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Shavuot Planning

May 23, 2012 Leave a comment

While the rest of the US is celebrating Memorial Day, observant Jews will be, well, observing the holiday of Shavuot (Pentecost), when the Torah was given to Israel.  We’ve been counting the days.  Seriously. Every night, we count.  I am writing this on the 46th day since Passover.

The holiday starts Saturday night and ends Monday night, which is why Memorial Day isn’t happening for us.  It’s also a three day holiday – but in the most inconvenient direction.  It’s a lot easier when it’s two days of holiday followed by Shabbat.

So,  I’m faced with several challenges.  It starts with the fact that my oven’s Shabbat mode doesn’t function correctly. I can get it to stay on, but I can’t change the temperature. I don’t want a 35oF oven on for three hot days. So I want to avoid using the oven at all. In fact, I want to avoid using the stove if I can. This means I need food that can stay cold, or can be reheated easily on an electric warming tray or is best suited to be cooked on top of the stove.

I also need to be concerned with freshness, since everything needs to be cooked, if possible, on Thursday – Friday at the latest, and was purchased TODAY, Wednesday, to be possibly served Monday. And there’s a Shabbat to cook for as well. The other things to be aware of – can’t have dinner until full dark, the custom of eating dairy food, a guest who refuses to eat any animal flesh (including fish) on the first day) (for no reason we can see, actually) and my family coming on Monday. And that I want to have at least one meat meal during the holiday. Dairy meals tend to be calorically dense.

Shabbat will be chicken, store-bought kugel and veg.  My standard Shabbat.

Saturday night – quiche and fruit salad. Easy to make, easily reheated, delicious. Simple.

Sunday lunch (guests) – lasagna and salad. They’re bringing ice cream cake for dessert.

Sunday dinner – chicken filet, potato salad (store bought), vegetable. Top of the stove, fast, easy.

Monday lunch – baked salmon, yogurt-dill sauce, green salad, angel hair pasta salad.

I just cooked the salmon, and I’m going to freeze it, to thaw out on Sunday night. The chicken filet will be frozen and thawed over Shabbat and Sunday to be cooked fresh. Everything else will be cooked Thursday night or Friday. Or purchased.

Categories: cooking, judaism