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Rosh HaShanah 5775

It’s Monday. Rosh HaShanah starts Wednesday night. Not only is the deadline very close, but this also means that it’s a Thursday-Friday holiday. Since the next day is Shabbat, that makes it a 3-day Yom Tov. Which means planning and cooking six festive meals. For those with large families or many guests at all meals, that’s 6 Thanksgiving level meals. To be repeated twice more in a month.

This is why Orthodox Jewish cooks think Thanksgiving is a breeze.

I’m not at that level. But we do have four guests at two meals, and even meals for just the two of us take planning because holiday cooking has restrictions. And if you forgot to get something you need for Friday, you’re out of luck.

First step is planning. I like using pen and paper and making a grid for each meal.


(Notebook page with horizontal rules turned on its side. Four rough columns labeled Wed, Thurs, Fri and Sh, each with a horizontal line. Illegible words in six of the squares.)

Top square is lunch, bottom is dinner. I fill the approximate menu for each meal, plus anything special like the first night’s apples and honey.

From that, I get my shopping list. I know what goes into my dishes. If I was trying something new, I’d write the recipe to make sure I had the ingredients.

This take 20 minutes tops and saves so many problems.

I saw a hint the other day about dividing up the advance cooking per day – veggies, starch, meat. That made a lot of sense, so I’m doing that. Today is the veggies I’m making in advance – butternut squash soup and roasted Brussels sprouts. I’m making other veggies more last minute.

The soup is a lazy adaptation of my normal one, which involves roasting everything and making a stock out of the skin and seeds. It’s delicious.

I’m simmering pre-cut squash with cubed pears and two peeled fingers of ginger in a quart of low sodium vegetable stock and water to cover. I’m waiting for a grocery delivery. When it arrives, I’ll add a chopped onion and simmer it longer. When it’s done and cool, I’ll puree it, strain it and correct the seasoning. Serving it with pumpkin seeds.

I’ll peel and  halve the Brussels sprouts and roast them. They’re really good room temp. But I’m waiting for them, too.

Edit: groceries arrived. Added the onion to the soup.


(Description – pot of soup with large chunks of orange squash and white onions)

I will puree this on Wednesday, add a touch of vinegar and correct seasonings.


(Description – cookie sheet of dark and light green Brussels sprouts cut in half)

Roasted sprouts smell yummy.

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