September 25, 2014

Celebrating the Jewish New Year with style

There are only a handful of times throughout the year that I break out the fine china. Rosh Hashanah is one of them. Rosh Hashanah marks the Jewish New Year and what better way to celebrate then with family, friends and FOOD.
Growing up in Toronto we used to have huge family dinners on Rosh Hashanah where everyone would gather, catch up and eat. I have the most amazing memories from these dinners and now take great pride in hosting them with my New York family and friends ever since I moved here 14 years ago.
As my own children are getting older so are the children of our friends who join us at these dinners. I wanted to set up some type of activity for the kids to enjoy when they arrived and were waiting for dinner to be served. So I went to the Union Square Farmer’s market for some inspiration and picked up a few mini pumpkins. I brought them home and painted them with chalkboard paint. My son set the kids table with some of our pretty LMP supplies and placed different colored chalk by each pumpkin. The kids had a blast with this and took the pumpkins home afterwards!
Since apples are the name of the game for this holiday…we used them as a part of our table set up too. For the kids we stuck chalkboard name cards in them for each place setting. Festive and adorable!
I was further inspired by the farmer’s market to make chalkboard painted mini pears for name cards at the adults table. This was so easy and too cute!  Great for fall entertaining.
Traditionally we start the meal with apples and honey. We dip the apples to signify a sweet and healthy new year.
All of the recipes I make for this meal are inspired by dishes my family made (and still make) for this holiday and sometimes throughout the year.
Another important element to dinner, which happens to be my favorite: Boobie’s Matzo ball soup. I actually whip up a pot of this soup anytime I see a runny nose in my house. Seems to cure all!
Gefilte is also a family tradition. Every year I attempt my Boobie’s recipe for this dish and something seems to go wrong. It just never tastes as good as hers. Well this year I thought I had it all figured out and was very confident in both the presentation and taste. Until we sat down to eat and all I could hear was crickets….dead silence. I waited for a minute before asking….”Is it good?” And then quickly realized it was another epic fail when I got some “yah, it’s ok”. What they were all trying to say is leave it to Boobie. She’s the only one who can really make this dish!
Following this semi successful first course I served the following…
Farmer’s Market green salad with an orange poppyseed dressing
Aunt Debi’s sweet and tangy meatballs (a HUGE hit this year….so much so we ran out!)
Aunt Sandy’s sweet and sour brisket (ALWAYS a hit! I made an 8 pounder so there was no shortage here and we may be eating the leftovers until my kids go to college…)
Purple green beans from the Farmer’s market sautéed with shallots and garlic (Just realized I forgot to add the sliced almonds, damn!)
Mashed Potatoes
And lots of wine…
No one left hungry. And as always we kicked off the Jewish New Year with full bellies and overflowing hearts. I feel very blessed to have such a beautiful family and so many wonderful friends.
Thank you to Karilyn Sanders for spending the afternoon with me documenting this holiday with such gorgeous photos!
And from our LMP family to yours…L’Shana Tova!

xx, Seri
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