One thing I love about writing down the proposed menu here is to see how much of it I really stick to when I actually come to prepare the meal. My eyes are definitely bigger than my ability to juggle shopping, cooking and the regular day to day that doesn't stop just because I want it to.
Last night while we continued to watch the Star Wars TrilogyMarathon (we've seen Episodes 4, 5 & 6 so far), I pored over all my Jewish Cookbooks looking for the perfect meal.
Traditionally, there are four courses and all of them have a sweet or mellow note. No bitterness or harshness for this holiday - at least that's our tradition:
Soup - just about every Ashkenazi Jew (Eastern European origins) I know makes Chicken Soup and I'm sure that 2 of the 3 meals this week will have some, so I wanted something different. Sephardi Jews (Middle Eastern background), on the other hand, favor lentils in their dishes as a symbol of wealth - think gold coins. Sounds interesting and I think I found the perfect dish.
Fish & Salad - Another Ashkenazi speciality is Gefilte Fish which I will NOT do - too fishy-smelling in my house, although I love to eat it. So I've found a couple of different options...not sure what that will look like yet. But the salad will definitely be Fattoush, a chunky Lebanese salad I've made before and everyone loved.
The Main Deal (and usually everyone is already full, but - hey, it's a holiday) - my daughter is making brisket, our friend is making turkey, so.......hmmmm. I usually make Orange Ginger Capon or Stuffed Veal, but I'm not in the mood and I don't have time to hunt for the perfect butcher here in Halifax. Let me know of one for later - please! I did get lots of great ideas on yesterday's post and found a really interesting choice in one of my cookbooks.
We definitely need potatoes and I know others will be making the traditional kugel. So I'm going with a family favorite of my own. And since my daughter will probably do the ginger carrots, I'm going to do something with the gorgeous squash I bought at the market yesterday. If I don't have a green veggie on the table, I will hear my mother's displeasure (even though she passed away many years ago). I'm making Roasted Broccoli & Cauliflower for our friend's feast, so I guess asparagus or beans will work...or maybe the layer of spinach in the Potato, Sweet Potato Galette will be sufficient.
Dessert - because although no one can move or breathe by this point in the meal, I can't imagine doing without a sweet finish.
So here's what I came up with....at least for now.
Pesce all' Ebraica from The New Jewish Holiday Cookbook
St Tropez Chicken from Nigella Lawson's Feast
Roasted Asparagus with Toasted Almonds from Every Kitchen Tells Its Stories
Roasted Squash with Balsamic Cider Vinaigrette
Braised Squash with Ginger & Onions from 1000 Jewish Recipes
Mary's Honey Cake (she sent me the recipe as thanks for all those non-cheesy pasta dishes)
Normandy Apple Tart from Baking, From My Home to Yours
And for my Jewish and non-Jewish friends alike, I wish you health, peace, prosperity and joy.