Sundown on Wednesday, June 7, marks the beginning of the two-day Jewish holiday of Shavuot. If you're asking yourself "What's Shavuot?" don't worry, you've come to the right place.
Shavuot (also called Shavuos) commemorates the day God gave the Torah to the Jewish people. This great event happened at Mount Sinai, and today you'll find lots of Jewish preschool kids coming home with their own little Mount Sinai's, covered in the many flowers that are believed to have bloomed there immediately preceding the giving of the Torah. There is also a beautiful story about why Mount Sinai was chosen as the place for the Torah to be given - because even though it was not the biggest mountain, it was the most humble.
On Shavuot it is customary to eat dairy desserts, as the arrival of the Torah was the first time the Kosher dietary laws of not mixing milk and meat were introduced. Ice cream, cheesecake and cheese blintzes are all traditional favorites.
One of my favorite holiday recipes is No Bake Cheese Pie - this easy recipe is perfect to make with kids, and it is a holiday treat I look forward to every year. The recipe is for a crust that is baked, so if you don't want to use the oven just purchase a pre-made crust.
I also love cheese blintzes, and while I usually buy these pre-made year round, I make a special effort to make my own on Shavuot. This recipe for Cheese Blintzes is pretty easy and fail-proof.
In addition to dairy desserts and a festive meal, Shavout is also often celebrated with greenery and flowers in homes and synagogues. This custom is in remembrance of the blossoming on Mount Sinai before the presentation of the Torah. I love the idea of a Mount Sinai cake to symbolize this. A quick Google search showed many beautiful ones, but a lot are so elaborate it seems like making the cake could turn into an all night project - and it shouldn't. If you're up all night, it should be studying Torah - a tradition many Jewish people partake in on erev Shavuot.
Blintz photo from Slashfood.com.
Cake photo from Cakes by Yocheved
Momtrends was not compensated for this post. Anna Sandler is a contributor to Momtrends and writes a personal blog about life with three kids in scenic New Jersey at RandomHandprints.com.