The High Holidays will soon be here and everyone is trying to figure out how to manage the holidays while still enjoying the last nice days of summer. I am amazed that Brooklyn is still empty. It is so easy to shop, I can’t believe it. I think many folks are staying at their summer beach houses since the holidays are so early, right after Labor Day. I can totally deal with it and I love the fact that I can still find parking.
I have started packing my freezer, the kibbeh is made, and I have already cooked a bunch of stuff as preparation. My mind is working constantly as I think of all the people I need to feed and the food that needs to be prepared. The quantity of fruit alone is amazing, and I am constantly looking for new and different desserts. I have my regulars, but I always want something new for the new year.
In the next week, I anticipate big changes here in Brooklyn. Lists are made, menus discussed and changed a thousand times, shopping, shopping and more shopping as we run in and out of the stores buying an endless supply of whatever.
Soon, the kaparot markets will begin to set up shop. Beginning with the day after Rosh Hashanah, the markets will be busy, as chickens are sacrificed during the Days of Awe. I remember my mother taking me as a child to the chicken markets. I remember the crates and crates of chickens lined up and her taking the chickens - one for each of us - home to clean. She carefully gave the shokhet her list with each of our names. Avraham bat Freda, Rena bat Esther, Joseph bat Rena and so on for the six of us. We ate these chickens, one each for the first six Friday nights of the New Year. Every year, the same list was prepared and given to the shokhet and every year she cleaned those chickens, carefully plucking the feathers, and burning the ends of the chicken wings to be sure they were impeccably clean.
I am amazed the stores have such an assortment of paper products, which are now plastic and look so real. Silver plastic flatware and a very high grade of plastic dishes in all shapes and sizes are available. They really look very elegant.
As I write this I realize my followers are looking for recipes. Not to disappoint, the recipes are being posted on our web site at sarinassephardic cuisine.com. On the website we have posted a High Holiday recipes, Cooking and Entertaining tips. Please keep watching the website for recipes as I post them every couple of days. A number of people have asked for the Moroccan Mint Tea recipe and I posted it yesterday.
My next few blogs will be focused on the High Holidays, Sephardic traditions and the preparations.