Shavuot is a one of the three major festivals of the Jews. The word Shavuot means week and it represent the seven weeks during which the Jews prepared themselves for the giving of Torah. The Shavuot is a special time to strengthen the relationship with God. It is observed by reading Torah and Talmud, attending special services and eating the festival meal.
On Shavuot eve the Jews stay awake from dusk to dawn and read the verses from the holy Torah and other verses, they also lights candles on the eve of the day , after sunset. The house, the temple and the prayer hall is decorated with flowers and leaves to observe the festival. It is also the harvest festival of the Israelis and they had a tradition of offering the fruits of harvest to the temple as thanksgiving.
It is customary to eat iary food on the Shavuot. This tradition is related to a legend story that occurred on the day of giving the Torah. The torah advices the Jews to eat the meat of ritually slaughtered animals, but the food they prepared did not meet this need, nor were they able to slaughter a new animal as the day was Sabbath, when slaughtering was forbidden. The people after returning were hence forced to feast on milk and milk products, this tradition is followed up to now and the Jews eat at least one meal with diary product. Diary food like cheesecake, blintzes with cheese and other fillings are served on this day.
The cheese and diary food are eaten in the morning though meat based meal is eaten at dinner. Some of the traditional foods of the Shavuot are cheese blintzes, cheesecakes, Noodle Kugel, roasted vegetables with cheese, baked spinach cheese delight and many more finger licking recipes
Cheese blintzes are a fluffy fried pancake with a cheese filling, usually cottage cheese or sweetened cheese. To make the batter combine 2 eggs and a half cup of milk plus water. Then slowly add a half a cup of flour and sugar each, then add a few drops of vanilla essence and blend it into a smooth batter. Prepare very thin pancake by pouring 1/3 cup of batter on an oiled hot skillet; never allow the skillet to be too hot. As the batter gets done on one side and forms bubbles, remove the pancake.
To make the filling, combine half a pound of cottage cheese and half a pound of cream cheese. Add two table spoon of sugar and a few drops of vanilla essence fill in 2 table spoon of the filling on the cooked side of the pancake and roll it until all sides are sealed. Fry this rolls in a bit of oil, taking care to evenly cook all the sides of the roll.
These pancakes are topped with fresh cream or fruits like pear, strawberry or cherries or else with fruit jams. The batter and the filling are the only thing to be prepared and you can try new in fillings. To make a healthy batter, try using wheat flour instead of white flour or add chopped raisins or dried fruits in the filling to make it tastier.
Cheesecake is a traditional dessert eaten on Shavuot made from sugar, cream cheese and melted butter. It is something of a must in Shavuot; this mouth watering cake is the main attraction on the dinner table. The topping of the dessert is made from rich and soft cheese, so it is ready to melt in your mouth.
The Raspberry cheese cake is a biscuit crumble with the smooth cheese topping and raspberry on the top. All you need for this delicious treat is digestive biscuits, castor sugar, cheese egg and raspberry and it is very easy to prepare.
Beat 200 grams of cheese; cream cheese, cooking cheese or soft cheese will do. To it slowly fold in three eggs one by one. Then add 500 grams of castor sugar and a teaspoon of lemon juice to make a good smooth mixture. On a greased baking dish arrange a layer of crushed digestive biscuits, use biscuit enough to cover the bottom of your dish and pour the cheese mixture on it. Bake at 185 degree celcius and within 20 minutes the cheese cake is cooked.
Top the dessert with as much tinned raspberry as you prefer after the cheesecake cools well. You can use different fruits like apricot, pineapple or plums if you don’t prefer raspberry.
Roasted vegetable with cheese is a colorful and healthy salad dish made by baking all the vegetables and sprinkling low fat feta cheese on it.
Slice all the vegetables you love and can get your hands on at the moment. Zucchini, bell pepper, onion, tomatoes and mushrooms are preferred. Mix up the vegetables, but limit the number of tomatoes if you don’t want a saucy salad. Sprinkle a teaspoon of olive oil, a pinch of oregano, pepper and salt. Arrange the vegetables on to a baking dish and bake at 350 degree Fahrenheit for 25- 30 minutes after covering the dish with aluminum foil. Sprinkle crumbled Feta cheese on the baked veggies and brown under broiler for around three minutes.
This is a healthy dish with lots of fiber and carotenes. This baked salad is low in calories as the low fat cheese is used.
Good food is always a pleasure for everyone, and preparing a good food is a talent. Festival dish preparation are always fun if you have a pre planned menu and theme for the day. Try out the Shavuot day special preparations to observe it in a traditional way.