Shabbat Traditions Don't Have to Be Traditional

You have your own place, your own life. The time has come. It’s time to start your own Shabbat dinner tradition. Here’s the wake up call… start now or it won’t happen! Calm down, it’s not as daunting a task as it sounds.
Yes we CAN work all day Friday and still make a perfectly serviceable Shabbat dinner. Let me share a few tips and tricks for pulling off a pretty darn tasty Friday sundown supp.
Pull out the candle holders and the wine glasses (or the Martini glasses…recipes to follow) and let’s get this party started! First toss out the notion that everything is going to be homemade from scratch. Noble idea, but come on, really? At the end of an excruciatingly long week I don’t think so. Your first dish starts Thursday night with noodle kugel. Toss it all together put it in the baking dish, cover and refrigerate.
Friday on your way home from work here’s your shopping list:

  1. Pick up a rotisserie chicken, a bag of prewashed green beans, a challah, some good hummus and pita chips, fresh strawberries (and cool whip?) from the grocery store.
  2. Swing by the liquor store for a bottle of red (Kosher if you like), a bottle of good vodka…Chopin, Grey Goose, Absolut. You’ll also need a bottle of dry white vermouth and a jar of olives. If you want a Cosmo, add some limes, cranberry juice and triple sec to the list.
  3. Your friends will be there in a bit, but all you have to do is pop the kugel in a 350 degree oven covered for 45 minutes, uncovered for 15 minutes.
  4. Cool the martini glasses, open the wine, put out the hummus and keep the bird warm while the kugel gets nice and bubbly and crispy on top like ya like it.
  5. Friends arrive just in time for the blessing over the candles,the motzi and the kiddish. If your friends aren’t Jewish, that makes this all the more fun to share your culture and traditions. Pass the Challah. Pour the Martinis and carve the chicken.
  6. Gotta have Matzo ball soup? There’re lots of good box brands out there (unless you’re watching your salt intake…Yowwww).
  7. Don’t feel like a supermarket rotisserie chicken? Try throwing some stuff in the crockpot Friday morning and by sundown it’ll be savory and so ready to serve.

The ‘tinis and vino are flowin’. The strawberries are buried in cool whip and the week fades into distant memory as you begin a new Shabbat and a new tradition with friends and family.

(Hey, check out the pic. It’s caption contest time! The winner gets a free copy of my book You’re Cookin’ Tonight: The Quickest way to the Bedroom is Through the Kitchen. Just jot down your ideas in the comments below.)


Caption Contest