Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The In-gathering - Nitzavim-Vayelech

Happy Wednesday. For me it is quite the happy day - I got a raise and was nominated for the Jewish Community Hero Award from The Jewish Federations of North America! I would love if you cast a vote or two for me (or one every 12 hours). I'm incredibly touched to have been nominated and would love to use the money for the young adult Jewish community in Boston.

Now there are a few things that I'm dying to share with you that I've been cooking up in my kitchen lately, but they've got nothing to do with the weekly portion. Like my first attempt at jam making, the amazing beef cheek results that has me converted to offal and some blueberry corn muffins that nearly tasted bakery bought. So here's what we're going to do. Today I'm going to tell you a bit about this week's double portion, and then at the end of the week will share my miscellaneous kitchen forays with you.

Here goes. This week's portion is a double portion, Nitzavim-Vayelech, and covers the good, the bad and the ugly. Moses reminds the nation that the covenant that God made with them to have a continual relationship isn't just for their generation but for every one after them. And there will be great blessings, as mentioned in the previous portion, and the nation will flourish. Moses also lets them know that there are for sure going to be people in the nation that stray away from that relationship. And God won't be so happy with that. In fact those curses mentioned in the previous portion will befall them and the land of Israel. And because of these curses they'll be banished to other lands. But they have an open invitation to return to that relationship.

No matter where the nation finds itself scattered, from those places they can return to God in their hearts and God will gather them - from every crazy corner of the globe - and bring them back to their land to live and prosper. This imagery found in our portion become the model for the in-gathering of the exiles. It's not so hard to picture this melting pot of Jews from around the world, as we have our own example in modern day Israel, but what would they all be able to eat together?

I'm going to say some fusion dishes. Fusion cuisine is a combination of different cooking techniques and ingredients from different countries into unique dishes. It introduces the flavors from one culture to the flavors of another and combined they create an amazing new dishes. While trying to find a simple fusion dish to cook and recall this in-gathering at our Shabbat tables this week I also found something that wouldn't require turning the oven on in this incredible heat. I can't wait to try this Chummus Guacamole. It's a fusion of two of my favored cuisines, and ones that we make frequently in our home- Mexican and Israeli. Sam's dad is from Mexico and Sam is usually in charge of all the Mexican fare in our house- from enchiladas to margaritas. In particular he makes a killer guacamole. So we'll see how this hybrid lives up.

In hopes of a year of returning to God and of ultimate in-gathering to our nation and our land I have this recipe to share with you. Have a Shana Tova- may this year bring a year of double blessings for everyone.

Hummus Guacamole

I came across this recipe on a random site and loved it

1 Ripe avocado, peeled
2 cups pre-made hummus
1 scallion, chopped
1 lime, juiced
1/2 tbsp Olive oil
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped


Scoop the avocado into a bowl and mash with a fork. Add in the hummus and stir well. Then add in the scallion. Add in olive oil, lime, cilantro and salt. Serve with warm pita cut into wedges.

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