Rosh Hashanah is known as the Jewish New Year, a holiday marked by reflection, charity, and repentance. Food is an integral part of the holiday and is used to symbolize the hope for a sweet, fruitful new year.
Step 1: Bake challah bread Bake challah bread. Dissolve 1 package dry yeast and 2 tablespoons of sugar in 1/2 cup warm water until the yeast begins to foam. Combine 5 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup water, 1/4 cup oil, 2 eggs, and teaspoon salt in a food processor, gradually adding the flour.
Step 2: Cover dough Put the dough in a greased bowl, cover and let it rise for one hour. Knead the dough and shape it into circular roll, then let it rise again. Glaze with one additional egg and then bake on a cookie sheet at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-40 minutes.
TIP: In its round form, the challah represents the cycle of life and the passing year. It is passed around the table so everyone can break off a piece.
Step 3: Slice up apples Use a knife to slice up a selection of apples. Serve with individual dishes of honey for dipping.
TIP: After an apple slice is dipped in honey, the blessing for eating tree fruits is recited. After the apple is tasted, the apples and honey prayer is recited.
Step 4: Offer fish Offer a fish dish, which symbolizes the hope that the coming year will bring plenty. Place any whitefish fillets -- such as snapper, trout, haddock or sole -- in a baking dish.
Step 5: Season the fillets Sprinkle the fillets with salt and pepper, apple cider or red wine vinegar, olive oil, and a dash of honey. Garnish with raisins if desired. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the fish is no longer translucent.
Step 6: Serve new fruits Serve new fruits, such as pomegranates. A new fruit means one that has just come into season, recently picked. Tradition holds that a pomegranate contains 613 seeds, just as there are 613 of God's commandments.
Step 7: Make carrot tzimmes Make tzimmes, a savory, sweet carrot side dish. Peel and slice 12 carrots. Melt 3 tablesoons butter in a saucepan, then add 3 tablespoons honey, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, and 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Add the sliced carrots and bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer for 1 hour on low heat. L'Shanah Tovah!
FACT: Rosh Hashanah occurs on the first and second days of Tishri, the seventh month of the Jewish calendar. The holiday was established in the Book of Leviticus.