Friday, August 27, 2010

Shabbos Prep

Each Friday morning I arise at the appointed time, even when I wish to sleep longer and probably could sleep longer with no adverse work consequences.  My task: have a suitable shabbat dinner assembled before leaving for work.  Usually I make something simple, most typically chicken breasts seasoned, though sometimes cut-up chicken.  The best buy is actually whole frozen chicken but that has to be thawed earlier in the week and roasted the night before, as does turkey breast with bone in, as turkey cutlets are not freqently in the Shop-Rite case.  From time to time I will place beef cubes or chicken parts in the crock pot along with things to eat with it, a one pot meal that lasts several meals.  I usually make a starch serving, typically a box of couscous that cooks in minutes or rice variant that can cook while the chicken is in the oven.  Mini-challot are obtained that morning or defrosted the night before.  A vegetable or salad is made when Irene gets home, or in the winter a vegetable is made that morning and reheated on arrival home.  I rarely make dessert or buy dessert in advance.  Soda and beer are put in the refrigerator that morning. 

While I rarely spend money on shabbos other than a weekly cup of coffee early Saturday mornings at Sweeney's around the corner, more to support them than real need for outside coffee, I will also make sure that I have $50 available to me in cash and at least a half-tank of gas if I want to visit someplace that I might not be able to do on days when I have chores.  Half of each type of coin is placed in my Pushka when I get to the office, with the other half going to the Pushkas at AKSE during the repetition of the Amidah at Sunday morning minyan.  I read a commentary on the weekly parsha, usually one from the Rabbi I've chosen to follow each year.  This year it is Rabbi Wein.

Time has its own sanctity, as do the core concepts of Judaism including shabbat, synagogue and community.  None of them performs optimally.  All have their compromises.  All need tweaking, despite ongoing resistance to being tweaked.

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