Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My Big Fat Super Traditional Rosh Hashanah

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Ah, Rosh Hashanah. It is fitting that I had today off of work and spent much of the afternoon blowing my shofar, much to the dismay of my neighbors. This is partly to alert the listeners to awaken from their sleep and await judgment but mostly to keep something about the holiday traditional as my dinners are generally far from it.

Traditional Rosh Hashanah feasts (and all Jewish feasts for that matter) center around a lot of food symbolism. In my youth I attended a hippie church where we learned about all customs of the world's major religions. However, in the past twenty-something years my retention of said knowledge has waned so I'm going to do my best to recall exactly what this meal meant through the symbolism it evokes.

We started off with the traditional round challah which we served with the non-traditional square butter. The roundness of the challah symbolizes God's coronation and the butter is symbolic of something you're not supposed to have for Rosh Hashanah but which, nonetheless, is quite delicious on challah. I think the raisins are symbolic of ants on a log, one of God's favorite snacks.

After Jen got home I put together a salad with some kale, beet greens, and endive. Over the top I put some cooked red and yellow beets, sliced fennel, and radishes. I was going to put some pistachios on it but nuts have the same number as sin (or something like that) so I decided to go nut free. Who likes sin, anyway? On top I crumbled some Blue D'Auvergne. I then squeezed some Meyere lemon and drizzled olive oil over the top.

I don't recall a lot of green salads in traditional Jewish feasts but, while nuts are often omitted from this particular feast, I used Meyer lemons as they are sweeter than regular lemons to symbolize a sweet start to the new year but still sour enough to remember all the jerks that tried to ruin last year.

Beets are supposed to symbolize the removal of your adversaries from the previous year. I don't really have any adversaries so I'll hope that this just means that I won't be bothered with hearing as much about Guy Fieri in the coming year.

For the main course I roasted a chicken along with some onions, fennel, and rainbow carrots from the farm in Connecticut. Toward the end I cut up and tossed in some apples which I tossed in cinnamon.

Apples, of course, are symbolic of the fact that apples come into season at this time of year.

For dessert I sliced up some honeycake, dipped some apples in honey, and served it with whipped cream.

The cream is symbolic of me not being a very observant Jew.

And there you have it! That, my friends, is how you celebrate a super-traditional Rosh Hashanah meal.

Next, I will show you how to decorate your prayer rug with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

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