Article Archive for August 2011
One of my favorite preparations of eggplant is Caponata. Caponata is a Sicilian dish similar to a chopped and cooked vegetable salad. Sicilian cuisine is complex and owes its use of many flavors and influences to its diverse history and demographics. Many Sicilian dishes have Jewish roots and come from Jews taken as slaves after Israel’s destruction thousands of years ago.
Our story is special, not for the simple reason that we were both truly made for each other but because of the circumstances surrounding how and why we met.
All natural produce in its original form is kosher — including fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains. Once anything is processed — such as frozen foods, canned goods, repackaged goods, juices, etc., supervision is required. Processing raises many questions, such as: Are the processing machines ever used for non-kosher foodstuffs (e.g. lard on machines to keep things running smoothly is a common problem)?
I have been dating a woman for a few months now. I’m a substitute teacher seeking a full time job. I also work as a pet sitter and in a retail store part time. I barely make $30,000 a year. She is a pharmaceutical rep for 25 years making at least six figures. She thought she could get past my wages and not having my own place, but it eats her up inside. She is afraid she has fallen for me, and I have fallen for her. Now she is asking to just be friends.
One of the most ancient cities in the land of Israel, Hebron is mentioned in the Bible as the location of the Cave of the Patriarchs (Me’arat Ha’mach’pelah), which Abraham purchased as Sarah’s burial site. Furthermore, at the time of the conquest of the Promised Land, Hebron is specifically singled out: “They gave Hebron to Caleb”(Joshua 1:20).
The food in the fridge is to my liking. It’s all Trader Joes. He doesn’t cook much. He’s got the spice rack directly above the stove. One greasy hand reaching for the paprika, and yeow! you’ve got spice jars in the frying pan. I do cook. See, we enrich each other’s lives, F! And, I like his books. I like the tomato plant. I like so much about F’s house, I decide F and I are meant for each other.
The Book of Ecclesiastes frequently repeats the theme of, “There is nothing new under the sun.” For King Solomon, the composer of Ecclesiastes, this focus was intended to inspire people to do good and to stop looking for new experiences. There is nothing new under the sun because God created the universe and nothing is new to Him.
Twenty-first century medical technology has a pill for nearly every illness and ache. Even those who prefer alternative medicines often purchase their cures in liquid or pill form. Most people today have no familiarity with the potential medicinal cures found in their local gardens.
All summer I wait for the start of tomato season. Ripe, juicy and in-season tomatoes taste like sunshine and summer. They are fruity and incomparably rich and refreshing. Supermarket tomatoes have no flavor and are starchy. I do not ever use them in recipes and just wait it out until the real thing comes in season. If you have never tried an in-season, fresh off the vine tomato, I insist that you find a farm stand or farmer’s market and pick some up. When you purchase fresh tomatoes, do not put them in the refrigerator. All that wonderful sugar that is a natural part of the tomato will convert to starch in the refrigerator. That is why store bought tomatoes have a grainy texture and are flavorless. The usually travel great distances in refrigerator trucks and then are store in the stores coolers. YUCK! Purchase fresh, off the vine tomatoes as close to the date you need them to insure the best flavor.
Until recently, the repercussions of converting to Judaism meant more than just renouncing one’s previous religious beliefs. More often than not, a person who converted to Judaism also cut off ties with his/her family (and in many cases the family sought his/her arrest and punishment). Additionally, converts were often forced to forfeit any personal wealth that they might possess. This was a challenge for which the Torah was well prepared. Scripture, in Deuteronomy 10:18, states that God “loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing.” Throughout the Torah, the Jewish people are reminded of the importance of being kind to converts (and widows and orphans). Throughout history, communities often took it upon themselves to help converts support themselves.