I know, it’s a Thursday! Not many people we know who get married in the middle of the week. But, today in Israel will be one of the most popular wedding days of the year. Because, it is Lag B’Omer, literally meaning, “the 33rd day of the Omer.”
The day is celebrated with community, bonfires, wine, sweets & weddings (of the Modern Jewish variety), which are prohibited during the rest of the Omer. (More on that later!)
We celebrate the day with bonfires, picnics, music and sporting events. Any holiday where you’re encouraged to barbecue, eat potatoes and roast marshmallows is a good one for us! CaterSource magazine, one of the premiere educational sources for event caterers, just declared the S’mores bar as “Perennially popular.”
The S’mores bar speaks to the comfort foods of youth, to the call of a cozy campfire on a hot summer night — and speaking from a budget-savings aspect, it is generally a dessert that does not require a lot of cost or kitchen time. It’s an easy treat to serve outside fresh off the flame, if so desired.”
Catering companies are looking to oblige and are serving up s’mores for your Modern Jewish Wedding in new and innovative ways.
In celebration of the holiday our friends over at ChallahCrumbs shared a potato salad recipe.
About 4 servings
It’s not a BBQ without potato salad. This one is a cross between deli style mayo based and German vinegar. The Dutch baby potatoes have a buttery taste and a waxy texture, perfect for this dish. If you cannot find them at your market, substitute red new potatoes, small Yukon gold or fingerling.
1½ pounds baby Dutch yellow potatoes
½ cup good quality mayonnaise (for homemade see page 262)
2 teaspoons Dijon or grainy mustard
½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
½ teaspoon freshly chopped rosemary leaves
3 scallions, white and green portions chopped
Juice of a half lemon (about 1 to 2 tablespoons)
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar (more or less to taste)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil, and cook the potatoes for 15 minutes, just until fork tender, drain and cut each small potato in half, larger ones in thirds. Work with them while still warm so they absorb more of the dressing.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayo, mustard, thyme, rosemary, scallions, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper. Gently toss the potatoes in the dressing and stir to combine. Refrigerate until completely chilled.
Start to finish Under 30 minutes to prepare, then time to chill
And this Tricolor Potato Salad from our friends at Joy of Kosher
1 Combine red potatoes, Yukon Gold potatoes, purple potatoes, California Ripe olives, green onions and celery in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
2 In a medium bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar, mustard and capers.
3 Gradually whisk in olive oil, then season with salt, pepper and parsley.
4 Pour dressing over potato mixture and toss until evenly coated.
Source: California Olive
The second night of Passover, marked the beginning of the counting of the Omer. The Omer refers to the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot and is considered a time of mourning and anxiety over the beginning of the spring season of crops. Since it is seen as a time of mourning Jewish weddings (and interfaith weddings where a Jewish clergy is involved) are forbidden during the counting of the Omer.
With one major exception, Lag B’Omer, which started last night and ends tonight at sundown.
The 18th of Iyar. Jews celebrate Lag B’Omer by doing what is forbidden during the rest of the Omer. The interpretations for why the 33rd of the Omer is a day of celebration and restrictions are lifted is subject to many interpretations. (The saying 3 Jews & 4 opinions comes to mind!) But, I digress…
To learn more about the counting of the Omer check out these sites:
Image credits go to: Tahoe Unveiled Wedding Blog for the cover image; Collage Images found on Pinterest & include: Pretty Foods & Pretty Drinks, The Perfect Palette, The Girl Who Ate Everything, Cookie Creatives, Your Own Fairy Godmother & Amy Atlas Sweet Designs. Challah Crumbs & Joy of Kosher for the pictures with their recipes.