Shavuot Tartines

Counting the Omer, One Tartine at a Time

Today’s recipe is really a list: 49 different delicious, chometzdik, sustaining, take-it-along open sandwiches. Called tartines, they are an emanation of medieval peasant food in which a meal would be served atop a slice of bread so as to be eaten while on foot. I thought about making quail, the other culinary miracle performed for those desert wanderers, but then, not many of us have quail in the freezer. If you do, please send us a photo of those little delicacies, and my chef’s hat is off to you.

Continue reading

Shavuot Trout Cheesecake

For a new twist on Shavuot, try this lox-bagel-turned cheesecake

by Rachel Harkham More than three thousand years ago, as the story goes, the Israelites received the Torah from God on top of Mt. Sinai. Shavuot, which begins tonight and lasts two days, celebrates the acceptance of that enduring tradition. At this time it is customary to eat a roster of rich dairy dishes for several reasons: the plentiful milk of late springtime, the lines in the Bible describing Israel as the land of “milk and honey” and the dairy dishes that followed the acceptance of the laws of kashrut before Jews could cook kosher meat. Fast-forward from the slopes of Mt. Sinai to New York in the late-aughties. I was trying to come up with an original dish to serve to my guests for Shavuot, finding myself completely uninspired by the usual suspects—sweet cheese blintzes and...

Continue reading

Shavuot Cheese Blintzes

Shavuot Blintzes: Take Your Lactaid, Folks

Shavuot, the holiday that marks the receiving of the Torah and the annual cheesecake overload, begins on the evening of Tuesday, May 14. The holiday celebration is twofold in that we celebrate receiving the Torah, including all of the commandments, and the grain harvest, which occurs at this time of year in Israel. When the Jewish people received the Torah, which included all of the dietary laws, they would have needed time to kasher, (make fit or proper) all of their dishes, utensils and vessels. Hence, the custom of eating a dairy meal developed, as they would not have had access to kosher meat without enough time to prepare. My family has always eaten blintzes on this holiday, at times homemade and at times store-bought. I’ll be honest--I usually dread making blintzes. I make it into...

Continue reading

The Plight of the Three-Day Holiday

by Rebecca Borison This past Friday, I turned off my iPhone at approximately 7 pm and prepared myself for three days of being disconnected. Shavuot happened to fall on Sunday and Monday, which meant that Shabbat led directly into the holiday, allowing no time to catch up on missed emails on Saturday night. While I am used to unplugging for one day a week, the three-day holiday always poses a greater challenge: It’s a lot harder to deal with three days of unplugging than one. But ultimately, I found the three days to be more beneficial than bothersome. I was able to catch up with high school friends, play basketball with my younger brother, go to synagogue, and even read some George Eliot. Granted, I don’t think I’d be able to do it every week, but once...

Continue reading