Mama Deb (mamadeb) wrote,
Mama Deb

On Wednesday we begin the month of Elul. It's supposed to be the month of contemplation, as one prepares for the upcoming holidays spiritually, taking mental stock for the repentance one does on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. I hope I manage to do some of that, too.

But what's mostly on my mind is dinner. :)

This year, all the Tishrei holidays - Rosh HaShanah, Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah - fall on Saturday-Sunday, which makes life much easier. Yom Kippur falls on Monday, which is only a minor inconvenience.

And all of them require meals. Yom Kippur gets a nice meal before and a good one afterwards and the others get four festive meals *each* - dinner and lunch. Imagine making/serving the equivalent of four Thanksgiving dinners in a weekend. One hopes, with guests. Actually, I'm exaggerating. No one does a big meal for Simchat Torah dinner. There really isn't time - you spend the entire night at synagogue, dancing and singing. By the time you get home, you barely have the energy to eat. And I make at least one light/vegetarian meal or a lighter lunch because who can eat so much?

But I'm still starting to think about it, because not only do I have all these meals to plan, I also have to deal with the halachic issues that occur when a two day holiday (and Rosh HaShanah is a two day holiday everywhere, not just in Israel) starts on Shabbat - not only do you have to prepare for Shabbat but you have to consider what to do the next day. You have to remember that, if you use a crockpot or a warming tray for Shabbat lunch, it's going to be on for another day, unless it's on a timer.

Of course, you can't start preparing for the second day until the first is completely over - full darkness. This is true of any yom tov, but it's more acute on Shabbat. So, dinner the second night has to be something that either cooks very quickly or is reheated easily. And no microwave allowed. Or rice cooker. The only way to really handle this is to make sure everything that can be is cooked ahead of time. One can cook on Yom Tov, but there are rules to be followed, and no electric appliances can be used unless they're in a steady state already. The second day of Sukkot is my husband's Hebrew birthday, and also his English one this year, so I'll be making lamb chops for lunch, fresh. We'll also probably have guests.

So. I'm thinking. First night of R"H: gefilte fish/salad, chicken noodle soup, turkey and stuffing, veg. Honey cakes. Start with the traditional apples and honey. A good wine. Whole wheat challah. Lunch: fish, turkey, kugel, salad. No dessert because no guests planned. Dinner: very light. Veggie chili or pot roast gravy over noodles. Salad. Lunch, with guests: fish, soup, pot roast with veggies and potatoes. Honey cake.

Notice the large food. This will give me leftovers, will be easy to serve and feed however many people.

Sukkot: right now, I'm thinking squash soup. Otherwise, normal Shabbat food served in the Sukkah. Should be a touch better, I suppose, but I have to lug all of it downstairs and it'll be October and chilly. And I'll save the casseroles for the week. I will make the lamb chops and green beans and noodles Jonathan loves for the second day lunch.

This is all, as you can see, very preliminary,and presumes no invitations by friends. Although we've already gotten one and expect others.

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