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18 Sep 2008
Rosh Hashanah

The holidays are rrrushing upon us, and that’s not the only thing rushing in. By. Around. Whatever, it’s one of Those Days(tm) again. The tenant downstairs needs the dryer repaired (and she wants it repaired NOW), the cat needs to be taken to the groomers, insurance rates have just gone up. Not to mention this column’s due, the toaster oven blew up five minutes ago, that’s only a beginning; it goes it goes it goes, money is round it rolls away.

RushingI know I know, don’t let that put a dent in the day, too much to do to throw m’self a pity party… think sweet thoughts. Now there’s an idea. What with the rrrapid approach of the New Year, let’s think thoughts of sweetness. After all, we pray “May it be Your will to renew for us a good and sweet year” and we perform the symbolic act of eating sweet foods, traditionally flavored with honey.

Let’s try a two-step but still one-pan tongue-tingling savory-sweet Japanese-Meets-Bistro fusion dish that’s easy’n’elegant. Not only fast to put together, it doubles effortlessly for the unexpected company dinner AND as a twofer, you have the start of a main dish salad over a bed of greens with any leftovers. Who knows, you might want to make leftovers!

One of the other signs (“simanim”) of the season is the humble carrot. A few of which I usually have, ermm, ah, delicately aging in the more distant and dimmer corners of the fridge, but I digress. Carrot in Yiddish is “mehr” or “more” so they symbolize the hope to accomplish more mitzvot, to gain more understanding, and to increase our prosperity for more tzedakah.

Following is from the trad French repertoire, a cooks-by-itself soup that’s perfect for those, errrmmm … mature, that’s it, “mature” … carrots described above since the sugars are already developed. Of course, if you lack those specially-aged orange beauties, yum rockets fresh from the market are perfectly fine. Not only is it economical in time spent preparing it (you can certainly juggle in the first steps of the chicken while the vegetables are braising and finish the soup while the glaze is reducing), it’s economical in using materials that otherwise would go to waste. And you know how I feel that willful waste is woeful want!