Parshas Nasso
June 6, 2009 - 14 Sivan 5769


 Voices From the Ezras Nashim

The work of preparing for Shavuos left me short of time to write anything for this page last week. Shavuos at Daven With Dov was wonderful. The davening was beautiful and the company splendid. In many ways this is my favorite culinary holiday. I really enjoy preparing dairy dishes.

But here it is Thursday evening and I am struggling to find the direction I would like to go in for this week. Last week when I did not have time to write I wanted to comment on the nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States. I find it strange that a jurist of such stature would entertain the idea that race, upbringing and gender render one a better trier of fact. When I wrote about Parshas Shoftim I commented on the need for us as humans to do justice rather than to apply our sympathies to the application of the law. We are exhorted in Parshas Shoftim to pursue justice. Justice by any reasonable definition is the equal application of the law to all. We are not to apply different standards to the poor or the wealthy—the influential or the unknown among us. Justice is ours to pursue while mercy (rachmanus) is in the realm of HaShem. The law for those of us who are flesh and blood is based upon facts not upbringing or gender. A true trier of fact is swayed only by the evidence.

So here I am a week later and not withstanding the comment above I would like to write about something lighter and completely different. Not far from the location of Daven With Dov there is a stand of cacti of many varieties that happen to belong to us. At one point in time I hoped to harvest and perhaps sell the cactus pears that grew there. It seemed that I was seeing more and more of this fruit in the supermarket. Alas, the pears stopped growing before I could harvest them. The cacti grew larger and in place of the pears there were huge green paddles. Attractive, but that was all. Then I received the latest issue of Gourmet magazine and there was a recipe for grilled cactus paddles. The photo looked remarkably like the cacti we were growing. Earlier this week I harvested four really pretty paddles. Unfortunately I did this without gloves and hope that the resulting punctures to my hands constitute a significant kipora. Before the harvest I did some internet research and learned that the paddles have the flavor of green beans (although somewhat spicier). Dov was intrigued watching me scrape the thorns from the paddles and took over this job. As a matter of fact as of this writing he is the only one of us who has tasted the paddles. He thinks they are good, but spicy. Our Shabbos lunch will have Cactus Paddle Salad served in warm flour tortillas as an appetizer. I will keep you informed.

Elk's Menu
Parshas Nasso
14 Sivan 5769—June 6, 2009

Whole Wheat Challah
Baked in the merit of a child for a childless couple—for this week's names please call Yehudis Halberstam—718--972--4793
Vegetable Soup
Salmon en Croute with Sauteed Peppers and Onions
Salmon with Whisky Marinade
Pasta with Vegetarian Sausages
Challah Stuffing
Roasted Cauliflower and Brussel Sprouts
Avocado and Tomato Salad
Lettuce Salad with Fine Herbs and Homemade Dressing
Marble Cake
Date Nut Squares

 Lunch Appetizer 
                                   Cactus Paddle Salad (((Internet Recipe)))


Egg Salad
Tuna Salad
Baked Gefilte Fish
Matjes Herring
Chickpea Salad

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