About Rosh Hashanah?
If you celebrate Rosh Hashanah you can skip this short intro and move on to read about the great foods of the holiday and some tricks and tips to hosting a big meal.
Rosh Hashanah literally means “beginning the year”, and is the Jewish New Year. It is the first of the Jewish High Holy Days also known as the “Days [of] Awe”, which usually occur in the early autumn in the Northern Hemisphere.
Rosh Hashanah is a two-day celebration, and along with Passover is the most popular Jewish Holiday for large family gatherings. like many holidays it is filled with lots of great food.
Traditional Rosh Hashanah Foods
Hmmm… Where to begin? There are so many. Generally, Rosh Hashanah food consists of dishes that symbolize ‘starting the year on the right foot’. The most known is apple dipped in honey, that comes with the blessing of a ‘Happy new and sweet year’.
Another symbolic food associated with Rosh Hashanah is the Pomegranate, which is my personal favorite. The idea is that ‘good things will happen to us in the new year, at least as many as the seeds of the pomegranate’.
For the main course, a staple for Rosh Hashanah Dinner is fish, accompanied by different sides that are made from carrots, beets, spinach and beans. You can learn more about traditional Rosh Hashannah foods here: Rosh Hashanah foods
But honestly, there are plenty of dishes that will do the work. Regardless of what you choose for your menu, you can count on a Rosh Hashanah Dinner to have plenty of food.
The challenges of Hosting on Rosh Hashanah
This is the challenge I usually run into when it comes to hosting a Rosh Hashanah Dinner: In Canada, celebrating Rosh Hashanah is tricky because many times the holiday will be in the middle of the work week. This year it will be on a Wednesday.
Since there is no statutory holiday on Rosh Hashanah, it’s a huge struggle to put in a full work day and then host and feed 20 family members in the evening. Some families postpone the celebrations until the weekend. Others buy prepared food from delis or caterers.
Many of our customers use manjya to order Rosh Hashanah Dinner from a personal chef or a caterer. Many manjya personal chefs and caterers have experience preparing traditional Jewish food and Kosher meals. Frequently our experts are asked for advice on the Rosh Hashanah dinner planning, taking into account special diets and allergies, budget, and other factors. In this case we can help with figuring out the optimal Rosh Hashanah Dinner plans, and do our best to match it with suitable personal chefs.
5 Tips for pulling together a magnificent mid-week Rosh Hashanah Dinner:
Here are few things that have helped me and my family pull together a large and festive Rosh Hashanah Dinner in the middle of a hectic work week:
- Plan for the ‘Right Dishes’: Some dishes just take longer to prepare, and much longer to cook. I usually stay away from those on a midweek dinner.
- Stick to tried and true recipes for your mid-week Rosh Hashanah dinner. This might not be the time to try new recipes. Save those recipes for when you have more time on the weekend.
- Prepare what you can in advance. Some foods are even better after they sit for a day or two. Also setting the table can be done the night before.
- Pick a signature drink for your celebration to keep serving your guests simple. How about Pomegranate Sangria in a punch bowl , that can easily be self-served?
- Ask for help from others! Your family knows you have been at work all day (because they probably have been too), and they would want to contribute to the meal too. Many hands will make for easier work.
To conclude, if you are celebrating the holiday we wish you a wonderful one and a great new (Jewish) year. If you are not celebrating but happen to get invited to a traditional Rosh Hashanah Dinner, our advice is Go For It! You’ll have a great time and won’t be hungry for many days.
Happy Rosh Hashanah!