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Following are traditional recipes for Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year. This menu would be well suited to break the fast of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, as well. Symbolic foods at Rosh Hashanah would include pomegranates, honey, apples, carrots, sweet flavors, and whole fish including the head. The meaning will be explained next to relevant recipes.

Appetizer

Chicken Liver Pate
Serve with traditionally prepared bread, crackers or vegetables

Main Dishes

Braised Brisket

Pot Roasted Brisket

Paprika Roast Chicken
Roast chicken is a classic main dish at Rosh Hashanah. This easy recipe features a paprika spice rub which adds extra flavor and color to the crisply browned bird.

Pomegranate-Glazed Chicken

Rosh Hashanah Chicken with Cinnamon and Apples from Metz. Read comments for hints.

Braised Brisket With Pomegranate Juice, Chestnuts and Turnips – substitute alternative for vegetable oil

Braised Flanken With Pomegranate

Whole Roasted Fish – helpful hint — The recipe calls for cooking the fish in aluminum.  I lined the aluminum foil with parchment paper so that the fish didn’t touch the aluminum, however the juice spilled out – so I recommend to put the fish with the lined aluminum as the recipe indicates yet place it within a pyrex baking pan or other pan with sides so that it catches the juice.  I didn’t have a pan large enough for the 8 pound fish I cooked.  Also, be sure to buy wild caught.

The symbolism of a whole fish: Rosh HaShana means the “Head of the Year” in Hebrew. As such, fish is traditionally served with its head. Why fish? A fish’s eyes never close and God’s eyes are said to always stay open as well.

Lamb and Prune Tagine

Lamb tagine sweetened with dried fruit

Side Dishes

Tzimmes
Tzimmes is a sweet and savory stew served at many Jewish holiday meals. This meatless recipe includes carrots, sweet potatoes, prunes, and dried apricots. Serve this as a side dish with roast chicken or brisket.

Glazed Carrots with Orange and Ginger
Sweet foods, such as carrots, are traditional for the Rosh Hashanah holiday. Here, they’re dressed with an orange-and-ginger glaze for an extra-tasty side dish that enhances any menu. The symbolism of this vegetable is based on the fact that in Yiddish, the word for carrots is “merren,” having the additional connotation of “more.” We want to have more of the blessings of life.

Honey Roasted Red Potatoes
Read comments for hints!  Honey represents the sweetness hoped for during the coming year.

Beet and Pomegranate Salad
It is traditional to consume pomegranates on Rosh Hashanah because the pomegranate, with its numerous seeds, symbolizes fruitfulness. Also, it is said to have 613 seeds, which corresponds with the 613 mitzvot or commandments of the Torah.

Pomegranate and Herb Salad
It is recommend that the cup of mixed herb leaves, such as parsley, cilantro, mint, or any combination herbs be finely cut.

Roasted Vegetables for Rosh Hashanah
I recommend that one leave out the sugar

Kibbutz Vegetable Salad

Ferments

Ginger Carrots

Dessert

Flourless Honey-Almond Cake
http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/flourless_honey_almond_cake.html – recommend crispy almonds to make almond flour. Or http://www.anjasfood4thought.com/2010/09/flourless-almond-honey-cake.html

Honey-Coconut Milk Ice Cream
One of my guests doubled the recipe and many of us found it too sweet — so reduce honey.  Organic Berries for the ice cream were a lovely addition.

Homemade Raw Milk Ice Cream – Honey

Coolers

Pomegranate Cooler

Ritual

The Jewish New Year is a time when it is traditional to reflect on the year behind us and consider our vision for the next.  It is common to say to one another, “May you be inscribed in the book of life for another year.”

I envision this traditional holiday ritual may be of value to all of us because it invites us to “cast off” that which we want to release.

Consider the ways in which you may have “missed the mark” in the last year. Write down that which you would like to cast away – and throw stones into a body of water that flows/moves — such as the ocean, a stream, a river – to symbolically release it.

Some do this with bread or other food but, bread and/or other food is likely not of value to the animals that may live within the water, so it is my tradition to use stones.

I also add this part:

Consider what you would like to hold onto, develop, and evolve within yourself and your life. Keep a rock or rocks that represent those items as a symbolic way to embrace them.

I think this ritual has therapeutic value for all of us, regardless of religious beliefs.

What recipes or rituals would you like to share for this holiday?