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Posts Tagged ‘Numbers’

One of the things I love about the Prophet Joel is that he really goes along with the idea of “Prophecy in the Kitchen” – despite the terrible locust plague that was afflicting the land at that time, despite the terrible damage it did to the crops (see Dried Fruit and Spice Muffins,) he still delivers the message that if we return to God and have faith, anything is possible – even divine prophecy.

“Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field; for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth its fruit, the fig-tree and the vine do yield their strength.” (Joel 2:22)

I think that in the above verse is an allegory that’s about more than just figs and vines, it’s saying that no matter how many times the Israelites turn from God, their roots are strong, that there is always room for return. That no matter how far they stray, it’s their roots that will bring them back to God again.

And indeed, in the first verse of Chapter 3, the prophet states (echoing Numbers 11:26-29):

“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out My spirit.” (Joel 3:1-2)

Of course, it is hard for me to live in Israel during these difficult times and to not find comfort in these words. The People of Israel have deep roots in the Land of Israel, and whether it be locusts or rockets that rain down upon us, our figs and vines will prosper because our roots are deep. And it doesn’t take a prophet to be able to tell us that – we are all prophets in these times and the only vision we have is of a brighter, more peaceful future, one in which figs and vines will prosper all across the Middle East and there will be an end to all this war.

The roots of flavor in this Fig and Port Wine Chocolate Salami are very deep and decadent – comfort food for difficult times.

Salami 27

Chocolate Salami with Port Wine and Figs

12 ozs chocolate
6 Tbsp. butter/margarine
1/3 cup sugar
1 shot espresso
3 Tbsp. port wine
1 sleeve of petit buerre cookies, crushed coarsely
1/2 cup shelled whole pistachios
1/2 cup chopped dried figs
1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/4 cup powdered sugar for dusting

Melt chocolate with butter or margarine. Add sugar, espresso and port wine.

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Crush petit buerre cookies, chop figs. Add whole pistachios, chopped figs and crushed cookies to chocolate mixture, mix well, using the back of the spoon to crush the mixture even more and combine it well – you should not be able to see the color of the cookies. Add cocoa powder (this will help the whole mixture stiffen up a bit.) Mix well.

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Spoon out half of the mixture onto a baking sheet, use your hands to shape into a messy loaf shape, then use parchment paper to shape into a log. Unroll paper and move the log onto the edge of the parchment paper sheet, then roll up and twist the ends as you would a toffee or hard-candy.

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Place in refrigerator to cool for 3-4 hours. Before serving, unroll the log from the parchment paper and dust with 1/4 cup of powdered sugar. Roll log in powdered sugar until the sugar enters all the crevices of the log and it is completely covered.

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Slice into 1/8-1/4 inch thick slices and serve!

Keep refrigerated.

Salami 17

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“These are the journeys of the children of Israel who left the land of Egypt in their legions, under the charge of Moses and Aaron. Moses recorded their starting points for their journeys according to the word of God, and these were their journeys with their starting points.” (Numbers 33:1–2)

Questions: The Bible recounts the forty-two places that the people of Israel encamped during their exodus from Egypt to the land of Israel. Some of the stops are described in detail; others are just mentioned by name. Some make sense geographically; many make no sense at all. Why is this long recounting necessary at all? Is there value in remembering and recounting a journey that you took? What can it help you do?

Ideas: Energy bars, granola bars, ready-made trail mix, any other type of food items meant for traveling like dried fruit and nuts. You can also create a trail with raisins, chocolates, nuts, or fruit and recount every step of your journey as you eat.

candy trail

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“We wish to bring an offering to God. Every man who found a gold article – an anklet, a bracelet, a ring, an earring or a body ornament – to atone for our souls before God.” (Numbers 31:50)

Questions: Why do you think gold was chosen as the gift of choice? Why do you think that the Israelites thought that giving a piece of jewelry would atone for their souls? Would you have given something? Why and why not? What would you have given? What do you think is the proper way to atone for something?

Ideas: Decorate your table with gold – a gold tablecloth, gold napkins, gold paper goods and cutlery. You can also serve other golden foods: golden grahams, golden syrup, golden raisins, golden delicious apples, Rold Gold pretzels, Yukon Gold potatoes, honey, gold wrapped chocolates, Goldschlager, etc.

gold candy

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“The daughters of Zelophehad the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of Manasseh the son of Joseph, came forward, and his daughters’ names were Mahla, Noah, Hogla, Milca, and Tirza.” (Numbers 27:1)

Questions: Why do you think it was so important that the lineage of the daughters of Zelophehad is mentioned here? Do you think your lineage is important too? Why or why not? Why do you think the Bible mentions the names of all these women too? What might this say about the power of standing up for what you believe in? And about the importance of one’s inheritance?

Ideas: Capers are a bit of an acquired taste, but they go well on salad and with chicken and fish. Experiment a bit with this new flavor as a tribute to these remarkable women.

capers

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“God opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, ‘What have I done to you that you have struck me these three times?’” (Numbers 22:28)

Questions: Would you like it if animals could talk? What do you think they would say? What animal would you most like to hear talk? Why? What statement do you think the Bible might be making here about how we should treat animals?

Ideas: Serve three bean salad, three different dishes of food at your table, serve food that comes from all different types of animals, or serve animal crackers, gummy worms and animal-shaped chicken cutlets. Use these animals as props at your table, give them a voice too.

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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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“The earth beneath them opened its mouth and swallowed them and their houses, and all the men who were with Korach and all the property.” (Numbers 16:32)

Questions: What horrible thing would someone have to do to make the earth swallow them whole? What responsibilities does a leader have? When is power used for a good thing? For a bad thing? Can one lead and still stay humble? Is there such a thing as wanting too much power? Can such desires cause earthquakes? Did Korach and his men deserve what they got?

Ideas: Make a small incision down the center of any loaf or round cake to represent the opening in the earth, earthquake parfaits can be made by layering pudding and cookie crumbs – anywhere you take a bite the earth caves in!

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