SUKKOT

Posted on October 13, 2011. Filed under: Brownies, Cheese, Cherries, Chocolate, Cookies, Cupcakes, Dairy, Desserts, Dinner/Supper, Ethnic Recipe, Family, Fish, Honey, Jello, Jewish, Kosher Recipe, Lemons, Menu, My Ramblings, Pears, Pineapple, Recipes, Sukkot, Sukkot Recipes, Traditions, Tried and True Recipe, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


The holiday of Sukkot begins on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei. Known in rabbinic literature as Ha-Chag–“the holiday”–the themes of Sukkot are clearly of high importance in Jewish theology.  Sadly, many Jews, including myself, really don’t celebrate it.  Perhaps we have a festive meal and perhaps we are lucky enough to be invited to eat dinner in a sukkah (open air booth) built by a friend or family member.  Or perhaps our synagogue has a communal meal to celebrate that we can take part in.  In part it is the fault of our school system here in the U.S.  In part it is the fault of today’s world.  And in part, it is the fault of our parents and/or of us.  We have to take so much time off for Rosh  Hashanah and Yom Kippur that we tell ourselves (and it is probably not far from the truth) that we will be fired if we take too much time off from our jobs, even if it is for religious reasons.  At one time employers may have been more sympathetic to our needs, but not any longer.  Our children are allowed to miss only so many days a year and here in the North that means we have to plan missed snow days.  Don’t forget that kids get sick, especially during the winter, as we adults also do.  Doctor appointments, dental appointments, “tummy ache” days, they all add up.  So how can we allow our children to take time off?  Even if we did insist they take the time off, how are they ever going to catch back up with the other kids, let alone bypass them in the race for college scholarships, let alone college admittance?  So our observance of Sukkot, the most beautiful of our holidays, and one of the most important of our holidays takes a back burner to the secular world and our secular lives.  I am glad to say that more and more people that I know do take the time to build their own personal sukkahs and take the time to celebrate.  Last year Paul and I were invited to our Cousin Susan’s sukkah along with many other people.  Susan is the hostess with the moistest and her sukkah and sukkah party were no exception.  This year we have been invited to our good friends’ The Sterns, sukkah for an intimate family dinner.  We are hoping that the weather will be with us so we can at least do the ceremonial part of the meal in the sukkah, if not have our entire meal out there beneath the stars.  I know in Kingston, my step-son-in-law and grandson are helping to build their synagogue’s sukkah and will be celebrating there with the temple family.  My mom will be going to my Aunt’s house or my cousin’s house.

The symbolism of the sukkah is a strong reminder of the dwellings of the biblical Israelites as they wandered in the desert for 40 years after the exodus from Egypt. In this manner, these temporary dwellings return us to a different time in our development and remind us of our journey to nationhood.  That answers the question “is Judaism” a nation?  Yes, in part it is.

Another symbolic definition of the sukkah is that it binds us to G-d as we recall our dependence on him for our daily needs and we celebrate all that he does for us.  We are commanded to be joyous during the whole holiday period (7 days) of Sukkot. We are told that it is a worse sin to be sad during this period than to have a sip of water on Yom Kippur.  I had no idea until I started writing this article of just how important Sukkot is in Judaism.

People take great pride in decorating their sukkah, but it is always decorated with fruits and greenery to remind us that Sukkot is a harvest holiday.  I went rummaging through the Net to find some pictures of the coolest sukkahs.  Here are some I think gives you an idea of the different types of sukkahs you can find.

This is a very basic sukkah.  I found it at the Mont Clair Jewish Organization’s website.

This picture is of a pre-fab sukkah that you can purchase.  I found this picture at Tzvee’s Talmudic Blog.

This is a great example of a sukkah decorated with fruits and greens.  Click on the photo to go to HWPS Organization’s website.

This is my favorite.  I love that it is decorated with colorful paper chains like the ones I made as a child in addition to the fruit and grains.  I was very impressed with the article on Sukkot that this photo was a part of.  Click on to the website after you finish reading my article.  This sukkah, I think is in Israel.  The website is called “Israelity.com.”

“There is also a commandment in the Torah for each person to take the fruit of a “goodly tree,” later interpreted as a fruit called an etrog (citron). Along with this fruit, one must collect certain tree branches and rejoice before God. We therefore take a palm branch and connect to it myrtle twigs and willow branches. There are beautiful narratives in rabbinic literature that discuss the symbolic images of the etrog and lulav (as the combination of the palm, myrtle, and willow is collectively known). They include parallels to the Jewish matriarchs and patriarchs as well as to the body and soul of each individual Jew.”[1]

There are other themes but my typing time is running out and I do want to share a Succot Menu and recipes with you.  For more information, click on the footnote and read the article where I found most of my information.  This menu is for a buffet meal.  The recipes are included for menu items that have an asterisk at the end of the name of the item.

DISCLAIMER:  The only photos that look like the recipes they go with are the Mandel Bread and the Russian Tea Cookies and the mini cupcakes.  Where I could, for the graphics, I attached links to them.

Just click on the picture.

SUCCOT MENU

Raisin Challah for the Blessing

Wine for the Blessing

Tossed Salad with Pomegranate Seeds

Smoked White Fish Salad purchased from a Kosher Deli or a grocery store that carries it

Egg Salad OR Deviled Eggs

Crackers

Aunt Hushie’s Salmon Balls served with Rice*

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna*

Luchshen Kugel*

Molded Fruit Salad*

Al Fuchsman’s Mandel Bread (cookies)*

Chewy Brownies*

Russian Tea Cookies*

Mini Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Chip Icing*

Coffee, Tea, Fruit Punch or Soft Drinks, Water

Aunt Hushie’s Salmon Balls

==========================

1 pound Salmon plus liquid

1 small Onion; grated

1 small Carrot; grated

2 Eggs; beaten

1/2 cup Matzah Meal OR Corn Flake Crumbs

Salt

Pepper

Dash of Nutmeg

MUSHROOM SAUCE:

1 Onion; diced and browned

1/2 cup diced, cooked Carrots & liquid

1 small can Mushrooms & Liquid

1/8 teaspoon Ginger

1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg

Salt

Pepper

3/4 cup Ketchup

3/4 cup Water

Mix salmon & liquid, small onion, small carrot, 2 eggs, matzah meal, salt, pepper and dash of nutmeg together and allow to set for 10 mins.

With WET hands, form into small balls (golf size balls), roll in crumbs and fry quickly.  Drain on paper towels.

SAUCE:

Mix together all sauce ingredients. Pour sauce into GREASED baking pan.  Place patties on sauce and heat in 350 degree oven UNCOVERED for 20-30 mins.

This is a wonderful recipe for brunches and luncheons. We have made many times and always get raves.  This was first made for us by my Aunt Hushie and it was Helen Schiller’s recipe (a friend of my Aunt’s) from my older edition of Rochester Hadassah Cookbook.  Please note that Aunt Hushie taught me to make this recipe in the large disposable aluminum 9×13-inch pans.  If you place the patties by the markings on the side of the pan, it works perfectly.  Also note that whenever my Aunt or I have made this recipe, we usually triple it.  I’ve made it for showers and other special occasions, so I think it is perfect for a dairy meal for Sukkot. ~Marilyn aka Softa123

 

 

 

Fruit Noodle Kugel          

===================

1 (16 ounce) package broad egg noodles

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1/2-1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 pound butter

2 grated Winesap apples

2 grated pears

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2-1 c. white raisins

Cook noodles in boiling salted water 25-30 minutes. Strain and rinse with cold water. Add butter to noodles and mix until melted. Add sugar,eggs, cinnamon, fruits, juices and raisins. Mix gently. Pour intogreased 9 x 13 x 2 inch Pyrex dish. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2hours, depending upon crustiness desired. Serve warm or cold.

Softa123’s aka Marilyn’s Note:  I have not tried this recipe yet, but I think it sounds perfect for Sukkot as it features pears in addition to the normal apples and raisins.  Also, what is nice about this recipe is that it is parve, so it can be eaten with either a dairy or a meat meal.

 

 

 

 

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

=========================

By: preciousmom

PRECIOUS MOM’S NOTE:  “My first try with a vegetarian lasagna.”

Prep Time: 50 Min

Cook Time: 45 Min

Ready In: 1 Hr 35 Min

Servings: 9

Ingredients

1 pound eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds

1/2 pound medium fresh mushrooms cut into 1/4 inch slices

3 small zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices

1 onion, chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 (15 ounce) container reduced-fat ricotta cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 eggs, beaten

1 (26 ounce) jar meatless spaghetti sauce

1 can of Italian diced tomatoes

12 no-boil lasagna noodles

2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

3 tablespoons minced fresh basil

Directions

Line two 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pans with foil.  Place all vegetables (except onions) in a zip lock back with the oil, salt and pepper. Shake the bag to make sure everything is coated and let sit for 5 minutes.

Place eggplant and mushrooms on a pan. Place the zucchini on the second pan. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. Turn vegetables over. Bake 15 minutes longer. Remove eggplant, onions and mushrooms.

Bake zucchini 5-10 minutes longer or until edges are browned.

Sauté onion in a skillet with olive oil. Add in the tomatoes and spaghetti sauce. Let sit for about 5 minutes.

In a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and egg substitute. Spread about 1/4 cup pasta sauce in a 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray.

Layer with four lasagna noodles (noodles will overlap slightly), half of ricotta cheese mixture, half of vegetables, a third of pasta sauce and 2/3 cup mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with half of basil. Repeat layers. Top with the remaining noodles and pasta sauce.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until edges are bubblyand cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

Molded Fruit Salad          

===================

1 pkg. lemon Jell-O

1 c. hot water

1/2 c. creamy cottage cheese

1/2 c. broken walnut meats

1/2 c. maraschino cherries, quartered

1 c. crushed pineapple, well drained

1 c. heavy cream, whipped

Dissolve gelatin in hot water; chill until partially set. Fold in cottage cheese, whipped cream, walnuts, cherries, and pineapple. Pour into pan and chill until firm. Cut in squares and serve on lettuce.

Al Fuchsman's Mandel Bread

 

Al Fuchsman’s Mandel Bread

Source:  The Washington Post, November 28, 2007

  • • Cuisine: Eastern European
  • • Course: Dessert, Snack

Summary:

“Many cultures and cuisines have their own version of this crisp bread that is eaten as a cookie. Dotty Fuchsman says her husband’s is “world famous” because they have taken it to England and Israel.
The mandel bread can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks; the Fuchsmans prefer to wrap it well and freeze it for up to 2 months.”

Makes 64 to 100 slices/cookies

Ingredients:

• 1 cup canola oil, plus more for greasing the baking sheets (optional)

• 5 cups bread flour

• 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal

• 1 cup sugar

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 2 teaspoons baking powder

• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

• 1 cup whole raw unsalted almonds, cut into 3 pieces per nut

• 3/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins

• 5 large egg whites, plus 1 whole egg

• 2 teaspoons almond extract

• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

• 1/3 cup water

• Juice of 1 medium lemon or lime (2 to 3 tablespoons)

• Cinnamon-sugar mixture, for sprinkling

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a large rimmed baking sheet with canola oil or nonstick cooking oil spray.

Combine the bread flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, almonds and dried cranberries or raisins in a large bowl.

Combine the egg whites, egg and oil in a separate bowl; blend well. Add the almond and vanilla extracts, water and citrus juice. Add to the bowl of dry ingredients; mix and knead the dough until it achieves the consistency of putty. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions and form them into bars on the baking sheet, roughly 3 inches by 12 inches by 3/4 inches thick, spaced apart so they do not touch. Bake for about 20 minutes, and then transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes; the bars will be warm and slightly set.

Meanwhile, position an oven rack 4 to 5 inches from the top broiling element and preheat the broiler. Have ready 2 large, same-size baking sheets.

Use a very sharp knife to cut the bars into 1/2-inch or 3/4-inch slices; there should be about 16 to 25 slices per bar. Working in batches, lay the bars flat on a baking sheet (about 36 should fit snugly on 1 sheet) and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Toast under the broiler for 5 to 8 minutes or until the edges are brown and the sugar has melted. Remove from the oven and carefully place a second baking sheet on top of the toasted slices. Use oven mitts to hold the sheets together and carefully flip over; remove the top baking sheet so that the untoasted second sides of the slices are exposed. Sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture and return to broil for 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer the slices to a wire rack to cool thoroughly; the slices should be crisp.

Original Recipe Source:

From Annandale resident Al Fuchsman.

Nutritional Information:

66 calories, 3g fat, 0g saturated fat, 2mg cholesterol, 35mg sodium, 8g carbohydrates, 0g dietary fiber, n/a sugar, 1g protein.

I love brownies...all kinds of brownies!

Chewy Brownies

==============

Ingredients:

6 medium eggs, beaten

3 cups of sugar

2-1/4 cups of flour

1 cup of melted margarine

6 tablespoons of cocoa

2 teaspoons of vanilla

1-1/2 teaspoons of salt

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 large packet of walnuts, broken

Preparation Instructions:

Combine the melted margarine, cocoa, and the sugar.  Add the six beaten eggs.

Mix together the flour, salt and baking powder and add to other mixture.  Add the vanilla and broken walnuts.

Bake in a greased and floured 18*12 inch jelly roll pan at 375°F (190°C) for 20 minutes.

Russian Tea Cookies...Yummy in my tummy!

Russian Tea Cookies

===================

1/2 cup Vegetable Shortening

2 cups Flour

4 tablespoons Sugar

1/2 cup Butter OR Margarine

2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

1-1/2 cups Nuts; ground

Confectionary Sugar

Cream shortening, margarine and sugar. Add vanilla extract, flour and nuts. Form little balls of dough with teaspoon of batter. Place on UNGREASED cookie sheets.

Bake 30 minutes at 300 degrees. After cooling for 15 minutes, roll balls in confectionery sugar.

Makes 4 1/2 dozen cookies.

SOFTA123’S AKA MARILYN’S NOTE:  These are delicious and addictive!!  I  first made this recipe for my eldest nephew, Dov’s, Bar Mitzvah. That was About 15 years ago if I did the math correctly, and I’ve been making them ever since.  I do suggest doubling the recipe.  You won’t regret it!  This is one of my all-time favorite cookies!  Recipe came from the “Rochester Hadassah Cookbook.”

 

I have to try this recipe, don't you?

Mini Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Chip Icing

 

“Simple, two ingredient recipe”.

 

1 box spice cake mix
1 15 oz. can pure pumpkin

Mix both ingredients together thoroughly and fill mini cupcake liners almost to the top. These cupcakes will not rise that much and will not shape naturally. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, checking with the toothpick test.

For the icing:

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar, as needed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. cinnamon
4 oz. Hershey’s cinnamon chips, melted and cooled

Whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping the bowl when necessary. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and add the vanilla, honey, and cinnamon mixing until incorporated. Add the melted cinnamon chips and whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. Then, ice the cupcakes!

Sprinkle with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.

Source: http://www.sprinklemassacre.com/2011/10/06/mini-pumpkin-spice-cupcakes/

NOTE FROM SOFTA123:  I apologize for not posting this article sooner but real life interrupted.  I hope that this will not happen again, but I know better than to say never!



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