One cook's dream: for her family
to help satisfy her Oreo mania.
Special to the Jewish News
Roasted Fruited Sweet Potato Packs
Lag b'Omer offers a break,
and a festive opportunity.
Special to the Jewish News
he time between Passover and
Shavout is exactly 49 days or
There is significance in count-
ing the days. It assists us in remembering
the connection between Passover, the cele-
bration of freedom, and Shavuot, com-
memorating the giving of the Torah.
The counting of the days, or Omer, is
considered a period of mourning and
reflection because many historical Jewish
misfortunes are associated with this inter-
val. Among these tragedies was a scourge
that afflicted thousands of Rabbi Akiva's
students during the Middle Ages.
It is said that this plague abated on the
18th day of Iyar, Lag b'Omer. Lag comes
from the Hebrew letters that make up the
number 33 and omer is a unit used to
measure grain and refers to an offering
made on the second day of Passover.
During the 49-day period of lamepta-
tion, Lag b'Omer is a welcome day off for
celebration. In Israel, the day is distin-
guished in many ways, including picnics,
games, music and dance. It's a day popular
for weddings as well.
This year, Lag b'Omer is Tuesday, May
20. Among the foods prepared and served
* for this festival are those made with barley
and wheat. It's also customary to make foil
packets of diced potatoes and onions and
cook these over fire.
While building'a bonfire in your back-
yard may not be the first thing that comes
to mind this Lag b'Omer, why not rejoice
in your own way with a special dinner
using the following recipes.
SWEET POTATO PACKS
8 cups peeled sweet potato chunks
(about 1 inch)
2 cups chopped Spanish onion
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine,
cut into pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries
1/4 cup chopped pecans or pinenuts,
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
kosher salt and pepper to taste
juice of 1/2 lemon
Heat grill to medium-high heat. Tear
two large sheets of foil (about 20-inches x
18 inches each) and lay one on top of the
other, shiny side up. Alternately, you could
use one sheet of heavy-duty foil. Set aside.
Toss together all ingredients except
lemon in a large bowl. Arrange the mix-
ture on the foil and cover with another 2
sheets of foil. Create a package by rolling
and pinching the sides of the foil to seal it
HAPPY RECIPES on page 112
n a Mother's Day, or any day, it's a special
treat to have my family cook for me.
For most of the year, I am the one in
the kitchen (granted, it's by choice), who
is always whipping up a snack or treat or meal for
30 with only four ingredients and a 20-minute
time line. While I love watching the Iron Chef liv-
ing it isn't always the fun it looks like on TV.
When I want a treat, the main ingredient should
be something chocolate and decadent. I'd like to
avoid the 10-pound jar of M&M debacle of the
1990s, so I'll give you a hint. The main ingredient
should be Oreos.
Yes, I have a guilty pleasure. It's a food vice that
is neither illegal nor immoral but
can certainly, if not held in
check, be called fattening.
Oreos have been pop-
ular since Nabisco
in 1912, and
who twist the
cookies apart and
eat the filling first
and those who dunk
the entire Oreo into a big
glass of ice-cold milk.
Ever since the Nabisco
company made the wise deci-
sion to get kosher certification on
hundreds of their pre-existing prod-
ucts (the Oreo being the most impor-
tant in my book), I have managed to
purchase (and consume) more than my fair share
Little known Oreo facts, courtsey of Nabisco:
• The Oreo cookie has been America's most pop-
ular cookie since it was introduced in 1912. More
than 345 billion Oreo cookies have been consumed
to date. More than 7.5 billion Oreo cookies are
consumed each year, which comes out to 625 mil-
lion per month and 20.5 million per day.
• The 345 billion Oreo cookies sold to date
would fill up the world's largest freight train,
SWEET TREATS on page 111