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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Chasima Tova’

Here’s To A Sweet New Year!

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Photos by: Reuven and Tamar Ansh


 


Even those people who do not normally make challah all year long usually do find that they want homemade challahs for Rosh Hashana. Round challahs are most traditionally used for this time of year, as a reminder of the cycle of life.  Many people also have the custom to serve sweetened foods as a harbinger to usher in a sweet ad delectable judgement and challah is no exception to this custom! For this reason, Rosh HaShanah challahs are often sweeter than those served the rest of the year. Some add more sugar, others add raisins, still others do both. I enjoy adding all this to my challahs, but with a twist: after they are egg-glazed and ready to be baked, I sprinkle each with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. The smell they emit while baking is absolutely heavenly and the taste is out of this world. Truly a holiday treat!


 


Delicious Egg Challahs

 

This is quite a nice recipe, but as challah recipes abound at this time of year, the shaping I would like to demonstrate can be done with any good dough. However, this recipe is quite good, so it’s worthwhile to try it out

 

Makes: 5 large loaves or about 20-25 small individual sized rolls


 


Remember, that if you have a small family or don’t want to use so much challah at once, either halve the recipe or freeze the extra challah.  


 


2 ounces/50 gram cube of fresh yeast or 2 Tablespoons of dry yeast


3-4 cups very warm water, divided


¾ cup canola oil


¾ cup sugar, divided


1½ T. salt


5 eggs


17 cups freshly sifted flour (2.3 kilos of flour/just about 5 lbs. of flour)


1 more egg for glazing


seeds for sprinkling, optional


 


** Variations: for sweeter challahs at this time of year, you can increase the sugar content to one full cup or add one packet (1 Tablespoon) of vanilla sugar or add 1 Tablespoon of honey to your eggs for glazing.  You can also sprinkle a mix of cinnamon & sugar onto your egg glazed challahs directly before they go into the oven.

 

Sift your flour and set it aside. In a small bowl, add 2 cups of warm water, the fresh yeast and ¼ cup of the sugar. Cover the bowl loosely and leave it to activate for about 8 minutes.

 

In the mixing bowl add: oil, salt, rest of the sugar, rest of the water, 5 eggs, 8 cups of flour.

 

Using your dough hook, mix until it becomes a thick mixture. Check your yeast to make sure it activated properly. If so, pour it into your mixing bowl and continue to knead. It should now turn into a sticky dough.  Add the remainder of the flour, slowly, until it is all kneaded in. If the dough is too firm, add bits more oil and water until it is smooth, pliable and non-sticky. Turn the dough out onto an oiled surface and knead for a few minutes by hand to ensure that all the pieces from the bottom of the mixing bowl are equally incorporated.

 

 


 

Separate challah at this point, with a blessing.

 

Place your dough in a large plastic bag to rise. If you are going to bake the challahs that day, let the dough rise until double in bulk, about 1½ to 2 hours, covered in plastic. If you are not baking right away, place the dough, within a large plastic bag, in the fridge overnight or for several hours. After the dough has risen sufficiently, punch it down and get your pans ready for baking. Line all pans with parchment baking paper.

 


Divide the dough into five large equal sized pieces for 5 large challahs. Cut each chunk into the amount of strands you will need (3, 4 or 6). Roll out each piece into a flat oblong circle, and then roll them up jellyroll style to achieve a smooth strand. After you have done this to all the pieces, grease your hands with a bit of oil and roll out each strand to desired length.

 


You can now make simple round challahs, or you can try this really nice technique for a designer look.

 

Place two strands down in front of you horizontally. Place the third strand over those two horizontal pieces, vertically. Then place the last strand over all of it, in the center, but horizontally again.

 


 

 Each side now has 3 strands, and the top and bottom only have one strand. Braid each side as if you are braiding a standard three-strand challah.

 

Snip off a bit from each end of your “three’s” so they won’t be so long. Take this snipped off bit and roll it into a ball. If you want to add raisins into your challahs, push them into this ball. 

 


 

Carefully lift the challah off the working surface. Place the ball of dough underneath its center and fold over both sides of three over it, on the underside of the challah. Now do the same thing with the two loose single strands – just pull them underneath the challah and attach them to the underside, over the other strands. Pinch them gently together and look at your beautiful challah!

 


 

Preheat your oven to 375°F/190°C about 20 minutes prior to when the challahs will be ready to bake. Brush the risen challahs with the last egg and add toppings of your choice. Bake for 15 minutes at the above temperature, then turn the temperature down to 350°F/180° C and continue baking until the challahs are golden brown on top and bottom.

 


 


Now here’s a sticky and delicious cake that has lots of Rosh Hashana flavors in it honey, applesauce, raisins

 

Honey Raisin Applesauce Cake


Yields: 9×13 size cake or 2 loaf pans


 


1/2 cup oil


1 & 3/4 cups sugar


1 large egg


1 cup applesauce


1/2 cup honey


2 & 1/2 cups flour


1/2 teaspoons allspice


2 teaspoons cinnamon


2 teaspoons baking soda


1/2 cup water or orange juice


1/2 cup yellow raisins + 1 Tablespoon additional flour


 


Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C.

 

Place the oil and sugar into the mixer bowl and begin to cream. Add in the egg and mix some more. Add in the honey and the applesauce, mix to a thick, creamy consistency. Add in the flour, allspice, cinnamon, baking soda and water. Mix until smooth. Toss the raisins with the 1 Tablespoon of flour and add them into your batter. Mix until they are just incorporated. Pour into baking pans.

 

Slide the baking pans into your hot oven and bake until they test clean in the center, about 40-50 minutes.

 

 


 


Now that we’ve covered our holiday bases with both round challahs and a nice honey based cake, let’s go on to some foods for the meals. This next one is simple to prepare and is based on one of the simanim we eat for Rosh Hashana, leeks (karti).


 


Leek Patties


2 large onions, diced


2 leeks, cleaned well, diced


2 cloves garlic, diced


2 ribs of celery, diced


3 Tablespoons olive oil


2 teaspoons salt


1/4 teaspoon pepper


4 eggs


1 cup breadcrumbs or matzo meal


1 cup flour


2 Tablespoons additional oil


 


In a large pot, sauté the onions, leeks, garlic and celery until they are softened. Turn off the flame. Add in the salt and pepper and mix it well.

 


 

Scoop the vegetables into a bowl. Crack the eggs into a glass and beat it with a fork. Add to the vegetables, along with the breadcrumbs, flour and additional oil. Mix well to incorporate.

 

Heat a large frying pan sprayed with cooking spray or a bit more oil. Form small patties and fry until golden and crispy on both sides. Stand them up, in a row, in a loaf pan and cover until ready to serve.


 


And here is one more sweet and tasty item for your Rosh Hashana table


 


Stewed Red Cabbage & Raisin Salad


Serves 6 -8


 


1 large head red cabbage, shredded


1/2 head of a small green cabbage, shredded


1/4 cup water


2 large onions, diced


2 large green apples, chopped


2 Tablespoons oil


1/2 cup dark raisins


1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar


1 Tablespoon lemon juice *


 


*Note: During Rosh Hashana many people do not eat sharp or tart foods. I left this in the recipe anyhow as it adds to its flavor but is not readily discernible and the recipe is still sweet.

 

Put the shredded cabbages into a pot, add the 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes, remove from the heat and drain in a colander. The cabbage may turn purple or blue.

 

            Saute the onions in the oil for 5-8 minutes. Add in the apples during the last 3 minutes and toss to ensure that they will not burn. Add the cabbage back into the pot, together with the raisins, sugar and lemon juice. Mix it well, Cover the pot and let it simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes. Serves well hot or cold.


 


Kesiva v’Chasima Tova to all and may everyone be inscribed for a happy and sweet New Year.


 


 


Tamar Anshis an author, freelance recipe developer and food columnist. Her articles have appeared in Jewish publications worldwide.  Her bestselling books include A Taste of Challah (Feldheim Publishers), Let’s Say Amen (Feldheim Publishers) and Splitting the Sea (Targum Press). Her latest cookbook, A Taste of Tradition: Pesach – Anything’s Possible! Over 350 non-gebrochts, gluten-free, and wheat-free recipes, offers over 350 luscious, Gluten free no-fail recipes designed for Pesach and all year ’round (Targum Press). Tamar’s new one day home course “Tasting the Bounty of Israel” is now available to groups visiting Jerusalem. Contact her via her website www.TamarAnsh.com. 

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 9/22/06

Wednesday, September 20th, 2006

We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories by e-mail to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 338 Third Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215.

To all women, men or children who feel that they are at the end of their ropes, please consider joining a support group, or forming one.

Anyone wishing to make a contribution to help agunot, please send your tax deductible contribution to The Jewish Press Foundation.

Checks must be clearly specified to help agunot. Please make sure to include that information if that is the purpose of your contribution, because this is just one of the many worthwhile causes helped by this foundation.

********

Dear Rachel,

At the tender age of 18, I walked to the chupa − towards my chossen who was waiting for me − with hope in my heart for a bright future. It was not long thereafter that I came to realize every girl’s nightmare. After enduring an unfulfilling (to say the least) marital relationship of two years duration and constant heartache, I am now hopelessly trapped − as the following letter (that I recently sent to my father-in-law) − will reveal.

My dear Father-in-Law,

It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter, never having dreamed I would get to this point, never thinking I’d end up in this place. But I guess Hashem had other plans for me.

We are now approaching seven months since our separation. It has been a long, arduous time and the pain I feel in my heart is indescribable.

My dear Shver, nobody knows as well as you what I’ve been through and how much I have suffered. The hours of counseling the ‘ups and the downs’ the disappointments, and the months and months of trying to make things work out. Throughout it all, you were there to coach me and guide me. I remember your pain too, and the long hours we spent discussing the situation. I recall how torn apart you were as you contemplated ways that could possibly improve things for both of us. I remember you telling me, ‘Libby, he’s my son. I can’t risk losing him!’ Believe me, I didn’t want to lose him either! I tried everything humanly possible to save our marriage. Yet, unfortunately, we did not succeed.

But now, I am left with a hole in my heart. I am trapped in the chains of a broken marriage − with no end in sight. This is even worse than what I’ve been through till now. I’ve heard it said that the worst kind of suffering is that of an agunah. I never believed it until I experienced it myself. Each day that I spend as an agunah is sheer agony. I feel like a caged bird. I feel suspended in time. After all that I’ve suffered, I did not expect − nor feel that I deserve − this.

All I ask of you is that you help me obtain a get as soon as possible − and to find it in your heart to assist me with the future expense that I will incur in (hopefully) marrying again. I am not insisting on monetary compensation for the anguish that I’ve suffered, for the years I have lost As you yourself told my father, no amount of money would compensate me for my pain. I do not need huge amounts of money to live in luxury. But I cannot bear the thought of my hard-working parents going into debt because of me. They’ve already endured tremendous heartache over what was and is. I cannot and will not add to their worries and burden them with marrying me off a second time.

I would also like to hereby assure you that I never spoke badly of your son to anyone. Any feedback that may come your way would be based on half-baked lies, spread by people who like to talk about others. I have heard unsavory gossip about myself, which I know to be untruth and which I don’t believe to be coming from your family.

I appeal to your rachmanos because I know you are a mentch and a very compassionate person. I beg of you − please unshackle me from these chains. I am still a young person with a whole future ahead of me, yet I am locked up, tied to the past. You are the only person who can help me. Please don’t ruin my life! Please don’t torture me! Please let me be free!

I am writing from my heart, in the hope that it will reach your heart. Please don’t let me down!

I anxiously await a positive response.

Dear Readers,

The letter you’ve just read was written by a young lady to her father-in-law, who had invested his time, energy and help, in trying to save the marriage of his son and well loved daughter-in-law. Details of their marital woes will not herein be disclosed, as they are irrelevant to the matter at hand, and to protect the identities of the parties involved. Suffice it to say that the young husband sadly turned out to be unready for marriage and commitment − and try as both sides did to have him come to his senses, all efforts on all fronts failed miserably. The young heartbroken wife was left no choice but to separate from her husband, thus plunging her ever deeper into a dark abyss. In line with his immaturity and disagreeable nature, he persisted in holding her captive, in keeping her chained in lifeless wedlock.

The good news: since the time we received the letter, its poignant message reached its mark and penetrated the heart of the father-in-law who had, to his credit, seen fit to give so much of himself in trying to save his children’s marriage and in assuaging his beloved daughter-in-law’s pain.

This shattered, yet concerned and sympathetic father/father-in-law arose from the depths of his own despair and pulled out all stops to procure a Get for his daughter-in-law − freeing her to be another father’s daughter-in-law, another young man’s wife. May this father’s compassion evoke the rachamim of our all-merciful, Father in Heaven. May He hearken to the heart-rending pleas of His children everywhere − and gather us from all corners of the globe to live in love, peace and unity in the holy city of Yerushalayim, bimheira beyameinu, amen.

A Kesiva v’Chasima Tova to our devoted readers and all of Klal Yisroel.

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities -8/11/06

Wednesday, August 9th, 2006

We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories by e-mail to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 338 Third Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215.

To all women, men or children who feel that they are at the end of their ropes, please consider joining a support group, or forming one.

Anyone wishing to make a contribution to help agunot, please send your tax deductible contribution to The Jewish Press Foundation.

Checks must be clearly specified to help agunot. Please make sure to include that information if that is the purpose of your contribution, because this is just one of the many worthwhile causes helped by this foundation.

********

Dear Readers,

As this issue hits the newsstands (in the New York area), our Hebrew calendar reveals the date to be the 15th of Av. Once upon a time, this was no ordinary day. In fact, the Mishnah describes Chamisha Assar b’Av as having been a joyous holiday like none other. Various reasons are listed for having marked it so – the most captivating detail, being the portrayal of the dancing maidens in the fields.

This enticing ritual actually took place twice a year – on Tu b’Av and on Yom Kippur afternoon. The young maidens of Jerusalem would don white dresses – all of them borrowed in order not to bring indignity upon anyone who could afford less – and they would sing and dance in a circle, beckoning the single males to choose mates from among them. The refrain would vary according to what each young woman had to offer. “Lift up your eyes and choose thoughtfully”

Those who could not lay claim to physical beauty appealed to be chosen for their aristocratic lineage, while the ones who could boast of neither would assert that “…charm is deceitful and beauty is vain; a woman who fears G-d shall be praised”

In light of the significance of Tu b’Av and the very nature of Chronicles (of Crisis), we dedicate this week’s column to the crucial cause of singles in search of their zivugim – and take pleasure in transforming this space into a “vineyard.” It is the least we can do, and hopefully others will take cue and awaken to heed this very real crisis in our midst. For each and every one of us is capable of playing a vital part in alleviating the burden of aloneness and in eternalizing the flame of our people.

The “dancers” in our small circle have been handpicked for their atypical distinctiveness (not your average 18-28 year olds in search of Mr. Right).

G.G. is an intelligent, vivacious young lady who seeks a “totally normal” young man who will “step up to the plate” in frumkeit and Yiddishkeit. She is a 5’2″ 31-year-old single who bills herself as Modern Orthodox machmir and has a lofty goal in mind: to be a devoted aishes chayil and mom par excellence.

R.P. is soft-spoken, bright and serious – albeit with a healthy sense of humor . . . and submits to seeking the self-confident, take-charge type for a mate. He needn’t be typically Yeshivish or Modern Orthodox or Chassidish – so long as he is genuinely frum and fine. This generous-natured 44-year-old single stands tall – in midos – at 5’1″.

A.A., a 29-year-old easygoing, lovely and lively accomplished young mom of two, sets her heart’s desire on no less than a “warm, caring and loving” spouse (not exceeding the age of 38). She stands at a graceful 5’6″, is divorced (amicably), and prefers a Sefardi, working/learning kind. Single/divorced/widowed/with children okay.

E.N. is a striking 5’7″ 28-year-old of Yemenite origin, whose brief (six weeks) so-called marriage was annulled. This fine-as-silk exemplar of a polished young woman is looking for her match in sensitivity and sincerity. Her zivug, she articulately contends, is a thinker and doer who is emotionally and financially stable, one who will share her joie de vivre and is able to laugh at himself. Single or divorced w/o children okay; age 28-35.

T.S. is a charismatic, single 55-year-young BT male. At 5’10″, this distinguished gentleman soars in kind-heartedness and above-average intelligence. Outgoing and engaging to boot, he is certain to offer his lucky lady “never a dull moment.” Of primary concern: that she be “a goodhearted soul and on the ball.” Widowed/divorced/with children okay.

Y.S., a 43-year-old single, serious-minded professional, will recognize his true zivug by her warmth and finesse. This dignified gent with a fun-loving side towers at 6’1″ and has both feet planted firmly on the ground. His virtuous ambition: to build a Torah-imbued loving home with a caring and affectionate life partner. Single/divorcee (to 38) who values earnestness and reliability has a chance at capturing the heart of this mentch.

Each individual – as our reading audience has just had the privilege of ascertaining – is unique in her/his own way, and yet they share a common trait: All are radiant Yiddishe neshamos. Should any of our girls/boys trigger a blip on your radar screen (if you think you may possibly know of a suitable match), please do not hesitate to write or e-mail Rachel@JewishPress.com for further information. (Serious inquiries only, please!)

Yes, you dear reader can make a huge difference. Please take some moments today to reflect upon the singles you are acquainted with and in the satisfaction (and great mitzvah) you will reap in bringing two soul mates together.

As the summer season winds down and daylight hours wane, we approach the time for introspection. It is no coincidence that Kesiva v’Chasima Tova is equal in numerical value (gematria) to Chamisha Assar b’Av. By being instrumental in effecting a shidduch – a highly meritorious deed – one is assured a good year indeed.

May our noble efforts lead to fruition!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-30/2006/08/09/

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