Sunday, September 20, 2009

Rosh HaShanah: "Beef fry" for lunch, & other tales

Here's my lead-up to Rosh HaShanah. Visitors from DovBear's blog, where I left a link in the comments to his Holiday debrief post, may find the second "this post" link particularly interesting.

And now, for the wrap-up.

Since my husband and I have never made a point of eating hot food for Shabbat/Sabbath lunch (and, in fact, it was only a few years ago that I learned that some people think that eating or drinking something hot on Shabbat is a major big deal), we've never needed to figure what survives well on the hot-tray overnight. So we took our chances when we decided to indulge over Rosh HaShanah and have hot lunches, leaving the hot-tray turned on, instead of putting it on the timer to turn it off automatically after 11 PM. We figured that my homemade parve fruit-and-juice-sweetened tzimmes had enough juice in it to handle an overnight on the hot-tray quite nicely, and that barbecued chicken would probably be okay, but we took a gamble on some of our brisket.

The tzimmes and the chicken were delicious. But the poor brisket slices came out as crispy as beef fry. Who ever heard of eating beef fry on Rosh HaShanah? :) Oh, well.

Rosh HaShanah round-up:

At the last minute, the synagogue president found a between-jobs rabbi with a decent voice to lead Shacharit/Morning Service, so my husband only had to relieve our regular chazan for Mincha/Afternoon Service. But we anticipate that the hubster will, in fact, lead Shacharit/Morning Service for next Rosh HaShanah (Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), as he thought he'd be doing this year.

There was also another last-minute surprise: Mr. Shirker/Show-off called the president this past Thursday to let him know that he'd be praying elsewhere on Rosh HaShanah and wouldn't be here to chant the haftarah on the second day. My husband got the honor of taking his place on less than three days' notice.

Sadly, the pathetic head-count at our synagogue was not really much of a surprise. I don't think we had more than 65 people in attendance at any Rosh HaShanah service. The second-night "crowd" was particularly depressing--I'm not sure we got more than 15 people. Junior Congregation is a thing of the past.

For the record, most of our food was provided by the congregation, courtesy of ye friendly not-so-local kosher caterer, in gratitude for my Ritual-Committee-chair husband's hard work in helping coordinate the services, not to mention leading Mincha. (The congregation also provided food for the rabbi, cantor, and synagogue secretary.) We plan to sneak in a repayment in the form of a Yom Kippur pledge. (We weren't planning on giving, since we already made our contribution when we paid about 1/3 of last year's High Holiday chazan's salary after he called just before Pesach/Passover to say that he was still waiting for half of his pay.) But the tzimmes was homemade by yours truly. Here's my sugar-free, honey-free parve and vegan recipe, which I assume is at least slightly healthier than the usual honey-glazed version, and feeds about 3-4 people:
  • 1 pound baby carrots
  • 1 large sweet potato or yam (about 3/4 lb. to 1 lb.)
  • 1 20-oz. can of pineapple chunks in unsweetened juice (Dole brand is kosher)
  • 1/2-1 cup orange juice (may vary according to size of potato or personal taste--I used 3/4 cup this year with a potato of about 3/4 lb. Taste while cooking to determine quantity required or preferred)
  • 1 apple
  • cinnamon

Peel the sweet potato/yam. Cut it in quarters lengthwise, then cut it into medium-sized chunks. (If you cut the chunks too small, the potato will turn into mush. You want it to stay in discernible pieces.) Put the potato chunks into a (parve) 2-quart pot with the baby carrots. Mix with a (parve) spoon.

Leave the skin on the apple so that it won't fall apart. Scrub the apple and cut out the core, making sure that all seeds and surrounding inedible pieces are removed. Sprinkle cinnamon inside. Place the apple in the center of the pot, on the bottom, displacing the carrots and potatoes as necessary to do so.

Open the can of pineapple, and stuff the center of the apple with pineapple chunks. Pour the entire reminder of the can of pineapple, including all the juice, over the contents of the pot. Pour at least 1/2 cup of orange juice over the contents of the pot, then sprinkle with cinnamon.

Cover the pot and cook the tzimmes on low heat for approximately forever, until the carrots are reasonably soft but not falling apart. (Check occasionally for "done-ness" and to see whether you want or need to add more orange juice.) I've never really timed this precisely, but I'd say you should leave about 2 1/2 hours, just in case. Enjoy!

We demolished the leftover tzimmes, straight off the hot-tray, tonight. I just poured the leftover juice from the pot into a glass and drank it. The juice was nice and sweet, and I probably got about three days worth of vitamin A in one shot. :)

G'mar chatima tovah, may you be sealed in the Book of Life for a good year .

Have an easy fast today.


Anonymous Woodrow/Conservadox said...

Beef fry sounds better to me than brisket.

So how was it?

Fri Oct 02, 10:44:00 AM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

A bit too crispy. I'll trade you for that brisket. :)

Fri Oct 02, 04:58:00 PM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

By the way, Woodrow, I sometimes have trouble posting comments on your blog (and I don't recollect that you list an e-mail address). That Word Verification window of yours is sometimes stubborn, and won't give me anything that I can read. Also, the comment composition box blocks the post. Assuming that you're more computer-savvy than I am, you might wish to consider tweaking your code a bit. Just a suggestion.

Chag Sameach!

Fri Oct 02, 05:11:00 PM 2009  

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