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.

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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


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