Is it time for a seder already?

apples and pomegranatesAlthough I’ve hardly had time to think about it, Rosh Hashanah is, in fact, just over a week away. We have a couple of new-ish family traditions (we’re a new-ish family after all); I make my mother’s Jewish apple cake with the apples from the trees in our yard, and we have a picnic at the park on the second day with a few other families. I lead the tot service at our shul, and sometimes that’s as much shul as I attend, and while I’m not complaining about that per se, I can’t say I’ve replaced adult synagogue attendance with anything particularly meaningful.
This year, we are trying something different. Inspired by the book Apples and Pomegranates, published by Kar-Ben, we’re going to have a Rosh Hashanah seder. What’s that? Well, like a Passover seder, it involves ritual foods, some singing, and some story telling. (Thankfully, there’s no matzah or sponge “cake.”)  Instead, the symbolic foods include pomegranates, dates, green beans, pumpkins, leeks and of course, apples and honey. The book includes stories related to the foods, some of which are suitable for my 4 and 6 year old, and some we’ll skip. Although a list of the foods and blessings can be found in most traditional prayer books, I’m happy to have this “haggadah” to help spark our creativity.
Many people include the head of a fish on their rosh hashanah table, but I’m thinking it would spoil my daughters’ appetites. But I am looking for creative recipes using some of the other foods – anyone have any great (and easy) pumpkin bread or leek soup?

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posted September 9, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Simple potato leek soup. Don’t go healthy a substitute for butter; it’s essential for the best flavor:
3 tablespoons butter
3 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise, thinly sliced (about 4 1/2 cups)
2 large russet potatoes (about 18 ounces total), peeled, diced
4 1/2 cups (or more) chicken stock or canned low-salt broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks; stir to coat with butter. Cover saucepan; cook until leeks are tender, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add potatoes. Cover and cook until potatoes begin to soften but do not brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add 4 1/2 cups stock. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes.
Puree soup in batches in processor until smooth. Return to saucepan. Thin with additional stock if soup is too thick. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Bring soup to simmer. Ladle into bowls. Garnish with chives and serve.

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posted September 9, 2009 at 9:21 pm

Amy, are you doing the young children service on both mornings for Rosh Hashana? And, would it be appropriate for my 18 month old?

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posted September 10, 2009 at 8:12 am

I am doing both – I wouldn’t say the program is targeted for kids that young, but plenty of people bring babies – so your 18 month old would certainly be welcome.
Hope to see you then!

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Judy Meltzer

posted September 10, 2009 at 10:16 am

What a great idea! Maybe Ella and Zoe can create artistic fish heads.
I wish I could be there. Sounds like much more fun than I’m anticipating.

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posted September 10, 2009 at 7:05 pm

hi liz, do you think it would work with vegetable stock instead?

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Haveil Havalim for Sept. 13 / Elul 24 «

posted September 13, 2009 at 1:52 am


posted September 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Thanks Amy — can you tell me more about the Day 2 “walk on bike path to hear Shofar” as it looks like we might be able to do that. Also, how dressed up would we need to be for the walk? :-)

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