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September 21, 2012     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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September 21, 2012
 

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PAGE 12A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, SEPTEMBER 21, 2012 By Edmon J. Rodman LOS ANGELES (JTA)--In an election year, a sukkah divided against itself cannot stand. Especially in the swing states, where each party is basically claiming that if the other wins we'll all be living in sukkahs, political dinner conversation this Sukkot could really topple an already shaky house. With potential verbal spar- ring over which candidate is best for Israel, health care and increasing Uncle Bernie's chances of finally landing a job, the evening has all the hallmarks of a below the Beltway battle. For the festival, we are supposed to build a "sukkah sh'lomechah"--a sukkah of peace. But how much peace can there be in the confines of a small hut when your family or friends are divided about who is getting their vote for president? In our season of joy in this election season, will our guests be unhappy and at odds like the lulav and etrog before they are as- sembled-willow, myrtle, palm--disparate elements seeking a whole? As Lyndon Johnson said in quoting Isaiah, "Come now let us reason together." How best can we come together over our differences and keep a holiday sense of joy and camaraderie? Should we be politically correct with the ushpizim-- the guests from the Bible that One way to keep things tion season. are symbolically invited, one each night, into the sukkah-- and for every liberal Hillel ask in a conservative Shammai. Politics and family dinners seldom seem a good match. As a child, I remember a Pass- over when two of my uncles nearly came to blows over what my mother described later simply as "politics," and another seder thatwas almost ruined when my mother and her brother tussled over the morality of Woody Allen. How about just invoking and enforcing the universal table rule of no conversations about politics, religion or sex? It's a plan, but just try sell- ing that to your libertarian in your Edmon J. Rodman even and even-tempered in your Sukkah this holiday and elec- dentist uncle, former flower heldview, healreadyhadwrit- child aunt or brother-in-law tenthatthe"Jewishvote"was home for a visit from the actually a "series of voting West Bank. constituencies." Where is all this division AccordingtoWindmueller, coming from? Despite our sitting around our sukkah disagreements, aren't Jews tables we might find a mix- more or less a political bloc? ture of these five groups: Looking for advice about • Southern and Midwest- how to prepare for a politi- ern Jews, "who have long- cally divided sukkah, I con- standing family ties to these tacted an expert on political regions and their respective issues and American Jewish home communities," he said. affairs--Steven Windmuel- • Immigrant Jewish corn- Ier, emeritus professor at munities, who arriving from Hebrew Union College in Los Iran, the former Soviet Union Angeles. or other societies "frequently A sukkah filled with Jews identify with the foreign of divergent opinions was policy principles of the Re- no surprise to Windmueller. publican Party." Goingagainstthecommonly• Traditional religious Jews, who"emulate the politi- coverage in the Jewish media cal patterns of the Christian and has the most potential to evangelical community."cause a Sukkah conflagra- • Red diaper baby voters, tion--is "not a top priority who like their grandparents for many Jewish voters." identifywith"socialistcauses "Not even in the top five," and left-wing political ideas." he said, listing the economy, • Urban Jewish elites, who health care, Social Security are supportive of Democratic and international terrorism Party candidates and identify as among the priorities of with "an array of liberal or- Jewish voters. ganizations and often high- As to how to help keep the profile social causes."holiday peace in this charged- Imagine a sukkah filledup season, Windmueller with one from each group suggested coming to the trying to sway your lulav, table "prepared" with more When I explained to Wind- than just the usual political mueller my fears about a slogans. politically divided sukkah, "You don't want to lose he suggested that we each friends and family over an "Come to the table with an election," he said. open hand." And to be on the "People are scared to have safeside, healsoadvised, with their minds changed," said a laugh, to keep any knives Windmueller, who rarely off the table, talks about politics at the Windmuellersaidthemore dinner table and has found recent division among Jews that even at temple speak- is not a result of turning ingengagements, organizers Republican or flocking to the often are nervous that he will Democratsasmuchasbecom-sneakin an endorsement. ing independents. He sees For a more congenial younger Jews especially as evening, he also suggested being tied less to the political sticking close to issues on orientation of their families, which many Jews can still As to whether Jewish voters come together--the Iranian are turning away from Presi- threat, the concern over civil dent Obama, "The amount of order and the health of our movement we are seeing is society. actually small," said Windm- Shaking those subjects ueller, whichheestimatedthis together in each political election cycle at between 9 and direction might not bring an 12 percent. He doesn't see a evening of peace, but at least dramatic change in the Jewish we'd be talking. votelikein2004forReaganor Edmon J. Rodman is a 2008 for George H. Bush. JTA columnist who writes on Windmueller adds that Jewish life from LosAngeles. the issue of Israel, which has Contact him at edmojace@ been receivingmuchpartisan gmail.com. By Jamie Geller (JTA)--I would rather host 50 people at my house for a Shabbat than travel overnight with my kids. So that means if I don't want to miss the big family party, I'd better bring the party to me. On Sukkot, if you have lots of company, surprise them by raidingye olde Thanksgiving recipe box. Believe me, the recipes will taste completely different in your sukkah and they are a creative change from standard holiday fare. Over the years, my husband and I have hosted countless kiddushes, major holiday get-togethers for family, Chanukah parties and other events--even a Shabbat for 50 when I had a 5-week-old newborn. No, I'm not superwoman and I don't try to be! I delegate like crazy, and it works out fine. That's one of my secrets. Here are more on cooking for a big crowd without going bonkers. Menu choices • Plan your menu with the precision of an astronaut going to the moon. • Delegate, delegate, delegate. • This is why God created turkeys. • The more people at your table, the simpler the menu should be. • Stay on the beaten path. How to make it happen • Watch out when multiplying ingredient quantities for larger yields. • Be realistic about your equipment and your space. • Refrigerator space has a way of shrinking too. • Relax (yeah, right!) • Two small platters are better than one big one. Below are some Sukkot menu choices. SOUTHWESTERN TURKEY BREAST AND GREEN CHILE STUFFING Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 60 minutes Ready time: I hour, 15 minutes Servings: 8 Ingredients: for Turkey: 1/2 teaspoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 boneless skinless turkey breast (2 to 2 1/2 pounds) for Stuffing: 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 medium onions, chopped 1 bag frozen corn, defrosted (10-ounce) Henry Kauftheil The simple apple cider glaze on green beans works well with any fresh or frozen vegetable. 2 cans chopped green chilies, drained (4.5-ounce) I tablespoon ground cumin 8 cups cubed bread (day old or dried out overnight) 1 1/2 cups chicken stock 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Preparation: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine all spices for turkey rub and mix well. Place turkey breast on a greased baking sheet or roasting pan and rub all over with spice mix to coat well. Bake for about I hour or until internal temperature reaches 170. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onions and cook 5 minutes or until softened. Add corn, green chilis and cumin and saute 3 minutes or until fragrant. Transfer to a large bowl and add bread cubes, stock, salt and pepper; mix to combine. Transfer to a greased baking dish. Bake with turkey breast for I hour. Yield: I turkey breast and 8 cups stuffing CIDER GLAZER VEGETABLES This simple apple cider glaze works well with any fresh or frozen vegetable you have on hand for a quick side dish. The recipe uses green beans, but it's great on sliced carrots, parsnips or other winter root vegetables. Also try it with other types of vinegar or nuts. Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes Ready time: 15 minutes Servings: 8-10 Ingredients: 2 pounds green beans, washed and trimmed 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 teaspoons honey 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 cup sliced almonds Preparation: Preheat oven to 400. Spread green beans on a large sheet pan in a single layer. Toss with vinegar, olive oil, honey and salt. Roast 8 to 10 minutes or until tender but still crisp. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with sliced almonds. PUMPKIN PIE WITH CARAMEL WHIPPED CREAM To save time, use a store-bought prepared graham cracker pie shell instead of making your own. Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 50 minutes Ready time: 1 hour, 5 minutes Servings: 8 Ingredients: for Pie: 1 1/2 cups crushed chocolate graham crackers 4 tablespoons margarine, melted I cup pumpkin puree (15-ounce) I cup soy milk 2 large eggs 1/2 cup brown sugar 2 tablespoons maple syrup 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg for Caramel Whipped Cream: 4 tablespoons caramel sauce 2 cups pareve whipped cream Preparation: Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl, combine crushed graham crackers and margarine and stir. Press mixture into a 9-inch pie plate in an even layer, across the bottom and up the sides. Bake for 10 minutes and remove. Increase oven temperature to 400. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, soy milk, eggs, sugar, maple syrup and spices; whisk. Gently pour into pie shell and bake 40 minutes or until set. Let cool completely or refrigerate overnight for best results. Gently fold 4 tablespoons caramel into whipped cream. Spread over chilled pie just before serving and slicing. Yield: 1 (9-inch) pie Jamie Gellerwas "The Bride Who Knew Nothing"---until she found her niche as everybody's favorite kosher cook next door. She is the author of the best-selling "Quick&Kosher"cookbook series, creator of the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller magazine and host of the popular Quick & Kosher cooking show online at youtube.com/joyofkosher and on-air on JLTV. Join Jamie and the world 'S largest kosher food community on joyofkosher. corn to discover 5,000 free kosher recipes, inspiring menu ideas, how-to videos, and morel