Sunday, August 31, 2014 Elul 5, 5774

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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Dear Miriam,

Why are there so many potluck Shabbat meals in Philadelphia? How do I decide what to bring? Are there other pieces of potluck etiquette I should know about?

Signed,
Puzzled by potlucks

Dear Puzzled,

You're absolutely right that the Philadelphia Jewish scene is ripe with potluck meals! The recent article in the Jewish Exponent talks about this trend. This coming Shabbat, at least four organizations are hosting potlucks: Hillel's Grad Network (where I work!), Moishe House Philadelphia, and the Collaborative are all hosting Friday...

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Nothing like a little light-hearted shiva talk for my first officially submitted question from a reader!  Thanks to everyone who's visited this site so far, and keep the questions coming, funeral and otherwise!

Dear Miriam,

I am hoping your expertise in Jewish ritual and culinary prowess can help me out. Sadly, I find that as we enter these cold winter months, I'm attending a lot of shivas and Emily Post isn't cutting it. So, what does one bring to a family sitting...

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