Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holidays and Other Traditional Patterns

Eugene's cold November inspired me to create a new visual interpretation of my beloved fruit - the pomegranate. As Hanukkah is getting closer I also painted another wintry interpretation - The Hanukkah tree. A combination of the tree of life and the Hanukkah menorah - I think we, Jews, deserve a wintry tree too...

Regardless of any interpretation we invited Blanca, Gonzalo and Naira to have Cholent with us. Cholent ("Hamin" in Hebrew) is the most typical traditional Eastern European Jewish dish for cold Saturdays. (As for traditional food - I think it is in his best without any new interpretation...)
The Cholent is a slow cooking dish that cooks on low temperature for at least 16 hours. It has everything inside: beef, potatoes, eggs, bean and stuffing (some add also chickpeas, rice etc...)

Also regardless any artistic pretensions, the fact that the Cholent has to be brown after all this long time of cooking is a traditional source of stress for the cook (and truly - pale Cholent doesn't turn you on as a brown one does).
My mom always worries about it, what if it won't get brown enough it's a tragedy... She checks it at the middle of the night and if needed she uses "grandma's secret tricks" (and there are secret tricks for that ...).
I reveal that here in the US, at least when the Cholent is concerned - the American dream is real and alive - the Cholent here always turns dark brown after a couple of hours, even without any grandma trick.


Cholent - the American Dream is alive

We had a very brown Cholent on Saturday, Blanca brought a green salad with pomegranate (!) seeds and Perry hided our silver Menorah and we had to find it. Why?
Maybe because he start to be excited about the American interpretation of Hanukkah in regards with kids:
8 (!!!) Presents - one on each day of Hanukkah! If you would tell that to kids in Israel - they would definitely believe that the American dream is alive and kicking.

1 comment:

Blanca said...

The Cholent is the perfect dish to announce winter and the exuberance of the holidays. Thank you for inviting us!