Monday, December 12, 2011

If Shavuos is so special, why don't more people around here celebrate it?


I was sent this great letter to Chanukah from Shavuos. It kind of puts the holiday in perspective. Enjoy!

Dear Chanukah,

Hi. My name is Shavuos. Some people call me Shavuot. Many have never heard of me at all. I'm a pretty quiet holiday, so this outrageous letter is really not my style. But honestly, things have just gone too far.

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I'm a REAL holiday. A Biblical one. I don't like to flaunt my pedigree, but people just have to know these things. Like, the type of holiday you don't drive on. You make kiddush on. Y'know?

Chanukah, I mean, we can be friends and all. I like you. Your latkes rock and you sure know how to throw a party. Your theme is beautiful and your prayers amazingly contemporary and relevant. You're a lot of fun and we actually have a lot in common. Dairy foods and all. But in some ways, we are so opposite. I'm a summer kind of thing and you're a winter kind of thing. I'm really short and you're... not. Is that any reason to show off?
I'm not really sure why you need to hang out in the middle of the mall decorated with gifts, starting from like November. Really?? I think you've been hanging out with Christmas a little too much. Not that you asked, but you guys have nothing in common! Why are you always trying to upstage him? I know you share a birthday(sometimes). You're not even related. Your themes are different, your customs are different. Lose the gifts, okay? It's so not you. You've always been a gelt kind of guy. That means money - cash. When did you become such a follower?

If anyone should be in the middle of the mall (which we shouldn't) it should be us. The threesome. The Three Major Holidays. No, I'm not trying to show off, but you seem to have forgotten your place. Me, Pesach (Passover) and Sukkot. Yep, it's always been the three of us - no offense.

So why don't you get out of the mall and do your job: fighting Jewish ignorance and apathy, and introducing people to us? It would suit you well. Oh, and by the way? Figure out how to spell your name, because it's becoming awfully confusing.

Looking forward to seeing you soon,

the forgotten holiday

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Great Brisket Bake off

Several years ago I started what has come to be known as the GREAT BRISKET BAKE-OFF. Like many things gastronomically Jewish, this event centers around a holiday, Chanukah. Why brisket? Why not?

And so, a tradition was born. Except for 2 years ago when we ran out of brisket, there's always been plenty of food. the problem was, people cooked a 2-3 lb. brisket -- for those of you veteran brisket makers, you know that after shrinkage, a brisket that size barely feeds 4 people. So if you're making a brisket, make a big one!

And if you don't want to make a brisket, we can always use other items -- latkes, kasha, stuffed cabbage, salads, drinks, desserts, vegetables-- in other words, anything you'd bring to a pot luck.

Start celebrating Chanukah early and come to the GBBO! Starts at 6:00