Here are several recipes we used during Shabbat, and the details of our complete menu below. Again, we were not observing a strict Jewish Shabbat, as we are Christians. I did not concern myself with whether or not we were meeting dietary laws or whether these foods were Kosher. To read exactly what we said and did during the Shabbat celebration, see my post on Our Shabbat Script. For a more general post about what we did to observe Shabbat, see my post on Celebrating Shabbat.
The recipes for Challah and Candlestick salad were borrowed from Martha Zimmerman’s excellent book, Celebrate the Feasts.
2 packages dry yeast
2 cups warm water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
4 tsp salt
3 eggs, slightly beaten
7 1/2 cups flour
Pour the 2 cups warm water into a large bowl (I used my kitchenaid mixer). It should be warm, not hot, lukewarm or cool. Add the yeast, and allow to stand for 5 or 10 minutes. Add sugar, oil, salt. Blend in the eggs, reserving 1 TBSP of egg white for brushing on the loaves. Add 3 cups flour and beat well to avoid lumps. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes. Gradually, add the rest of the flour (4 1/2 cups). Oil the table or board you will use and your hands generously and knead the dough for about 10 minutes.
When I put my dough onto the board, some of the flour was still crumbly. I added a bit of oil to my hands and the board during the kneading process, working until I had a nice smooth dough. This was my first time baking Challah, and I am not a bread-maker normally, so I am far from an expert…but ours came out great.
After kneading, put the dough back into the bowl, cover with a clean cloth and leave in a warm place. Let rise about 1 1/2 hours. Shape the loaves, braiding them on a cookie sheet. (If you have a question as to how to braid the loaves, a simple Google search yields many photos and diagrams).
Let rise 1 hour. Brush the top of the loaves with egg white, and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, if desired. Allow to rise again for 1 hour. Bake at 375F for 30 to 45 minutes. Tap the bottom of each loaf. When there is a hollow sound, the bread is done.
For instructions to make a Challah cover out of paper napkins, see my post on Celebrating Shabbat.
Knox had lots of fun making his own Challah…and even more fun eating it!
VARIATION: I have 4 sons, and I wanted to use Ms. Zimmerman’s suggestion of letting each boy have their own small loaf to bless. I allowed each boy to make their own small loaf. This only left enough dough for one large Challah for the family, rather than 2, and yet I still wanted to tie in the symbolism of how God gave a double portion of manna on the 6th day.
Again, Ms. Zimmerman comes through with a great idea. She suggested making a lovely loaf by saving some dough to make a smaller braid, and then laying it over the top of the large braided loaf, pressing slightly so that it adheres to the lower loaf. This makes a beautiful loaf of bread! For our script, my husband just said, “You’ll notice that this large loaf of bread is actually two loaves, as there is a 2nd loaf braided on top. This is to remind us of the double portion of manna….”, problem solved!
Three year old Cal enjoyed helping construct this simple salad, which reminds the children of the Shabbat candles.
Directions for one salad: Put a washed piece of lettuce on a plate. Place a pineapple ring on the lettuce. Cut a banana in half in such a way that it will stand in the hole (we had to cut ours into thirds and eat the middle portion, as otherwise the top-heavy bananas kept toppling over). Poke a toothpick down into a banana part way, and poke a maraschino cherry onto the toothpick for the candle’s flame.
It seems that many people eat Chicken soup and/or fish for their Shabbat meal, but a Google search yielded many potential recipes. For our Shabbat, we had the Candlestick salads, Roast chicken with carrots and onions, Challah, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes. The children got to drink Sprite, which is a luxury for them. After all, Shabbat is meant to be a celebration, a feast! We had a store-bought pie for dessert to keep things as simple as possible.
I prepared all the food we would need for Sunday ahead of time, on Saturday afternoon. For our Sunday breakfast, we had orange juice, Sunrise Smoothies and store-bought donuts.
Combine the following in a blender:
1 carton of strawberries
1/4 can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 package frozen passion fruit pulp (frozen fruit section at the grocery store)
1 family-sized carton strawberry yogurt
Enough orange juice to thin consistency…adjust to taste
My blender was too small, so I poured some of the mixture into a pitcher before adding the rest of the strawberries and additional orange juice. I put all of it in a pitcher in the fridge overnight so it would be an easy breakfast on Sunday morning. I loved these Smoothies, but the kids thought they were too sour. Next time, maybe I will use less passion fruit and some milk instead of orange juice.
Sunday’s lunch menu was Italian beef sandwiches, green salad from a bag, fruit or applesauce and leftover potatoes from last night. If you wanted a dessert, you could serve something easy like store-bought cookies.
Crockpot Italian Beef Sandwiches
Place a 2 to 3 pound beef rump roast in your crockpot. Sprinkle the top of the roast with a package of dry Italian dressing (Good Seasonings). Add a can or two of beef broth to the pot. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Serve on crusty rolls, with a ladle full of broth in individual dishes, for dipping.
My family’s favorite meal is Pizza night. We try to do this once a week on Friday nights and they just love it! The kids really wanted to have pizzas for our Shabbat celebration, but I couldn’t quite get my mind around that.
As a compromise, I said we would have pizza on Sunday night. It is the last meal of Shabbat, a time of celebration for the joy and refreshment the Lord brought us during the Sabbath, before we begin to look forward to the new week. It is also a meal that requires no work from me, so I felt it fit within my definition of what we could eat on this very special Sabbath.
On Saturday morning I purchased ready-to-bake pizzas at the Walmart Deli and kept them in the fridge until Sunday night. We also ate the leftover Challah bread from the night before. For dessert, we roasted marshmallows outside in a firepit and had S’mores.