Planning for a Large Meal

I know many of you in the USA are prepping for your Thanksgiving meal.  Happy Turkey Day to those of you celebrating.  I, on the other hand, am prepping for the weekly holy Sabbath (aka Shabbos or Shabbat).

For those of you overwhelmed with this one day a year tradition, imagine doing it every single week.  That’s Shabbos. In fact, I don’t mind it-I love it. How do I keep my sanity?  By menu planning and keeping thing simple. Keep in mind, THE DAY IS NOT ABOUT THE FOOD!  I repeat THE DAY IS NOT ABOUT THE FOOD!  No need to overdo it and have a zillion side dishes.  Easy and simple is my motto.

I have a magnetized pad of paper keep on the refrigerator.  All week long I add items I need to buy at the grocery store. Train yourself to use it.  Out of cereal?  Honey?  Dish soap?  Write it on THE LIST. Each time you need something from the store, write it on THE LIST.

Soon, you will add your menu items to THE LIST.

So, here are my Pearls of Wisdom for planning for a large meal.  This is how I plan for Shabbos (apply method to Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.)

PLAN YOUR MENU-decide AHEAD OF TIME what you are going to prepare. The earlier in the week you do this, the better.

Use a new piece of paper for the menu.  After decide what you want to serve, write out the menu and tack it up next to THE LIST on the refrigerator.

MAKE A GROCERY LIST-See what is on your menu and then figure out which ingredients you need to prepare the dishes you intend to make.  Naturally, you will write this on THE LIST you started previously that is already up on the fridge.

GO SHOPPING.  Bring THE LIST.

COOK-The earlier in the week you start the process, the more time you have to cook.  Some people like to cook and freeze, some like to prepare a day or two in advance, and some like the adrenaline rush of shopping the day before and then power cooking all day.

So, that’s how I do it.  EVERY WEEK.  For those of you stressing over your ONE  yearly meal–chillax.  Think good and it will be good.

So what’s for Shabbos this week?

Dinner

chicken and potatoes, cous cous, peas, broccoli, and cranberry kugel

Lunch

cholent (meat and vegetable stew, often with beans or barley made in a crockpot), carrot kugel, cut up vegetables, avocado tomato salad

Seudat Shlishit (3rd meal–the one before sunset on Saturday)

tuna, pita, chummus, potato chips

*Generally, we chose not to serve dessert.  If we do decide to, I would add it to the menu.

The Klutter Koach is going to now give you an added bonus:  My Carrot Kugel and Cranberry Kugel recipes!  Whenever we have guests, they are always asking for these recipes afterward.  I guarantee they will be a big hit.

For those of you who are still scrambling for a cranberry dish for Turkey Day, you have come to the right place!

Recipe:  Carrot Kugel 

From the cookbook ‘The Kosher Palette’

Ingredients:
4 large carrots cut into 2-4 inch pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup oil or 1/2 cup applesauce
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pre-heat oven to 350 F
Directions:
  • Combine carrots and water to cover in a large sauce pan over high heat.  Boil 25 minutes or until carrots are tender.  Drain carrots.  Mash.
  • To mashed carrots add flour, sugars, baking powder, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  • Mix
  • Pour into baking dish.
  • Bake 45 minutes (or less depending on your oven–keep an eye on it)
Notes:
*can be easily doubled
*can be made into muffins
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Recipe:  Cranberry Kugel 
Ingredients:
2 cups flour
2 Tablespoons baking powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup oil
1 can of jellied cranberry
Directions:
  • Mush flour, baking powder, sugar, egg, vanilla, and oil together until crumbly
  • spread half of mixture in the bottom of a baking pan or dish
  • spread jellied cranberry on top
  • crumble the rest of the flour mixture on top of the cranberry
  • bake 350 F for 45 minutes uncovered
Notes:
*Recipe can easily be doubled.  I have been making two at a time and freezing one to use for another week.
*My father-in-law calls this dessert.  I call it a side dish.
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Bon appetite. Thanks for reading.
Karen
The Klutter Koach

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