Hello friends! I want you to give every Jewish person you know a big hug or a pat on the back and wish them a happy new year. They will know what you are talking about, even if you do not! Did you know that Jews get two new years? We get our "Christian" new year on January 1st, and we get our Jewish new year around this time of year. We call it Rosh Hashanah (which translates to "head of the year").
While many of us bring in the January New Year with a massive hangover from a few too many sherbets, Rosh Hashana is usually a combination of temple, family gatherings and very sweet food. One staple food for the holiday is challah. It's a bread that is sometimes braided
and other times looks like a big fat spiral (see below). It's a moderately sweet bread, and it should be ripped apart rather than cut apart with a knife. That's the tradition.
Our raisin challah is for our guests tomorrow, so I'm leaving it in the plastic wrap until then.
Tonight is Rosh Hashanah Eve. When I was younger, we ate a very early dinner and then went to temple for a few hours. We'd then wake up in the morning, eat breakfast, and go back to temple. Missing school was never an issue for me. There were so many Jewish people at my school that classes were cancelled. The non-Jews LOVED us.
We don't belong to a temple anymore, so we have other options. We can pay an arm and a leg to go to services at a temple where we are not members, or we can observe the eve of the New Year at home. Tonight, we did the latter.
We made spinach cheese casserole and pasta for dinner. The spinach dish is very easy to make. It's some frozen and drained spinach...
...with cottage cheese...
..and shredded cheddar...
...and flour and eggs. Actually, my mom added eggs the other 56783 times that she made this. Tonight, she forgot them.
It came out of the over lookin all purdy, but the consistency was more like creamed spinach than a casserole. It still tasted great! It gave Boston Market's creamed spinach a run for its money. Plus, it's not all cream and crap like Boston Market. It won't give you a coronary.
My dad cooked up a big batch of cheese ravioli with veggies.
Creamed spinach casserole and ravioli!
Looks aside, I still could have eaten several plates of the spinach. I got a practical lesson of the importance of eggs in recipes, though. Eggs go into recipes for a reason! Not just to keep the chicken people in business...
Of course, there are vegan alternatives.
Somewhere around 8 pm, we cleaned up our dishes and did a mini service at our kitchen table. My dad is a whiz at Hebrew, so he was the "leader" of the service. It was nice. It was over in 25 minutes, and I wore my pajamas. It was the shortest and most comfortable Rosh Hashanah Eve service of my life.
FOOTY GRAND FINAL!!!
'Aight mates, just because I'm in America now, it doesn't mean that I can't get all excited about the grand final. This year, Collingwood is playing Geelong in Melbourne. If you want to know more about Australian Rules Football, check out some of my old posts from last year. I also explain (with no feelings held back) how I feel about Collingwood. I do NOT want this team to win again!
I'm watching the game on Friday night with the Chicago Footy Club
. Click on the link for more info!