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Gut Shabbos

Tonight we observe the Jewish Sabbath. Or, I should say, today we prepare to observe the Sabbath. Since most of Friday is spent in shopping and preparing for the Sabbath, there is a good reason a "day of rest" is required. Relished, in fact. A day to recharge. Reflect. Learn. Pray. Observe. Rest. Eat. Converse. Read.

Tonight my sister and niece joined us for Shabbat. There are many rituals I truly enjoy in preparing for our Shabbat meal.

I love preparing a chicken to roast. I vary my theme often, but tonight I stuffed the bird with a chopped lemon and fresh rosemary, rubbed her down with olive oil, salt, pepper and placed the chicken on top of a layer of carrots and baby Yukon potatoes. At five pounds, the bird was roasted at 425° for 90 minutes. After roasting, the chicken was covered in foil and left to rest for nearly 30 minutes before DT carved.

Hoo Ya! Is there anything better than a chicken, fresh from the oven - with crispy, salty skin?

I don't think so.

Well, maybe yummy organic veggies roasted under the chicken.

And since "the thing" this spring is shaved asparagus - I made a salad of shaved asparagus spears tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper. I topped the salad with shaved pecorino cheese and toasted pine nuts.

Don't forget the most traditional item on a Shabbat menu - Challah. This sweet, eggy bread is a main stay on tables around the world tonight.

Maybe my version isn't very traditional because I made it with whole wheat flour... but it was very popular and exceedingly more delicious than most Challah you will find at your neighborhood bakery (assuming you live where you can actually find Challah in a bakery).

What I most enjoy about Shabbat is knowing millions of women all over the world are cooking the same meal. Roasting a chicken. Baking Challah. Lighting candles. Gathering with her family and reciting the same prayers.

It is most comforting.

Shabbat Shalom!

Until my next update, I remain, your traditional correspondent.