Blogging Ellul: What's your recipe?
Several times recently I've been asked if I can run a session on how to balance a crazy busy work life and Jewish life, particularly shabbat. This post is dedicated to all of those who have asked, and those who haven't. Everyone finds different ways of managing, from those I used to see saying their morning prayers on the underground (not a spiritual exercise that would work for me I'm afraid) to using shabbat to treat oneself to pre- made food or the opposite; cooking until 11pm or at 7am before shabbat. So many of us seem to constantly struggle between our work obligations and the way we'd like to live our religious lives, whatever faith that is. Perhaps it is for some a matter of priorities. For many of us a difficulty with saying no and therefore a need to squeeze ever more in! The question that keeps being asked of me tends to be about how one prepares shabbat, especially meals, and do a full time job. There are no quick answers, other than perhaps don't be ashamed to buy food in if you can afford to, or, as I do, treat cooking as a pleasurable past time which it's ok to do at late hours! Of course having a partner willing to muck in and take some of the load also helps massively, and I certainly couldn't do it without G. But we have over time also developed quick and easy recipes to help organise ourselves more speedily; a slow cooked shabbat lunch which doesn't require much pre cooking, a chicken thrown in the oven before I've jumped in the shower on a Friday morning, or challah dough left in bread machine overnight to be quickly plaited and proven in the morning (though of course our corner shop is even quicker!). My favourite new 'cheat' is an incredibly easy desert which brings back memories of childhood but can be encouraged to grow up! Chocolate crispy crunch cakes! I now try to always have in stock