Post-Fast – Indulgence!

Creme Brulee

Crème Brûlée French Toast

I know this goes against what I was saying about not gorging yourself after the fast, but if you’re ever going to eat something rich and calorie loaded like this dish, this is the time to do it! What’s even better about this dish is that it’s even better if you prepare it the day before and let it sit in the fridge overnight, having the bread soak up all the flavours, and then bake it right after the fast and eat it hot! This recipe will make 12 servings.

Ingredients:

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons corn syrup
1 large challah
10 large eggs
3 cups half-and-half or whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons orange flavoured liqueur or orange juice concentrate
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

In a small heavy saucepan melt butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over moderate heat, stirring, until smooth and pour into a 13×9 inch baking dish, making sure that the pan is at least 2 inches deep. Cut the challah into large cubes. You can remove the crusts or keep them, it’s a matter of personal taste. Arrange the bread cubes in the baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit. In a bowl whisk together eggs, half-and-half/milk, vanilla, liqueur/juice concentrate, and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread. Do not toss, as you want the sugar/syrup mixture to stay on the bottom of the pan. At this point you can let the dish sit for 15-20 minutes to allow the bread to soak up the egg and milk mixture, or you can refrigerate the bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day. Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit, and if you’ve chilled the dish, bring bread to room temperature. Bake bread mixture, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve hot french toast immediately. TIP: When you serve this, turn the piece upside down on the individual’s plate, to allow the caramel-y goodness (and the Crème Brûlée aspect of the recipe), run down over the toast!

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Fasting 101 – Dos and Don’ts – The Day of the Fast and After!

Yom Kippur Seal

The Day of the Fast:

  • Avoid wearing clothing that will make you perspire, as this will cause your body to lose water.
  • Try (and it is difficult!) not to talk or think about the food you’ll eat after the fast, as this will cause your body to begin preparing itself for a meal.
  • Take an afternoon nap between prayer services. This will pass some time, and some people also experience a feeling of fullness after a short nap. Admittedly, this is not for everyone as some have the custom not to nap on Yom Kippur.
  • Some people find that sniffing spices such as cinnamon or cloves helps ease the hunger. Again, this is not for everyone as some have the custom not to benefit at all from items such as these on Yom Kippur.

Post-fast . . .

Now comes the easy part, which most of us will have little trouble with! However, there are a few pointers to keep in mind so as not to shock your body back into eating mode.

  • Be sure not to eat food too quickly at the post-fast meal. Begin the break-fast meal with a drink of milk or juice; this puts sugar into the bloodstream and occupies space in the stomach, discouraging you from eating too rapidly.
  • Begin with eating a simple food, such as a piece of honey cake or crackers. It is advisable to wait some time before sitting down for a full meal, in order to give your body a chance to begin digesting foods again. I imagine most people are willing to run the risk of a stomach-ache by eating without delay, but it is still a good idea to keep in mind, even if you postpone your meal by only a few minutes.
  • Drink lots of water, and avoid salty foods, since you will still be a little dehydrated and need to replace your fluids.
  • Many people vote for a dairy meal (i.e.: cream cheese and bagels), as it is lighter on the system.
  • Avoid gorging yourself. The body protects itself from starvation when you are fasting by slowing down the rate at which it burns food. Therefore, the calories you consume right after a fast will stay with you a lot longer than those acquired on a normal basis (sorry!).

Most of all, “!גמר‏ חתימה טובה” or “May You Be Sealed for a Good Year (in the Book of Life)!”