Thursday, September 29, 2011
A new year (again)
Sorry for the mix-up. For those of you who read this blog through Google Reader or some other such contraption, you were delivered a half-finished post last night. Think of it as a preview. Or maybe just the consequence of a full day of cooking and celebrating the Jewish New Year with good friends. By the time last night rolled around, I was toast.
So, let's try this again. L'Shanah Tovah, everyone! As someone who loves fresh starts, I adore the extra new year celebration that Judaism sneaks in. Another chance to think about old and new goals, another excuse to bake. This Rosh Hashanah was extra special for me this year, because it marked the first time that ringing in the new year felt like a holiday to me. I'm a convert to Judaism and no matter how much I've studied, and no matter how many new habits I've embraced, it takes time to reprogram my internal holiday schedule. I've always loved Rosh Hashanah in all its autumn glory, but this year the day felt special. I spent the day baking and cooking, preparing for friends to join us for dinner. Alyce made taped a new year greeting on the door. There were babies, food, and many wishes for a sweet year ahead. Not a bad way to spend a fall day.
And there was food. I made this challah, and I think it was a personal best. I substituted about two or three cups of whole wheat flour, and the results were a slightly more wholegrain bread that was still light and airy. For dinner, along with the apples and honey traditional to Rosh Hashanah celebrations (the honey helps everyone to usher in a sweet year ahead), I made this chicken, which I adore. I did learn, however, that I shouldn't overcrowd the chicken trying to fit it all in one cast iron pan (took longer to cook and didn't get as crispy). And for dessert we dined on these brownies and some peach and apple crisp. The company made everything worth it, especially the chance to help baby J celebrate his first Rosh Hashanah.
It should also be noted that Alyce enjoyed the traditional Rosh Hashanah gift of her first Barbie doll (well, it might be a tradition one day). Alyce and Barbie had a lovely day together (pictured above). I think they were fast friends.
Happy New Year!