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Sweeten up Rosh Hashanah with some tasty dishes

Staff Writer
September 12, 2000

The High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur conjure up many images. Jews are filled with emotion over the celebration of the anniversary of creation and filled with awe knowing this is a period of God's judgement for the coming year. There is also a joy to these times, a time to look inward and back and forward towards betterment.

One way of enhancing this joy is with the festive meals we enjoy. Cooking for the High Holy Days couldn't be any sweeter. There are several traditional menu items for Rosh Hashanah that remind us of the sweetness and goodness we hope will come in God's decision for Jews for the coming year.

Honey, because of its sweetness, is big for the holiday. We dip the apples in it, we dip challah in it, and, face it, children just want to dip their fingers in it. Although honey cakes are the most common item offered for the holiday, chicken and side dishes can also be made sinfully sweet.

Not all dishes must be made with honey, though. Apples are also a common addition in foods during Rosh Hashanah as well as fish-or at least a fish's head.

Since Rosh Hashanah is partly a celebration of creation and we use the time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur to atone for the year's sins we may have committed against God or our fellow people, apples are often eaten to symbolize our first sin from way back in the Garden of Eden.

Because much of what's practiced in Judaism is symbolic, a fish's head is the reminder that our judgement should be for a year that's a "head," not like a tail, behind.

We can continue to enjoy traditional dishes even with the hectic schedules most people now face in our modern, more secular worlds. Enjoy Bubbie's chicken that falls off the bone and Aunt Ida's lokshen fruit kugel with the ease of quick preparation. While those dishes cook, the children will love helping making raisin challah. Most of all, have fun in the kitchen and betei'avon (good eating)!

Raisin Challah
2 cups warm water
1 tbs dry yeast
2 eggs (3 if glaze desired)
¼ cup oil
¼ cup honey
1 cup raisins
7 cups of flour
1½ tsps salt

In a large mixing bowl, add yeast to the warm water. Next add the eggs, oil, honey and raisins. Mix well and add approximately half of the flour. Let rise 45 minutes to 1 hour until the yeast seems to bubble.

Add the salt and most of the remaining flour. Mix well. Knead on a floured board adding only as much flour as needed to handle the dough well. The dough should be soft. If desired, let rise another hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Divide the dough into four equal portions. Take one portion of the dough and roll it so it resembles a snake. Starting with one end as a center, wind the rest of the dough around in a circular fashion to form a round challah. Place on a well greased cookie sheet. Do the same for the remaining three portions of dough. Let the challahs rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

If desired, glaze the challah tops by brushing on a well-beaten egg. Bake approximately 45 minutes. Remove from the cookie sheet and place on a rack to cool. Makes 4 round loaves.

Honeyed Chicken
½ cup canola oil
2 eggs
2 tbs water
1 cup matzo meal
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 cut-up chickens
1 cup hot water
½ cup honey
1 cup orange juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in a skillet. Beat the eggs and the tablespoons of water together. In a separate bowl, mix together the matzo meal, salt and pepper. Dip the chicken in the egg mixture, they roll in the matzo meal mixture. Brown the chicken in the oil.

Place the browned chicken in an 8-by-12-inch baking dish. Mix hot water, honey and orange juice and pour over the chicken. Cover chicken and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, basting occassionally. Serves 6 to 8 people.

Sweet Lokshen Kugel
1 8-oz package wide egg noodles
1 stick margarine, thinly sliced
4 eggs, beaten well
¾ cup sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon juice
3 tbs apricot jam
1 4-oz can crushed pineapple in its own juice
¼ cup raisins
2 large apples, peeled and diced
1 cup crushed corn flakes
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain well. Place noodles while still hot in a mixing bowl and add sliced margarine and mix until melted. In another bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla, lemon juice, apricot jam and crushed pineapple. Add to noodles along with raisins and apples. Mix well.
Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with corn flakes; combine cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle on top. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until lightly browned. Serves 12 people.

Applesauce Carrots
2 bags of carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large jar of favorite applesauce

Boil sliced carrots for 45 minutes. Drain water and add the large jar of applesauce. Cook until carrots are tender. Serves 6 people.

Honey Cake
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup honey
1 cup boiled coffee
2 tbs oil
¾ cup flour
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp each: bakind soda, giner, cinnamon, nutmeg
2 tbs nuts, chopped

Beat eggs well, adding sugar gradually. Mix honey and coffee; add oil and dry ingredients, sifted together. Add to beaten egg mixture. Sprinkle bottom of oiled pan with nuts. Pour in dough. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes. When cool, turn over on plate, slice and serve. Serves 8 to 12 people.

© 2000. May not be reproduced without written permission.

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