The high holidays are here, and there's no better time, whether you're 25 or 55, to embrace the art of Jewish motherhood in the kitchen. For Rosh Hashanah, the menu we make features apples and honey to celebrate a fruitful New Year. On Yom Kippur, we usually emerge from our hunger black-out mid bagel, and remember little else. But no matter what the holiday, or how pushy a Jewish mother you grew up with, the traditions around the kitchen table remain remarkably consistent: surrounded by family, we eat lots and lots of kugel.
Over the years, we've pooled some of our own Jewish family recipes in hopes of becoming more active members of our high holiday potlucks. Below are some of our favorite appetizers, mains, sides, and desserts for the upcoming high holidays and beyond.
1. Matzoh Ball Soup
Your dinner's appetizer: easy. Nothing says Jewish mother like matzoh ball soup. Nothing. Doesn't matter what the season, or what the holiday, Matzoh Ball Soup almost always makes it onto our menus.
2. Butternut Squash Latkes
Though less traditional than classic potato latkes , this fall version of the potato pancake is a perfect hors d'oevres for the season, and its sweetness works great with Rosh Hashanah's apples and honey.
3. Potato Kugel with Sauteed Shallots
This is a definite on Passover menus, but it's also great on the high holidays for those poor Jewish gluten-free souls for whom noodles are a no no. Also works as a savory side for those who think Noodle Kugel is a dessert.
4. Noodle Kugel
The cinnamon, sugar, and butter topping gives the top of the kugel a beautiful brown crispiness. You might think this is for dessert (or breakfast), but no: its sweetness is also the perfect complement to a Rosh Hashanah menu.
5. String Beans with Pickled Shallots and Mustard Dressing
We all need some green in our lives, and these beans round out the offering. Plus, the dressing is nice and sweet, which bodes well for the year to come.
Picking a main is easy: Phoebe's best brisket comes by way of her Jewish aunt, Jennifer. It's always the first thing to disappear from the buffet table, no matter what the holiday.
7. Alex's Roasted Chicken
Like Alex, this chicken has Greek roots. But in its spirit, it conforms to what's on our holiday table. If you're having a party on the smallish side, this makes for a fabulous main course.
8. Sweet and Savory Moroccan Stew
Take your dinner to the Mediterranean with this delicious, easy main. Make it a day in advance if you'll be rushed on Rosh Hashanah.
9. Apple Cake with Caramel Glaze
Apple cake is a key player at Rosh Hashanah dinner, and this rich, caramel-covered version will be the most lucious thing on the holiday table.
--Cara Eisenpress and Phoebe Lapine of Big Girls, Small Kitchen