Rosh Hashanah Symbols simonim/simoneem/ significant omens
the simonim: there are a list of symbols/(Hebrew simonim)/which we make and serve on the first and sometimes the second night meal of Rosh Hashanah!!! Significant Omens is the title of the list of symbols/simonim in the Artscroll publication:The Complete Artscroll Machzor Rosh Hashanah (Rabbi N. Scherman, Mesorah Publication, Brooklyn, 1992, pp. 96-98) Purchase/order at Eichler’s You can prepare two cups *(one cup for the first night of Rosh Hashanah and the second cup for night two) of each of the following and make a handsome large platter with them all. One cup of each item in a pretty small glass bowl. Wow, this reminds us of Pesach/Passover and the seder plate. Well, this seder plate is NOT mandatory. The list of the two cups and what they contain: carrots in one bowl, leek or cabbage in the next, beets in the third, dates in the fourth, squash/zucchini is in the fifth, pomegranate (Chinese apple) in the sixth, fish is the seventh and (take a breath!!!) head of a sheep or head of a fish (I will instruction below how to manage with this smelly and shocking item, again NOT mandatory nor Jewish law!!! but old old tradition)
I cook each of the vegetables above in some careful manner to be tasty. The carrots I cook as tzimmes dish or as carrot salad, leek or cabbage I cook with sautéed onions until limp, beets see (beets salad), squash (I make a squash latkes or just cook the squash in a pot of water and then when fork tender add oregano and salt), pomegranate (this is served cold and uncooked. How to prepare pomegranate: cut in half, take hand and hold half and have fruit seed side on palm of hand and round red skin not on palm side, put large bowl in sink and take a large metal spoon and smack the skin while grasping the fruit firmly. Smack and hit and watch the seeds fall into the bowl and leave the skin as an empty bowl. )
FISH: cook fish or tuna and serve as the symbol. Fish head or sheep head? Take the fish head and cook by putting in a pot with water and boil. Remove and put in freezer in plastic bag and put it out on the plate. Some people look at it and growl with a nauseated murmur, others eat the eye if there is one for a symbol of mazel. I just put it out and throw it out after Rosh Hashanah. Sheep head: this can be the Whole Head on the table–imagine? You do not want to. You are dressed well, table with finest silver and that head? Not to appetizing. Anyhow, the head is baked in an oven and put on the table, usually one gets a portion of the head, say the mouth and chinny chin chin. Take that portion and put in a pot of boiling water and then remove and put on the table and it won’t go in those dainty 1 cup bowls, of course. Remove from table and throw away, unless some folks want to eat the meat that exists on the portion. Let us not continue on this. But WHY a HEAD? And that gets to the reasons for all the above list of symbols!
The apple: have a sweet new year, because apples sweeten any dish.
The carrots: the word in Yiddish for carrots is similar to INCREASE: may be see this symbol of carrots as a reminder that we hope God will increase our merits this new year.
Leek or cabbage: The word in Hebrew for cabbage is similar to decimate, may God decimate our enemies this new year.
Beets: The Hebrew word for beets (selek) is also Remove. May God remove our enemies! this new year. Amen! But in our family we say may God beet/beat our enemies, so they go away. This is poetic license and totally permissible.
Dates: Tamar is Hebrew for dates and a little similar is tamu, meaning in Hebrew: consumed…so may God consume our enemies. We in the Sokol family say: may be have a date that is the right one for a long marriage…for anyone looking to get married. Again this is poetic license and has a tinge of humor, which is fine.
Zucchini/squash: Already you know our family says let God give us peace by squashing our enemies. In the Artscroll: “May it be the will of God that the decree of our sentence be torn asunder; and may our merits be proclaimed before You.” Seems I am in the dark, because gazar/decree is the word for carrot, but okay, it is squash.
Pomegranate: This is selected because it has so many many many juicy delicious seeds. So may we merit to increase as the seeds of a pomegranate.
Fish: Fish increase madly, so again, we ask God that we increase and multiply like fish.
Head of fish or sheep: this is a symbol for let us dear God be like the head and not as the tail, meaning the rear end. We want to be crowned and royal and have a shining face to look towards God. We do not want to be at the end and losers or even graphically the tail near the unclean side of the body. Let us be the head and Rosh is Head in Hebrew. The head of the year and we are the first in line, the head of the flock, close to the goodness and the winners! or we are the winners, the first, the head of the race in life this new year!
Tzimmes: 4 sweet potatoes and 6 carrots, peel and slice in large sizes so when cooked, they won’t become like apple sauce. Cook in pot, covering the veggies with water and let it cook until medium soft, not totally soft. Remove most of water, put the carrots and sweet potatoes in a pan covering with aluminum foil and cook in oven with 2 T. honey and 2T. lemon juice or orange juice, 1/4 t. cinnamon. Add 1 T. oil. Then cook in oven 350 F or 180 C. 30 minutes. Take cover off and add 1 cup of pineapple chunks, & 1/2 cup of cut orange or clementine or canned Mandarin oranges or quartered dried apricots. Bake another 10 minutes. (this is a recipe variation from the cookbook Spice and Spirit, p. 273, Sweet Potato and Carrot Tzimmes, Lubavitch Women’s Cookbook Publication, 1991.)
9 Most retro recipe.
Salade niçoise is a beautifully composed salad of French origin that looks fancy but is incredibly easy to make. The traditional version is often made with tuna, but here the fish is replaced with baked tofu, which makes a great stand-in. And the array of ingredients—white beans or chickpeas, slender green beans, tomatoes, and olives—makes it a splendid main dish salad for a summer meal, either on busy weeknights or festive occasions. Recipe from Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More Than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes by Nava Atlas. ©2014, published by HarperOne, reprinted by permission. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.
Serves: 4 to 6
- 8 to 10 ounces fresh slender green beans, trimmed (see Note)
- 1 large head Boston or Bibb lettuce, torn, or mixed baby greens
- Sliced fresh basil leaves or chopped fresh parsley as desired
- 8-ounce package baked tofu, diced, or 1 my recipe Baked Tofu or baked tempeh
or 8 ounces combined baked tofu and dense herbed tofu
- 1 heaping cup grape or cherry tomatoes, or diced ripe fresh tomatoes
- 15- to 16-ounce can cannellini beans or chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Pitted green or black olives, or a combination
- Marinated artichoke hearts, optional or omit to lessen sodium.Best if they are available in the market.
- Sliced red onion, optional
- Vinaigrette, homemade, see below or storebought, to taste
Steam the green beans just until bright green and tender-crisp. Err on the side of undercooking rather than overcooking. Drain and rinse with cool water until they’re at room temperature.
On a large serving platter or large shallow serving bowl, arrange the lettuce or greens. Scatter the basil or parsley over it.
Arrange the green beans, tofu, tomatoes, beans or chickpeas, olives, and optional artichoke hearts in separated mounds over the lettuce or greens. Top everything with a few thinly sliced rings of red onion, if you’d like.
Drizzle a little vinaigrette over the salad, then serve at once, passing the remainder of the vinaigrette at the table.
Note: If fresh slender green beans are unavailable, use organic whole green beans, thawed and steamed just until tender-crisp. To complete the meal add steamed kasha, barley or quinoa.
ארוחה בצלחת, שאפשר בקלות לקחת לעבודה (כדאי לארוז את הביצים, האנשובי או הטונה והפרמזן בנפרד, ולהוסיף
אותם לפני האכילה). בבית, אנו אוהבים לאכול אותה גם כארוחת צהריים או ערב קלה. הערה: ניתן להשתמש בשעועית
ירוקה רגילה פרוסה דק או בשעועית שטוחה מזן חילדה, חתוכה לפרוסות אלכסוניות (ללא בישול). לבחירתכם, אפשר
לאדות את השעועית הטרייה לפני השימוש, או להשתמש בשעועית ירוקה שלמה מופשרת, ו/או מאודה, חתוכה לחצי.
The Israeli version has eggs, grain (buckwheat (kasha) zucchini, anchovies and capers, which my family can do without. Their Vinaigrette is a combination of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, black pepper mustard according to taste.