Elul: Plums and Flames

Elul: poached plum

Elul: poached plum

The month of Elul is an acronym for the phrase “Ani l’dodi v l’dodi li” from Song of Songs (I am my beloved and my beloved is mine). It is about the relationship between ourselves and God.  Rabbi Yoel Glick writes that the process of teshuva (return) is “about repairing our shattered vessel. It is about returning to the sense of inner balance and clarity that will make us fitting pipelines to channel the Divine emanation.. . . radically transforms our consciousness. To do teshuvah is to see light instead of darkness – to view the world through God’s transcendent eyes.”

Elul: poached plum

Elul: poached plum

While trying to translate the process of teshuva and Elul thmes through food, I came across the following story:

“In Europe, Elul arrived when the plums were purple and ripe and the pears were ready for picking. Jews called Elul the time of the “Flaumen un die Beren” (the plums and pears). In Yiddish these two words have additional meanings: “Flaumen” means flames, and “Beren” means to burn. Thus Elul is a time to search our hearts, and to seek God with fiery, burning intensity.”

I love stone fruits and am fortunate that plums are still in season (though pears haven’t made an appearance yet.) I adapted this poached plums recipe from The Kitchn

I hope this delicious plum recipe provides your nourishment during your spiritual journey this month.

Poached Plums

4 ripe plums
4 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup plus 4 tbsp water
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp lemon zest

1. Add water and sugar to a small, deep pot. Cover and bring to a boil until sugar is dissolved.
2. Add cinnamon stick, lemon zest and plums. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer, 8-10 minutes.
3. Remove lid and continue to simmer, another 10 minutes (liquid should thicken).
4. Turn off heat and let plums cool for a few minutes.
5. Serve plain or with non-dairy yogurt or ice cream.




9 thoughts on “Elul: Plums and Flames

  1. So glad to see your post! It looks yummy, but I am officially without a kitchen for at least 4 months. It will be a challenge, but so fun to cook when it is finished!

    Love Caryn >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Perfect timing- I just returned from market with half a dozen plums.Actually hard to find really bright red, juicy tasty organic plums so this recipe is a teshuva opportunity to overcome the faults of this seasons plums by poaching them. Even after 8 min they needed more poaching and I naughtily doubled the sugar, used the richest vanilla ice cream made from buttermilk and just before serving added a vanilla liquor flambé to bring the fiery intensity of Elul. It looked fabulous, tasted great and after 2 min the fire alarm stopped. Be cautious if you have long wavy hair or long eyelashes.

    Amazing how you are able to bring everything together.

    Parsha Man in the kitchen.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Looks amazing. I think plums are winding down here but I will snatch up what I can. It’s nice to know about how religion connected with eating seasonally. It makes such a difference to eat by the seasons, especially if you can get local produce because it is full of flavor. I like thinking about the generations past in Europe awaiting the ripe plums during this month.

    Liked by 1 person

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