It has been a while since I published a new post, but the ideas have been percolating nonetheless.
This week's parashah includes the story of Yaakov's dream of a ladder ascending to heaven. We are going to enjoy edible ladders for our first course--fashioned out of skewers of fruit. We'll use whatever we can find in the store (lots of oranges and apples, I'm sure) with slices attached between the skewers to serve as rungs of the ladder. Our ladder meal will include asparagus crossed with steamed carrots and string beans to form a ladder and a salad made of towering (or laddering) jicama slices and avocado (from one of the Kosher by Design books).
For the main, I am borrowing an idea from cookbook author Gil Marks. On his web site in the section discussing parashat hashavua, he explores food in each week's parashah. For Parashat Veyeitzei he explores the prevalence of sheep in the parashah and delineates the different types of sheep in the Torah. In the parashah, Yaakov meets Rachel as she is bringing the family flock to the well, Yaakov shepherds Lavan's sheep, and Yaakov amasses wealth of his own in the form of sheep resulting from a genetics experiment at the end of the parashah. Sheep are the livelihood and sustenance and currency of the time. Even Lavan's daughter is named Rachel(which means ewe) because she is his most precious commodity (Just like our own precious Rachel). So, it looks like lamb stew will be our shabbat dinner.
For dessert, our lamb will once again take the shape of a cake and it will be speckled with chocolate chips. I'll also visit our new local kosher candy store and buy some of the amazingly realistic looking candies in the shape of rocks to remind us of the rocks that Yaakov gathered under his head at the beginning of the parashah.