Hanukkah Happenings

Chanukah around the world is an eight night series of videos presented by the JDC. While these videos are clearly meant to tug on your heartstrings and encourage contributions to the JDC, the segments are also entertaining and inspirational. They introduce some embattled, isolated or emerging Jewish communities around the world. Although the segments air daily at 7 p.m., by typing “a great miracle happened here” Chanukah JDC 2022 into your search engine, you will be able to see all the segments on YouTube. Continue reading

MESH Report Dec 13, 2022

It was a busy, busy day in Shomrei’s kitchen as Aileen Grossberg and Rhonda Silver prepared 25 hearty takeaway meals for MESH’s new indoor site at the former Office Restaurant.

Aileen was able to fill in for Shirley Grill, who was sidelined by COVID. But we MESHIES are always ready to do a quick pivot.

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Welcoming our Newest Member

What’s sweeter than a new baby?  Shomrei welcomed  4 day old Esther Hirsch to the congregation with an in-house catered kiddush on Shabbat, November 19.

Babies come when they are ready so the kiddush volunteers didn’t find out about Esther’s birth until late Wednesday afternoon. We did a quick pivot, abandoning the planned kiddush menu, and substituting a custom menu requested by Esther’s parents, Josh Hirsch and Jenny Leon. Continue reading

Toda Raba

Thank you to everyone who helped with the Sukkot kiddushes. The special Shabbat kiddush was a huge success with well over 100 people sharing a scrumptious meal together in our lovely sukkah on a perfect fall afternoon.

Kudos to Dale Russakoff who spearheaded the effort and to Suzanna Grobman and Katie Teladano who made it all work along with a superb crew of volunteer sous chefs who chatted and chopped from Thursday ‘til Saturday. Continue reading

MESH Report Sept 20, 2022

MESH CoChairs Aileen Grossberg and Lynne Kurzweil worked their magic with leftovers from the Selichot dinner. The tuna and egg salad filling was supplemented with more tuna, celery and onion and transformed into a hearty tuna/egg salad placed on fresh buns and pita with lettuce and tomato. Turkey sandwiches were also prepared to bring us to 30 servings which is our current weekly number of meals provided.

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Only For the Holidays

One of my quirks is that there are certain recipes that I make only on designated holidays. I think this makes them special; but my family find this very annoying as they have to wait all year for some of their favorite foods.

For Rosh Hashana, I have recipes made with honey. This Rosh Hashanah chicken is even more special because I make it only on Erev Rosh Hashanah. As a funny consequence of this practice – friends who ask for this recipe check whether it’s okay with me if they make it at other times. Of course it is!

Rosh Hashanah Chicken (aka Chicken with Honey, Basil & Almonds)

INGREDIENTS
2 chickens, cut up
2 tablespoons olive oil
White pepper
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup almonds, finely ground
½ cup honey
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 cup chicken broth, heated
¾ cup yellow raisins
2 tablespoons lemon juice

PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees.
1. Follow the general instructions for browning chicken. Season chicken with pepper and remove to a covered casserole.
2. Add onion & garlic to pan; sauté until onion just starting to brown. Add almonds, honey, & basil. Cook over low heat, stirring to mix (about1 minute).
3. Sprinkle corn starch over almond mixture and stir to mix in. Gradually add broth, stirring and cooking over high heat until thickened (about1 minute). Stir in raisins & lemon juice. Pour over chicken. Bake, covered, 1 hour.
SERVE with couscous.

 

Rosh Hashanah Chicken #2 (aka Honey & Spiced Glazed Chicken)

INGREDIENTS
¼ cup honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
4 chicken legs, cut up
Pepper

PREHEAT` oven to 425 degrees.
1. In a small bowl, stir together honey, garlic, lemon juice, paprika, mustard, & cayenne.
2. Put chicken in a rimmed baking dish. Make a slash in each thigh and drumstick. Season with pepper and then brush most of the glaze all over the chicken. Let chicken rest for 30 minutes to soak in the marinade. Bake 15 minutes. Brush the remaining glaze over the chicken and bake 15 minutes more.
3. OPTIONAL: Remove chicken from the oven and preheat the broiler. Brush the juices from the baking sheet on the chicken and broil 5 minutes until the skin is crisp.

 

This is my preferred salad mix for Rosh Hashanah through Sukkot ― made with apples and a dressing made with honey. I use a firm tart apple, such as Gala or Fuji, and I prefer Persian cucumbers. I do actually make the dressing throughout the year, but I use brown sugar instead of honey.

Rosh Hashanah Salad (aka Mixed Salad with Apples & Craisins)

INGREDIENTS
Red leaf lettuce, cut or ripped into bite-sized pieces
Cucumber, cut lengthwise in half or quarters (depending on size) and sliced crosswise
Apple, cut lengthwise in 8 wedges, cored and sliced crosswise
Dried cranberries (or Craisins)
Sliced or slivered almonds
Sweet and Sour Dressing

Put all of the salad ingredients into a bowl. Add dressing and toss well.

Rosh Hashanah Salad Dressing (aka Sweet and Sour Dressing)

INGREDIENTS
⅓ cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey (or brown sugar)
½ teaspoon celery seed
½ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced (½ teaspoon)
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ cup vegetable oil

Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake well to blend.

 

The traditional Rosh Hashanah desert is honey cake. Seems like one of my guests always offers to make it so I never have and don’t have a recipe. Aileen Grossberg shared this recipe from chef Michael Solomonov.

Mother’s Honey Cake with Apple Confit

INGREDIENTS

For the Cake:
2 1/2 Cups flour
2 Teaspoons baking soda
3 eggs, beaten
1 Cup sugar
2/3 Cups honey
1 1/4 Cup brewed coffee
6 Tablespoons canola oil
Salt
Pinch cinnamon

For the Apple Confit:
3 apples, peeled and sliced thinly crosswise
1 Cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split
2 cinnamon sticks
1 Tablespoon honey
3 cloves

For the Cake:

PREHEAT the oven to 350 degrees.

LINE 2 loaf pans with oiled parchment paper.

  1. Combine the flour and baking soda in a mixing bowl and whisk well. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs, sugar, honey, coffee, canola oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and cinnamon. Mix on low until blended. Add the flour mixture and continue mixing just until combined.
  3. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared loaf pans, and bake until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

For the Apple Confit:

PREHEAT the oven to 275 degrees.

  1. Toss the apple slices with sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, honey, and cloves. Arrange in a single layer in an ovenproof skillet. Add water just to cover the apples. Press a sheet of parchment onto the surface of the water.
  2. Put the skillet over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, cover tightly in foil, and transfer to the oven. Bake until the apples are just tender, about 1 hour.
  3. Cool to room temperature, transfer to a lidded container, and chill until cold. Serve apples on top of a slice of honey cake.