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Edible Parsha: Rock Candy and Parfaits

Parshat Chukat Inspiration:

“The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: … ‘You shall bring forth water for them from the rock and give the congregation and their livestock to drink.’ … Moses raised his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, when an abundance of water gushed forth, and the congregation and their livestock drank.”

I’m no Moses, and I can’t make water come from a rock … but I can make a rock come from water…

We made rock candy! While my kids were home during COVID, we did lots of mini science experiments, and on my fourth attempt I finally made rock candy successfully. This takes about two to three days to form, and my instructions include a few tips that finally made it work for me, including extra sugar.

 

Rock Candy for 3

(Multiply as needed, but hot sugary water isn’t easy to pour so you might want to do larger quantities in batches)

  • 5 cups water
  • 5 cups white sugar
  • Glasses or glass jars
  • Wood skewers
  • Clothespins
  • Popsicle sticks or more skewers for horizontal supports
  • Hot water

Prepare three glasses or glass jars. Have three skewers and three clothespins and popsicle sticks or skewers to use as cross-pieces. You will need to suspend each skewer at least 1½” from the bottom of the glass and have it be stable for up to three days.

On a piece of parchment paper, pour out a line of sugar. Wet the three skewers and roll them in the sugar. Lay them on a clear area of the parchment paper and allow them to dry for at least 30 minutes.

Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan.

Add the sugar one cup at a time; stir and wait for it to dissolve before adding the next cup. It will become oversaturated and harder to dissolve the last two cups.

When the sugar is completely liquid, it will be a light brown. Take it off the burner and allow it to cool for about 20 minutes. A thin skin will be starting to form.

While the sugar is cooling, prepare the glasses by filling them with hot water. This reduces, but doesn’t eliminate, the amount of crystals that form on the glass.

Pour the hot water out of each glass and fill it about halfway with the sugar solution.

Carefully place a sugar-seeded skewer into the sugar solution so that that bottom tip is at least 1½” from the bottom of the glass. Clamp it with a clothespin and prop the clothespin on a horizontal stick set across the lip of the glass. Repeat for each skewer.

Carefully set the glasses in a location where they won’t be disturbed for a few days.

Check after two days to see if rock sugar crystals are forming. It might need another day, or you might be done! Be amazed and proud of yourself that it actually worked!

If the crystals have filled in the space between the skewer and glass, you can pour out the remaining liquid and carefully flush just the bottom of the glass with water, being careful not to dissolve the crystals on the skewer and carefully not to pull the skewer out of the crystals. When you finally get it free, be proud of your hard work and amazed that it actually worked!

Parshat Balak Inspiration:

“The Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, ‘What have I done to you that you have struck me these three times?’ … The she-donkey said to Balaam, ‘Am I not your [loyal] donkey on which you have ridden since you first started?’…”

I don’t know what Balaam’s donkey liked for dessert. But I do know that a certain other talking donkey who was also a loyal friend liked parfaits. In fact, he stated emphatically that “parfaits are delicious.”

I made them American-style by layering homemade granola with pareve So Delicious vanilla coconut milk yogurt, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Here is my recipe for homemade granola.

 

Homemade Granola

  • 4 cups rolled oats or quick oats
  • 1 cup wheat germ or oat bran or a mix
  • ½ cup sunflower seed kernels or pumpkin seeds or a mix
  • ½ cup finely chopped almonds
  • ½ cup finely chopped pecans
  • ½ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 6 Tbsp honey
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Heat the oven to 3500F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the first 6 dry ingredients in a large bowl and set it aside.

In a saucepan, combine the salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, vegetable oil, cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla extract. Bring it to a boil over medium heat while stirring gently.

When the mixture boils (it looks foamy), pour it over the dry ingredients and use a long spoon to coat evenly.

Pour the mixture onto the baking sheet and spread it evenly. Bake for about 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through. It is done when the granola is toasted and crispy at the edges and smells like comfort. Take it out before the edges really burn.

Let the granola cool on the pan, then transfer it to a bowl or bag and add in the cranberries.


Follow me @EdibleParsha on Facebook to see each recipe on the Monday of each parsha week for plenty of time to prepare it for Shabbat!

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