My Local Calender Says Happy New Year

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September 18, 2009 at 11:57 am

Rob Gardner

Not only does the Jewish New Year begin on the start of the seventh month of year (true!) it features little champagne nor any over-priced dinner-dancing packages. It does have food.  As the Sages have summarized the Jewish holidays: “they tried to wipe us out, they failed, let’s eat.”  (Although on Rosh Hashanah we hear the harrowing tale of how our Patriarch almost wiped out his sole heir, and could have single handily wiped out the subsequent nation.  He failed.  Let’s eat.)  Of course, there is eating and then there is eating, and my wife believes we have, perhaps, a tad too much planned.

When we last checked in with this Happy New Year, we were discussing the planned meal and the various symbolism’s of planned meal foods.  At this point, our meal has taken some turns for design, but we are full-on ready for a gala fete.  We shopped the Eli’s Cheesecake Market yesterday, where Chad Nichol’s convinced us that we would never find ripe peppers this cheap again.  Soon after this post is done I will begin the process of roasting and marinating some of those peppers.  We also got leeks for leek vinaigrette and fingerling potatoes for roasting.  And corn!  I’ll come back to that in a moment.  We ventured to Devon for water challah from Tel-Aviv Kosher Bakery, bloody whitefish from Roberts cut into steaks for our red fish course, and one of those fresh markets for pomegranates.  Our final stop on the way home, Whole Foods for safe milk and cream, and Prairie Fruit Farms goat cheese. 

My wife set out hard at work from there, roasting beets, potatoes and carrots.  She seared ten pounds of short ribs.  Eight pounds more than her recipe required.  She quick soaked Michigan yellow-eye peas, which would take the place of the black-eye pea salad.  She improvised a green bean dish after I noticed not all of those were lasting.  She managed to hit curriculum night at the middle school while I played my small part, bringing things to the compost bins and peeling beets.   I was about ready for bed and she was hitting her stride making corn soup, which I suppose will be a new tradition.  Long after I fell asleep, having an odd dream that I was back in my last days at Arthur Andersen, she made a truly old time dessert, taiglach. (NB that recipe is illustrative not the actual recipe used.)  She’s working now on a ten individual blueberry crostadas.  So, how’s this sound for a Happy New Year:

Apples and honey

Corn Soup in the style of Alice Waters

Assorted Mezze – leeks vinaigrette; roasted beets with goat cheese; marinated peppers, green beans with tomatoes, green salad with pomegranates

Fish – Local whitefish steaks in red pepper oil (chraime)

Meat – Short ribs and marrow bones, stewed with yellow-eye peas and kale; roasted potatoes and carrots; summer squash agridolce

Dessert – Taiglach, blueberry crostardas

Frigandaise and fresh fruit

After all of that food, which should take us through Saturday lunch, I have Korean BBQ with my Brother-in-law, and then an equally stuffing if less spiritual meal with my Local Beet brethren.  As you can see, I’m a bit preoccupied to provide much other activities.  You can always search our archives for ideas, and when in doubt, find a market near you.

May your coming year, whenever it starts, be filled with local food.

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