Thursday, September 20, 2012
A Raisin Celery
Happy New Year! Last night we had family over to celebrate Rosh Hashanah and my mother-in-law brought along a delightful little service to accompany what I can only describe as the most delicious Jewish New Year meal I've ever had. Just like with Passover we had a seder plate filled with the season's offerings: beets, dates, cabbage, pumpkin, carrots, figs, pomegranate, apple, honey, celery and raisins. And each fruit came with it's own blessing for the New Year. The family favorite this year was "lettuce have a raisin celery". Mr. Rosen accompanied on guitar. The kids were squirrely, as with anything new, but it was a lovely way to begin the evening. And then came the food. Everyone brought their best game and each dish featured some traditional elements. I made a spinach salad with goat cheese and figs, roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes, sweet noodle kugel and cabbage salad with carrots, beets, raisins and apples. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law brought a lentil salad with fresh herbs and pomegranate seeds, baked quinoa stuffed onions, vegetarian gefilte fish on sliced apple with fresh horse radish. Mr. Rosen made his green beans and onions. My mother-in-law brought seven vegie and seven herb soup and her famous plum cake for desert. It was as much a feast for the eyes as it was for the tongue. It got us talking about whether beautiful food tastes better than unattractive food. The answer is probably yes for reasons both scientific and psychological. Although I had a steak and eggs this summer at a cafe in Tel Aviv that looked like a dead jellyfish (the waitress warned me) and it was unbelievably delicious. I guess there are exceptions. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, said the jellyfish. Wishing everyone a sweet new year!