I’m not sure, but I think my first year observing Jewish holidays was one that had several 3 day Yom Tovs in it. If not, then it was at least when I was still very shaky in observing them. This oddity happens when a 2 day Yom Tov (holiday) falls either right before or right after Shabbos, which makes it kind of like you have 3 days in which you are restricted in what you can do and how you can do it. In particular, this often plays out in how you cook because you can’t technically cook on Shabbos and you can’t cook food on a Yom Tov that isn’t meant to be eaten on Shabbos. The rest of the rules around cooking on Yom Tovs are easier than those on Shabbos, but it all boils (or in this case…maybe it doesn’t!) down to having to plan ahead for three days worth of meals unless you’re lucky enough to be invited out.
Our family rarely is so fortunate, due to a few different issues around conversion candidates and holidays, but this year we are fortunate enough that our Synagogue is hosting several meals, so most of what I need to be concerned with is keeping everyone full for breakfast and dinner, with lunch taken care of.
Oh…and did I mention that this must be done in the Shabbat RV 2.0 and that we still do not have a 50 amp circuit installed, so I’m running off an extension cord that runs across the parking lot into the RV? Life is full of adventures!
What this comes down to is that I will have 1 crockpot available for all my warming needs. I’m planning a few meaty meals of chicken in the crockpot, both of which I will prep in crockpot bags tonight or tomorrow night and then swap in and out of the crockpot as needed. I can just leave the crock pot on over the Yom Tovs and swap the liner in and out. Beyond that? Fruits so that we can say the shehechyanu blessing for something new, some salads that contain many of the traditional fruits and vegetables of the holiday, and of course, apple cake, apples, challah, and honey! In fact, as I look at that list…maybe I don’t even need so much?
If there is one thing that spending so much time in the Shabbat RV 2.0 has taught me, it’s that we really don’t always need all the things we think we need. All summer long, we did fine with cold salads and simple food. We slept just fine without our big comfy beds. We actually enjoyed time spent in the park or walking Sam or just playing games. Now that winter is almost upon us, we’re finding the RV cozier than we had thought it would be and a simple crockpot of warm food and snuggly blankets really make things comfortable. While it’s nice to have more space and comforts, it really is amazing how little we really need.
Occasionally we daydream about living someplace where you can count on kosher hamburger being available one week to the next or where kosher hot dog buns are a possibility, but for now, we simply work around whatever challenges we find and we still are able to find the joy in simple things, like a sunny Shabbos afternoon and walk with the smell of wood fires on the wind. I hope we can hang on to that spirit of adventure and gratitude even when we live someplace where “doing frum” is a bit easier.
Until then, we’re really looking forward to celebrating Rosh Hashanah in our own unique way.
And yeah, the picture for this post is one of my favorite crock pot chicken recipes, chicken and 40 cloves of garlic. I’ll be making it again for the holidays! Just be sure to sub in your favorite pareve margarine where needed.