sovereignty and independence of Israel by unbalancing the political process, and interfering with the policies of the elected government and the mainstream Zionist majority.

Internationally, these foreign-funded Israeli NGOs are highly visible in their opposition to the policies of the elected government and other civil society perspectives. Through frequent submissions to and appearances at the United Nations, together with their access to diplomatic and media frameworks, these NGOs have become very influential. A significant factor is their Israeli identities, which provides these NGOs with credibility and the façade of authenticity to their causes. A number of Israeli political NGOs funded by European governments maintain offices and an active presence in Washington, D.C., New York, London, Brussels, and other cities.

This study provides a detailed analysis of the activities of more than twenty Israel-based NGOs that receive funding from European governments. We examine the political agendas of these groups and the way that they influence Israeli policy making and public debate, including their intensive use of the legal system. This report also addresses the lack of transparency and accountability, known as the “democracy deficit,” that characterizes many politicized civil society organizations.

For example, B’Tselem received 27% of its 8 million NIS budget for 2007 from foreign governments, as well as substantial income from externally-based funds. While these sources are listed on their donor page, this significant government involvement is obscured in their official statement: “B’Tselem is independent and is funded by contributions from foundations in Europe and North America.” This NGO “acts primarily to change Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories,” a political objective bolstered by B’Tselem’s office in Washington, D.C., which brings their agenda directly to U.S. officials. While widely considered Israel’s premier human rights organization, B’Tselem has faced serious criticism for its misrepresentations of international law, inaccurate research, skewed statistics (including casualty lists), and selective attention to violations against Israelis. These problematic methodologies reinforce the Palestinian narrative of victimization and portray Israel as the sole impediment to peace.

Adalah is centrally involved in attempts to vilify and criminalize Israel, including in UN frameworks. The NGO helped prepare a pseudo-academic publication, which falsely labeled Israeli self-defense measures as “inhumane act[s] of apartheid…perpetrated in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over another.” Adalah’s policy activism in Israel includes a proposed “Democratic Constitution,” which would radically alter the laws of Israel, eliminating Jewish state-symbols and limiting Jewish immigration to “humanitarian” needs. These activities are backed by a 5 million NIS budget (in 2007), 22% of which came from foreign governments.

Similarly, Ir Amim, with a 2007 budget of 4 million NIS, promotes Palestinian claims to Jerusalem. Their maps mark houses in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, as well as the neighborhoods of Gilo, Ramot and Pisgat Ze’ev, as settlements. While officially engaged in universal “legal advocacy aimed at halting or mitigating unilateral actions that harm the fabric of life in Jerusalem,” their legal efforts target only Jewish housing initiatives. Ir Amim received 67% of its 2007 budget from foreign government sources.

These NGOs and others examined in this report support the policies and interests of their funders, thereby distorting Israeli political and social discourse, and the internal debates on critical issues. Crucial discussions and policy decisions concerning peace negotiations, settlements, security, responses to terror, the status of Palestinians who immigrate to Israel by marrying Israeli-Arabs, and numerous other major issues are subject to hidden external pressure. At the same time, political NGOs use European funding to oppose and campaign against the policies of Israel’s democratic elected government around the world.

Based on this analysis, we argue that the Israeli government has an urgent obligation to address the implications of such massive and unique foreign funding for political NGOs. The principle of free speech must be preserved, together with limiting the ability of foreign governments to both manipulate domestic politics and to undermine Israel’s international legitimacy.

The first step in this process is to ensure transparency in the transfer of foreign governmental funds to NGOs. We recommend that Israeli government officials give high priority to discussions with their European counterparts on ending the secrecy which characterizes government funding decisions for political NGOs, and establishing clear principles for any continued support of these lobbies. In addition, NGOs in Israel that receive funding from foreign governments should be required to state this in any of the activities, publications, and advertisements that they undertake.

Tenenbaum starts his “sociological” study as an outsider. He  settles into a Templar House in the German Colony. Instead of using chapters to divide his book, he divides the trip into Gate 1,2 etc. Tenenborn is moving, searching, struggling to understand the spewed hatred of Israel, which is acceptable today.  As a  former Orthodox Jew the use of Gate is deliberate. Gate implies levels of knowledge of  Hashem. It’s a sad book in many ways including many elements of grieving for his lost innocence. The following story helped me to comprehend where Tenenborn was coming from. Underlying is the question, “Where is G-d in all this chaos?”  

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks is a philosophy graduate of Cambridge University. He tells the following story. After graduating, he spent some time studying in yeshiva at Kfar ChaBaD in Israel. On one occasion, he was studying Hassidism with a chassidic student who had been born and bred in the Kfar. In the middle of their studies, the chassidic student turned to the Chief Rabbi and said, “Do you know what the difference between me and you is? You think about G-d all day and I think about myself all day!” The Chief Rabbi was somewhat taken aback by this statement. He asked his study partner, “But surely you who have been raised in this isolated chassidic village and spoon fed with faith and stories of the righteous, you should be thinking about G-d all day, and I who was educated in the bastions of secular philosophy should be thinking about myself all day!” The student replied, “You failed to understand my point. You who attended university and received a degree in philosophy know that you exist; your only question is whether G-d exists, so you think about G-d all day. I, who was raised in Kfar ChaBaD, know there is a G-d, but my whole question is where I fit into the picture, and how I fulfill the will of G-d. Therefore, I think about myself all day!” I think that the educated Tenenbom is search for G-d in his travels.

This story encapsulates what Kabbalah describes as Daat Elyon (Supernal knowledge) and Daat Tachton (terrestrial knowledge). Or simply put, the view from Above and the view from below. From G-d’s perspective, He exists and we are merely an infinitesimally small manifestation of His Divine creative energy. That is Daat Elyon. His knowledge of us is knowledge of Himself. From our perspective, the Western EDUCATED ones, we and our world exist—the whole question is how G-d fits into our world. 

Tenenbom talks to Palestinians and Jews, the religious and the secular, leftists and conservatives, Bedouins and settlers, street-walker and Members of Knesset. He asks Jews what it means to be an Israeli, Palestinians what it means to live in Israel, Bedouin women what their sex life is like (and can they please invite him inside their house?), NGOs where they get their money. Though they are initially evasive, Tuvia persists, and what they tell him is amazingly revealing. What this reader finds compelling is the capturing his subjects in a lie, unexpectedly by a polite German. They are caught off guard. The biggest lie that he hears is that no Jewish state ever existed, there has never been a Jewish Temple and that “Palestinians” have been living in the land for hundred’s of thousands of years.  If it were not so sad it would be laughable.

Tuvia starts his Israeli sojourn with a visit to the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. He is puzzled by his inability as either a Jew or a Christian (he tries both identities) to visit the mosques without being denied access by Israeli police or chased away by Arabs. In contrast to other places in the world, he discovers, “Here the ones occupied, the Arabs, dictate to the occupiers, the Jews, that they, the Jews, must protect them, the Arabs, from their brethren, the other Jews, and from the Christians.” This type of insight is typical.

Among the Arabs that “Tobi the German journalist” befriends is General Jibril Rajoub, a charismatic leader jailed more than once by the Israelis for terrorism and previously head of the Palestinian Authority’s intelligence and security apparatus. Jibril invites Tobi to a Palestinian Independence Day party in Bil’in, site of ongoing protests against the separation wall and the star of the film “5 Broken Cameras.”

As it turns out, Tobi is not the only guest, and it’s not exactly a party. He mounts a bus full of European diplomats and NGO workers, some wearing Hermes scarves with their keffiyehs, which takes them to a spot guarded by a handful of Israel Defense Forces soldiers. European journalists set up their cameras in one area; Palestinians are praying in another. An imam incites the crowd, youths start to throw rocks, the soldiers do nothing. Eventually the rocks become boulders, then firebombs. Now the soldiers respond with tear gas, the cameras start to roll, and the party guests run for cover. Once the journalists have enough and begin to pack up, the “protest” ends. If I were to choose the most illuminating narrative in the book it would be this “demonstation” for the cameras.

As he travels through Palestinian towns, Tuvia learns that funding for the beautiful homes and Arab cultural centers comes from the European Union (EU), especially Germany. He visits Gerald Steinberg of the NGO Monitor research institute. Of 150 or more international NGOs operating in Israel,  many with funds from Jews in America, 50 are funded by Germany or German foundations, and all of them are pro-Palestinian. Tuvia wonders why these young Europeans are so dedicated to protecting the Palestinians from Israeli oppression.  Americans, Germans and the European Union fund the NGO’s, which is the PLO economy.

A good deal of the narrative involves Tenenbom’s description of Germany’s love of the Arabs. He joins a group of “Peace Seekers”, typical of the NGOs that are spread across the “West Bank”.  This one, with great influence,  is the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, (KAS), has as it’s stated goal, to instill love in the hearts of Arabs and Jews towards each other. They establish a neutral place for the two groups to meet. KAS rents a Jordanian Hotel for this purpose. How much the educated Christians hate the Jews surprises him. Norwegians were collaborators . 

Tuvia finds his answer as he follows a group of Italian youths touring the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum, led by an Israeli named Itamar, “a proud ex-Jew.” The educational trip has been arranged by an Italian institution in Milano and paid for by the EU. Tuvia wonders what these Europeans will think about the “Dead Jews’ Museum.” But Itamar the educator does his best to turn the World War II story into a contemporary one, by making comparisons between then and now—that is, between yesterday’s Nazis and today’s Israelis.

Thanks to their guide, at each exhibit, the Italians see the dead Jews of the camps but hear the name “Palestine.” They watch a film of Nazi officers but hear the name Israel. As Tenenbom puts it, the Europeans are “using Yad Vashem, the monument for millions of Jews slaughtered at their hands, as a platform for poisonous propaganda against the survivors of their butchery.”

“Catch the Jew!” is filled with such realizations, small and large. It is at once a breezily written travelogue and a voyage through the political landscape, spotted with ideological landmines at every step. Even if you think you know everything there is to know about Israel, you’ll meet people you never knew existed and you’ll have fun getting to know them. But beware: in June, Tuvia told, he will be starting his research for a new book—about the U.S.

“Catch the Jew!” by Tuvia Tenenbom, Gefen Publishing House, February 2015, 484 pages, $24.95.

A Guide to drying fruit in your oven by P. Kendall and J. Sofos* (6/12) Colorado State

Dried Fruit

Drying is a creative way to preserve foods and use home-grown fruit, extra produce (e.g., ripe bananas) and produce from the Shuk. Like all methods of preservation, drying causes some nutrient loss. Nutritional changes that occur during drying include:

  • Calorie content: does not change, but is concentrated into a smaller mass as moisture is removed.
  • Fiber: no change.
  • Vitamin A: fairly well retained under controlled heat methods.
  • Vitamin C: pretreatment with ascorbic acid or lemon juices enhances levels of vitamin C, though loss will occur during drying.
  • Thiamin, riboflavin, niacin: fairly good retention.
  • Minerals: fairly good retention.
  • For best retention of nutrients in dried foods, store in a cool, dark, dry place and use within a year.

Selecting and Pretreating Fruits

Select fresh and fully ripened fruits. Immature produce lacks flavor and color. Over mature produce can be tough and fibrous or soft and mushy. Drying does not improve food quality. See Table 1 for approximate yields of dried fruits.

Thoroughly wash and clean fruits to remove dirt. Sort and discard any fruit that shows decay, bruises, or mold. Such defects can affect all foods being dried.

Pretreating fruits prior to drying is highly recommended. Pretreating helps keep light-colored fruits from darkening during drying and storage and it speeds the drying of fruits with tough skins, such as grapes and cherries. Research studies have shown that pretreating with an acidic solution or sodium metabisulfite dip also enhances the destruction of potentially harmful bacteria during drying, including Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella species and Listeria monocytogenes. Several methods can be used.

Ascorbic Acid Pretreatment

Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is an antioxidant that keeps fruit from darkening and enhances destruction of bacteria during drying. Pure crystals usually are available at supermarkets and drug stores. Stir 2 1/2 tablespoons (34 grams) of pure ascorbic acid crystals into one quart (1000 milliliters) of cold water. For smaller batches prepare a solution using 3 3/4 teaspoons (17 grams) of pure ascorbic acid crystals per 2 cups of cold water. Vitamin C tablets can be crushed and used (six 500 milligram tablets equal 1 teaspoon ascorbic acid). One quart of solution treats about 10 quarts of cut fruit. Cut peeled fruit directly in ascorbic acid solution. Soak for 10 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon, drain well and dehydrate. Commercial antioxidant mixtures are not as effective as ascorbic acid but are more readily available in grocery stores. Follow directions on the container for fresh cut fruit.

Citric Acid or Lemon Juice Pretreatment

Citric acid or lemon juice may also be used as antidarkening and antimicrobial pretreatments. Prepare the citric acid solution by stirring 1 teaspoon (5 grams) of citric acid into one quart (1000 milliliters) of cold water. For the lemon juice solution, mix equal parts of lemon juice and cold water (i.e., 1 cup lemon juice and 1 cup water). Cut the peeled fruit directly into the citric acid or lemon juice solution. Allow to soak 10 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon, drain well and dehydrate. Citric acid is often available in the canning section of the supermarket.

Sodium Metabisulfite Pretreatment

Sulfur and sulfite compounds have been used for centuries to prevent discoloration and reduce spoilage during the preparation, dehydration, storage, and distribution of many foods. However, sulfites may initiate asthmatic reactions in some people, especially those with asthma. As a result, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned the use of sulfites on fresh fruits and vegetables for sale or served raw to consumers. They are still used as an antimicrobial agent and to help preserve the color of some dried fruit products.

If you choose to use a sulfiting agent, use U.S.P. (food grade) or Reagent Grade sodium metabisulfite, not Practical Grade. Sodium metabisulfite is often available at pharmacies or where wine-making supplies are sold. Stir 1 tablespoon (21 grams) sodium metabisulfite into one quart (1000 milliliters) of cold water. Cut the peeled fruit directly into the sodium metabisulfite solution. Allow to soak 10 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon, drain well and dehydrate. Due to health and safety concerns, do not use burning sulfur to pretreat fruits for drying.

Caution: Pretreating with sodium metabisulfite is not recommended if you or others who will be consuming the dried fruit have known sulfite sensitivity.

Cracking Skins

Fruits such as grapes, prunes, small dark plums, cherries, figs, and firm berries have tough skins with a wax-like coating. To allow inside moisture to evaporate, crack or “check” skins before drying whole fruits. To crack skins, dip fruit in briskly boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds, then dip in very cold water. Drain on absorbent towels before placing on drying trays.

Table 1. Yield of dried fruits
Amount purchased or picked Amount dried product
Produce Pounds Pounds Pints
Apples 12 1 1/4 3
Grapes 12 2 3
Peaches 12 1 to 1 1/2 2 to 3
Pears 14 1 1/2 3
Tomatoes 14 1/2 2 1/2 to 3

Drying Trays

Drying trays can be simple or complex, purchased or built. Good air circulation without reaction between food and trays is most important. For small amounts of food and trial runs, cheesecloth or synthetic curtain netting stretched over oven racks, cake racks, broiler racks or cookie sheets work well. Attach with clothes pins. For large quantities of food, use shallow wooden or plastic trays with slatted, perforated or woven bottoms.

If preparing your own trays, do not use galvanized screening for tray bottoms. It has been treated with zinc and cadmium, which can cause a harmful reaction when in contact with acid foods. Other metals such as aluminum also are not advisable because they may discolor and corrode with use. If used, line with cheesecloth or synthetic curtain netting to keep food from touching the metal. A liner also helps keep foods from sticking to trays and prevents pieces of food from falling through.

Wash trays in hot, sudsy water with a stiff brush. Rinse in clear water and air dry thoroughly before and after each use. A light coat of fresh vegetable oil or nonstick substance helps protect wood slats and makes cleaning easier.

If trays are used in an oven, they should be 1 1/2 inches smaller in length and width than the oven dimensions to allow for good air circulation. When stacking trays, place blocks of wood 2 inches or higher between trays.

Drying Methods

Arrange pretreated fruits on drying trays in single layers, pit cavity up. Dry at 140 degrees F (60°C) in an oven or dehydrator. The length of time needed to dry fruits will depend on the size of the pieces being dried, humidity and the amount of air circulation in the dehydrator or oven. Thinner slices and smaller pieces will dry more quickly than larger, thicker pieces or whole fruits. Also, products will generally dry more quickly in convection ovens or electric dehydrators than in conventional ovens. At a drying temperature of 140 degrees F, plan on about 6 hours for thin apple slices to 36 hours for peach halves. If possible, stir food and turn large pieces over every 3 to 4 hours during the drying period. Fruits scorch easily toward the end of drying. Therefore, it’s best to turn the power off when drying is almost complete and open the door wide for an additional hour before removing pieces.

Testing for Dryness

Dry fruits enough to prevent microbial growth and subsequent spoilage. Dried fruits should be leathery and pliable. See Table 2 for dryness test on individual fruits. To test foods for dryness, remove a few pieces and let cool to room temperature. When warm or hot, fruits seem more soft, moist and pliable than they actually are. Squeeze a handful of the fruit. If no moisture is left on the hand and pieces spring apart when released, they are dry.

Post-Drying Treatment

Conditioning. When drying is complete, some pieces will be moister than others due to their size and placement during drying. Conditioning is a process used to evenly distribute the minimal residual moisture throughout all pieces. This reduces the chance of spoilage, especially from mold. To condition, place cooled, dried fruit loosely in large plastic or glass containers, about two-thirds full. Lightly cover and store in a warm, dry, well-ventilated place for four to 10 days. Stir or shake containers daily to separate pieces. If beads of moisture form inside, return food to drying trays for further drying, then repeat the conditioning step.

Packaging and Storage

After conditioning, pack cooled, dried foods in small amounts in dry, scalded glass jars (preferably dark) or in moisture- and vaporproof freezer containers, boxes or bags. Label packages with name of product, date and method of pretreatment and drying. Tightly seal containers to prevent reabsorption of moisture or entry of insects. Store in a cool, dry, dark place or in the refrigerator or freezer. Properly stored, dried fruits keep well for six to 12 months. Discard foods that have off odors or show signs of mold.

Using Dried Fruits

Dried fruits are a great snack, being convenient and easy to pack no matter the season or activity. Dried fruits can also be added to granola or hot cereals, salads, pilafs, meat dishes and much more.

To cook dried fruit, cover with boiling water and simmer covered until tender (about 15 minutes). If needed, sweeten to taste near the end of cooking or after removing from heat. Most dried fruits need no extra sweetening. If desired, add a few grains of salt to help bring out the fruit’s natural sweetness, or add a little lemon, orange or grapefruit juice just before serving. This helps give fruits a fresh flavor and adds vitamin C.

To reconstitute fruit for use in a cooked dish, such as a pie, place it in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak until tender and liquid is absorbed (one hour or longer). Thinly sliced fruits may not require soaking before using in cooked dishes.

Reconstituted or dried fruits are excellent in cobblers, breads, pies, puddings, gelatin salads, milk shakes and cooked cereals. Any liquid that remains after soaking can be used as part of the water needed in the recipe.

Table 2 Steps for drying fruit
Fruit Drying Procedure
Apples Select mature, firm apples. Wash well. Pare and core. Cut in rings or slices 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick or cut in quarters or eighths. Dip in ascorbic acid or other antidarkening/antimicrobial solution for 10 minutes. Remove from solution and drain well. Arrange in single layer on trays, pit side up. Dry until soft, pliable, and leathery; no moist area in center when cut (6-24 hours).
Apricots Select firm, fully ripe fruit. Wash well. Cut in half and remove pit. Do not peel. Dip in ascorbic acid or other antidarkening/antimicrobial solution for 10 minutes. Remove from solution and drain well. Arrange in single layer on trays, pit side up with cavity popped up to expose more flesh to the air. Dry until soft, pliable, and leathery; no moist area in center when cut (24-36 hours).
Bananas Select firm, ripe fruit. Peel. Cut in 1/8 inch slices. Dip in citric acid or other antidarkening/antimicrobial solution for 10 minutes. Remove and drain well. Arrange in single layer on trays. Dry until tough and leathery (6-10 hours).
Berries Select firm ripe fruit. Wash well. Leave whole or cut in half. For berries with firm skins, dip in boiling water 30 seconds to crack skins. For berries with soft skins (strawberries), dip in ascorbic acid or other antimicrobial solution for 10 minutes. Remove and drain well. Place on drying trays not more than two berries deep. Dry until hard and berries rattle when shaken on trays (24-36 hours).
Cherries Select fully ripe fruit. Wash well. Remove stems and pits. Dip whole cherries in boiling water 30 seconds to crack skins. May also dip in ascorbic acid or other antimicrobial solution for 10 minutes. Remove and drain well. Arrange in single layer on trays. Dry until tough, leathery, and slightly sticky (24-36 hours).
Citrus peel Select thick-skinned oranges without mold or decay and no color added to skin. Scrub oranges well with brush under cool running water. Thinly peel outer 1/16 to 1/8 inch of the peel; avoid white bitter part. Dip in ascorbic acid or other antimicrobial solution for 10 minutes. Remove from solution and drain well. Arrange in single layers on trays. Dry until crisp (8-12 hours).
Figs Select fully ripe fruit. Wash or clean well with damp towel. Peel if desired. Leave whole if small or partly dried on tree; cut large figs in halves or slices. If drying whole figs, crack skins by dipping in boiling water for 30 seconds. For cut figs, dip in ascorbic acid or other antimicrobial solution for 10 minutes. Remove and drain. Arrange in single layers on trays. Dry until leathery and pliable (12-24 hours).
Grapes and Black Currants Select seedless varieties. Wash, sort, remove stems. Cut in half or leave whole. If drying whole, crack skins by dipping in boiling water for 30 seconds. If halved, dip in ascorbic acid or other antimicrobial solution for 10 minutes. Drain. Dry until pliable and leathery with no moist center (12-24 hours).
Melons Select mature, firm fruits that are heavy for their size; cantaloupe dries better than watermelon. Scrub outer surface well with brush under cool running water. Remove outer skin, any fibrous tissue and seeds. Cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick slices. Dip in ascorbic acid or other antimicrobial solution for 10 minutes. Remove and drain. Arrange in single layer on trays. Dry until leathery and pliable with no pockets of moisture (6-10 hours).
Nectarines and Peaches Select ripe, firm fruit. Wash and peel. Cut in half and remove pit. Cut in quarters or slices if desired. Dip in citric acid or other antidarkening/antimicrobial solution for 10 minutes. Remove and drain well. Arrange in single layer on trays pit side up. Turn halves over when visible juice disappears. Dry until leathery and somewhat pliable (6-36 hours).
Pears Select ripe, firm fruit. Bartlett variety is recommended. Wash fruit well. Pare, if desired. Cut in half lengthwise and core. Cut in quarters, eighths, or slices 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick. Dip in citric acid or other antidarkening/ antimicrobial solution for 10 minutes. Remove and drain. Arrange in single layer on trays pit side up. Dry until springy and suede-like with no pockets of moisture (6-10 hours for slices; 24-36 hours for halves).
Plums and prunes Wash well. Leave whole if small; cut large fruit into halves (pit removed) or slices. If left whole, crack skins in boiling water 1 to 2 minutes. If cut in half, dip in ascorbic acid or other antimicrobial solution for 10 minutes. Remove and drain. Arrange in single layer on trays pit side up, cavity popped out. Dry until pliable and leathery (6-10 hours for slices; 24-36 hours for halves).


Almond cheese From About Food

    • 1 cup whole raw unsalted almonds, skin removed (see notes about blanching and/or soaking almonds below)
    • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup water
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings of cheese

The First Step: Blanching and/or Soaking Almonds

Blanched almonds are almonds with the skin removed. You can buy blanched almonds or do it yourself. First, pour boiling water over the almonds and let the almonds soak for a few minutes. Drain and rinse the almonds then rub the almonds with a towel or just use your fingers to peel and pop the skin off.

Removing the skin before making almond cheese gives the cheese a smoother texture and lighter color that looks like cheese.

However, you can make the cheese with the skin on if you prefer.

Next, most recipes for homemade almond cheese call for soaking the blanched almonds in cold water for 24 hours before making the cheese. I have made this cheese with almonds that I soaked and with almonds that were un-soaked and noticed very little difference in the final product. The cheese made with soaked almonds was perhaps slightly creamier. So why bother soaking the almonds?

It is thought that soaking almonds ( and soaking other nuts and seeds) makes them easier to digest and makes it easier to absorb their nutrients. If you choose to soak the almonds before making this recipe, begin the night before. Place the almonds in a glass bowl or jar and cover completely with water. Cover the bowl or jar and refrigerate for 24 hours. Drain and rinse the almonds well.

Making the Lactose Free Almond Cheese

Put the almonds in a food processor or high-powered blender with the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and water. Blend until very smooth. This will take awhile, about 5 minutes.

Scrape the mixture into double-layered cheesecloth lining a colander. Gather the cheesecloth tightly around the almond mixture and secure into a bundle by using a rubber band or string to tie the top. Give the bundle a few gentle squeezes to remove liquid.

Leave the bundle in the colander and place in the refrigerator overnight over a bowl or rimmed plate to catch any liquid that might drain.

Refrigerate for at least 12 hours. This helps the texture of the cheese become firmer.

Discard any liquid that drains out. Carefully peel the cheesecloth off of the almond “cheese”. The “cheese” will have a consistency similar to cookie dough.

At this point, the almond cheese can be eaten as a spread or it can be gently shaped into a round about 3/4-inch thick and baked at 300 F for 30-40 minutes. After baking, the top will be dry and slightly firm. The inside will still be creamy.

Flavoring the Cheese

The cheese can be flavored by adding seasonings such as fresh garlic, fresh herbs and spices. Some recipes flavor the cheese with nutritional yeast. You can add these ingredients at the beginning when you are blending ingredients in the food processor or blender. You can also drizzle olive oil and fresh herbs over the almond cheese after it bakes.



Be vigilant while cleaning celery root, otherwise it can be a bit stringy.



Celery root replaces potatoes in our detox version of vichyssoise (but any root vegetable will do). This simple soup can easily be made vegan with vegetable stock.


1 medium leeks, white and light green part only

2 tablespoons olive oil

half head cauliflower

3 garlic cloves

1 teaspoon thyme leaves

1 medium piece celery root, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces (about 1 pound)

2 ½ cups chicken (or vegetable) stock

1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice

1. Cut the leeks in half, and rinse very well, then cut into 1/3 inch slices. Sauté leeks in olive oil with a pinch of salt for about 10 minutes, until tender but not browned. Add garlic and thyme, and sauté 3 more minutes.

2. Add celery root, a pinch of salt, and a generous grinding of black pepper.

3. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until the celery root can be easily pierced with a knife.

4. Blend in a powerful blender until very smooth.

5. Add lemon juice and taste for seasoning.


Post 115; Our creepy neighbors. Some precautions, keep cool with cooling soups.Leek beet green soup, Red Cabbage Sauerkraut from fermentation, Cauliflower thyme Soup, Eat Pickled food without salt to cool yourself in the heat

 I was considered cool by my daughter’s friends. After all, I write a blog, I keep in shape by jumping rope with a boxer’s 4 pound rope. Until, until I volunteered some cautious advise. Children by and large don’t have the opportunity to roam more that a block or two from home without a parent tracking them. In Jerusalem a teenage has a lot of “space”. By pre-teen they are riding the buses and the lite-rail unescorted.

I made a comment that her front enclosed yard of huge cacti, magnolia trees potted plants and fake grass could harbor during a Chamsin, a snake. I could see by her tact and politeness that she thought that I was some kind of nut, like Fanya, in A Tale of Love and Darkness, by Amos Oz, who scrubs the young boy of imaginary infestations. What’s so terrible about walking around your yard and looking under pots, and cautioning your kids to keep their sticky fingers out of empty dark spaces.


The photo contains a harmless salamander. However, beware of the bites and stings of snakes and scorpions whose poison is overflowing after their long winter slumber, Magen David Adom reports each summer season.. In the last few weeks, MDA teams have repeatedly been called to give first aid to victims of these reptiles, attacked in tall grass, crevices or when rocks are moved. The most recent case was a 16-year-old girl from a settlement in Samaria who was bitten by a snake on Saturday night. After initial treatment, she was taken to Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petah Tikva and hospitalized in serious condition. The Eretz Yisrael viper is found all over the country, while other poisonous species are usually confined to the Negev. When they awake from their winter hibernation, they are very hungry and have produced large amounts of poison, the better to kill their victims. MDA urges that people wear high-topped shoes and long pants when they enter areas with tall grasses and rocks. In gardens, such areas should be cleaned, with unnecessary objects removed so snakes and scorpions do not hide near them. When camping, shake out clothing, shoes, sleeping bags and tents to remove any dangerous creatures. In the event of a bite, calm the victim and lay him on the ground so he can be motionless in order to slow the spread of the toxin. Call MDA on 101 immediately. Never suck the toxin from the wound and do not cut the skin to remove it. Do not use a tourniquet or cool the area; this can cause more damage. Do not give the victim alcohol. Take a photo of the snake and its skin pattern, so it will be easier for the hospital staffers to identify it and determine if it is poisonous. Do not try to catch it. There are 21 varieties of dangerous scorpions in the country, MDA said. The riskiest are the yellow ones and the black ones with large tails. The toxin works directly on the human neurological system. The victim of a scorpion bite quickly develops sharp pain, swelling, redness, a quick pulse, seating and vomiting. Keep the victim as quiet as possible and do not let him move. Call MDA and do what the duty officer advises until the ambulance arrives.  Do not walk barefoot or stick your hand into holes or cracks.

If bitten by a snake, do not panic. Half of people bitten by venomous snakes are not actually injected with poison (envenomed). Immobilise the bitten limb with a splint (eg a stick) and apply a bandage over the site with firm pressure, similar to a bandage over a sprain. Do not apply a tourniquet, or cut or suck the bite. Get the victim to medical help as soon as possible so that antivenene can be given if necessary.

Read more:


Beet Greens Soup-Great cold for a picnic

  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 leek, diced
  • 1 small fennel bulb – white parts diced
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • Stems and leaves from one bunch of beets, chopped

Golden Beet Greens

Add above in soup pot until soft, about 10 minutes.  Just until the vegetables sweat.

Then add the beet greens, roughly chopped, large pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper.

Stir, then add 6 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock.  Bring the soup to a boil and turn off the heat.  Greens should be just wilted.  Then carefully purée in a blender until it reaches the consistency that you want.  Season with more salt and fresh black pepper.  Eat hot or cold — delicious!!

I just made this tonight from my box.  Sooooo good, didn’t have fennel, so just left it out and it was fine.


Red Cabbage Sauerkraut from fermentation

purple cabbage-2

This sauerkraut recipe has become my staple, my “go-to” kraut.  It’s a very simple ferment to make and comes out very satisfying to the palate.  I’ve also learned that red cabbage has significantly stronger health-generating capacities than green cabbage.  Aside from having 6-8x the vitamin C equivalent of green cabbage and powerful probiotic content, the deep color of red cabbage reflects a strong concentration of anthocyanin polyphenols, which have health benefits including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capacities.  Cabbage, especially in its raw fermented form is also revered by some as beneficial in supporting the treatment of ulcers and other stomach and digestive related issues.Although I’ve been vacillating as to whether to call this fermentation recipe purple cabbage sauerkraut or red cabbage sauerkraut, one thing is clear from my perspective, it’s delicious!Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Fermentation time: 10-21 days (some leave it to ferment for up to 6 weeks)
Yield: 2 quarts
2 heads red cabbage
2T salt/ use vinegar
1 1/2T juniper berries
1T carroway seeds                      Directions:

  1. Begin by removing the outer leaves of the cabbage it they are looking a little sketchy. If they look fine, you should at least wash them off a little to remove potential contaminants.
  2. purple cabbage-1Chop the cabbage. I prefer to cut it in fat ribbons about 3/8 – 1/2″ wide.  No need to grate it.  I compost the dense nub that remains at it’s base.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the sliced cabbage with the salt and let sit for 30-60 minutes until it starts to sweat.
  4. Mix in the juniper berries and carroway seeds and place everything including any liquid at the bottom of the bowl into a fermenting vessel.  I prefer using a 1 gallon glass cookie jar.
  5. Press down very hard using your fists or other implement. You’ll notice that you can squeeze out a little liquid which will pool at the bottom. After you tire of compressing it, place something with some weight on top of the cabbage to effectively continue pressuring the cabbage while you are resting. I prefer a 1/2 gallon glass jar filled with water.  The salt will help to leach liquid from the cabbage.
  6. Compress with your fist a few more times over the next hour or two and try to get the liquid level up higher. Your goal is to have the liquid cover the cabbage completely to provide an anaerobic environment within which the fermentation can take place.
  7. If, after several hours or overnight, you can’t get the liquid level high enough, add some water (without chlorine please) to cover by at least 1″.  Stir well to equalize the salinity level.
  8. Place the weight on it.  A half-gallon glass jar is fine, but I’ve started using a clear plastic bag filled halfway with water and tied closed while allowing the bag to remain loose (not like how they fill the bag tightly when you buy a goldfish).  You can place that loose bag of water (make sure it doesn’t have any leaks) into your fermenting vessel and allow it to settle in and take the shape of the vessel.  In that way, a nice seal is made around the edge to keep oxygen and other potential contaminants out.
  9. purple cabbage-4Cover with a clean towel and let it sit for 2-3 weeks. Feel free to taste it every few days to gauge the progress of the fermentation flavor.
  10. Once it gets a nice tangy flavor, place it in the refrigerator.  I prefer to place in mason jars first so they are ready to hand over as gifts as desired.  The fermentation should take about 10 days or so but that will vary with room temperature and other factors.

Great as a side dish, tossed into a green salad, in a tortilla or dosa with almond/cashew butter and avocado, or on a veggie burger, or heaven forbid on one of those nasty kielbasas which squirt you in the eye when bitten.



 roasted cauliflower soup recipeCauliflower thyme Soup


4 cups cauliflower florets
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
Cooking spray
1 1/2 cups chopped leek (2 medium)
3/4 cup chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
8 fresh thyme sprigs = 1 teaspoon ground dried thymeIf your recipe calls for tablespoons of fresh thyme instead of sprigs, you can use the ratio 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme equals about 3/4 teaspoon of dried thyme.Source:
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free  broth/I use homemade
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 3/4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk (omit and add more broth)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (can omit)


1. Preheat oven to 400°.2. Combine cauliflower and 2 teaspoons oil in a bowl, tossing gently to coat. Spread cauliflower in a 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan lined with baking paper, coat with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally.3. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leek, celery, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add roasted cauliflower and thyme; sauté 1 minute. Add broth, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; cool 15 minutes.4. Place half of cauliflower mixture in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Return purée to pan.. Add additional broth. Stir with a whisk; add to pan. Bring to a simmer, and cook 3 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly with a whisk.


 Gretchen Brown
Oxmoor House Healthy Eating Collection,Oxmoor House

Post 114: Enjoying two Mitzvot at the same time; a morning at Oz V’Gaon admiring the dedication of Women in Green and the restoration of part of the park by friends of the Bar Mitzvah boy from Elazar, and Easy lentil Soup with Juicing Tips, A Perfect drink to take in a thermos on a short trip to Oz V’ Gaon.

I arrived with a group of Women in Green supporters on Friday, May 15th, at 9:00 AM,
to Oz veGaon. Many of the speakers share a common love for Jerusalem.Jerusalem is the essence of their life. They lives here, teach here,
renew a Jewish presence here. The rest of the time they collect
fragments of Jerusalem memories. Something like what I do in my blog.However, today a Bar MItzvah was in progress and the shouting often over-rode the words of our speaker. The boy was from Elazar.

Elazar (Hebrew: אֶלְעָזָר) is an Israeli settlement in the Judean Hills region of the West Bank, 18 kilometers south of Jerusalem in the Gush Etzion cluster of settlements. A communal settlement, it has around a settlement population of 1,700  composed of 450 families. It is administered by the Gush Etzion Regional Council. The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal under international law, although the Israeli government disputes this.  However, the international community can’t prevent a bar mitzvah boy  from having a blast.

On a clear Friday morning at 9:AM the party was in full swing. The caterers must have been working in the dark!


This past week at Oz V’Gaon I took notice of this event. It struck me as special by the size of the crowd (300) and the attention to detail. In the spring I had attended one of the first Bar Mitzvahs  held in the park. The tables had been set up along a long unshaded stretch. The pebbles and gravel underfoot made walking around to greet friends a task and a half.

Fast Forward to May 15th, a bright spring morning:
The earth has been tamped down. There is shade and space to walk around.
The May 15th bar mitzvah was set up on a huge flat area near the entrance. The area  with a platform didn’t exist last week. Well, let’s say the layout used the protruding rocks for a platform.
I learned that the bar mitzvah boy’s friends from Elezar had leveled the area. Last week there was only rubble. Extraordinary: They are holding court in the front row. They spent days and days smoothing out the area. Otherwise there would have mot been a place to sit.
The seating arrangements: looks like the classmates helped with these too.
The photo gallery displays the boy’s efforts at clearing the area. The Director of Oz V’ Gaon, Ruth Matar, offers the facility for simchot. The Baal Simcha gives a donation to the park which can be funds for a special item or supplies.
Anyway, I want to get my facts straight.
The caterers were Caramel. They wore green golf shirts, I presume also from Elezar.
I’ve got lot’s of tactical questions to ask Elyasaf Sussman of Caramel Caterers.
Look at all the paraphernalia that was brought: table to floor tablecloths, paraffin heated food trays, matching checkerboard sets for all the the tables.
The park did not supply the lounge furniture, which was brought with the mats  by the caterers.  Looks like a private party in a reserve. And you know what that would cost in the states!


 Elyasaf Sussman () Fax: shlomzion 305 elazar, gush etzion 99999.
That’s a very interesting zip code. If you write it .99999 you are as perfectly close to 1 as you can get.

072-325-1379 Caramel Caterers


Easy lentil Soup (


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium celery stalk, small dice
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and small dice
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, small dice
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth-I have at home on hand,
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes with their juices
  • 1 1/4 cups lentils (any color except red), rinsed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar, (I use balsamic vinegar)
  • 2 ounces spinach leaves (about 1/2 a bunch) I use frozen
  • Total Time: 1 hr
  • Makes: 6 servings
  • Lentil soup recipes can range from super hearty to watery and tasteless.
  •  Instructions Easy lentil Soup

Continue reading Post 114: Enjoying two Mitzvot at the same time; a morning at Oz V’Gaon admiring the dedication of Women in Green and the restoration of part of the park by friends of the Bar Mitzvah boy from Elazar, and Easy lentil Soup with Juicing Tips, A Perfect drink to take in a thermos on a short trip to Oz V’ Gaon.

Post 113: A comparison of salt content in pickled and roasted vegetable recipes, Molukhia in Arabic, but its technical term is Jews Mallow

I love sitting down at an Iraqi restaurant  and being served a dish of Spicy pickled vegetables.This recipe calls for 3 Tablespoons of salt. OY! The discussion today is a comparison of Hamutzim recipes. I am experimenting. The goal is to get a tasty treat without the salt.

Salt vs. Sodium Equivalents

Sodium chloride or table salt is approximately 40% sodium. Understand just how much sodium is in salt so you can take measures to control your intake. These amounts are approximate.

1/4 teaspoon salt = 575 mg sodium
1/2 teaspoon salt = 1,150 mg sodium
3/4 teaspoon salt = 1,725 mg sodium
1 teaspoon salt = 2,300 mg sodium

3 teaspoons salt = 1 Tablespoon = 6,900 mg sodium! Ouch!




Copyright © Lauren Wilner and My Jerusalem Kitchen 2011

Hamutzim (pronounced: khawm-ooo-tzeem) are the Israeli version with the plate of bread that comes before your meal at a restaurant. And they are insanely addictive. They usually accompany hummus or go inside a falafel, though sometimes hamutzim merely refers to the bowl of cut up pickles and onion that can also accompany a bowl of hummus, instead of this version, which is cauliflower, cabbage, carrot and red bell pepper.

This recipe comes from Roni, a very nice man in the Iraqi shuk at Mahaneh Yehuda market, who sells large to-go containers but was generous enough to share his recipe with  as well as his phone number in case I ran into any problems. Roni also sells olives and amba (pickled mango), and I (the writer, Lauren) met him a few weeks back When asked for a recipe for amba  he laughed in her face. Guess it’s really hard to make?

“Thanks to my friend Amira’s Iraqi grandmother, as soon as mangoes are in season here, I’m going to take a stab at it. And then I’ll go laugh in Roni’s face. Nevertheless, I was shocked at the likeness of these. They are exactly what I eat in the restaurant. Add them to your salad, eat them with meat, munch on them, stick them in a sandwich or falafel, or enjoy them with some hummus. I’m salivating and going back for more right now.” ( That’s what salt overload will do to you).

Makes about 6 cups

What you need:

One head of cauliflower; leaves removed and florets separated and cut small

5 leaves of cabbage; coarsely chopped into 1″ x 1″ squares or 2″ x 2″

2 small red bell peppers or 1 large red bell pepper; cut into 1″ squares and small strips for variety

1 carrot; cut on a bias

10-12 bay leaves

3 tsp amba spice mix – At an Indian or Middle Eastern spice store, it may be called “Amchur/Amchoor.” Alternately, pull together some ground mustard seeds, chili powder, hot paprika, and a little cumin. But FYI, I’ve made this without the spice mix and it’s still good.

1 tsp turmeric

a pinch of ground pepper

1 tsp peppercorns–the big ones (about 25-30)

3 tbsp salt ridiculously high-need an alternative. I would substitute crushed juniper berries.

8 c water

2 c white vinegar

How to do it:

Cut the vegetables into slices and disassemble the cauliflower into little florets. Wash the vegetables and transfer them to a large pot. Add the water and vinegar and cook until water boils. Once it boils, turn off the heat, move the pot to another burner, add the spices and cover. Allow to sit for at least two hours on the counter. Transfer to a jar and secure tightly. Enjoy!

Copyright © Lauren Wilner and My Jerusalem Kitchen 2011 – present. All rights reserved. The content and images contained on my My Jerusalem Kitchen may not be used without my express and written permission. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lauren Wilner and My Jerusalem Kitchen with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 Although this one looks fabulous, I am putting it on hold

Seasoning Alternatives to salt – Spice it up!

There is a rich world of creative and flavorful alternatives to salt. Get started with this guide to spices, herbs and flavorings and the food items with which they are a particularly good flavor match. Then get creative and experiment!

Here are some seasonings to add variety:

Allspice:Lean ground meats, stews, tomatoes, peaches, applesauce, cranberry sauce, gravies, lean meat

  • Almond extract: Puddings, fruits
  • Basil: Fish, lamb, lean ground meats, stews, salads, soups, sauces, fish cocktails
  • Bay leaves: Lean meats, stews, poultry, soups, tomatoes
  • Caraway seeds: Lean meats, stews, soups, salads, breads, cabbage, asparagus, noodles
  • Chives: Salads, sauces, soups, lean meat dishes, vegetables
  • Cider vinegar: Salads, vegetables, sauces
  • Cinnamon: Fruits (especially apples), breads, pie crusts
  • Curry powder: Lean meats (especially lamb), veal, chicken, fish, tomatoes, tomato soup, mayonnaise Careful Curry powder is a mixture and contains salt.
  • Dill: Fish sauces, soups, tomatoes, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, cucumbers, potatoes, salads, macaroni, lean beef, lamb, chicken, fish
  • Garlic (not garlic salt): Lean meats, fish, soups, salads, vegetables, tomatoes, potatoes
  • Ginger: Chicken, fruits
  • Lemon juice: Lean meats, fish, poultry, salads, vegetables
  • Mace: Hot breads, apples, fruit salads, carrots, cauliflower, squash, potatoes, veal, lamb
  • Mustard (dry): Lean ground meats, lean meats, chicken, fish, salads, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, mayonnaise, sauces
  • Nutmeg: Fruits, pie crust, lemonade, potatoes, chicken, fish, lean meat loaf, toast, veal, pudding
  • Onion powder (not onion salt): Lean meats, stews, vegetables, salads, soups
  • Paprika: Lean meats, fish, soups, salads, sauces, vegetables
  • Parsley: Lean meats, fish, soups, salads, sauces, vegetables
  • Peppermint extract: Puddings, fruits
  • Pimiento: Salads, vegetables, casserole dishes
  • Rosemary: Chicken, veal, lean meat loaf, lean beef, lean pork, sauces, stuffings, potatoes, peas, lima beans
  • Sage: Lean meats, stews, biscuits, tomatoes, green beans, fish, lima beans, onions, lean pork
  • Savory: Salads, lean pork, lean ground meats, soups, green beans, squash, tomatoes, lima beans, peas
  • Thyme: Lean meats (especially veal and lean pork), sauces, soups, onions, peas, tomatoes, salads
  • Turmeric: Lean meats, fish, sauces, rice

Giardiniera (Mixed Pickled Vegetables) I didn’t have the Habanero peppers, so put this one also on the side.

  • Yield : 3 Quarts
  • Servings : 24
  • Prep Time : 10m
  • Cook Time : 10m
  • Ready In : 48:20 h

This no-salt take on an Italian classic is sure to be a hit.  Use these pickled veggies in salads, sandwiches, or as a tasty snack all on their own.  This giardiniera is very spicy!  If you prefer a little less heat, swap out the habanero peppers for 1/2 cup of banana peppers (or any other pepper that you prefer) cut into 1/4-inch rings.  Feel free to experiment with different vegetables, adding your own personal favorites!

This recipes is intended to make one 3-quart jar of pickled vegetables.  If you don’t have a 3-quart jar, use three 1-quart jars, or reduce the recipe by one third.  A serving size is 1/2 cup.

This recipe should not be used for pressure or hot water canning.  These pickles will keep in the refrigerator for up to eight weeks.  The pickles are ready to eat after pickling for two days, but the flavor gets better (and spicier) after a week or more.

Ingredients: No salt Hamutzim-I made this one. I think the dish would have worked with less vinegar.


  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar/ can use a substitute such as rice malt.
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 3 sprigs fresh dill
  • 3 sprigs fennel fronds
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups cauliflower florets, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 dozen pearl onions, peeled/ or red onions sliced
  • 6 habenero peppers, whole-using sliced peppers from the shuk
  • IMG_20150512_194428
    these are the dried peppers that i used- only two
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into halves (lengthwise)
  • 2 cups celery, cut on a bias into 1 1/2 to 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup carrots, cut on a bias into 1/2 inch slices
  • 2 cups fresh baby corn/or sliced corn off the con
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper corns
  • 6 crushed juniper berries.


Step 1

Combine sugar substitute, water, and vinegar in a small saucepan. Add onions, garlic, mustard, and black pepper corns to the saucepan. Pierce the habanero/dried  peppers once on each side with paring knife and add to saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium heat to bring to low boil. Boil mixture for 5 minutes and then remove from heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Step 2

Blanch the remaining vegetables.  This is necessary because you are not using salt to penetrate.. Makes the job longer. To blanch, bring a large stew pot of water to a rolling boil. Add carrots to the stew pot. Set a timer for 5 minutes. When there are 4 minutes remaining on the timer, add the cauliflower. When there are two minutes remaining on the timer, add celery and baby corn. Once the timer stops, immediately remove all vegetables and place them in ice water. Once cool, drain the vegetables to remove excess water.

Step 3

Strain the vinegar mixture and add the onions, garlic, peppers, and spices to the blanched vegetable mix (does not have to be completely cooled). Line the jar with a layer of the fresh herbs. Mix well and then pack the medley into a 3-quart jar. Pour the vinegar mixture over the vegetables to cover completely. Place the jar in the refrigerator and let sit for at least two days.I hope that this works. I still have about half left.

My lovely Hamutzim jar

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Vegetables-least salt

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Vegetables recipe

Serves four.

  • by Ellie Krieger from Fine Cooking
    Issue 102

When you think of vegetables as a major player on your plate—more of a main course than a side—suddenly they merit more attention and creativity, but that doesn’t mean they need to be difficult. This dish is simple, fragrant, and delicious.

  • 5 medium carrots, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 2 small red onions, each cut into 8 wedges (trim the root end but leave intact to hold layers together)
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 11/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1-1/2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme

Position a rack in the center of the oven, put a rimmed baking sheet on the rack, and heat the oven to 450°F.

In a large bowl, toss the carrots, onions, bell peppers, and squash with 1 Tbs. of the oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables on the hot baking sheet in a single layer and roast until tender, 30 to 35 minutes.

Heat the remaining 1 Tbs. oil in an 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the spices and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the honey and thyme and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Drizzle the spice mixture over the roasted vegetables and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 200; Fat (g): fat g 7; Fat Calories (kcal): 70; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 1; Protein (g):protein g 3; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 35; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 340; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 0; Fiber (g): fiber g 8;

Pickled Vegetables: 10-12 servings from Kosher by Designs Lightens up. As an alternative, use peeled and quartered baby beets, peeled turnips trimmed to half moons, red onions, mint leaves, and half teas white peppercorns. The beets will turn everything pink.

This is an Impressionist version of the jar that I chose that was a flower vase. It is 24 cm. high. Surely the pickiling contents will fit inside.


Pickles Vegetables: Another recipe for the future

3 sprigs fresh dill

3 sprigs fennel fronds

10 sprigs fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

1/2 head cauliflower broken into medium florets

1/2 red onion thinly sliced

10 baby carrots

4 radishes cut in half

4 cloves fresh garlic

3/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1/2 teas juniper berries

1/8 teas fennel seeds

1 cup water

1 cup rice vinegar: 1 cup may have 500 milligrams sodium: however, I found a brand which purports to have 0 sodium and 0 sugar. And I will not need to find a substitute! the two that I have have 45mg/100 ml and 9.8mg/100 ml. I’ll use the second one

1 Tab fine sea salt

1 Tab sugar.

1: Place the dill and fennel fronds on the bottom and stand the thyme around the sides. Add the bar leaf.

2. Layer  all the vegetables and simultaneously incorporate the pickling ingredients.

3. In a small pot, bring remaining ingredients to a simmer, dissolving the sugar or other sugar substitute. Remove from heat and pour over the container of vegetables being sure to submerge them.

4. Allow to cool and place in the refrigerator. The vegetables will be ready in 1-2 days and will keep for a week in the refrigerator. The roasted vegetables without salt but with added herbs will be very satisfying.


Vinegar Substitutes

Vinegar Amount Substitute
Rice Vinegar substitute 1 Tablespoon 1 Tablespoon White Wine Vinegar +plus 1/4 teaspoon Sugar
*OR* 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar +plus 1/4 teaspoon Sugar
Apple Cider Vinegar substitute 1 Tablespoon 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
*OR* 1 Tablespoon of lime juice
*OR* 2 Tablespoons of white wine
Balsamic Vinegar substitute 1 Tablespoon 1 Tablespoon of either Brown Rice Vinegar *OR* Chinese Black Vinegar
*OR* 1 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar +plus 1/4 teaspoon Sugar
Champagne Vinegar substitute 1 Tablespoon 1 Tablespoon of either White Wine Vinegar *OR* Rice Wine Vinegar. Champagne vinegar is very mild, so do not substitute stronger vinegars.
Red Wine Vinegar substitute 1 Tablespoon 1&1/2 teaspoons White Vinegar plus 1&1/2 teaspoons of Red Wine (equal parts vinegar & wine)
White Wine Vinegar substitute 1 Tablespoon 1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
White Vinegar substitute 1 Tablespoon 1 Tablespoon of either Lemon Juice *OR* Lime Juice
*OR* 1 Tablespoon of either Cider Vinegar *OR* Malt Vinegar
Malt Vinegar substitute 1 Tablespoon 1 Tablespoon of either Lemon Juice *OR* Cider Vinegar
Sherry Vinegar substitute 1 Tablespoon 1 Tablespoon of either Red or White Wine (*if you don’t need the acidic property of vinegar in your recipe)
Herb Vinegar substitute 1 Tablespoon 1 Tablespoon of either Wine Vinegar *OR* Rice Vinegar *OR* Cider Vinegar +plus fresh washed herbs
Raspberry Vinegar substitute 1 Tablespoon 1 Tablespoon Sherry Vinegar

Pickled Vegetables: I have this above recipe for about 15 years and will someday try it out to try it out. Now that it’s here I don’t kneed to save the zerox that I kept of it.


This is a very common dish through out the middle east known as molukhia in Arabic, but its technical term is jews mallow. Egyptians are famed for their molukhia. Its picked during harvest time and either dried or frozen, so that it may be enjoyed through out the year. Because this is typically grown in the middle east,although there are a few farms that do grow this in the U.S., its readily available in most middle eastern stores either in frozen or dry form. My recipe is based on my frozen version. Recipes will vary througoht the middle east, depending on region. Molukhia is made a couple of ways, but this is the more common. Molukhia is traditionally enjoyed with a side of rice and a lemon wedge.Try Egyptian Condiment (Daqua)



  • 4 -5cups chicken broth

  • 4 pieces chicken/ turkey wings

  • 2(14 ounce) packages frozen molukhia (minced or chopped, not whole leaves) or find and chop your own as I did

  • 12cup diced onion

  • 34tablespoon allspice(optional)

  • 14cup corn oil

  • 4 -5 garlic cloves


  1. Season chicken and boil chicken and onions(onions will give it flavor and help tame any gamey flavor the chicken may have) in water, until done, make sure you skim the scum off the top of the water as chicken boils.
  2. Make sure you have the above chicken broth, if your running low after chicken has boiled add a bit of water.
  3. Open and add the frozen mlokhia to the boiling broth.
  4. Add maggi cubes.
  5. Add allspice.
  6. Let boil until molukhia has defrosted into the broth, then let cook additional 5 minutes.
  7. Smash garlic up with a mortar and pestle, until its almost like a paste, you may add a bit of salt in the mortar and pestle to help smash.
  8. In a small saucepan, add oil and let oil get hot, place garlic in oil and keep an eye on it stirring frequently.
  9. Once garlic has reached a deep golden brown, but definitely NOT BURNT.
  10. Pour oil and garlic into the molukhia.
  11. Stir let set, serve next to bowl of rice.
  12. Taking a spoonful at a time, place of rice and eat together.
  13. If desired squeeze lemon over the bowl ofmlokhia before eating to add an extra kick.

     In conclusion: If you are buying your salads from a supermarket or from a takeout source, undoubtedly  you are consuming way too much salt.

Post 112: Israeli’s pursuits: Israel Exploration Society, Basketball Game + meet Tamir Goodman and the players, Protein foods Complementary spices, quinoa cakes, zuccinni cakes/ muffins

Israel Exploration Society


Publications of the Israel Exploration Society


I Tried to move the Above Chart. You know these Israelis,  not agreeing to move even a single paper from a spot! So Territorial! The offices of this institution are located about a block from my home. I wonder,  are there any Charedi archeologists?

This blog is about discovery. We only see what is within our framework or on the surface and ignore the basis.

The second item about Israeli immigrants infatuation with basketball and the attempt to bring what is loved by American Jews to Israel with us when we make Alliya.

I also always wondered about the history of Israel’s Antiquities Exploration. Like everything else, there was a plan. You don’t hear about digs collapsing, because teams of civil engineers and archeologists developed the sites to be tourist attractions.

The recipes are made from the grains that perhaps were found on an excavation site. I will be looking into ancient grains and their re-establishment in a future post.





In 1914 a group of Jewish intellectuals founded the Society for the Reclamation of Antiquities, now known as the Israel Exploration Society (IES). Its purpose was to further historical, geographical and archaeological research concerning the Land of Israel. The Society’s activities were disrupted by the outbreak of World War I but resumed in 1920, when it became known as the Jewish Palestine Exploration Society. During the British Mandatory period, it was responsible for the first archaeological excavations ever conducted by a Jewish organization in Palestine, at Hammat Tiberias Absalom’s Tomb and the Third Wall in Jerusalem, Ramat Rahel, Beth-Shearim, and Beth-Yerah.

Following Israel’s War of Independence, the IES received the first excavation permit issued by the Israeli government allowing it to excavate at Tell Qasile. Since then, the IES has organized and sponsored some of the most important archaeological projects carried out in the country including Hazor, Masada, the excavations near the Temple Mount, in the Jewish Quarter and at the City of David in Jerusalem, the Judean Desert Expeditions, En-Gedi, Arad, Lachish, Aphek, Jericho, Herodium, Yoqneam, Dor and Megiddo.

The Israel Exploration Society plays a key role in archaeological research covering all periods, from prehistoric times to the Ottoman period. It coordinates much of the multi-institutional archaeological research carried out by both Israeli and foreign archaeological expeditions in Israel.

Major activities undertaken by the IES include organizing excavations, enlisting financial support for archaeological projects, publishing excavation reports and liaison and cooperation with Israeli and foreign institutions in the field of publication and in a collective effort to promote the cause of archaeology.

Another facet of the IES’s activity is the dissemination of knowledge gained from the exploration of Israel to the general public in Israel and abroad. Fifty-nine archaeological conferences have been held for members of the IES. These annual gatherings include lectures by archaeologists and guided tours of recently-discovered sites. Hebrew-speaking members receive the semi-annual Qadmoniot, while the semi- annual Israel Exploration Journal caters to the English reader. The Eretz-Israel Festschrift series publishes original archaeological, historical and geographical studies in Hebrew and English in honor of leading international scholars in these fields. Twenty-seven volumes have appeared to date.

The IES, in cooperation with other institutions, has held thirty annual meetings for the professional archaeological community in Israel. Two international congresses on Biblical Archaeology were held in 1984 and 1990, attracting hundreds of participants from around the world. The proceedings of both have been published in two volumes entitled Biblical Archaeology Today. In 1997 an international congress was held in Jerusalem marking 50 years since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The proceedings appear in the volume The Dead Sea Scrolls Fifty Years after Their Discovery.

The IES is a nonprofit organization governed by an Executive Committee and a Council comprising representatives from all of the institutes of archaeology in the Israel and several major archaeological museums.

In 1989 the Israel Exploration Society was awarded the prestigious Israel Prize for its unique contribution to society and to the State of Israel. The citation of the judges’ committee notes: “It has been the principal and most effective institution for furthering knowledge of the archaeology and history of the country both at home and abroad since it was founded seventy-five years ago.”

The Israel Exploration Society continues playing an active role in the scientific and public spheres. In coming years the IES will edit and publish the results of some of the most important archaeological excavations being carried out throughout Israel: Hazor, Masada, `En-Gedi, Zippori, Megiddo, Joqneam, Arad, Tiberias and the Jewish Quarter and City of David in Jerusalem. A highlight of the IES’s extensive publications program will be The Ancient Pottery of Israel and Its Neighbors from the Neolithic through the Hellenistic Period which is to appear as a three-volume set, being prepared together with the Israel Antiquities Authority, the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research, and the American Schools of Oriental Research. The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land appeared in four-volume Hebrew and English editions in 1993. A fifth update volume was published in 2008. Currently in preparation is a book chronicling the Israel Exploration Society’s 100-year history.



Stone menorah found in 1921 excavations conducted by the Jewish Palestine Exploration Society at Hammat Tiberias, now at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem

Message Board: I saw this announcement and it gave me a laugh. Happening tonight! I wonder, what was under the Pays Arena? What, if anything was found when construction was performed?


Tamar Weissman
May 3, 2015, 4:37 pm

I’m planning a really great event for English speaking
friends and family.
Next Thursday night (the night after the medurot – so no conflict),
we will meet at the new Jerusalem Payis Arena at 7:30pm
(subject to change).

We will enter through the VIP entrance and meet Tamir Goodman
(aka, The Jewish Jordan) who now works for the team.
He will talk to us about his story gaining national attention as a premier high school basketball player in Baltimore for Talmudical Academy. He never once came close to sacrificing his yahadut for basketball organized by the OU and it was fantastic. After the talk, we will take our seats (good lower deck seats) and watch  Hapoel Yerushalayim take on  Macabi in the last seasonal home game.

After the game, we will have a chance to meet one or two players
who have played for NBA teams and ask them questions.

The cost for the event is 70 shekels per person. That’s about $18.00. Pro ball. Not bad. Sounds like fun.

 I, ( the organizer) decided to organize this after attending the same thing last week because it was so much fun and so inspiring for my son and me. I wanted to bring the same experience to as many of you as possible.

I (this writer) on the other hand, watched a soccer game last Shabat. When a took a break from my day at Shaare Tzedek Hospital I followed the trail of parked cars facing our hospital room. It lead me to a tall fence and behind it was giant field, comparable to a League Size soccer field, bordered by dugouts and sets of viewing stands and Lotto signs. The players were dressed in their finest blue, orange and yellow uniforms. I was too far a way to decifer the names of the teams. I saw some very fancy legwork, jumps, spins, somersaults, kick passes etc.

The source of soccer players appears to be the coastal cities.Tirat Carmel, near Haifa, is one of the centers of soccer. Just picture boys finding a lot facing the water and kicking a soccer ball around.The boys are raised in Natanya, Zichron Yaacov, in towns and cities up and down the Mediterranean Coast. Now that the French are settling the coast (I heard that they are buying it up), there will be a new infusion of soccer talent. Israeli local celebrities who grew up in Tirat Carmel include Soccer player Reuven Atar.

I remember when our daughter’s were pre-teen and soccer was the rage. That was late ’70’s.

Protein foods

Complementary spices

Beans: Allspice, chili powder, cloves, mace, red pepper, sage, savory

Beef: Basil, celery seed, marjoram, oregano, savory

Cheese: Chili powder, chives, paprika

Chicken: Ginger, marjoram, oregano, paprika, sage, tarragon

Fish: Basil, bay leaf, chili powder, dill, dry mustard, paprika

Lamb: Curry powder, garlic, mint, oregano, rosemary

Meat substitute – Tempeh: Cayenne pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, cloves, rosemary, sage, thyme

Veal: Bay leaf, basil, curry powder, ginger, oregano, sage, thyme

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like zucchini bread.

To make summer last a little longer, stock freezer with shredded zucchini to make this recipe whenever the craving hits! For successful freezing, shred the zucchini and drain excess liquid before placing in freezer bags.

Cooked  Rice in Zucchini Bread. This is a new way to incorporate a starch and a vegetable in a muffin.


  • 1 cup shredded zucchini drained well

  • 3 pastured eggs plus 1/4 cup ground flax seed ( flax seed may interfere with medications)

  • 1/2 cup oil/ fruit juice, orange/lemon

  • 2 cups cooked rice

  • 1 Tablespoon local honey or brown rice syrup mixed into 1/2 cup defrosted frozen blueberries

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice mix or allspice

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or omit

  • 1/4 cup sifted coconut flour/ buckwheat/rice

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/180 degrees Centigrade.

Prepare a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan by  placing  a piece of parchment paper on the bottom and up the 2 long side of the pan. Oil the surface.This step is a must to avoid leaving half the loaf in the pan when trying to remove the bread. I like to use muffin tins.

In a large mixing bowl of food processor add rice mix., Combine everything except the last 3 ingredients. and add to pulverized rice.

Sift together the coconut flour and the baking powder. Add it to the other ingredients and stir well. Make sure you don’t have any lumps. This might take a little muscle!

Stir in the walnuts. Save some for a topping.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan. Toss blueberries and a pecans and some pignoli nuts on top  and bake for 25 minutes on highest 250 C. Remove and turn the muffins to brown the second side. Return for additional 15 minutes. to 60 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf. When it comes out clean, your bread is done. I remove them without passing the doneness test. They will be soft, but harden with air exposure.

Remove from the pan and cool.

Yield 8-10 slices or 16/2 oz muffins

Kale and Quinoa Cakes

makes about 2 dozen small cakes

recipe adapted from Super Natural Every Day

1 1/2 cups raw quinoa

2 1/4 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs, beaten

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 bunch (about 3 cups) chopped kale

splash of apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese/omit or use ricotta

1/3 cup coarsely chopped sun-dried tomatoes

1/3 cup chopped parsley

1 cup panko bread crumbs/powdered nuts. Earlier post to make panko.

1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper or crushed red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon water

2 tablespoon olive oil for frying, add a bit more as necessary

lemon wedges, olives or capers, spicy mustard, and greens for serving

Instructions: Place dry quinoa in a fine mesh strainer.  Wash under cool water for a few minutes.  Quinoa needs to be rinsed or it tastes dirty.

In a medium saucepan place rinsed quinoa, water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Place over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Cover, decrease the heat, and simmer for about 25 to 30 minutes, until the quinoa is tender.  Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.  We’ll need about 3 cups of cooked quinoa for the recipe. If you prefer dry, then toast the quinoa.

In a small bowl, whisk eggs and set aside.

In a medium sauté man, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes.  Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.  Add kale and toss until just slightly wilted, about 1 minutes.  Remove from heat and add a splash of vinegar.  Place kale mixture in a large bowl with prepared quinoa.  Allow to cool to room temperature.  You can speed up this process in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Add cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, break crumbs, salt, and pepper.  Add beaten eggs and stir until all of the quinoa mixture is moistened.  Add water to thoroughly moisten mixture.  Quinoa should be slightly wet so it doesn’t dry out during cooking.

Scoop out mixture by the 2 tablespoonful.  (I used a small ice cream scoop to scoop the mixture right into the hot pan.)  Use clean, moist fingers to form into a patty.  Create as many patties as you’d like.  (Rinse your hands after every few patties… it makes making patties easier.)

In a large skillet over medium low heat, heat olive oil.  If you pan is large enough, add four to six patties to the hot pan.  You’ll need a bit of room to successfully flip them.

Cook on each side until beautifully browned, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side.  Low heat helps the quinoa cakes cook slowly. Brown on each side then remove to a paper towel lined plate.

Serve warm with a lemon wedge, mustard, fresh spinach, and salty capers.  It’s like a deconstructed salad.  Serve them any way you’d like.

Also, the quinoa mixture can be left, uncooked in the fridge for a few days.  Cook as necessary.  Fresh quinoa cakes with fried eggs are delicious!

Post 111: The true sign of wisdom is to find the wonders in the ordinary (miracles in the nature) What’s it like in a Jerusalem’ Shaare Tzedek Emergency Room, my meeting with Sadin Borkan

this week’s proverb

דער אמתער סימן פון קלוגשאַפט בּאַשטייט אין דעםצו געפונען די וואונדערלעכע אינעם געוויינטלעכן


der emeser simen fun klugshaft bashteyt in dem, tsu gefunen di vunderlekhe unem geveyntlekhn

the proverb actually means

the true sign of wisdom is to find the wonders in the ordinary (miracles in the nature)

translated to Hebrew

סימן האמתי של חכמה זה למצוא את הפלאות במצוי

(הניסים בטבע)

Yiddish In 10 Lessons”

workbook and CD’s



אַ גוטע וואָך

Chaim Werdyger

Bringing back the Yiddish language

When I walk into an emergency room in an Israeli hospital, why am I thinking that “We”, Israel can cope with high numbers of patient visits?  Maybe there is a connection to Shmitah. Emunah and Bitachon, are the active ingredients to the birth of  miracles. Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles.

I did a little research. Beth Israel’s activity in the ER:

Beth Israel is the last hospital standing in lower Manhattan, NY. It was reported on an over active day:

“We usually have 300 patients a day in the ER — today  we had 500 … Last  Wednesday, ShaareTzedek had about 200 patients in the ER in one hour. It was wall to wall gurneys with patients accepting preliminary workup step by step. True many patients spent the entire day there.

It’s always when you think that you have a handle on things that you don’t. The laces are straight but the shoes don’t fit-something like that. On some level I saw  this crisis coming, a cold and cough slowly dwindling, diuretic medication not effective and a precipitous weight gain, all related to diabetes.

Lastly, Larry was told by the Alternative Health specialist to wear suspenders and to put his belts away. These are the fancy ones that we found from his trial days.    

In Israel, the country with the finest privatized, socialized medical system, is struggling with emergency care. We don’t like it but we can’t do much about it, it’s “normal”. It’s just “Ka,Ka”. It’s like that. Be patient. 

I saw on Wednesday, that an abnormal situation brings out the best in us.The true sign of wisdom is to find the wonders in the ordinary (miracles in the nature)

My husband Larry and I thought that we’d have a jump on admission. At the Dr’s office on the office previous night, the last words of our doctor were, “get to the ER room at Shaare Tzedek before 8AM tomorrow. I thought about the last admission last Rosh Hashanah, and even packed some disposables as I remembered that one meal in the hospital is meat during the day, and always on Shabat and we don’t relish meat..  I brought some of our favorite food to get us thru a few meals. 
As you can see, I was jumping over the hard part, getting in and getting a room.
Now that we are passed the long wait, I can look back and see how the system works. It’s a little Disney Like.
While in the ER waiting room, your record is pulled onto the screen and all the updates performed and the tests that one would expect ordered from your room, you get in the little alcoves off the ER waiting room, and the trail follows into the ER itself. 
It’s a little opposite Passover, once things are ready, they move quickly.
In the waiting area your test results are in your file on the gurney. You THINK things will be moving but they don’t because there are no beds. You watch the ballet as nurses, doctors, paramedics and volunteers reach out to the families.
One of the hundreds of cups of coffee distributed by Ezer Mitzion volunteers. On the way out today, I met a lady who must have been in her eighties. She was just coming out of work. I asked if she was a Mitnadevet- a volunteer. She nodded, “On the 2nd floor”. I asked,” In the ER with Ezer Mitzion.?”. She shook her head, “Ma Pitom, I was a nurse for 40 years and now I am a volunteer nurse.

However, there are many benefits to the volunteer, which was mentioned in an earlier post. They have a very low cost meal, which can be the basis of their nutrition. Secondly, they have a parking pass to use at any time. If the volunteer drives to the city from a suburb, the hospital is a convenient location for jumping off after half a day volunteer shift.

Most of the photos on the 2 floor hospital walls, are  of landscapes outside Israel; here’s one of mine that was taken in Nachlaot
This pair of clowns strolled around the ER handing out stickers.The girl on the right hand-painted  nail polish on the buttons on her hand embroidered costume. On Friday the drummers were out in full force.
The pair were a colorful blaze, coming and going.


On Friday, groups of students came by to serenade patients. They tramped thru the ER and beyond. This photo of me smiling. Yes, we got a room!  And my bed is a combination of 4 chairs and a gurney mattress
I started with a guerny mattress, then lifted it onto four chairs.


The  Shaare Tzdek 2nd Floor ER/Lobby entrance hosts an impressive collect entitled Savadore  Dali’s Aliyah Suite

This Dali Collection was inspired by the 20th Anniversary of the State of Israel, and contributed by a Palo Alto family.
The land will blossom
Let me introduce my new friend, Sadin Burkan. My laptop is out and we are taking a study break. Sadin helped me with my Arabic.

The day flies away from you in a hospital. I took the time and reviewed a section of Arabic writing in my textbook.

When I first saw Sadin, she was sitting next to her mother and father in the hallway outside Larry’s room, so solicitous of her father’s every need, bringing water, towel, and bedpan to his wheelchair. This brand new ward, off the ER has been designed for patients in transition, awaiting results of tests and procedures, recovering from treatment IV’s. Almost all the patients had respiratory problems relating to diabetes.  Mr. Burkan was waiting for a bed.

I  asked an Arab lady in an adjacent room earlier in the day, if she would help me understood the Arabic handwriting in my textbook. She replied that diabetes had practically rid her of her sight.

I showed my textbook and requested Mrs. Burkan’s permission in Hebrew  to talk with Sadin. We sat down next to each other. I tried to communicate, “yes, I have  vacation today,” she replied. I started with a sentence that was fluent until the final roadblock.

Not so funny to use that work. The roadblock word  was “Welcome”. Sadin explained it to me by holding her hands out and waving. We spent about an hour together, chatting and laughing. Larry sent these photos to Sadin’s cell phone that we set up in his room.

I became painfully aware that communication with someone living in East Jerusalem is not very easy. We tried and finally the photos were sent via GChat. Sadin was also fascinated by the photos of my daughter and the black charedi outfits at a family party.




What a great date place! Shaare Tzedeck comes alive on Motzei Shabat. Soldiers stream through. Women carry trays for celebrating a newborn.

The next series of photos were just taken from my classroom window. At about 8:00 P.M. a Hachnosis Sefer Torah procession came through, amid waves of song and drums.



Some of the waving marchers.