Round-Up: Thanksgiving and what the world needs now

tomato-salad-nosherium-thanksgiving-2016-round-up

This year for Thanksgiving, I have a round-up of poignant stories, timely anecdotes, and Thanksgiving recipes in the flavors of the world. First up? My first memories of this, most welcoming of American holidays.

 

tomato-salad-nosherium-thanksgiving-2016-round-up

 

My first Thanksgiving was in first grade. As I have mentioned before, my family are immigrants who never really adopted Thanksgiving, so my school experience was absolutely formative. Together, newly arrived and American-born, white, black, and asian, Russian and Israeli, we learned about Thanksgiving. We churned our own butter, and ate it on cornbread, listened to the child-friendly version of the Thanksgiving story and watched Molly’s Pilgrim, as short film based on a book written by a Russian Jewish immigrant. To this day, just thinking of the film makes me tear up – the bullying, the loneliness, and the eventual realization that her family are also part of Thanksgiving. The moral of the story is that there are pilgrims in every generation, coming to the United States in search of freedom and a better life. And that together, all of us – immigrants, descendants of immigrants, and Native Americans – are what makes America great.

Continue Reading

Rosh HaShanah Cheese Board With Apples and Honey

Nosherium Rosh HaShanah Cheese Board with Nude Bee Buckwheat Honey

There’s nothing more festive than a collection of beautiful cheeses, fruit, and honey. I love cheese. Seriously. The way I screened caterers for our wedding was by asking them what they could do for a couple that really loves cheese. We ended up going with the chef who said “Oh, we can make a cheese extravaganza!” I also love how easy it is to prepare a beautiful centerpiece cheese board without fussing around with cooking, baking, or excessive chopping.  No fuss, no muss!

 

Nosherium Rosh HaShanah Cheese Plate with Nude Bee Buckwheat Honey

 

There are many, many, too many articles about building a cheese plate. It starts getting overwhelming and a little too esoteric – get a mix of textures! one of each type of milk! have special pairings for each cheese! Good grief. If you need a primer from an absolute cheese expert, check out Madame Fromage’s post.

 

One of my favorite techniques is so simple – decide on a type of milk and explore the breadth of those cheeses. In this case, I chose goat cheeses because I love how they pair with crisp apples and unique, dark honey like Nude Bee’s buckwheat honey. When Nude Bee reached out offering to send me some of their single-varietal honey for Rosh HaShanah, I checked out their website and the first thing I fixated on was the buckwheat honey. I was delighted when it was included in my gift box!

 

I chose these three goat cheeses at my local cheese shop:

  • Chabichou – a little wrinkle-rinded cylinder with a creamy but not spreadable interior
  • Chèvre D’Argental – a supremely creamy, runny brie-style cheese with a soft rind
  • Benning Goat Gouda – a young, mild, firm but not hard wedge of dutch goodness.

 

Nosherium Rosh HaShanah Cheese Plate with Nude Bee Buckwheat Honey

 

The venue for this party is your choice of board. I used a gorgeous marble board because it gives me lots of space to spread out, but I have successfully served cheeses on wood cutting boards, slate tiles, stoneware and porcelain plates and platters, etc. A warning – pre-slice hard cheeses to avoid having too sharp a knife in the middle of the action. Any cheese that can’t be cut with a normal dinner knife is, in my opinion, a little too hard for the center of a board.

 

You’ll need some interesting apples to go with your tasty cheese and beautiful honey! I like Mutsu (also called Crispin) for their lovely freckled pale green skin and perfectly crisp texture. They sometimes have a bit of russet on the stem end – a little bit of darker, rougher skin. I enjoy their textural contrast and balanced sweetness a lot. The other apple I used for this cheese plate was a lovely red and yellow-skinned Jonathan – tart and firm – just right for dipping in honey or topping with cheese.

 

Nosherium Rosh HaShanah Cheese Plate with Nude Bee Buckwheat Honey

 

Cheeses, especially soft gloopy ones like the chèvre d’argental need a vehicle. You can definitely use apple slices, but some crackers are welcome too. I used Mary’s Gone Crackers for a gluten-free, kosher, nut-free option as well as La Panzanella Rosemary Minis.

 

If you feel inclined, add some pomegranate seeds for a festive touch, but be prepared for people to get really keen about finding every single aril! Add some olives if you want, or some pickled green beans. Make sure you have little napkins/serviettes because people are going to get messy! There you have it, a delicious appetizer, dessert, or snack with maximum wow for your effort buck!

Have a very fruitful, sweet, creamy, and funky new year!

The Cheater’s Braise and New Year Honey Braised Chicken

Nosherium Nude Bee Honey Braised Chicken

Last year, I put together several recipe roundups for Rosh HaShanah and the High Holy Days. In those posts, I showcased the traditional symbolic foods – apples and honey, squash, long beans, fish, pomegranate, etc. This year, I’m bringing you recipes using many of those symbolic foods and my approach to holiday cooking – preparing beautiful tasty food well ahead of time with excellent ingredients and minimal fuss. My Chai-Spiced Honey Cake is the perfect example – bake it in advance and freeze it!

As it happened, Nude Bee Honey contacted me, offering to send me a gift set of four of their single-varietal honeys for the new year. What could be better than showcasing beautiful honey for Rosh HaShanah?

 

Nosherium Nude Bee Honey Grapes

Continue Reading

Chai-Spiced Honey Cake

Nosherium Chai-Spice Honey Cake Loaves

Rosh HaShanah is upon us once again! The Jewish New Year begins Sunday October 2nd at sundown, and I just can’t wait to celebrate!

 

This is my first new year as a married lady, my second as a food blogger, my third living in the Bay Area, my fourth since moving back to the USA from Israel. My husband and I are hosting a dinner for the first night of the holiday, starting the new year with dear friends, good food, and a damn fine playlist.

 

Like a every Jewish holiday, there are traditional foods to be had – apples dipped in honey for a sweet and fruitful new year, long green beans and leeks, crown-like pumpkin or other golden squashes, new fruits, the list goes on. Check out my curated recipe roundup posts from last year for lots of inspiration – Meaty, Pescatarian (that’s SF foodie for fish), Vegetarian, and Desserts.

 

My personal must-have dishes are as follows:

Continue Reading