Chef in the Kitchen
Jewish High Holy Days
The Jewish High Holy Days are observed during the 10 day period between the first day (Rosh Hashanah) and the 10th day (Yom Kippur) of Tishri, the seventh month of the Jewish calendar.
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the most important of all Jewish Holidays and the only holidays that are purely religious, as they are not related to any historical or natural event.
The Jewish Holiday Rosh Hashanah
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is celebrated the first and second days of Tishri. This year, it is October 2nd at sundown and concludes October 4th at sundown. It is a time of family gatherings, special meals and sweet tasting foods. Rosh Hashanah begins a 10 day period, known as the High Holy Days or Yamim Nora'im, a time of penitence and prayer that ends with Yom Kippur. Jews worldwide are given these 10 days to repent for their sins and ask G-d for forgiveness.
The Jewish Holiday of Rosh Hashanah is widely known and celebrated as the New Years Day of the Jewish calendar, but actually Rosh Hashanah has a fourfold meaning: It is the Jewish New Year, the Day of Judgment, the Day of Remembrance, and the Day of Shofar Blowing.
The Jewish Holiday Yom Kippur
- It is the Day of Judgment:
As Jews worldwide examine their past deeds and asks for forgiveness for their sins.
- It is the Day of Shofar Blowing:
The Shofar (the ram’s horn) is blown in the temple to herald the beginning of the 10 day period know as the High Holy Days.
- It is the Day of Remembrance:
As Jews review the history of their people and pray for Israel.
- And of course it is New Year's Day:
Celebrated with its holiday greeting cards, special prayers, and festive and sweet foods, to ensure sweetness in the New Year.
Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the most solemn day of the Jewish year and is observed on the tenth day of Tishri. This year it is October 11, 2016 at sundown and concludes October 12th at sundown. It is a day of fasting, reflection and prayers.
"May you be inscribed in the Book of Life" is the common greeting during this period as it is believed that on Rosh Hashanah the destiny of all mankind is recorded by G-d in the Book of Life. On Yom Kippur the Book is closed and sealed. Those that have repented for their sins are granted a good and happy New Year.
High Holy Day Fruits and Vegetables
Most of the foods eaten during Rosh Hashanah represent a sweet future: Carrots, Raisins, Apples, Sweet Potatoes, Pomegranates, Prunes and Honey.
These are some of the more popular items eaten, as nothing should be sour or bitter: Leeks, Onions, Beets, Turnips, Quince, Gourds, Anise, Pumpkins and Zucchini.
These are all considered symbolic of fertility, abundance and prosperity, making them an important part of the Rosh Hashanah tradition. Some other items used in preparing traditional Rosh Hashanah dishes are: Squash, Yams, Bell Peppers, Tomatoes, Nuts, Grapes, Plums, Lemons, Cucumbers, Potatoes, Herbs, Pineapples and Apricots.
Melissa’s is making these vegetables easy to use by offering several of them in ready-to-go packages like our beets, leeks and potatoes. These will save you time and make your recipes delicious!
Fall has arrived!
As the seasons change and fall approaches, we are preparing our homes for cooler weather and family gatherings. Colors are changing to browns, golds and oranges, and new seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables become available to warm our kitchens. Fall leaves and decorations begin appearing and the warmth of winter will soon follow.
At Melissa’s, fall is filled with some favorites:
Butternut, Acorn, Spaghetti, Delicata, Gold Nugget, Sweet Dumpling, Kabocha and Turban are the most popular. Try them baked or cube them into stews. Some squash are difficult to cut. Here is a simple solution: Place whole squash in 375º oven for about 10-15 minutes until the outer shell softens enough to cut. Adjust cooking time accordingly, so squash does not overcook. Use in your favorite recipe. You can also scoop out the inside flesh and use the outer shell as a unique serving dish. This is especially fun to do with the smaller squash, using them for individual servings.
Dutch Yellow®, Fingerlings, Baby Red, Baby White and Ruby Gold® are all delicious and easy to prepare. Baked or mashed is the most popular way to serve these potatoes… Leave the skin on for a healthier dish.
Fresh fruit like Pomegranates, Korean Pears, Starfruit and Persimmons are all very popular in the fall, continuing into the holidays. Remove the arils (seeds) from a pomegranate by carefully slicing the fruit in half, then submerging the half cut side down into a bowl of water… gently remove the arils from the pith and they will drop to the bottom of the bowl and the pith will float to the top. Use the arils as a garnish around a cheese ball, toss them into fresh salads or sprinkle them around the edges of a plate to make it look festive.
These popular items cannot be left out for fall cooking: pearl onions, pine nuts, garlic, steamed lentils and our full line of ready-to-go steamed veggies.
Don’t forget HALLOWEEN!
The last day of the month, October 31st, is one of the most anticipated holidays of fall. Every year, millions of Americans spend October 31st, dressing in funny, scary and realistic costumes, eating candy and fun treats. There are many stories about Halloween, some religious, other superstitious. Melissa’s thinks of Halloween and fun treats to eat that can be healthy, too! Pumpkins are a favorite for Halloween. Pumpkins can be orange, which is the most common color, or white, which are called ghost pumpkins. This year, we are continuing our new tradition of PINK Pumpkins, which are grown to promote breast cancer awareness. Melissa’s, along with American growers will be donating a portion of the proceeds from these pink pumpkins to breast cancer research. Not only are they unique, but they support a great cause.
Generally people carve their pumpkins into a "Jack 'o Lantern" by making a face on the pumpkin. The inner seeds are also popular to bake as a crunchy snack. You can season them with salt or your favorite popcorn seasoning for a real treat. Pumpkins can also be cooked and eaten just like any other squash. The most popular recipe for a pumpkin is pie.
If you want to get really creative, try some of our Freaky Fruit recipes.
These exclusive recipes will help you create one of the most delicious and fun Halloween feasts ever!