עדכונים מהבלוג

הכניסו את כתובת המייל לקבלת עידכונים מהבלוג:
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March 25, 2012
(By Uri Mayer-Chissick)

 On Friday, (23.3.12, the first day of Nissan), My Local Year ended. As of yesterday I can eat food from all over the world.
So what is going to change? Nothing.I continue to buy from the farmers and producers found during this year and to help you find others in your area.
The journey to promote local consumption from small local businesses has just started, and I hope you will join us on this blog .

I chose to devote the last column of the year to my culinary tour with Shai Avivi, a prominent Israeli actor, and to our discussions. I believe that all food-lovers should seriously consider his words.
On a spring day at the end of winter I went with Shai to the streets of Pardes-Hanna-Karkur to gather wild edible plants from the gardens, eggs from the family henhouse, and to buy food from the local producers and small local shops. As we started, we didn’t really know what we are going to cook; however, Shai said that lately he had gone into learning about crackers, so we decided to start our tour in Hadera, in the mill of Asaf Nov. Asaf, who is our personal miller, has a captivating personality and fresh, addictive flour. We strolled together amongst the wheat grains, felt them, smelled them, and bought some freshly grounded flour.

From there, we continued our tour. Shai loves the cheeses made by Motke the milkman from Talmei-Eliezer. We stopped at the “Ha-Yeruka” (“the green”), one of the local organic shops and bought fresh vegetables that are grown locally and grape juice from Sde-Eliahu.

Slowly, the upcoming meal started to take shape in our minds. At the same time we delved into discussions of local food, the environment and economics. We agreed that everything starts with the way a person uses his money. Shai said: “imagine how much money each one of us spends in the 50 years (approx.) that we buy our food. It is an incredible sum. Now it is in our hands to divert the spending towards routs that support the community, the environment and our health. Later people can get organized as a group, but the decision is first of all in your hands and your family”.

It is about time that we, the investors in the Israeli market, will invest our money in the local businesses, in products that support needs of the soil and cultivate it, and in products that provide for our friends and neighbors. We decide to support all who live in our area, buys from us too and invests his money in our community. Those investments are worth more than buying cheaply in the supermarkets.

Prior to cooking, we gathered in Shai’s garden, learned about nettles, collected juice from wild cereals (similar to wheat-grass juice), picked lemons from the tree (it is the heights of the season) and eggs from Sahi’s henhouse.

It was time to start cooking. We decided to prepare “wild crackers”, with is like “wild sandwiches”, only with Shai’s crackers.
The meal was vegetarian. Shai is vegetarian mainly because of the ways the enimals are grown in the intensive modern farms, and the way they are treated by the industry. He is also concerned with the damage caused to the environment by raising so many animals.

The Crackers

Shai couldn’t explain properly how he prepares the crackers. He insists that it happens without a recipe, by intuition. I am aware of this from home: my wife says that crackers are prepared by principles and not by recipes (קרקרים מכינים עם עקרונות ולא עם מתכונים). However, I will try to give you a basic recipe to start with, and you can change it and improve it to your taste. We would like to receive your recipes!

Ingredients
200 gr whole locally grown flour
130 ml lukewarm water
5 gr salt

Preparation 

  1. Put the water in a bowl
  2. Add the salt and flour and knead dough for a few minutes.
  3. Cover the bowl with a wet cloth and let it rest for half an hour.
  4. Take the dough out of the bowl. Make 4 balls and flatten each with a rolling pin and a bit of flour to a thin smooth sheet.
  5. Bake each sheet in a baking dish at a low heat (140 degrees approx.) for about 20 minutes, until ready.
  6. You may make cuts before baking to get smaller pieces.

 Roasted eggplant with yam chips

 Ingredients
1 eggplant
1 yam
Olive oil
Salt

Preparation 

  1. Roast the eggplant on open fire.
  2. Peel the batata and cut into small cubes.
  3. Fry in olive oil until brown.
  4. When the eggplant is ready, cool it, peel it and squash it with a fork.
  5. Put some of the eggplant on a cracker, and top with cubes of batata and some salt.

Tom cheese with fresh fennel salad

Ingredients
Fennel
Tom cheese
Lemon
Salt
Olive oil

Preparation

  1. Slice the fennel thinly and put in a bowl.
  2. Add lemo0n and salt, and let the fennel absorb the flavors for a few minutes.
  3. Add olive oil and mix well.
  4. Put a slice of cheese on the cracker and add the salad on top.

Radishes, salted cheese and cilantro salad

Ingredients
3 radishes
4 stalks of cilantro
1/2 a lemon, squeezed
Olive oil
Salt
Salted cheese (Zefatit)

 Preparation 

  1. Slice the radishes, and cut into small cubes.
  2. Add the coriander, lemon juice and salt. Mix well.
  3. Add the crumbled cheese and the olive oil and mix well.

Nettle pesto
The nettle season is at its end. This is the time to use them for a spread.

Ingredients
A bundle of nettle with the young stalks and the seeds
3 tbs olive oil
Salt to taste
1/4 cup almonds
1 tbs lemon juice

Preparation
Mix in the blender until smooth.

One of the crackers loved having a poached egg on top. In general – we were creative. It is easy to be creative when working with an artist – creativity is something that Shai has in abundance. We imagined being in a Greek tavern, the everyday tumult of home around us, Asaf (the photographer) and Naama (the stylist) working near us on the pictures for this column, our last one. We ate a locally grown meal, nutritious and tasty. And we talked a lot, about community food economy, about what we do to our land without considering the results, about how easy it is, for each one of us, to make a change. A small change. To choose one place that I see on my way to the car in the morning, a little shop I was told about, to buy oil from Reish Lakish  and thus support them, a weekly basket from a local farmer that needs us  to survive. One change, in one product, once a week, can change the way in which we see the world, and make a change to a person from whom we buy. We can help somebody to keep his small business and live his dream.

My “local year” is over. I have learned a lot, more than expected. From time to time I eat rice again with my daughters, but continue my expedition to discover the people who grow and prepare better food for us. They deserve our expenditure and our trust. They are us.

Photography: Asaf Ronen
Stylist: Naama Ran

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