07 December 2008

Abundance or waste??

There are many new age philosophies around which center on the idea that there is plenty and we shouldn't be concerned with lack. That works if one is in the mind of what I have is all I need, but doesn't work when ok, ditch it, there'll be more.

At the same time as those who have too much, there are those who are poverty stricken and must depend on others for charity.

Something is wrong with this picture. I've gone through many periods where I have taken boxes of vegetables that are thrown out by health food stores, by green grocers, and by local markets and brought them home to compost. Lately my local small supermarket (makolet) has been saving me the vegetables they deem not worthy of being sold anymore. And there are boxes and boxes and boxes of them. Every week!!! Why can't they lower the price (as it is, the local produce sells for much more than those sold in the open air farmer's market (shuk), when the produce begins to lose it's "first rate" quality, so then perhaps they can sell it all. Why have higher prices to make up for the loss of all the vegetables thrown out? We who buy the produce are the losers in the end.

I also wonder how many people at home use up all their vegetables - or like the market mentality, throw out alot because of poor planning.

I have seen some stores be more efficient. One store I knew saved the produce for the poor who came to get it. Another store saved it for their restaurant which used the vegetables for the food they cooked. In America I'm sure there are plenty of sales of the kind when things are starting to get old. I remember special discount stores that sold day old breads and baked items (you don't see that here). Now at least the idea of giving leftovers from simchas to the poor is starting to catch on. But don't even get me started how much is wasted there!!!!

There's plenty being written how the economic times are getting harder. How come people aren't getting smarter in not wasting??

02 December 2008

it's all relative

A friend with cancer wrote how one bottle of the medicine she needs costs over 11,000 shekels - wow, I have nothing to complain about how expensive organic food costs.

01 December 2008


Do you know people who scream at the television when they don't agree? Or people who make comments as they read the newspapers of all the insane things going on in the world? Almost every week I have thoughts about something written in our local English newspaper, but the truth is it isn't always negative. Lots of great eco stuff has been happening lately and it makes me proud that people are being so innovative.

Usually by the time Sunday comes around I never actually write to the paper - lost opportunities. But this time I finally did (ok, Monday now) - and with it, made a copy and tied it together with a health seminar that I'm part of the organizing and have sent it to everyone I know - except on facebook. Facebook and blogging still presents technical challenges - but for those who have discovered my blog (and haven't received it through email) here's what I wrote to the Jerusalem Post - now to see if they'll publish it.

From: Klara LeVine
Subject: money does not equal health
To: maglet@jpost. com
Date: Monday, December 1, 2008, 6:47 AM

To the editors,

I know the Jerusalem Post is not responsible for the contents of their ads and that ads are needed to continue the business of publishing the paper. But the two full page ad from Telma on November 21 must have cost quite a few shekelim - which makes me wonder if perhaps Telma isn't doing so well. And I felt took great advantage over those truly looking for health - healthy foods coming from the whole grains, beans and many vegetables do not have big corporations behind them and are much healthier than a processed food which may contain sugar and preservatives and who knows what else. The exaggerated first page does make a point - the world of alternative health perhaps has gone overboard - which only goes to show how desparately people are searching for health. Perhaps the magazine can help by having more articles on the simple ways people can regain health - as mentioned by eating natural whole products.

Klara LeVine
Har Adar

privately to the editors: I can understand if you do not want to publish the above letter as it may be shooting yourselves in the foot by offending Telma and therefore taking away much needed income - if so, please give me the opportunity to rewrite it a bit tamer, tho I think it's a responsibility to all mankind to let them know that health doesn't need to cost so much. Processed foods always cost more than natural foods and are never truly as healthy.

I think it's a very important issue that needs to be brought to the public's attention.


27 November 2008

not Thanksgiving delight

I don't do Thanksgiving here in Israel - not that I have anything against it. The idea of appreciating and giving thanks is quite Jewish (ok, New Age is catching up also), in fact religious Jews begin each morning by giving thanks to our Creator, and actually give thanks all day long (depending on how much you eat and how much you, umm, how do I say it, the bodily functions after you eat :>) ).

But Thanksgiving sort of fades into the background here. There are enclaves of people celebrating, holding on to the Old Country ways.

But tonight I have the privilege of celebrating someone's 70th birthday, and for that occasion I made a very special dish (would go well in any Thanksgiving feast) called Enchanted Broccoli Forest with Pumpkin Creme. It comes from Ilanit Tof's book, Seasonal Variation: Wholesummer Meals (ok, not summer now, but still works). The special feature of her book is to show the inexperienced cook how he/she can play and exchange ingredients for unlimited variations. She gives the basics and then shows the different variations to start and hopes the new cook will go on and take it from there.

So this dish isn't as hard as it looks, but has different parts. The first is a bed of grains, she suggests polenta (coarse cornmeal), cooked with onions and fresh corn (off the cob), and after it's cooked, mixed with chopped parsley and spread in a baking dish. I used millet instead, it's a whole grain and therefore more appealing to me. The next step is to simply blanch small heads of broccoli. And when done to one's liking, to stick them into the grain bed (that's the forest - the next time I do this I'll reverse it and put the creme (cream?) on first and then stick in the little trees). Next comes pumpkin and onions steamed, then blended with a little tehina and fresh ginger juice. That gets poured on.

It's such an attractive dish - and so so so delicious.

As this blogging is still new for me, I'm not sure how to give references - I'm afraid if I post the address it won't go thru - so I'll put spaces in between - and you can close them up - on this site is a shop where you can find Ilanit's book and lots of other great books. www cybermacro .com - will that work??

Happy feasting everyone - doesn't have to be unhealthy for it to be a feast.

24 November 2008

go tripping

another question - is there some unwritten rule that each blog entry must fit only one topic - do people sometimes just meander whole bunches of thoughts?

if only one topic: then it's this - it's not that I want to quit before I started, but looks like I'll be joining my husband in the States soon which means my heart's beating faster thinking what must I get done before I leave - so that's a good way to put up priorities - and apologies, but blogging isn't yet a high priority -

so to remind myself for thoughts I'd like to blog on:

1) why blog? (ego? connection? show off????)

2) new calendar (Jewish!!!!!)

3) procrastination and decluttering - big issues - even if I haven't written anything yet on it, I'd love hearing great wisdoms on it from anyone

so unless I suddenly change and become greatly organized and on top of it all, I may not come back for a while

but that's the nice thing about (most of) life, you can always come back and try again.

23 November 2008


It's cute - this blogging bit- it's like creating a team and having your own cheerleaders out there.

So I'll be daring here and start - I had thoughts today to share with my kids, but it didn't happen. So maybe this is a good place to share them. I have five kids, from 28 y.o. to 17 y.o. Before kids, I was very afraid to be a mother, not wanting to be like my mother was, very critical. But as soon as the babies came, I loved it. Loved the early years, it came easily (not easy as in not hard work, but easy as it felt so right).

I'm married to a man quite the opposite me in many ways. I often feel I have no talents (in the traditional sense of the word) and he has many; I don't like authority, and he loves to boss. What started my thoughts was from this week's and last week's parsha - when the three guests come to Avraham's tent and ask where is Sarah and they are told she is in the back. I used to have great problems with that. Why was it a good thing to be in the back, why did she have to do all the work and he seems to get the credit? In this week's parsha, I read that after Sarah died, Avraham no longer had prophecy - that truly the prophecy was through Sarah.

I certainly don't claim to have prophecy - nor do I do all the work, my husband does quite a bit in the house. But I was feeling it was he who had relationships with my kids because of all his talents - he taught this one stained glass work and photography, he spoke with the other one for hours on art, he built a desk together with my son and made beer together, with each of the kids he brought them into the kitchen to cook with him. Then when rereading the parsha I felt differently - I was in the back, but I was important. I'm the support person, and perhaps do have strengths in ways I don't realize. Because of my dream to be in Israel, we're now in Israel. Which means alot in what the kids have been exposed to (and not exposed to) , which G-d willing means alot for hopefully future generations coming from my kids.

There's probably much more, but it's not the point - it's just the point it's alright now to be in the back of the tent, it too is meaningful. I don't have to be in the spotlight to count.

20 November 2008

lovely surprizes

I have NO idea how I got here - just kept pushing keys - the trick will be to find it again!!!

so my loyal reader, Leora, here I made it public that I would get off the computer in order to cook - I did cook - made myself miso soup for breakfast (at noon) and warmed up my rice and veggies from yesterday - had an enjoyable lunch - then put up some beans and barley to soak for cholent (or like those with authentic accents say, chulent), peeled carrots for soup my daughter chose (1 kilo carrots, 2 onions, potato (I'm using sweet potato, only one), one green apple and that which makes this very special, a handful of cashews!!! - saute everything but nuts, add water to cover, and 1 TABLESPOON (that's what makes it not my kind of soup, so much, I never ever use so much, but she insisted - I'll let you know how it comes out - actually she said recipe calls for TWO TABLESPOONS), after all is soft, blend - I suppose cashews go in at the blended stage, I'll ask her.

so still having questions, how to personalize the blog, how to add photos, no idea about labels, etc etc

but never mind - at least I've entered it twice - three times will make it obligatory :>)

now have to deal with son, who just surprized me coming home

12 November 2008


here's the start of something new - for right now it's just so I can join the blog world easier - where it will go, who knows

feels funny without an audience - it's out there, yet not

like alot of the cyber world, doesn't feel quite real