The Jewish faith is rich in rituals.  We cannot relate religious significance to food, but there are certain days which are underlined by fasting, others which are exalted by feasting.  The below recipes will serve as an outline for some of the traditional foods prepared for the Fall Feasts.

 

ROSH HASHANAH

The Jewish New Year is ushered in by the blowing of the Shofar (Ram’s Horn).  Sliced apples dipped in honey signify the hope for a sweet and happy New Year.  Carrot dishes are also served as they symbolize the sweetness of life and prosperity.  (The Hebrew word for carrots is Meren which means ‘to multiply’.) 

On the eve of Rosh Hashanah, after the Kiddush (blessing over the wine) and ha-Motzi, (blessing over the bread) it is customary to dip an apple in honey and say: 

“Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.” 

After eating the apple and honey, the following is then said:

“May it be Your will, G-d and G-d of our fathers, to renew on us a good and sweet year. 

 

Suggested Menu:

          Apples Dipped in Honey
          Wine or sparkling cider
          Challah (always round at this time of year)
          Gefilte Fish with Horseradish
          Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls
          Baked Chicken or Turkey
          Carrot Tzimmes
          Sweet Potatoes
          Honey Cake, Sponge Cake, or Apple Cake
          Tea 

  

YOM KIPPUR 

The Day of Atonement is observed by fasting, meditation on G-d’s word, and prayer from sundown to sundown. Jews all over the world are reaffirming our faith in G-d and asking forgiveness for our transgressions.  Those of us that are believers know that Yeshua was the final atonement for our sins. 

For the Eve of Yom Kippur, a simple meal, low in spices, is served to help make the “fast” easier the next day. 

Suggested Menu:

          Wine – Round Challah
          Grapefruit
          Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls
          Broiled or Baked Chicken
          Parsley Potatoes, Green Vegetable, Apple Sauce
          Sponge Cake
          Tea
 

  
YOM KIPPUR  (break-the-fast meal)

The meal for breaking the fast is a family choice.  Some people prefer having juices to break the fast and then traditional Sabbath dinner, or for others a dairy meal is traditional.  Many of today’s more secular Jews break the fast by going to a Chinese restaurant. 

Suggested Menu:

          Wine or Sparkling Cider
          Bagels, Cream Cheese, Lox
          Gefilte Fish
          Herring in Cream Sauce or Chopped Herring
          Rye Bread, Pumpernickel, & Challah
          Sweet Noodle Pudding
          Salad
          Tomatoes, Cucumber, Lettuce and other assorted fresh Vegetables
          Break the Fast Cake
          Coffee/Tea
  
OR

          Wine or Sparkling Cider
          Egg Salad in Aspic
          Tuna Apple Toss
          Blintze Souffle
          Rye Bread, Pumpernickel, & Challah
          Sweet Noodle Pudding
          Tomatoes, Cucumber, and other assorted fresh Vegetables
          Break the Fast Cake
          Coffee/Tea
 

  

SUKKOT

The Festival of Tabernacles is at harvest time and includes prayers of Thanksgiving.   This celebrates God’s goodness in providing shelter and protection during Israel’s wanderings in the wilderness. 

Suggested Menu:
          Seasonal Fruits
          Cabbage Dishes….Stuffed Cabbage
          Chicken Soup with Rice
          Stuffed Roast Turkey
          Kasha with Almonds
          Vegetables in season, or salad
          Honey Cake, Strudel, Mandelbrot
          Fresh fruit
          Tea, Wine, or Sparkling Cider 

 

Recipes

 

 

Blintze Souffle

 

12 Frozen Blintzes (apple, blueberry, cherry or cheese)
5 eggs
1 ½ cup sour cream
¼ sugar

¼ cup butter
¼ tsp vanilla
sprinkle of cinnamon

 

Melt butter in 9 x 13 glass baking dish.  Set blintzes in a row on melted butter.  Beat eggs, sour cream, sugar and vanilla together and pour over blintzes.  Sprinkle cinnamon over mixture.  Bake uncovered for 45 minutes @ 350 degrees.

 

 

Carrot Tzimmes

 

8 large carrots
2 large sweet potatoes
1 cup pitted prunes
3 tbsp. Butter or margarine

½ tsp. Salt
¾ cup honey
1 tbsp. Lemon juice
3 tbsp. Flour

 

Slice carrots and sweet potatoes ¼" thick. Put in saucepan with enough water to cover. Cook until almost tender. Drain off most of the liquid. Add salt, honey and lemon juice. Simmer 10 minutes. Melt butter in skillet and blend in flour. Add to pot and blend. Pour into greased casserole and brown under broiler.  

 

 

Challah

 

3 Cups Flour
1 heaping Tablespoon yeast
2 Eggs
4 Tablespoons sugar

1½ teaspoons Salt
½ Cup Wesson Vegetable Oil
¾ Cup Water
several drops of yellow food coloring

 

I use a bread machine—putting in yeast and 1 tbsp sugar –then 2 cups flour, 3 more tbsp sugar and the salt, then the rest of the flour. In the measuring cup I add the water, oil then both eggs and food coloring, mix with a fork and pour over top. Set machine to white bread, manual (so it won't bake). Take out the dough when done and braid into 2 loaves. Let rise until double, brush with a beaten egg and sprinkle with poppy seeds or sesame if you want. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 24 minutes (in mine) until it's a nice golden brown.   –contributed by Dee Fabricant 

 

 

Sweet Wedding Challah

 

1 cup warm water
3 pkg dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
½ cup margarine or shortening
1 cup less 1 tsp sugar
additional egg yolk for topping 

3 eggs
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp almond extract
6 cups flour
2 tsp salt

 

Dissolve yeast in warm water with 1 teaspoon sugar; set aside.  Cream shortening and eggs; add oil and almond extract, mix well.  In a large bowl, combine 5 cups flour and salt.  Make a well and pour in yeast mixture; push some flour into well and set aside.

Mix remaining flour into shortening mixture.  Combine flour-yeast mixture with shortening mixture and mix well;  turn bowl as you mix.  Turn dough on lightly floured board and knead until bubbles begin forming – about 8 minutes.  Place dough in greased bowl and turn to coat surface.

Cover with towel and allow to rise until doubled, about an hour.  Punch down dough; dough will make 1 very, very big wedding challah or 2 large round challahs or 2 large braied challahs.  Brush top of loves with beaten egg yolk. 

Place on a cookie sheet in a preheated 400 degree oven for 10 minutes and then lower heat to 350 degrees and bake about 25-30 minutes.  Cover with a hot towel and plastic wrap. 

 

 

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls

 

2 cups flour
1/2 cup margarine, cut into pieces
1 large egg yolk
Filling of your choice

1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup tofutti cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla

 

Place chicken and necks in a pot in cold water. Heat to boiling. Simmer 5 minutes and skim residue on top. Add rest of the ingredients and simmer, covered partially, on low to medium flame for 1 ½ hours. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Chicken soup should always be made ahead, chilled and all fat removed before reheating to serve. Cheesecloth can be used to remove excess fat by straining it thru the cheesecloth. Some people remove all the vegetables and discard and serve only the broth with matzo balls, while others like to keep the vegetables or add others to replace the ones used for making the soup. Either way this is good Jewish penicillin!

 

 

Matzo Balls

 

6 eggs, separated
1 cup matzo meal
1 tbsp fat or oil 

1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 tbsp water or seltzer 

 

Beat egg whites until stiff. Beat egg yolks until light. Add salt, pepper, liquid and fat or oil to beaten egg yolks. Fold into egg whites. Fold in matzo meal one spoonful at a time. Refrigerate covered with a dishtowel for at least one hour. Wet your hands and form batter into balls the size of a walnut and drop into rapidly boiling water. Reduce heat and cook slowly covered for about 30 minutes. Serves 12. Any left over Matzo balls can be placed in a fry pan with a bit of oil to brown them, serve as a side dish. The children love them.

 

 

Egg Salad in Aspic

 

12 hard boiled eggs (chopped)
½ cup chopped celery
½ of a medium onion chopped
1 small jar of pimentos (chopped)

1 ¼ cups mayonnaise
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp garlic (fresh or power)
1 cup chopped green or black olives black pepper to taste 

 

Dissolve 1 package Knox gelatin in ½ cup warm water. Add ½ cup boiling water and let cool. Blend gelatin mixture in mayonnaise and add lemon juice, garlic & black pepper. Add rest of ingredients and place in a greased mold. Make sure there is enough ingredients to reach the top of the mold or pan. Let set overnight and unmold. Decorate with olives and serve on a platter surrounded by fresh vegetables.

 

 

Gefilte Fish
(doctored!)

 

1 jar or canned Gefilte fish w/jelled broth
4 large fresh carrots
2 stalks celery

1-2 tsp pepper to taste 
2 onions – save skin
several sprigs parsley

 

Place fish with jelled broth in soup pot. Cut up in bite size pieces all vegetables and place in pot. Add pepper. Bring to a boil and turn to down to low. Place onion skins on top of mixture and simmer for an hour. Remove fish and cool. 

Some people like potatoes served hot with the cold fish. You can place cut up potatoes into soup broth after the fish is removed and cook the potatoes for an additional hour. 

Serve fish on a bed of greens with parsley and red or white horseradish. The hot potatoes can serve as a side dish to this. I have known some people to also do this process in the oven at 350 degrees.

 

 

Kasha with Almonds 

 

2 cups whole grouts (Buckwheat)
1 cup blanched slivered almonds
4 tbsp chopped green pepper
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth 

4 tbsp chopped onion
½ cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced 

 

Saute almonds in olive oil until brown. Remove and save almonds. Add garlic, onion and green pepper to oil remaining in sauce pan and sauté until onion is golden brown, stirring frequently. Add groats and broth and mix well. Pour into casserole and bake in slow oven (325 degrees) for 30 minutes. Stir in almonds. Bake for 15 minutes.

There is also a dish called Kasha Varnishkes (also know as Kasha and bow-ties) It would be made similar to this, leaving out the almonds and adding cooked bow-ties. (pasta)

 

 

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls

 

2 cups flour
1/2 cup margarine, cut into pieces
1 large egg yolk
Filling of your choice

1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup tofutti cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla

 

Place chicken and necks in a pot in cold water. Heat to boiling. Simmer 5 minutes and skim residue on top. Add rest of the ingredients and simmer, covered partially, on low to medium flame for 1 ½ hours. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Chicken soup should always be made ahead, chilled and all fat removed before reheating to serve. Cheesecloth can be used to remove excess fat by straining it thru the cheesecloth. Some people remove all the vegetables and discard and serve only the broth with matzo balls, while others like to keep the vegetables or add others to replace the ones used for making the soup. Either way this is good Jewish penicillin!

 

 

Matzoh Farfel Pudding
(can also be used for Passover) 

 

1 lb. Matzoh farfel
7 eggs
¾ lb. Margarine
1 large can peaches in syrup 

1 tsp. Vanilla or almond or lemon flavoring
1 cup sugar
¾ tsp salt
Cinnamon and sugar mixture (for topping) 

 

Put farfel in strainer and pour hot water over it; drain. Beat eggs and add to farfel. Melt margarine and add to farfel. Add syrup from peaches and all the other ingredients except the fruit. Pour ½ of the mixture into a 9x13 inch greased baking pan and top with ½ the peaches. Add remaining farfel and cover with rest of the fruit. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for one hour.

 

 

Noodle Pudding (Kugel)

 

½ Pound thin noodles
1 cup sugar less 2 tablespoons
¼ pound butter
1 cup sour cream
2 cups milk
6 eggs 

1 lb cottage cheese
½ pound farmer cheese
3 oz cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tsp Cinnamon & 2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup cornflake crumbs 

 

Beat eggs & sugar, add milk, sour cream, cottage cheese, farmer cheese & cream cheese. Melt butter in oven in a 13 X 9 deep glass dish. Pour melted butter over cooked noodles and toss. Add cheese mixture to noodles and gently mix. Pour in glass baking dish. Mix Cornflake, Cinnamon & sugar together and top over noodle pudding. Bake in 350 oven for an 1½ hours BUT check after one hour as some ovens vary. Cool down before serving. This is also wonderful cold or slightly warmed. It is always easiest to cut your Kugel when it is cold and warm it up in cut pieces.

 

 

 

Shabbat Meal

Cholent is a sort of stew which came into existence through the ingenuity of Jewish housewives in Europe who were faced with the necessity of preparing a hot meal for Shabbat afternoon in spite of the injunction against beginning to cook foods on Shabbat itself. The stew was begun well before Shabbat and allowed to cook all day Friday afternoon. Before Shabbat it was put into a big communal oven and allowed to simmer until lunch the next day. My boys (now grown men) love this meal. 

 

1½ cups navy beans
¾ cup medium white pearl barley
2 medium onions
2 cloves garlic
3 medium potatoes (cut in quarters)

pepper
paprika
salt
flanken or brisket

 

Soak the beans overnight. When ready to use, wash them well. Place barley and beans in a large ovenproof pot. Cover them with water. Dice onions and garlic and add to above. Add potatoes, spices, and salt to taste. (Start with ¾ tbsp and adjust later). Set to boiling, then lower flame. Continue to cook; as the water is absorbed, keep adding more so that there is plenty in the pot at all times. Add the meat about half an hour before Shabbat. The entire cholent should be just covered with water when you place it in the oven for Shabbat. Make sure it doesn’t dry out by the morning but don’t fall into the trap of making soggy cholent. By morning there should be a nice crust on top. Leave in oven at 200 degrees.

 

 

 

Stuffed Cabbage

 

1 Cabbage
1 pound ground meat (firm tofu can be
used here but freeze first then defrost,
squeeze excess water, and crumble)
1 cup cooked rice
2 eggs (beaten)
1 medium onion diced
1 ½ teaspoon salt 

1 teaspoon garlic
¼ black pepper
3 tablespoons tomato sauce
24 ounces tomato sauce
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup raisins (optional) 

 

Remove core from cabbage and place in a large pot. Pour boiling water over it and let stand until leaves are flexible and can be easily removed from the head. In a bowl add the meat, rice eggs, onion, salt, pepper, garlic and 3 tablespoons tomato sauce until well blended. 

Fill each leaf with prepared meat mixture, fold and roll up and fasten with a toothpick to hold together. In large pot bring to a boil tomato sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice and raisins. Turn down to low and place cabbage rolls gently in pot. Simmer covered for 2 hours. This can also be done in a Dutch Oven for 2 hours at 300 degrees. 

 

 

 

Sweet Potatoes with Fruit

Parboil 6 sweet potatoes or yams and peel. After peeling, cut into ½” slices. Cook until nearly done. Add 1½ to 2 cups thinly sliced peeled apples. If not tart, sprinkle with lemon juice. Grease baking dish and place alternate layers of sweet potatoes and apples. Sprinkle layers with ½ cup brown sugar and dash cinnamon and grated lemon rind. Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes. 

 

 

Tuna Apple Toss

  4 cups romaine lettuce (washed and torn
in bite size pieces)
12 oz can tuna packed in water, drained
2 cups diced and pared apples
11 oz can mandarin oranges, drained
and cut in half 
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tsps soy sauce (or Bragg's liquid aminos)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 teaspoon lemon juice 

 

In a small bowl, combine mayo, soy sauce and lemon juice. In a large bowl, combine lettuce, apples, oranges, tuna and nuts and toss. Add dressing mixture and toss. Serves 4-6 people.

 

 

Desserts

 

 

Apple Cake

 

3 eggs
¾ cup sugar
1/3 cup peanut oil
5 apples pared and sliced
¾ cup flour 

Topping
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon 

 

Mix eggs & sugar & flour together, add oil and mix well. Pour ½ mixture into lightly greased 8 or 9 inch square baking dish. Spread first layer of apples over batter. Then add rest of batter. Cover with the rest of the apples and Topping. Bake 1 ½ hours @ 350 degrees. If doubling this recipe use a 9 x 13 inch pan.

 

 

Honey Cake

 

¼ cup oil
1 cup sugar
3 eggs (separated)
1 cup dark honey
3 ½ cups flour, sifted
½ tsp cinnamon 

3 tsps. Baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 tbsp orange juice
¼ tsp cream of tartar
1 cup black coffee (lukewarm)

 

Sift all dry ingredients. Mix egg yolks, oil, honey, coffee and orange juice and pour into flour mixture; blend well. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until very stiff, but not dry, and slowly fold into batter. Pour into well-greased 9-inch tube pan lined with waxed paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Be sure cake is thoroughly baked. Toothpick inserted in center of cake should come out clean and dry.

 

 

 

Mandelbrot 

 

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla 

4 cups flour
1 ¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
5 ½ oz. Roasted almonds (no salt) 

 

Beat eggs, add sugar and continue to beat. Add oil and vanilla and beat well. Add almonds. Combine dry ingredients and add to egg mixture. Knead lightly. Make 4 loaves and put on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degree about 25-30 minutes. Then slice on an angle and brown on one side for about 10 minutes. Cool on a rack.

 

 

Sponge Cake

 

12 eggs, separated
2 cups sugar
2 lemons (juice & rind)

1 cup flour or cake meal
1 tsp potato starch 

 

Beat egg whites to form peaks. Beat egg yolks and add sugar gradually. Add lemon juice and rinds, cake meal and potato starch. Fold the egg whites. Put into a tube pan (ungreased). Bake in a 325-degree oven for 50 minutes or until done. Turn pan over to sit on a funnel or bottle to cool thoroughly. 

 

 

Yom Kippur Break-the-Fast Cake 

 

½ cup butter
1 ¼ cup sugar
2 eggs (beaten)
5 Tbsp sour cream
1 ½ cup flour

1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ ripe bananas (mashed)
1 tsp vanilla
½ to ¾ cup nuts (chopped) 

 

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, sour cream; mix well. Add sifted dry ingredients. Add bananas, vanilla and chopped nuts. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake in a preheated oven, 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a tester inserted in middle of cake comes out clean and dry.

 

 

H A P P Y     H O L I D A Y S !