September brings us the Jewish High Holy Days, Back-to-School, Labor Day and the first day of Fall!
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.
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is celebrated the first and second days of Tishri. This year, it is September 20th at sundown and concludes September 22nd 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.
Rosh Hashanah is widely known and celebrated as the New Year’s 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.
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 September 29th at sundown and concludes September 30th at sundown. It is a day of fasting, reflection and prayers.
- 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.
"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!
Back to School
Summer vacation is over and school is starting and going full swing. Most kids get ready for school with a special class supply list, a backpack and some new clothes to start their new school year. Homemade lunches will get the kids through the day as long as they are filled with plenty of nutrition. Nowadays, many school lunch programs are offering fresh fruits and vegetables as part of their cafeteria menu. If your school doesn’t offer them, make sure you pack plenty of easy-to-snack-on treats for your child and their friends…
Our newest snack trend is CLEAN SNAX®. These are delicious, wholesome bites that are gluten-free, low-fat, low-sodium and contain no artificial ingredients. They come in 7 addicting flavors: perfect for lunch boxes or after school snacks!
Fresh carrots and light ranch dip are always popular as well as snap peas, broccoli pieces and teardrop tomatoes. Try slicing some fresh baby cucumbers; they are refreshing and low-calorie, too. Fresh fruit cut into cubes makes a perfect addition to lunch as well as adding some natural energy to your child’s day. Sliced apples with some low-fat cheese or even low-fat caramel are also a perfect snack.
Get creative with quinoa or couscous, adding fresh vegetables and a light balsamic vinaigrette for a filling, healthy and nutritious lunch. Whatever you prepare and send to school, make sure you pack it well, and make it fun and appetizing so your child will eat it!
Labor Day originated in 1894 with President Grover Cleveland. Labor Day began as a protest with the railroad workers back in the day because the workers wanted better pay. Since this was an election year, President Cleveland believed making Labor Day a holiday would help win him votes—even though he was not re-elected. The holiday is still celebrated today.
Today, Labor Day is a nationwide holiday; the kids get out of school and the banks are closed! Family get togethers are commonly filled with the last barbecues of summer… fall is very near and in some areas, the weather is already turning. If you are lucky enough to have barbecuing weather, be sure to try some of our favorite grilling items. Fresh chiles, fresh fruit and fresh vegetables make wonderful grilling items to enhance your family barbecue.
First Day of Fall
September 22, 2017 is the first day of fall. For many of us, that means trees turn beautiful colors and the season of pomegranates, fresh apples and squash is upon us. Halloween is right around the corner and cold weather recipes will be popular. Some of the most popular fall vegetables are Melissa’s Pearl Onions and Winter Squashes.
Colder weather cooking ingredients like our Steamed Lentils or Steamed Baby Potatoes are perfect for soups and stews. Use our Cleaned & Sliced Leeks to add a mild onion flavor to any dish. Make your favorite chile recipe using our Six-Bean Medley in a fraction of the time it would normally take. Be sure to check out some of our favorite fall recipes for soups and stews.