Recipes for Shabbat
The 50 days between Pesach and Shavuot are called the "Counting of the Omer." Thirty-three days into the counting of the Omer, Jews celebrate a minor holiday called Lag B' Omer (The word "Lag" means 33 because it is composed of the letters "lamud" and "gimmel," corresponding to the numerical values of "30" and "3.")
These first thirty-three days are considered a time of mourning for the 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva who died for not showing each other proper respect. There are no weddings or other kinds of celebrations during these 33 days but because the epidemic was suspended on the 33rd day (Lag B' Omer )- Lag B' Omer has become a joyous day of celebration filled with picnics, bonfires and lots and lots of fun.
My son once asked me why bonfires were always associated with Lag B' Omer. The best explanation I could come up with was that after his students died, Rabbi Akiva began teaching other students. One of his students was Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, the author of the Zohar. The word Zohar translates into "The Shining Light," and the best way to celebrate a shining light is a bonfire.
Everyone has their own special way to celebrate. I
enjoy flying kites and singing songs just as much as the picnics and
cookouts that usually accompany the bonfires. It is, however, the kosher
marshmallows that are burnt to a crisp that really make our bonfire (and Lag
B' Omer) complete.
In a bowl, blend the mayonnaise, lemon juice,
horseradish, garlic, caraway seeds, and salt and pepper. Add red cabbage and
toss to coat cabbage.
Run cold water over rice in a strainer for about 1 minute, lifting rice to rinse well.
In a medium saucepan bring rice and water to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 40 to 50 minutes or until done. Drain. Rinse with cold water. Drain again. In a mixing bowl toss together the rice, pea pods, chicken, orange sections, and water chestnuts. Cover; chill rice mixture for 6 hours or overnight.
In a screw-top jar combine vinegar, sesame and salad
oils, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cover; chill at least 6 hours or
overnight. Transport the vinegar and oil mixture and the rice mixture
separately in an insulated cooler with an ice pack. Before serving at the
picnic, shake vinegar and oil mixture well. Pour over rice mixture; toss.
Serves 4 to 6.
Cut potatoes into 1/2 inch slices. In large bowl,
whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, mustards, vinegar, parsley and pepper. Add
potatoes; toss until coated. Cover; refrigerate until well chilled, at least
30 minutes. Makes 4 servings.
Scrub potatoes, but do not peel. Place the potatoes in
a saucepan, cover with water and cook, covered, just until tender, about 10
to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in serving bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar
and mustard. Stir the pitted, sliced olives into dressing. Add the celery,
red pepper, smoked chicken and parsley. Toss. When potatoes are cooked,
drain and cut into bite-sized pieces. Add warm potatoes to salad. Season
mixture with salt and pepper; toss to blend. Serve on lettuce leaves with
tomato wedges. Makes 3 main course servings.
In a large stock pot cook the potatoes until they are
tender, then drain and cool them. Peel the potatoes and cut them into
1/4-inch thick slices. In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, Dijon
mustard, lime juice, tomato, red onion, scallion, cilantro, jalapeno and
cayenne and mix well. Add warm potatoes and toss gently. Cover and
refrigerate several hours for the flavors to blend. Serves 8 to 10.
In a large stock pot, cook beans and carrots in enough water to cover for 5 minutes. Add zucchini and cook for 2 minutes; drain and rinse in cold water; cool; transfer to a bowl. Cut potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes and then add them to the vegetables. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, onions, parsley, dill, and salt and pepper. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Serves 10 to 12.
© Eileen Goltz 2003