From Barbecues to Vegan Shabbat

Sunday, 17 May, 2009 - 5:10 pm

By the end of last week, I was left with the bloated feeling one gets after consuming a couple too many chicken wings and burgers.

Lag B'Omer Barbecues, on the beach in Brighton and at a student's back garden in Southampton. The meat was delicious. The company was wonderful. Though the wind did discourage most revelers from staying at the beach BBQ for long after eating their fill.

(There are a few marshmallows left... If you missed out because you forgot an extra jacket on the night and were too cold to stick around, come on over and enjoy!).

Either way, it was decided unanimously, that Friday night we'd do the alternative 'Brighton' thing. We would go Vegan for one Shabbat dinner!

I can hear Shterna's grandmother's voice from Israel asking how on earth that can be done. Eggless Challah? Chrein without Fish? No chicken soup? No Matzah Balls? (We had no intention of keeping Matzah Meal together with Tofu or Mashed Banana!). No kugel???

We survived.

And as Shterna says, "I didn't realise how easy it'll be, though it won't happen regularly".

Water Challah (as good as any other) with plenty of Humous, followed by chickpea salad, potato salad and fresh salad for the 'fish course' (a Shabbos dinner with less than 4 courses just wouldn't fly!). Zucchini (courgette) soup with croutons, followed by rice, mushroom knish, roasted vegetables and tomato salad... Apple crisp for dessert. Even Tesco took part, by slashing prices on the kosher sorbet!

We all left the table quite satisfied, and barely an offensive joke about vegans uttered!

Here's one to make up for it!

“Isaac Bashevis Singer was at a dinner and was asked by the waiter if he wanted fish or chicken. He said, ‘I would just like vegetables.’ The waiter inquired, ‘Is it for your health?’ To which Singer responded, ‘No, it is for the health of the chicken.’”

I don't supposed you've heard the story of the vegan who decided to go kosher. He kept separate pots for starch and veggies!

We're now planning our next meaty barbecue, while we are safely assuming that one of the participants in the Vegan Shabbat was right when he commented that this was probably the first Chabad Vegan Shabbat Dinner ever held on earth!

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