I’m cooked out. But really. What did you make for Shabbat? How do you cook when you have guests with varying tastes? I’m insane. Certifiable. But really….you probably don’t believe me. I mean, who c
ooks enough to drive themselves insane, right?
So, before I show you what I cooked, I’ll let you in on a little secret. Cooking and preparing for the Sabbath actually doesn’t make you insane. Really, it protects your sanity. It grounds you; it returns you to the basics. Something as simple as making an additional gift brings with it the feeling of wonder and gratitude.
My mother-in-law (z”l) once told me that during WWII, they were so hungry, they were forced to go search for scraps of food. And they knew who used a knife to peel a potato, and who used a peeler. You see the peeler is designed to remove the skin and leave the meat of the potato and therefore be more efficient than a knife.
For a hungry person, the extra “meat” on the potato was a luxury. And so, each week, as I make the potato kugel that my mother-in-law, I think of her and I remember the stories she told me.
This Shabbat we are having guests – friends of my daughters. And we are having a big kiddush in our synagogue. I love the shul (synagogue) that I attend here. It’s a relatively small group of people.
Mostly around my age. Most are grandparents but there are also quite a few teenagers that seem to enjoy coming.
And about once a month, we have a big lunch. While everyone brings something, I’m typically the one who makes the “main” meal – in most cases, what we call cholent. It’s basically meat, potatoes, beans and barley that cooks for hours and hours. So I made that (and took off a small pot of it to leave at home.
These are the comfort foods that stay with us all our lives. The roots that bind us. So yes, sometimes it’s overwhelming, but it’s always delicious!
So what did I make this week?
Well, here’s the list:
- Frank and stirfry
- Salmon loaf
- Sweet hamburgers
- Potato kugel
- Cholent and kishka
- Two types of roasted vegetables
- Cole slaw
- Fruit salad
- 100 challah rolls (don’t ask!)
- 8 challahs