Shift into hot summer days with cool kosher cuisine.

This year, July 21st corresponds to the Hebrew fast day of the Seventeenth of Tammuz – the opening of a time period reserved for somber reflection culminating in the fast of Tisha B’Av. Like iron bookends, these two dates frame what is commonly called the “Three Weeks.” Many people are unaware of this warp on the Jewish calendar, much the less observe its prohibitions. It doesn’t get much press.

But for thousands of Jews, the 17th of Tammuz marks the day when the walls of ancient Jerusalem were breached by the enemy, which of course, was the beginning of the end. We’ve been “wandering Jews” ever since.  Seems to me, I’ve done my fair share of wandering too.

And it’s summer. As if the heat weren’t enough, we feel slowed down by these heavy reminiscences. But, listen – there’s no law against finding refreshment and rejuvenation in our meals during this time! A thoughtful cook will devise cool, colorful dishes that will lighten the spirit.  What we want is fly-away light, butterfly light — meals that go down smooth and sweet, and won’t weigh you down afterward.

I have recipes for those perfect summer meals – the kind that makes you want to kick off your shoes and go play in the sand.  Ingredients for these delectable dishes are probably in your pantry.  

Do you have a favorite cool recipe? Please share it by leaving a comment.