Categorized | Holiday, Sukkos

Feast of Tabernacles

Posted on 18 July 2010

Your Feast of Tabernacles C.H.A.G. Guide

Cuisine

Since Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur only recently passed, no doubt you have much familiarity with recipes that came out really great. Instead of giving you more recipes as I did for Rosh Hashanah, I’m going to give you some tips on how to minimize trips to and from the Sukkah to the kitchen to make serving easier.

Sukkah Serving Tips… to Save You Trips

With Yom Kippur just behind us, its time to look ahead to Sukkos and plan an organized Yom Tov. I’m sure we’ll all be cooking, baking and shopping up until Wednesday, Erev Sukkos. So, here are some tips to help you once the holiday begins.

Serving between your kitchen and the sukkah can require a dozen or more of trips in and out of the house during each meal. This is especially difficult if you have to go up a flight of stairs in your house or apartment building each time you realize you need more napkins or that you forgot the salt.

My suggestion is to purchase a large, sturdy and airtight storage container (see this one by Rubbermaid) to keep in your Sukkah; and before Yom Tov starts stock it with items you’ll use regularly throughout the week. Consider storing these items in your Sukkah:

· Clean table cloths and table cloth covers

· Pre-torn paper towels and a spray bottle of cleaner or soapy water to clean up spills

· Salt and pepper shakers

· Disposable plates, cups, cutlery and napkins

· Candles or tea lights and matches if you bench licht in the sukkah

· Unopened bottles of grape juice or wine (To avoid infestation, I would not store any other food items in your Sukkah-storage box.)

· Benchers

· Bibs and babyfood jars if you have a baby

· Garbage bags

At some point between the meals, restock the items you used up so that you’ll have them ready for the next meal.

Another tip is to set up a “plata” (electric warming tray) inside your sukkah. Of course this only works if you have a convenient electrical connection and room for a small table where you can place the plata.

Once you start your meal, bring your pots and pans from your stove or oven into the Sukkah and keep them warm on the plata! You will save many trips back into the kitchen to get warm food for second or third helpings.

Halacha

(The following article was written last year for www.frumcommunity.com Read about what happened to me Erev Rosh Hashanah last year regarding Sukkos, so it does not EVER happen to you!)

Is your Sukkah up yet? Ours is. We put it up before Rosh Hashanah. I felt so good about having our Sukkah up. Ready to toot my own horn for being so organized… my tree trimmer for the past 3 years came over and said, “There is no way I can trim the branches this year. For every one trim, 8 branches grow back. You need to get your entire tree completely cut down, it’s too full for the sukkah to be kosher”, leaving me about one week to cut down a tremendous tree.

Take that, Mrs. professional organizer!

As long as I’m confessing, here is another.

Last year, Things were progressing beautifully. I had 20 challahs frozen in the freezer. Soup already made and frozen. Desserts cooked Wednesday, main meals cooked Thursday, nothing left to be done erev Rosh Hashanah. Right before candle lighting, I couldn’t find the instructions for the Shabbos mode on my oven. I felt frustrated and stressed when I realized I would not have the oven to easily heat up my food on Yom Tov. The feelings I had going into Rosh Hashanah were not the ones I had planned.

Things don’t work out always as has planned. Even when you do actually plan them! I know, I’ve been planning all of this for you so you do not have to do it. (Believe me, the shabbos mode instructions finding is now included Rosh Hashanah Perfectly Organized). And I had even scheduled building the Sukkah, assessing the Sukkah for any potential fixing to be done… IN ADVANCE.

And sometimes things just do not happen that way. I think there are two important things to be done in that case. The first is to be resourceful. I have a hot plate and on Rosh Hashanah, all of the food got warmed up on the plate instead of in the oven since I couldn’t find the directions about the Sabbath mode to keep the oven on all of Rosh Hashanah. About the tree cutting, I called 3 other tree companies and sure enough found one to come right before Sukkos. My second piece of advice seems somewhat contradictory. Let it go. I can be as resourceful as I want to be. I can call 20 tree companies! But at some point, I need to let it go.

You know what? For someone like me, who is naturally resourceful, the letting go part is hard. Making phone calls, backup plans, lists are the easy part for me. But letting go and perhaps handing it over to G-d? That is not as natural. I’m learning though, that when I do this- for physical goals as well as spiritual goals, I feel so much better.

Aesthetics

Click here for More on Sukkah Decorating Suggestions!

Guests


Before Yom Tov, figure out how much room you have in your Sukkah to determine the number of guests that you invite. Only men over 13 are obligated to sit under the Sukkah so if part of your Sukkah is under an awning, seat the women and children there.

(My son is under 13- you can tell by his hair! so his highchair is just under the awning so as not to take up space, although this clearly was before the Sukkah was filled with decorations or guests 🙂 Aren’t they cute?)

Just a technical suggestion for you to have the maximum number of guests even in a small space!

How do you decorate your Sukkah?

Do you have a beautiful Sukkah? Tell us about it!

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