Friday, October 24, 2014 Tishri 30, 5775

Dear Miriam,

This is my first Passover living on my own, and I have no idea how to get ready for the holiday. I know I should clean everything, but do I actually need a blowtorch? Do I have to cover my counters and throw away all my food?

Signed,
Passover Panic

Dear Panic,

This is one of those times where it's great to be an advice columnist and not a rabbinic authority because I'm going to answer based on what feels right rather than on what is right according to halacha (Jewish law). If you want more definitive answers, I encourage you to...

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Some Friday nights I'm invited to multiple Shabbos dinners. Sometimes it's just a case of multiple organizations holding a potluck on the same night, sometimes it's a friend or acquaintance inviting me to their home. These invites can be two weeks in advance, or the night before. What's the latest time before Friday night that I can decide where I'll be showing up? And am I a terrible person to want to wait until the last possible moment to see where I'll be invited?

Signed,
Too Many Potlucks,


Dear Potlucks,

As I've talked about before, a lot of...

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While today's post is not holiday related, I'd be remiss if I didn't start by wishing everyone a very happy Purim!

Dear Miriam,

While it's still winter, I want to make a great cholent for Shabbat, but my slow-cooker creations never turn out the way I expect. Any suggestions?

Signed,
Crockpot Crapshoot

Dear Crockpot,

For those readers who might not be familiar, cholent is a thick stew that traditionally cooks overnight on Fridays to be served for Shabbat lunch. The first time I had cholent was in college, and the Goucher kosher...

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