Thursday, September 13, 2007

TT #30 - 13 things on our Rosh Hashana table

Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, began last night and will continue until Friday evening. It is a time of reflection, one of the most serious holidays in the Jewish calendar, and marks the beginning of the High Holy Days, the period between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, which comes 10 days later.

Religion aside though, it is also a major family holiday and an occasion for stuffing yourself silly at a huge holiday meal. We don't have any family here in Israel, but over the years we've developed a tradition of spending the three major holidays in our own Israeli/American calendar (which are of course Rosh Hashana, Passover and Thanksgiving - living outside of the US is no reason to give up on turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie!) with two other "anglo" families. Both are old and dear friends and our children have grown up together like cousins. We're not family but after so many years together it almost feels that way, just without all the latent drama that goes with so many gatherings. Last night's festive dinner was held at another home, but as usual the menu itself was a joint effort.

Here are 13 different things that were on the table for the holiday meal:

1. Challah - braided egg bread traditionally eaten for Sabbath and festivals. For the High Holy Days the bread is made sweeter and is in a round shape instead of the traditional braid, to represent the continuity of years. This time of year the bread is dipped in honey instead of the salt used the rest of the year.

2. Wine - both for ceremonial purposes and for drinking

3. Apples and honey - it is traditional to eat apple sections dipped in honey for a "sweet" year

4. Pomegranate seeds - an Israeli holiday tradition. Some say it is because it is a "new fruit" representing the new year, others say it represents the good deeds you've done during the year. I just like the way they taste.

5. Soup - chicken soup and matza balls is traditional, but my friend's husband has been traveling to Korea quite a bit the past few years, so she decided to combine the usual chicken soup and the (gefilte) fish course which usually follows into a Korean fish soup instead. I don't like fish personally but everyone else said it was good.

6. Roast lamb

7. Roast chicken

8. Yam souffle (this recipe came from a friend of my grandmother's from Georgia back in the forties, but "Margie's yams" have since become a holiday tradition in my family. My surrogate family in Israel now request them each holiday too.

9. Rice

10. Creamed spinach (not at all traditional (and not kosher since it had milk in it) but oh so good)

11. Baked beets

12. Apple pie (mine, and quite delicious if I do say so myself)
13. The world's best (and oh so easy!) flourless chocolate cake - I originally found this recipe when I was searching for a cake to bake for Passover, but we all decided it was too good to be kept just for Passover! Skip the extra sauce if you make it though, it's more than rich enough the way it is.
There were other odds and ends like salad and roast potatoes, but since I only had room for 13 I left out the more boring dishes.

Happy TT everyone, and shana tova u'metuka (a happy and sweet new year) to everyone celebrating.




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51 comments:

Malcolm: said...

Thanks for sharing a bit of your culture on your TT this week. I visited another blogger earlier and she had a Rosh Hashana-themed TT as well. Hers had a photo of a Jewish Apple Cake. I can't decide which looks better... that or the picture of the Flourless Chocolate Cake that you linked to in your TT.

pussreboots said...

You're making me hungry! Happy new year and TT. :D

Joy T. said...

It all sounds so good! Happy TT and most importantly a happy and sweet new year to you.

grace said...

Can I come and join the feast? #13 is making me incredibly hungry.

Mom not Mum said...

Sounds good - I just had breakfast and I'm hungry again. LOL

MissMeliss said...

Oh, I love challah and beets... Happy New Year to you and yours, and may there be sweetness for everyone.

Jo said...

I am now drooling. It sounds so good......Happy New Year my dear friend!

Darla said...

It all sounds delicious! It's wonderful to share special occasions like that.

LaLa said...

Yumm. Have a wonderful time with friends.

Summer said...

Thanks for sharing this. I love learning about traditions.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

L'shanah Tova, my dear friend!

We had my favorite garlic-roasted turkey over egg noodles, roasted veggies, a spinach and roasted red pepper salad, challah of course, and I made a pound cake for dessert. Not quite as fancy as yours, but still darn yummy!

I can hardly wait to delve into the leftovers... I'm glad today's not Yom Kippur!

Robin said...

Sounds delicious Susan! Can I join you for those leftovers?

Gattina said...

Fortunately I have eaten already, lol otherwise I would get hungry now !

Nancy J. Bond said...

The Jewish religion has some of the most beautiful traditions. Thank you for sharing, and shana tova u'metuka to you and yours.

Qtpies7 said...

I love Pomegranites, too! Pomegranite everything is coming out in the US right now. Lots of juice drinks and other treats.

WFM said...

Wow, i saw this on a few 13 lists this week. Very cool and the food sounds so awesome!! Great list!

Sue said...

Yummy!!!! Now I'm soooo hungry ... :) Happy TT, and New Year!!!

Harlekwin said...

Challah! Wow, I haven't made any in years. I used to bake Challah for holiday gifts. I think I first started making it because the four strand braid fascinated me... then I discovered it tastes really good too!

Your meal sounded wonderful. Food, no matter what it is, is even better when it's shared with others.

May this New Year bring you joy, happiness, prosperity, health and love.

Lulu said...

Oh, I really enjoyed this list! It's lunch-time right now for me, and that just made me hungrier!

Thanks for sharing! Have a wonderful holiday!

Joyismygoal said...

Thank you for sharing that i feel enlightened.

Janet said...

Happy New Year! I hope the new year is filled with health & happiness for you and yours :-)

Denise Patrick said...

Great TT! I was on another one - no I don't remember - but they had apple cake, which sounded delicious, too. Your Yam souffle sounds sooooo good, too.

Happy TT!

Nicole said...

I find it fascinating to look at other cultures - especially their holidays. It really helps you get a sense of the soul of the people. Thanks for sharing. Have a great new year and happy TT!

Donetta said...

Thank you for hosting. I used a paragraph in your post without a reference back to it regarding the holiday. I hope I do not offend.
Please let me know I can retype it if you like. Thank you.

Robin said...

I certainly don't mind your sharing information about the holiday, but I would appreciate a link back if you'd like to share something that's from my website.

Christine said...

Happy New Year, Robin!

What a wonderful feast! Everything sounds delicious. I'm going to have try and make the Chocolate cake.

Thanks for sharing all the very interesting info.

Happy Thursday!

Buck Naked Politics said...

Very educational. I had no idea.

Joely Sue Burkhart said...

Sounds like a wonderful time! Happy TT and thanks for stopping by my blog.

L^2 said...

I'm not a fan of spinach or beets, but the rest of your meal sounds delicious. Happy TT and happy New Year to you!

Carol Anne said...

what a great time you all must have had!

Amy Ruttan said...

Happy Rosh Hashanah to you! Sounds very yummy!

impworks said...

Sounds tasty.

Great cultural TT :-)

erin said...

Hmm, apples and honey. I will have to try that. What a neat list! Happy TT!

Nap Warden said...

Sounds yummy! Happy TT

Southern Girl said...

Most of that sounds delicious! (I'm not a spinach or beets fan... ;)) Happy TT and a Happy New Year to you and your family!

My TT is up, too:
http://southern-born-and-bred.blogspot.com

Alasandra said...

The apples in honey sound simple and delicious. Thank you for sharing your list. I have always wanted to know more about Rosh Hashana.

Thank you for visiting my TT.

J. Lynne said...

I feel rather stuffed reading your list. ;) Very informative.

My friend relocated to outside of London after Hurricane Katrina two years ago and I thought it was very sweet that her new British family (she ended up marrying her then boyfriend) insisted on celebrating Thanksgiving so she could feel right at home. She says that she's had to modify some of the recipes, but otherwise, it's been a fun reminder....though she still misses my turkey. Ha!

captain lifecruiser said...

YUMMY! That's a lot of delicious food and you just made me so hungry that I sent my hubby out in the kitchen to do me some meatballs sandwiches :-)

TeaMouse said...

Delicious - and a happy New Year to you! Enjoy the celebrations.

Xakara said...

I'm both hungry and informed. :)

A blessed and sweet new year to you.

~X

Nicholas said...

Oh, I was going through your list getting hungrier and hungrier... till I got to 10 and 11! But for the rest, I'd be going up for seconds, or even thirds. It's so long since I had roast lamb {sigh}

Have a great meal. Bon appetit!

DoubleDeckerBusGuy said...

Shana Tova, Robin!

Vader's Mom said...

Wow. That's interesting and sounds so yummy.

julia said...

Happy New Year! May it be sweet. This is a wonderful TT - I'm craving just about everything you wrote about. I'd be digging into the roast chicken and rice first...mmm...

Natalie said...

Your meal sounds delicious!

Pieces of Me said...

Seeing those few pomegranate seeds on our plates last night with a host family, made me suddenly realize how much I miss our pomegranate trees back home on the kibbutz. What a delightful fruit - the wisdom that goes together the new year. The same goes for baking flourless cakes. :) Shana Tova, my friend from far away Pittsburgh.

Moondancer said...

I always love to hear about other folks cultures. I had a friend that used to invite me to many of thier Jewish holidays (especially those that involved food, it seemed his mom thought my foster parents were starving me). It was fun and a very long time ago. Thanks for sharing with us.

http://moondancerdrake.livejournal.com/

cajunvegan said...

Happy New Year! Incredibly interesting and informative.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Happy New Year to you as well! I loved reading about what you have at the table for this holiday.

Tink said...

Very interesting! I didn't know a lot about Rosh Hashana.
Thanks for visiting my IJmuiden TT. Sorry I'm this late for my return visit!

Linda R. Moore said...

Sounds absolutely exquisite :)