Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sweet 16 Cholent Recipe

The following recipe was modified from the original, which was posted at Mixed Multitudes. We tried it last Shabbat and it was delicious!

Modified sweet 16 cholent recipe (with quantities and certainty added for Yekkies) :

1 bottle Tomato Sauce (I used Barilla Marinara)
1 small can Tomato Paste
5 heaping tsp garlic
1 package Goodman's Kosher Onion Soup Mix
1/4 cup maple syrup
brown sugar to taste
1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 lb bone in stew meat
1 large vidalia onion
1 can Goya Kidney beans with liquid
1 can Goya White Beans with liquid
1 bag barley (8 oz?)
1 white potatoes, sliced in rounds, unpeeled
2 yellow potato, sliced in rounds, unpeeled
1 sweet potato, sliced in rounds unpeeled

The sauce is what makes this cholent unique. Mix ingredient above together and simmer for a while on medium low heat. The red sauce and onion soup is the secret to this cholent.

In a 12" circular baking pot
Dice onions - enough to cover the bottom of the pot.

Then layer in a mixture of beans and barley.

Next, put a layer of stew meat.

We places a layer of the sauce in at this point.

The next layer was a mix of 2/3rds sweet and 1/3rd regular Yukon Gold/Idaho potatoes (just enough to cover the meat). We did not peel the potatoes. They were cut about 1 centimeter thick.

Another layer of sauce.

If there is space, put in another layer of beans, then meat, then potatoes…

I put the sweet potato rounds on the circumference of the pot.

Then another layer of the sauce. Add water if needed.

Cook in 350 degree oven for 3 -4 hours, then just before Shabbat add water if needed and keep warm until Shabbos lunch.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Fun halachic fact of the day

According to the Magen Avraham(*), there is a way to be mechallel shabbat (in violation of the laws of Shabbat) on a Wednesday (or any other weekday), but you can prevent the problem in advance with libun (heating something red-hot).

(*) As interpreted by me according to my personal metasystem for such things.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

A brief comment on the history of machloket

Rabbi Pruzansky of Teaneck posted an essay on his blog which included the following:

A “machloket,” I assume, was not always perceived the way it is today. Abaye and Rava (yeah, yeah, no one is Abaye and Rava here) did not engender the support of partisan factions in their several thousand areas of conflict. (Typical conversation on the Babylonian blogs in the 4th century CE: “Supporters of Rava: ‘Have you heard? Our master Rava says that when a married woman is accused of infidelity by only one witness, and does not deny it, the one witness is still not believed. But Abaya says that the solitary witness is believed! [Kiddushin 66a] He must be anti-woman, that troglodyte!’” Typical ? Somehow, I don’t think so.)

The hostile reaction here was so visceral that I could only conclude that, contrary to traditional halachic methodology, people are emotionally vested in a certain outcome. Like the rabid sports fan who supports his favorite team and wants them to win at all costs – even if they cheat, even if the umpire or referee blows a call [“a win is a win”] – one group of polemicists wants its side to win. They have little interest in halachic process, but rather a passionate desire for a particular result.

I submitted a comment, which apparently he chose not to publish, so I'm putting it out here:

The schools of Hillel and Shammai represent both extremes in partisanship. One the one hand, although they disagreed about kashrut and mazerut they ate in each others' homes and married one another(*).

On the other hand, the Yerushalmi lists the 18 halachot passed by Beit Shammai after they used force (including murder!) against Beit Hillel to create a majority. (Tosef., Shab. i. 16 et seq.; Shab. 13a, 17a; Yer. Shab. i. 3c).

So I would say that passion in the pursuit of Torah is not a new thing. Indeed it goes back even to the days of the second Beit Hamkidash, as related in the story of why a lottery was instituted for determining who would change the ashes on the altar.

(*) Personally I assume this to mean that the 2 schools practiced full disclosure with one another - "Although I believe this woman is fit to marry, by your understanding of halacha she is a mamzeret" and so forth. I wonder if this approach can at least provide a breathing space with respect to the current conversion controversy.