Friday, January 28, 2011

Falafel Chips by Flamous Organics and a man named Sam

At our local greengrocer we came across a delicious snack (although they are not raw like we were touting in yesterday's post) called falafel chips.  They are a corn tortilla chip base with falafel flavor.  The high quality of this product us struck us immediately:  No hidden ingredients (like MSG masked as the word spices, torula yeast or Autolyzed Yeast Extract), lots of certifications (they're kosher, USDA Organic certified, and even tout the Kid Kritics stamp of approval to name just a few), and offered in both spicy and original flavors.  They are the perfect chip paired with hummus.

 Remember when we wrote about why hummus should be found in every town in America

The company's CEO, Sam Shehayeb, appears to be quite a nice man and we wish the company much success.  We know nothing about the name Shehayeb except that obviously it is not Ashkenazic in origin.  We doubt he is Jewish, although it certainly is possible.  We venture to guess he is Lebanese-born. 

Either way, we think that if we all share in some of these healthy falafel chips with a bowl of hummus  (while listening to Michael Franti), the world will move towards a happier, more unified place.  We are, indeed, the Whole Phamily, after all!

Will the Meditteranean Diet save the world?

At least it will get our hearts and brains healthier, which is a very good place to start.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Getting Raw. Getting Back to the Land in a Final Frontier of our Good Ole U.S. of A.

Getting back to our roots as at least partially a blog about Jewish names, we are currently interested in the last name Safron.

We have mentioned one Safran who has hit popular culture big time.  But we didn't get terribly into its meaning.

We have now come across a Jeremy with the last name Safron, and we venture to think that the names are related and they are simply different spellings. 

(side note:  How can we really trust what we can grab on the Internet?  We need an Onomast.  We also should read this article about Jewish namesDr. Aaron Demsky is the person who could make sense of any of this.  Safran and Safron the same thing?  Does the Jewish version really lead to the yellow spice  (this site states the "Jewish name is mainly ornamental," leading us to believe no connection there for the Jews)?   Umm.. can folks with this family name in the Jewish world lay claim to the Safran family crest?  Nah...that last part doesn't sound terribly kosher.  It's not like we come from Sheffield, Shetland or Stuart stock.  Those are all Other S's.)

Our humble guess is that Safran and Safron are connected to the Jewish name root Shapiro, which comes from the word "sofer," meaning scribe (our trustworthy torah, mezuzah and tefillin writers of yesteryear...add in another item writable on parchment and you get the whole megillah).

The Magilla Gorilla Show
Uploaded by AH3RD. - Full seasons and entire episodes online.

(side note:  No, neither Hanna nor Barbera were Jewish, but Barbera was born on the Lower East Side and presumably grew up around many Jews, having been exposed to the word megillah possibly while frolicking the halls of Erasmus Hall High School .  Just our guess....)

Back to Safran-Safron-Sofer connection:

You get variations such as Schapiro (as in the wine), Sapir, Safer (as in Morley), Shufro, Shaefer (as in the beer, but highly unlikely those were Jews), Shaffer (as in Paul)...have you caught on to our groove yet?

Now back to Jeremy Safron.

He's a raw foodist, a pioneer in the raw food world.  He is an inventor.  He is youthful.  He is into video games and martial arts, in a peaceful way, if you can imagine that.  He bottles Living Clay  (reminds us of Dead Sea mud, no?).   He created the most delicious snack food, PowerWraps (he sold his idea), which we are trying to get more New Yorkers to enjoy.  Would you believe you can only get them in one spot in NYC?   Jeremy lives in one of the most beautiful places in our country on the island of Maui.   Like all good hippies, we were there in 2002.  We have visited the town of Paia, picked up necessities for our week, saw the road to Haiku up on the right before the infamous Road to Hana begins, spent time at the Tradewinds Cottages, hiked into the Bamboo Forest, and even ate a fresh meat coconut cut by Mike with a machete (for $5...we were ok with that).  How can we forget the vintage bubble letter name mugs produced by Carmel-by-the-Sea that were hanging at Grandma's Coffee (they aren't for sale, just for use by locals...good thing we still have our own from 1980)

Perhaps we could have simplified the above-written paragraph into a haiku of our own.

Or not.
Amazing stuff way out there. 

And a whole lotta Jews, too.

Further to our point:  we are all linked and and if we seek out the goodness on the earth (as you might know, Ram Dass is doing much better than he had and is running his retreats), the earth will be a better place.  So glad to learn that, indeed, the former Richard Alpert has met with Reb Zalman.

At long last, we present Jeremy Safron, author of The Raw Truth:  The Art of Preparing Living Foods.  We believe very much in illumination, however we do believe that Everything truly is connected.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Seedlings Turn Overnight to Sunflowers, Blossoming Even As We Gaze

No, that's not Zeppelin.

Perhaps the above-mentioned quotation doesn't ring as quick a bell as the title of the song in which it appears:  "Sunrise, Sunset."  Seedlings and sunflowers don't right out there scream "Jewish."  And yet, a simple utterance of the two words sunrise and sunset together in one sentence will get most American Jews (and even many non Jews) above a certain age swooning and swaying all at the same time.  Yuck.

We must admit, Fiddler on the Roof was never a big draw for us.  We had little desire to pay attention during a screening in a social studies class at Spanish River High School while visiting a teen tour boyfriend in Boca, instead dreaming up what crazy stuff his fellow Louis Vuitton wallet-carrying-buddies would do at their poker game and BBYO scavenger hunt later that night.  We missed its 2nd and 3rd Broadway revivals, in 1981 and 1990 respectively.  We have seen clips of the film, but never the whole thing.  We figured that gazing down from the balcony on high holidays at the film's lead actor, Chaim Topol, who attended our family's synagogue in the '80s, was enough.

Honestly, the music never really grabbed us (yes, we know it received some Academy Awards.  With music by John Williams.  Yes, we know he's big.  Still, no grab).

Until today.

Driving home from the pharmacy this afternoon, we were listening to our children's Jewish 'till You're Satisfied  CD by the Funkey Monkeys. The CD has a lot of classics you may have heard at camp, Hebrew school, or youth groups, but these versions are updated, funked up, and totally raging.

So, check out this two-year-old soul version (complete with a horns section) of the classic song your grandparents cried to at the silver screen in 1971.  And feel free to tell your Grandma Beverly about it in West Palm.  It will get her rockin'.  Maybe she'll even share it with her Mah Jongg group.

Here's the Zeppelin you were thought you might get.  And it is from just 2 years after Fiddler, no less!