Contrary to all other Jewish holidays, when we prepare festive meals that include both fish and meat, signifying rejoicing in His benevolence that grants us abundance, traditional Shavuos table is laden with dairy dishes, from blintzes to cheesecakes, and anything milky delicious you can think of. One of the reasons for this unique menu is explained in this short video.
Shavuos has a very special personal meaning for me. Six years ago, when I lost my father, May His Soul Rest in Peace, I started this blog in order to share with you, Beautiful People, my way of celebrating my father’s birthday. He was born on Shavuos, and for twenty years, after my mother’s passing, May Her Soul Rest in Peace, I would make a birthday party for him by cooking and baking all his favorite Shavuos dairy dishes.
Sadly, tonight, because of Covid 19, it will not be like every year, when friends and family would gather around my table and raise a glass of wine to the memory of my father whom they all loved. Yet I still made all my father’s favorite dishes, photographed them, and sent pictures to friends and family – as we say in Russian, “from our table to yours.” Please join us in spirit, Beautiful People – here is my table.
Happy Shavuos! A Freilechen Yontif! Hag Kosher v’Sameach!
I am now taking you on a virtual tour of my Shavuos table. As I couldn’t – for obvious reasons! – take pictures of the actual table with food on it and guests around the table, I did the next best thing, rounding up collages of all five courses. Each dish is labeled and links to a respective post where you find the recipe for it. The one exception is my Gefilte Fish. I cheated, Beautiful People! Certainly, there was gefilte fish on my table, but not this one. This is an old photo of the largest gefilte fish I’ve ever made, and I promise to tell The Story of Three Fishes and share the recipe before Rosh haShana. This Shavuos, I made do with store bought “fish-a-la-log” – frozen gefilte fish logs that are cooked and seasoned any which way you prefer. I was too embarrassed to photograph and post it, so please forgive me for this little deception.
FIRST COURSE. APPETIZERS.
- Sweet and Healthy Pull-apart Challah
- Gefilte Fish-a-la-log
- Cheese and Scallions Pie
- Cheese and Raisins Pie
- Original Appetizer
- Eggplant Caviar
- Pickled Grape Tomatoes
- Marinated Baby Peppers
- Spicy String Beans
- Avocado Basil Hummus
- Daikon Salad
As all my food is made with fresh herbs and spices, I am also including a link to my earlier post Saving Animals and Herbs. Come back to the table for the second course.
SECOND COURSE. SOUP.
Cold Green Borscht is served with sour cream, diced scallions, and chopped hard-boiled eggs on the side. Enjoy and come back to the table for the third course.
THIRD COURSE. BLINTZES.
You can serve them the American way, with apple sauce, or the way we do it, with sour cream, jam, and fresh berries. There is still the fourth course – come back to the table.
FOURTH COURSE. FISH.
After posting Fried Flounder with New Potatoes , I found out that in some communities fish fried in oil is considered a Shavuos tradition. I will research further into it and report findings later. Meanwhile, come back to the table for the fifth course – dessert.
FIFTH COURSE. DESSERT.
Having eaten all this, who has room for anything else but light and sweet Date and Nut Bites?
This concludes my Shavuos menu presentation, in memory of my father, Shimon ben Dov Ber, may his Neshoma (soul) look upon us on his birthday and always. Thank you, Beautiful People, for giving me an opportunity to share it with you.