Saturday, February 12, 2011

Festive Meals, Menu Please

I do all my own cooking, except that over ten years ago, the kids decided that my husband should make the weekly chicken soup.

Oops!  I've started this in the middle.  Let's start again...

As a Torah-observant Jew, I serve festive meals weekly.  Many traditional Jews, less strict than I also have at least one festive family or with friends or community meal on Shabbat, the Sabbath.  I've heard this described as "a couple of Thanksgiving dinners each week."

Technically, there are three meals, or are supposed to be three meals.  Our Sabbath starts at night.  I light Shabbat candles and my husband goes to shul, synagogue.  I could go if I want to, but I love that quiet time after the hectic rush to get everything ready.  I pray at home and finish with all the last minute stuff, like setting the table and making the fresh salad.  I like the salad made just before eating.  And what else do I serve on Friday night?
  • chicken soup, which my husband makes
  • challah, our festive bread
  • fancy, but easy to make, baked vegetables
  • one or two, sautéed vegetable dishes
  • a protein, poultry or beef or combination
  • a carbohydrate, rice or potatoes or something else
  • large fresh, raw salad
Sometimes I experiment combining the protein with vegetables, or like this very different meatloaf.

We finish the meal with tea.  My husband and I are both trying to keep weight off, so we don't eat cake.  I sometimes have baked apples, amazingly simple applesauce or compote.

Shabbat lunch, which we sometimes eat as early as 10:30am, is very similar.  Just delete the soup.  During the late winter months, we serve artichokes as a first course.  I put up everything to heat on an electric hotplate before I leave for shul, and I make the salad just before we sit down.

And each meal begins with the ritual Kiddush over wine or grape juice, and then we usually have some wine during the meal.

Yes, that's it.  I serve very simple, but ample meals.

No comments: