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Friday Night Supper

August 27, 2013

On Friday 23 August, Woodford had one of our regular ‘Making Friday Night’ services – where the service is shortened to allow for discussion about the rites and rituals of Friday Nights.  This week the service and discussion was led by Gwendolen Burton one of the students on the Ba’alei Tefilah or lay leaders course run by Liberal Judaism – the topic for discussion was Friday Night Suppers.

Our small group sat round a couple of tables – with tea, coffee, and cakes – to reminisce about family suppers in years gone by.  For some of the group Friday Nights had little or significance – brought up by Jewish parents but either in secular homes or because circumstances (like work) prevented Friday rituals – for others the discussion focussed on chicken soup, roasted chicken, stuffed chicken necks, potato kugel, gefilte fish, and cholent.

There was also a discussion about the difference between Ashkenazi and Sephardi cooking, including remembering one dish combining the two cooking traditions – sliced potatoes on a bed of rice!  Gwendolen brought along her favourite Jewish cookbook – but no potatoes on a bed of rice recipe in there, does anyone have a recipe?

Along with the memories of the meals there was time to recall all of the preparations for Shabbat – shopping, slaughtering of chickens (kept in the yard), koshering chickens (even if brought from a kosher butcher), etc.  Whether the gefilte fish should be fried or boiled (the significance of the carrot when boiled) and how individual preferences have changed over the years.

It was, I think everyone who attended would agree, both an enjoyable and informative discussion – our next ‘Making Friday Night’ service is on 27th September when the theme is the Eshet Chayil (Women of Valour) hymn.  As always – everyone is welcome to come along and take part or simply listen in on the discussion, you never know what you may learn.

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