Things missed…….

Since being on this journey I’ve notice many things I am not able to do anymore.  They’ve never bothered me but for some reason today they seem to cloud my thoughts.

I spend hours cooking for Shabbat only to have that wonderful meal either dried up from over heating with dry heat, or cold.  Either way, by the time we eat it is not as pleasant as it would have been when I first cooked it.  Our Friday night Shabbat meal is the best.  Every thing is hot out of the oven and fresh.  We really enjoy all the wonderful things I’ve spent the whole day cooking.  But on Sabbath afternoon, that is not the case.  Most of the food, with the exception of what’s int he crock-pot, is cold, or over cooked.  I’m able to keep rice nice and warm because I have a rice cooker and it has a warm setting.  But sometimes even that is hard on the bottom.  All in all, the Sabbath afternoon meal, which should be special, is far to often unpleasant.

I’ve done my research on the internet looking for ways to keep food warm.  There is something known in the Jewish community as a Bleach (click to view).  I have not tried it due to the cost.  I plan to get one soon in hopes it will solve this issue.  There is also something known as a Warming Tray,  (click to view).  I’m sure many outside the community know about this tray.  I plan on getting one soon as well.

I visited a friend recently in Baltimore, most of you know her from, and found that all her food was wonderful, delicious and surprisingly warm (something I’ve yet to master).  As many of you know I don’t eat meat but the chicken looked really good on her table.  If I was a meat eater, I would have tried it.  🙂  I wanted to ask her how she was able to keep all her food so fresh and warm for that long, alas, I did not ask.

I did , however notice that she had this amazing contraction on her stove.  It looked homemade and was metal, I think.  It seemed to span from the top of the stove to the oven.  It seemed to me that with this one could have the oven on warm and the metal would heat up causing the items on it to stay warm.  I often find that making things yourself can save lots of money but also last a lot longer.  I need to ask her one day because these are only my observations and I could be wrong.

I also miss……wow, trying to think of something and there is nothing I can think of.  As you can see there is not a lot I’ve missed after all and in-spite of my food issue, I have faith it will work out once I learn and understand better how it is all done by the masters like many of my friends are able to do.  Well, until next time, keep smiling and enjoying your journey in Judaism!

4 thoughts on “Things missed…….

  1. Hello Nitza,

    Not sure if this is what you mean but I think you are referring to a Blech and that is how the food is kept warm:

    The “Shabbat Stove” – Setting up the Blech

    It is permissible to keep food warm on a gas flame or electric burner which has been turned on before Shabbat, as long as the source of heat is covered. This is usually done by covering the stovetop with a thin sheet of aluminum referred to as a blech (Yiddish for “tin”). It is preferable for the blech also to cover the control knobs for those burners which it covers, to prevent one from adjusting the flame on Shabbat.

    A blech usually covers two to four burners, of which one or two are left on. If, for example, one wishes to place two pots of food on the blech, it is wise to leave only one burner on. The entire blech will become hot, but the area directly over the burner will be hottest.

    When setting up the blech, it is best to use a low flame (or flames) so as not to burn the food. Food can be kept hot effectively even with a low flame.

    From a health standpoint, be sure that food kept on the blech for more than an hour remains hot, not lukewarm, to prevent spoilage.

    Food placed on the blech for Shabbat must be at least one-third or preferably one-half cooked. All salt, spices and liquid must be added before Shabbat begins.

    Keeping Food Warm on the Blech: On Shabbat it is permissible to rearrange those pots which sit directly on the blech, under the following conditions:
    •the food is completely cooked;
    •the part of the blech on which the pot sits is hot to the touch;
    •the food has not cooled down to room temperature.

    Warming Cold Food: On Shabbat, one may not place cold wet food, even when fully cooked, into a pot on the blech. However, one may place cold food (such as chicken or kugel) near the fire but not on the blech to take the chill off, as long as it could never become hot (over 113° F) in that spot.

    Removing Food from the Blech: One may not serve food directly from a pot on the blech. The pot must first be removed from the blech.

    Replacing Pots on the Blech: After removing a pot or kettle from the blech to serve from it, one may replace it on the blech only if all of the following conditions are met:
    •When the pot was removed, the intention was to put it back;
    •The food is fully cooked;
    •The food has not completely cooled off and is still slightly warm;
    •The food has not been transferred to another pot;
    •One holds the pot handle until replacing the pot on the blech. It is preferable not to put the pot down. If necessary, the pot may be placed on a table or any dry place except the floor, as long as one continues to hold the pot.

    A Simple Jew..

  2. Thank you for your help. This information was useful for me. May I ask, some of my food has been spoiling over night when left on the heat. We are not meat eaters and some of the veggie meats is not holding well over night. What can I do? It seems it needs to be refrigerated but as you stated, one is not allow to take something cold to heat on the Sabbath.

  3. Hello Nitza,

    Well it’s not so straight forward.

    You can warm certain foods up if it is done on a blech BUT the halachot are complicated so you would have to give me specifics and I could tell you how do to it al pi halachah. It is of course forbidden to put anything on a direct flame. You can, for example, put rice onto a blech Shabbat morning to be reheated even if the rice is cold when placed on the blech (of course it should have already been cooked or else it wouldn’t be permissible). But you can’t warm cold water on a blech to be used for a hot drink, for example, for various reasons. This is a BIG subject so if you give specifics I can help you and also point you to the references within the sefarim for each point.

    Don’t forget if you have a light in your refrigerator to take it out before Shabbat because it is forbidden to open the door of your fridge if the light will come on when doing so.

    Warm Regards,
    A Simpe Jew.

    • This past week my husband got some cheese that was not kosher. I was so busy trying to get everything done I did not notice it until it was to late. I had already cooked with it. Now, the dish I used for cooking was glass, so do I have to toss it out or can it be made kosher again? If so, how?

      I have a rice cooker that I use to cook my rice. Once the rice is done the cooker will keep it warm, is that permissible on Sabbath?

      I have a slow cooker but when I put foil in the bottom (keeping the bowl from touching the direct heat), my food is spoiled by Sabbath afternoon, what can I do?

      We are 99% vegetarians. Once in a while we get kosher turkey. How do I wash the dishes used when making a sandwich? My sink is the double kind but to designate one side for that purpose of washing dishes from meat makes no sense seeing we only eat meat twice a year.

      I have so much more to ask but I will let you address those and then post more. Thanks so much for your willingness to help me through this process.

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