Holla for Challah!

Holla for Challah!

This week, Jews celebrate Rosh Hashana (literally translated: Rosh – head and Hashana – the year), Jewish New Year 5777. Technically, the new year began at sundown this past Sunday night, which is when we had my family over for dinner. There were 14 of us, and it was a great dry run for Christmas Eve (Why is a Jew hosting Christmas Eve? Story for another time.). We actually had room for everyone in the dining room since we’d flip-flopped it with the living room. Now, the old dining room is the “piano room” and The Girl’s art gallery.

We did have to do some rearranging in the new dining room to make room for the table extension that Hubs’ fashioned a few years back for Passover. In order to do that, we had to move our ginormous 7 foot buffet with the marble top. This beautiful beast has been in my family for 4 generations now (starting with my great-grandmother). It had been at one end of the room, but we needed to move it to the side. Easy peasy, because Hubs had built a special support frame for moving it around on a furniture dolly when we had to re-do the floors. Except this time, neither of us thought to empty or at least make sure the center cabinet full of liquor was locked. So, when Hubs lifted one end, the doors opened and we just stood there, dumbfounded, yet patiently waiting for the sound of cascading bottles to end. Amazingly, only two broke – but one was quite full with vodka. Our once passable laminate floor (made to look like hardwood) is now peeling at the edges of some planks. Whoopsie.

We did get it all cleaned up, rinsed off the bottles, dried them, and put them all back once the buffet was in its new location. Then, we resumed the rest of our prep with plenty of time to spare. Until, of course, people walked in the door and I realized I forgot to put out the appetizers. AS family filtered in, I scurried about, getting food on the table in between sips of wine. Auntie Barbells and Uncle Mike entered the house with paper hats and noisemakers (not quite the norm for the Jewish New Year). As The Girl later noted, “That was a pleasant surprise.” But, I really had to pause and laugh at cousin Rachel’s boyfriend, Jason, who walked in with his own box of tissue. I don’t know if he feared we’d have none, or what, but boyfriend was more than prepared (and pre-medicated) for any and all feline encounters (turns out, he’s allergic).

We started the evening with hummus and pita chips (nod to our Mediterranean homeland) and the traditional challah (so yum and expertly baked by my cousin Michelle) and apples, dipped in honey. Why? To symbolize our desire for a sweet year.

Holla for Challah

Backtrack to a few days ago, when I’d re-posted my brisket recipe on The Book of Face, and much to my surprise, it got a lot of attention. Hubs got a bit jealous, and somewhat bitter, because I hadn’t posted about his standing rib roast. So, in the spirit of shalom bayit (peace in the home) of here you go:

P.S. The roast outshined my amazing brisket. That was pretty rude of him, if you ask me.

Anyway, along with Michelle’s challah, my brisket and Hubs’ roast, there was rice and noodle casserole, cauliflower mash by Aunt Meb, green jello mold from Auntie Barbells (with black olives in the center, of course, though no one knows why) Michelle’s broccoli noodle dish, her noodle kugel (leftovers of which The Girl has been having for breakfast every morning) and Rice Krispie treats, Rachel’s caramel brownies, my mom’s famous cheesecake, and cookies from Mariano’s (I was lame on that one). Needless to say, leftovers have not been kind to my waistline, so most of what is left by now has been frozen.

I think we all had a fun time with lots of laughs, a few extra pounds by morning, and a great start to the year. May the rest of 5777 is as entertaining and delicious (but not too delicious). Shana tova!


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