Happy New Year to the Trees with More Pickled Veggies!

We are celebrating yet another New Year – the New Year of the Trees. In the old times, in ancient Israel, this day, 15th of the month Shevat, or Tu b’Shvat in Hebrew, was celebrated as the earliest day when trees started bearing fruit. Later on, during the Middle Ages, the great Kabbalist Rabbi Issac Luria, known as the Arizal, invoked the biblical phrase “man is a tree of the field” (Deuteronomy 20:19) and instituted a symbolic and intensely spiritual celebration. On this day, we eat fruit, especially the kinds of fruit originated from the Holy Land, and reflect on the meaning of Tree of Life.

Related imageOur Tree, by a renown sculptor Jacques Lipchitz, presents our forefathers: Abraham as the root of the tree, Isaac as the strong trunk of it, and Jacob, from whom sprung the beautiful branches of the entire humanity. I was privileged to be inspired by this masterpiece day after day, as I entered the South Campus of Florida International University, where I taught for many years. It is one of the gems of FIU Sculpture Park collection, started by Martin Margulies, that constitutes an important part of the Frost Art Museum, the only free museum in Miami (do not skip this experience, Beautiful People, if you ever come to South Florida!).

Having escaped the Russian revolution, young Chaim Jacob Lipchitz burst upon the artistic scene in Paris, where he befriended, among others, Pablo Picasso and Amadeo Modigliani. This is a portrait of Jacques and his wife Berthe by Modigliani, now held by the Art Institute of Chicago. Lipchitz was lucky to have escaped again, right before the Nazis’ occupation of Paris, and the United States got lucky to welcome an illustrious artist. He lived a long and productive life and was buried in Jerusalem. His villa Bozio in Tuscany has been donated to Chabad Lubavitch, and now hosts a thriving annual summer camp. Our tree, with its beautiful branches, is bearing fruit!

Today, the New Year of the Trees is celebrated as the day of ecological awareness, and the new tradition is to plant trees, as a part of the celebration. As you listen to this exuberant rendition of Vivaldi’s Primavera (the Spring part of his Four Seasons), please take a moment to read a poignant short story by one of my students, Kevin Behshid, who writes in English, although it’s not even his first of second language (I think I’ve lost count of Kevin’s languages at some point).

Little Sparrow

 The shadow was tall, and passing of time made him humpbacked. He was at a small lake.

Breeze was playing with his arms and changing his senile face in the water. He looked at himself on the water of the lake and remembered all the times that he had come there and had watched himself for many years. Two hundred years had passed. He remembered when he was strong, big, and not curved. He had been marvelous home for many tired creatures and heaven for many birds. He had been witnessed of many happy lives. Shadow stooped and disappeared.

    Little, young sparrow was watching the shadow, and many other shadows came to the lake for the last goodbye. Little sparrow felt alone; he was thinking about his family’s happiness that was faded. He remembered how he was playing with the shadow by making the ripples on the water of lake. They were hundreds of creatures that were living in that oasis. All days of jumping, playing, and laughing with his siblings are gone; he was so alone. He couldn’t accept going to another lake.

   The sun came up, but there was not any shadow anymore. All the old big trees had been cut by the woodmen. Very soon, lake couldn’t stand to miss her friend shadows, and she disappeared.   Little sparrow had no home and no hope. He forgot his dreams; he submitted to his destiny. Dry sands that left from the little lake is the grave of the little sparrow cadaver now.

Little heaven became a big desert like hell*.

*In many countries, many lands are devastated by removing the jungles.

mangold and kale 1.jpg

Today, in addition to fresh fruit, I have pickled greens on my table. This colorful bunch is Mangold, AKA Swiss Chard, AKA simple beet greens. You’ve already met it here, and my favorite purple friend Melinda of http://www.purpleslobinrecovery.com has already asked for “womangold.” Let’s see if we can make some!

mangold and kale 2 (2).jpgMangold is joined by “superfood,” fresh beautiful kale, stems and all. Together, they undergo the icing, salting, and rinsing procedure described here.

mangold and kale 3.jpgBoth luscious leafy veggies will happily mix and mingle in a glass, ceramic, or enameled container. Do not bruise them with a knife, G-d forbid, and do not use metal or wooden containers – naturally fermented foods don’t like it! You can tear the leaves and stems into pieces as large or as small as you prefer, and you can also throw in as much garlic as you like. Dissolve sea salt in boiling water and cover your pretty greens with this solution.

mangold and kale 4

That’s it! Cover, put in a warm place for a couple of days, and you’ll have delicious and extremely healthy “womangold” to tickle your taste buds, enhance the beauty of your holiday table, and hopefully, make you realize our duty, as the branches of the Tree of Life, to preserve our environment.

Happy New Year to the Trees and the rest of our Creator’s green goodness! 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bunch of Mangold / Swiss Chard or leafy part of 3 – 4 beets
  • 1 bunch of green kale
  • Peeled garlic cloves to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of sea salt
  • 3 cups of boiling water

PROCEDURE

  • Tear Mangold and kale into pieces, including stems, place in pickling container. Cut garlic cloves into halves lengthwise, add to greens.
  • Dissolve sea salt in boiling water, pour over greens. Cover, position in warm place, but not direct sun.
  • Taste after 2 – 3 days, refrigerate when ready.

Enjoy!

32 Comments Add yours

  1. ren says:

    Wonderful post with such heartfelt love to our grand trees. The antennas of this planet. And another great recipe! Hugs and thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear Ren! I’ve always said you were a poet – “antennas of this planet” is such a wonderful metaphor!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ren says:

        Dolly, you opened my eyes to poetry long ago, I am grateful to you and you are very welcome.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Much love and many blessings to you, dear friend!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. A_Boleyn says:

    Such a sweet sad story. Well done to your student.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, dear friend! I will relate your comment to him.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautiful post Dolly, we wish you a very happy New Year of the Trees! 🙂💖🌳

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, dear Xenia, Eivor, and Pearl!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Cool! 😉 Love tree’s too, but keep the apples, but please leave the apple, or at least the snake. ***lol***
    Best wishes, Michael

    Now I know a little more like the Röm.-Kath. Church it could explain to own all forest plots here in the region, for centuries.;-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL Poor snake had lost his little legs, as a result of this adventure, and was cursed to crawl on his belly forever!
      Interesting point about the Church owning all forested land in your region – I didn’t know that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes, poor but sometimes angry snake. This about the Church is a special German case. Here the nobility and the Church are the biggest player. 😉

        Like

      2. I was vaguely aware of that, but no to this extent. Thank you for educating me, Michael!

        Like

      3. My pleasure, Dolly! I am researching on this, for the abused by clergymen. They need to know where they can get money. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Really? There is a way to get compensated for this kind of abuse?

        Like

      5. We try to get possibilities to do. Since over 20 years i have contact to some people in the Vatican, because i tried to clear my own issue. Since 2010 i know about a lot of special things, and think Pope Francis is willing to enlighten. He has to do for freedom inside his headquater. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I try not to get into politics of other religions (I have enough of my own), but this seems like a positive movement.

        Like

  5. gresshoppe says:

    Wonderful! Happy New Year again)))

    Like

    1. Thank you so much, dear Nonna!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. lghiggins says:

    I love the way you celebrate history, art, literature, music, language, culture, religion, and food all in one post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Linda! I think everything is intertwined, and I am excited by every manifestation of life in all its beauty!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lghiggins says:

        Which is why you are an inspiring teacher. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, and the same to you, dear Ronit!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a lovely tradition, to celebrate trees and nurture them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Mimi, for a lovely comment!

      Like

  8. spearfruit says:

    Great post Dolly…Very informative

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Gary.

      Like

  9. CarolCooks2 says:

    Sparrows, Gibbons. all endangered by man’s deforestation of their habitat…Love the chard recipe 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Carol; I know you love pickled things, so it should be right up your alley!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. CarolCooks2 says:

        It is indeed, Dolly..Keep them coming my friend 🙂 x

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You too, darling; keep them coming!

        Liked by 1 person

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