The Saddest Month

I’ve pulled out the down blanket, sweatshirts and boots. The skies have turned grey and windy and the forecast is for wet snow and 38 degrees this weekend! I know I just complained about the heat in Orlando so I have no right to say a word about this cold weather. But it comes so quickly without any gradual descent or warning. With the holidays behind us, we enter the month of Chesvan, or Mar, bitter, Cheshvan, called such because it is a month without any holidays. But let’s be honest, we can all use a bit of a break from climbing up and down ladders putting the sukkahs away!

But in this month we will still enjoy Shabbat as we always do but with the smells of Cholent, the all night stew with kishka, in my house. It’s disturbing, in a good way, to wake up in the middle of the night, to the glorious aroma of Cholent simmering away. It’s hard to wait til lunchtime to enjoy its scrumptiousness but eating it before its meaty flavors are properly melded would not be sensible.

So here’s to a so-called bitter month. I’m going to make it joyful anyway with challah and Cholent!

Easiest Cholent recipe: (adapted for extra ease)!

  • 6 potatoes, cut into large chunks
  • 1 large onion, cut into chunks
  • ½ bag of dried beans (Navy beans, kidney, etc) There is a mix in the store already
  • combined. 1 ½ C or more
  • ¼ C duck sauce. (I use apricot jam mixed with bbq sauce)
  • Meat, at least a pound and a half. Flanken is great!
  • Dry chicken soup mix, salt and pepper
  • Frozen Kishka ~

In a slow cooker place: ½ of the potatoes, ½ the onion and all the beans. Pour duck sauce over.

  • Put meat on top of beans. Lightly salt (because of the soup mix), but pepper liberally.
  • Add remaining potatoes and onions. Sprinkle 2 TBL of chicken soup mix on mixture.
  • Add water to cover plus ½ inch. Place frozen kishka on top.

Cover and cook on low, overnight, at least 10 hrs. Turn to warm. It is so easy and delicious and gets better as it sits!

Bon Appétit! B’taiavon