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Posts Tagged ‘Aaron’

One of the things I notice now, since I finished all the photo shoots for my cookbook, is that I look at food differently. I was cutting up garlic, potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots for today’s recipe and all of the sudden, the mundane turned into art. I started to think about the arrangement of what I was cutting, and how the photographer would have arranged the peels, the knife, the cutting board, the vegetables. I noticed how beautiful the carrots were, both before I peeled them, and after. I noticed how beautiful the potato peels were, and the contrast of the two orange colors of the carrots and sweet potatoes, and of the whites of the potatoes and garlic cloves. And I think more than anything that is one of the things I try to do in my cookbook – to find the beauty in the mundane, to find the culinary references in the simple text. To bring carrots, potatoes and garlic to life in the way my photographer was able to do meant that he saw the vegetables differently, just like I try to see, and help others to see the Bible in a different, more tasty and tactile light. There is much beauty in the Bible, and it’s not in elaborate pageants and great shows of wealth, it’s in the simple things: carrots, potatoes, garlic, stones, sand and stars.

“Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, each took a pan, put fire in it, placed incense upon it, and they brought a strange fire before God which he had not commanded. And fire went forth from God and consumed them, and they died.” (Leviticus 10:1-2)

Questions: While the text makes it clear that Nadab and Abihu died, and that they brought a “strange fire” into the sanctuary which God had not commanded them, we are not told why this fire was “strange.” Why couldn’t Aaron’s sons bring an extra offering to God? What was “strange” about their fire?

Ideas: BBQ! Serve anything flame-roasted to get the conversation started about fire, and what makes some fires strange and others less strange. Anything hot and spicy could work too. Some commentators suggest that Nadab and Abihu were drunk, so douse your chicken in wine, or simmer your beef in some broth.

I am making Flame Roasted Drunken Chicken this week. Recipe here.

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‘They ascended Mount Hor in the presence of the entire congregation. Moses then stripped Aaron of his garments and dressed Eliezer his son in them, and Aaron died there on the top of the mountain.’ (Numbers 20:27-28)

Questions: Why was Aaron told to undress? Do you think he knew that he was going to die? What would you do if you knew when you, or someone you loved was going to die? What would you make sure to do with them or for them? Would you like to be buried on a mountain? Why or why not? Where would you like to be buried? Why?

Ideas: Serve rice or mashed potatoes in the form of two mounds or on two separate plates. For dessert you can simply serve one apple half balanced on top of another apple half. Whipped cream can represent the pillar of cloud, or you can have your guests or your kids try to make marshmallow stacks as the pillar of cloud.

cloud cake

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“Aaron shall place lots on the two goats: one marked ‘For the Lord,’ and the other marked, ‘For Azazel.’ And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the lot, ‘For the Lord,’ comes up, and offer it as a sin offering. And the goat on which the lot ‘For Azazel’ comes up, shall be placed while still alive, before God, to achieve atonement through it, and to send it away to Azazel, to the desert.” (Leviticus 16:8-10)

Questions: What is Azazel? Why must a goat be cast off into Azazel? Why does a sacrifice not suffice?

Ideas: Serve goat’s cheese, goat’s milk or anything made with goat products, you can also serve anything “wild” like wild rice, wild strawberries, or wild mushrooms to represent the wilderness of Azazel.

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“If a man has a raised area, a scab, or a spot on the skin of his flesh, and it forms a lesion of leprosy on his skin, he shall be brought to Aaron the High Priest, or to one of his sons, the priests.” (Leviticus 13:2)

Questions: Why does the Bible devote so much attention to describing a skin condition in such vivid detail? What is it about leprosy that makes it worthy of such attention? What did leprosy punish?

Ideas: Make “spotted” or “tongue” cookies, or anything wrapped up in puff pastry dough, in a tortilla-type wrap or even sushi which is wrapped in seaweed! (Lepers often wrapped themselves with many bandages.) See how long everyone at your table can go without speaking about someone else.

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“And Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the Sanctuary and everything in it…. And he poured some of the anointing oil upon Aaron’s head, and he anointed him to sanctify him.” (Leviticus 8:10–12)

Questions: Why did Moses pour oil on Aaron’s head? Why is oil sacred? Why is it used to sanctify objects and people?

Ideas: If you don’t have time to make a marinade or a recipe using a marinade – buy a jar of something marinated. Anoint something you serve with olive oil at the table – put olive oil on olives, on hummus, on your salad, put out a bowl of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping your bread into.

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“He took (the gold) from their hands, and fashioned it with an engraving tool into a molten calf, upon which they said: ‘This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!’” (Exodus 32:4)

Questions: Why do you think that Aaron agreed to help make the golden calf? Is he as much to blame as the people were? It seems so out of character for Aaron to agree to this! What do you think happened? Have you ever been in a situation when you have done something against your better judgment? What happened?

Ideas: Serving any kind of roast or beef, even meatloaf will do to represent the calf. Set your table with a golden tablecloth or table runner, decorate the table with gold confetti or golden napkin rings – anything glittery or sparkly with which to decorate your table – or your meatloaf!

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