My mother had close friends who moved to in the 1940s and settled on a Moshav, Kfar Meishar, near Gedera. Although she had not seen them since the end of the war they had kept in touch, and when I made my first trip to Israel at age 16, my mother insisted that I visit them. Sonia and Manya made me feel right at home even though I spoke no Hebrew and very little Yiddish. They doted on me, and took turns serving me food that was not only familiar, but almost identical to the food that my mother served. The women and their families lived in houses that were spitting distance from one another and each day I was asked whose house I was going to sleep in and where I would be eating breakfast, lunch and dinner. I often ended up eating six meals a day, trying hard not to offend either of them. They couldn’t do enough for me and the intensity of their affection did not push me away, it drew me in, like being wrapped in a warm blanket on a rainy day. Sonia and Manya are no longer alive but when either my daughter or I go to Israel, we always visit their children and grandchildren. Friendships that span three generations are rare and it only happens if everyone makes the effort to keep the connection alive. I could never imagine visiting Israel without spending time with Sonya’s son and daughter-in-law, Aharon and Rosie. I know that they will welcome us with open arms and I know that Rosie will have pickled vegetables sitting on her kitchen counter. It’s nice knowing that there are some things you can always count on.
Rosie’s Pickled Vegetables
1 Kohlrabi, cut in thick strips.
3-5 large carrots, cut in bite size pieces
1 red cabbage, sliced
1 cauliflower, broken into small pieces
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
1 Serrano chili, cut in pieces
1 head of garlic, peeled
Place the vegetables in a large jar with a lid.
4 cups of boiling water
2 cups of white vinegar
2 Tbs salt
1/2 cup sugar
Mix ingredients for brine and pour over vegetables, making sure vegetables are covered with liquid. Do not refrigerate. Hamutzim will be ready in 2-3 days.