Sunday, September 23, 2012

Happy New Year

This is a very important part of the year for Jews. Last week was the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Like all Jewish holidays, food plays a critical part. The braided Challah loaf is sometimes baked in a round shape with raisins added . Cakes laced with honey & fruit are shared to symbolize a sweet upcoming year. After eight days of joy comes Yom Kipper, the Day of Atonement. You fast for 24 hours while reviewing your behavior during the past year and pray for better. This 24 hour period traditionally ends with a huge meal to "break the fast" on Wednesday night. Then it's back to the diet.

Last week when I made Knishes, it transported me right back to my childhood and memories of the neighborhood deli. It was fun sharing stories with some of you who ordered them. I'm planning to make some dessert knishes in a few weeks. Stay tuned.

This week I'm baking loaves of braided Challah (with or without raisins). Aside from loving the golden richness of the bread, I adore turning thick slabs into the best French Toast. Here's some I had recently slathered with my Mango Daiquiri Jam.

The other item I'm making is classic Jewish Apple Cake. It's baked in a large pan, then cut to order. Back in the '50s each bakery slab weighed about 20 pounds...I'm aiming for something a little smaller. You can order it by the half pound.

Large chunks fresh apple, enrobed in cinnamon/sugar, is surrounded by tender old fashioned cake. It's not overly sweet, so you wouldn't feel guilty garnishing it with whipped cream. But it doesn't really need anything else in order to taste great.

Perfect at the end of a meal...any time with a cup of coffee or tea...packed in a lunchbox...shared with a friend...or munched while reading the paper at breakfast. This is the same Apple Cake that I sampled several weeks ago.

The Challah Loaf and Apple Cake are available by special order only and can be picked up on Friday or Saturday at my TreeHouse in the Village of the Arts. Challah is $4.50/loaf and Apple Cake is $10/lb (minimum 1/2 lb). Call (941) 746.6647  or email by Wed 9/26 at 5pm to place an order for this week's pick-up.

Next week, the first weekend in October, everything bumps up a few notches. We'll celebrate the  monthly Village ArtWalk, with this month's theme A RIVER OF ART IN BLUE. I'll have a hand-made blue river with COOKIE fish, folks, boats & animals. Then Geraldson's Sunday Farmer's Market opens for the season October 7th from 11-3pm.  More details & goodies next week. 

Hugs from my kitchen,

Bonni & Twinkie (guardian of the gate when she isn't napping)

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