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September 30, 1988 - Image 81

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-09-30

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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74

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 1988

Sumptuous Suppers
In The Sukkah

GLORIA KAUFER GREENE

Special to The Jewish News

T

here's no doubt about
it. When the weather
is fair, and stars
abound, suppers taste much
better in a sukkah than they
do indoors. Perhaps, we are
stimulated by the company of
those seven exalted guests, or
ushpizin — the mystical
spirits of Abraham, Isaac,
Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron,
and David — who are said to
dwell in the sukkah during
the festival of Sukkot.
Or maybe the invigorating
chill of fall evenings helps us
to appreciate the comforting
warmth and succulent taste
of steaming stuffed cabbage
or sumptuous holiday tzim-
mes. And, of course, the gala
decorations that surround us
in the sukkah provide won-
derful ambience for a festive
mood.
The foods eaten on Sukkot
and used to adorn the sukkah
symbolize our thankfulness
for an abundant harvest. For
instance, holiday meals often
feature a wide assortment of
fall vegetables and fruits.
And gourds, cranberries, and
other seasonal produce are
creatively hung from the open
roof of the sukkah.
Often, foods representing
the "seven species" of ancient
Israel — wheat, barley,
grapes, figs, pomegranates,
olives, and dates — are includ-
ed in the decorations. This
year, however, many Ameri-
can Jews will be purposeful-
ly avoiding the use of fresh
table grapes during their
holiday celebrations.
Because of oppression
among farm workers in
California who pick grapes
and the use of toxic pesticides
which can seriously affect the
health of workers and their
children, several major rab-
binic groups through the
country have declared fresh
grapes to be oshek, that is, the
product of exploited labor, and
thus prohibited for Jewish
consumption. (This prohibi-
tion does not extend to wine,
raisins, or any other process-

ed grape products.) Once
again, in times of plenty, Jews
have shown concern for those
who are less fortunate.
When it comes to Sukkot
meals, elaborate casseroles
and rich stews are perennial-
ly popular because they
abound ' in vegetables and
possibly even fruits. While we
tend to take for granted a
year-round supply of fresh
produce, our ancestors could
partake of such foods only
during the brief harvest
season. Therefore, favorites
like stuffed cabbage, tzimmes,
and stuffed squash came to be
considered special holiday
treats.
"Stuffed" foods and lavish
stews are also eaten during
Sukkot because they sym-
bolize opulence and represent
the bounty of the holiday. On
a more practical level, such
"one-pot" dishes are easy to
-transport from kitchen to
sukkah, and they tend to stay
hot and delicious throughout
a chilly alfresco meal.
Honey and other sweet
foods are also eaten on Suk-
kot, as during the Days of
Awe, in our continued hope
for a sweet year to come.
Following are some of my
family's Sukkot favorites.

STUFFED CABBAGE

Although I vary the recipe
a bit each year, I always serve
sweet-and-sour stuffed cab-
bage on Sukkot. For many
Ashkenazic Jews, it is con-
sidered the quintessential
holiday dish.
1 large head (about 2
pounds) white
cabbage
Sauce:
4 cups plain tomato
sauce
1/2 cup apple sauce
1 medium onion, finely
chopped
Y4 cup packed brown
sugar
Y4 cup apple cider
vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
teaspoon powdered
mustard (optional)

Continued on Page 76

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