by Sophie Bass, Campscape Specialist
Shalom! It’s been a wonderful few weeks here in the garden (or Campscape as we know it at Camp Coleman). Together, we’ve planted loads of tomatoes, basil, peppers, squash, and flowers. This past Thursday we harvested our first fruit- a juicy Roma tomato! In celebration of this big first, the Shehecheyanu was recited.
Campscape is not just a huge garden, but a place to create and explore our environmental connection and more specifically, our environmental connection as Jews. In the past several weeks, the campers have learned to make some of my favorite vegan recipes. Every time we cook or even just make mint tea, the question, “where did this come from?” is asked. I encourage you to keep asking this question at home!
Roni, one of our amazing Israeli Shlichim, taught campers how to make limonana, or as Bonim boys have deemed it, “Israeli Magic Juice”. Limonana is icy mint lemonade that will be adored by your family and friends on any occasion. Here is the recipe:
- About a cup of mint leaves (the fresher, the better!)
- ¾ cups of sugar (this could definitely be reduced depending on your preference)
- 6 cups of ice
- 2 cups of water
- ½ cup lemon juice
First, blend the water and mint. Then, add everything but the ice. Gradually, add more ice until a slushy consistency is reached. This recipe would also make for refreshing ice pops!
Keeping with the theme of green, pesto was another big hit this session. While we made pesto from basil here at camp, it can also be made from spinach. Having made spinach pesto all winter long in freezing New York State, I can honestly tell you it goes faster than fast. To prolong the goodness, make a big batch and divide into freezer-safe containers. Here is the recipe:
- 4 cups of basil (the more the merrier)
- ½ cup of good olive oil
- ½ cup of nutritional yeast ( find in bulk/at health food stores)
- 1/8 cup of lemon juice
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp garlic powder/ 2 medium cloves
Blend until smooth in a food processor. Don’t hesitate to experiment with different spices and quantities.
Once we made the pesto, we pan-fried up some russet potatoes (skin and all!) in a little bit of olive oil. In the last two minutes we added the pesto. Can you say perfection? Pesto potatoes make a great addition to any protein.
To finish off, here is the recipe for the almond milk that we all made together. Campers especially loved it when we added a ½ cup of coco powder to the mix. While delicious over ice, it is also lovely hot!
Cooking can be a family activity, as can gardening. Remember- you don’t need a backyard to grow mint or basil; you just need a pot, some water, enough sunlight, and some commitment. As I tell the campers, it tastes better when you help make it, and based on their enthusiasm this session that is most definitely the case. Whether you know it or not, you are part of the food system; the health and safety of food is based off of consumer demand. Vote with your wallet at the grocery store or farmer’s market. Vote with your family in the kitchen. Simply put, vote with your forks. Eating is perhaps the most social activity there is, so why not make it the most holy too?