It's almost Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year...time to make the brisket. The joy of this holiday is reflected in the food we eat. No doubt, you are familiar with the Rosh Hashanah custom of eating an apple (epl) dipped in honey (honik) and other symbolic foods that express our wishes for the New Year.
Koach.org presents some new ideas:
. We should eat things that imply happiness (glik): sweetness and prosperity - like Cheerios, honeydew, plums and Cream of Wheat (See Psalm 81:18).
. To promote tolerance among Jews, we should drink orange juice, grape juice and apple juice.
. To stress unity, we ought to eat things that stick together, like macaroni and cheese, and peanut butter.
. To remind us of the need for love and good will, let's have Hershey's kisses and Life Savers.
. We should avoid eating anything that sounds violent: no cereal that has the words Smacks or Pops in their titles, no artichokes, no squash and no Bazooka gum. Also, nothing that sounds meshuggah, like flakes, bananas, or fruit cake. And definitely no bologna!
. Lastly, we should eat as many peas as possible, with the hope that this will finally be the year that we see peace in our war-weary world!
Back to the brisket. I recently had the pleasure of r eading the Dictionary of Jewish Words by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic. They define brisket as follows:
English. n. An economical, grainy cut of beef that is prepared similar to a pot roast, slow-cooked at a low temperature. This makes it an ideal choice for Shabbat meals because a cook can leave it to simmer for hours without breaking the laws of melakhah. Along with the roasted chicken, beef brisket is the traditional choice for Shabbat and Jewish holiday meals.
Joel Siegel (Lessons For Dylan) writes, Take the brisket, please. Make sure it is a whole brisket, NOT first cut or prime cut; you want the whole brisket with the deckel, the fatty piece of meat that sits on top of the first cut. DON'T let the butcher trim off too much fat, either.&nbs p; Your guests can trim all they want when they eat it, but the brisket needs the fat to cook in...Cover the roaster with heavy-duty aluminum. And here comes the hard part: Place on a center rack in the oven and DO NOTHING. Nothing. Don't peek. After two hours, take a peek. Make certain there is still water in the roaster. If there isn't, add some, keeping the level at about an inch.
And some more brisket humor:
A Counter intelligence review in the Food section, March 19, quoted the owner of Mr. Pickles Deli in Los Angeles recalling a radio comment by talk show host Laura Schlessinger about the restaurant's brisket. Schlessinger said that the brisket does not need to be adulterated by ketchup, NOT that the brisket is the first step before adultery.
I will not eat green eggs and ham.
I will not eat them, Sam-I-am.
But I'll eat green eggs with a biscuit.
Or I will try them with some brisket.
Q.: If a doctor carries a black bag and a
plumber carries a tool box, what does
a mohel carry?
A.: A Bris-kit!
Beatles Top Jewish Songs: I Want to Hold Your Brisket
A little humor
A young Jewish mother is preparing a brisket for Rosh Hashana. Her daughter watches with interest as the mother slices off the ends of the brisket before placing it in the roasting pan. The meyd l (girl) asks her mother why she did this. The mother pauses for a moment and then says, You know I am not sure...This is the way I always saw my mother make a brisket. Let's call Grandma and ask her. So she phones the grandmother and asks why they always slice the ends off the brisket before roasting. The grandma then says, You know, I am not sure why. This is the way we always saw MY mother make it.
Now the two women are curious, so they pay a visit to the great-grandmother in the nursing home. You know when we make a brisket,' they explain, we always slice off the ends before roasting. Why is that?
"I don't know why YOU do it," says the elderly woman, "but I never had a pan that was large enough."
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe follows the 9th Commandment: Thou shalt not bear false witness except when thou sayest dinner tastes great when surely it doth not. (Thank you, Marnie Winston-Macauley! (A Little Joy A Little Oy - A Banquet of Jewish Humor and Wisdom, 2006 Calendar).
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