Saturday, September 15, 2012

Rosh Hashana

Rosh Hashana is the Jewish New Year. We celebrate for 2 nights and 2 days, the last day of the old year and the first day of the new year. The holiday falls on the same day of the Jewish calendar every year, which is a lunar calendar with twelve 28-day months. As a result of these shorter months, the Jewish holidays shift around in the secular calendar, but a leap year with an extra month keeps things from getting too far out of sync.
This year Rosh Hashana starts at sundown on September 16th (tomorrow) and lasts until sundown on Tuesday. I've taken off work to go to synagogue for Monday and Tuesday, and will spend the weekend cooking for the first night dinner. It's traditionally a big family dinner like Christmas might be for you Christians out there, but my family is far away so it's just me and Dan and a couple Jewish coworkers. Here's the menu for Sunday night:
  • Soup: homemade chicken soup with matzah balls (I use a box mix for those, I'm not superwoman!)
  • Fish: Rosh Hashana tradition is to cook a fish with the head on (Rosh Hashana literally means "head of the year"). I've never done this before and am not even sure I can find a whole fish at my local grocery, but here's what I want to make.
  • Round challah: Round instead of braided is another Rosh Hashana tradition. Using a recipe I emailed my mom a few years ago and now can't find online. Luckily she sent me her printed copy, covered in her notes!
  • Brisket: my grandmother's (aka Lipton Onion Soup Mix's) recipe! Classic and can't be beat!
  • Chicken: Since apple is a part of the Rosh Hashana tradition, this sounded yummy and appropriate!
  • Salad: Pomegranates are another tradition, maybe this salad.
I'll basically be cooking all weekend. Luckily the soup and brisket are easy- set them up and let them cook for several hours (usually around 4)... that can be done a day in advance, then they can be reheated on the day of since extra cooking only makes them MORE delicious. Sunday I'll bake the Challah since fresh baked bread is way better than day-old-bread. This recipe makes a ton of challah so there will be leftovers. If you like French toast and you've never made it with challah you are missing out in a big way! This bread tastes as if it's sole purpose in life is to be egged and fried and coated in syrup.

My favorite part of making chicken soup from scratch? Making other things with the boiled chicken. I always shred a couple pieces of chicken to put in the soup, but freeze the rest for another day. I'm doing 2 whole chickens in the soup so that's enough chicken for Anne's Healthy Chicken Enchiladas and some chicken salad!

Happy New Year!


  1. Have a wonderfu dinner. MamaP

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. That all sounds awesome and Challah french toast is the best. They have it every Sunday at Jazz brunch at Chelsea grill on Montrose.