It’s only a few days left until I celebrate the Jewish festival Rosh Hashanah and bring in the Jewish New Year, surrounded by friends and family, filled with lots of sweetness and deliciousness. I’ve always grown up loving this festival as it’s a special time for everyone to get together and bring in the New Year. Since a young child, I’ve always spent most of it in the kitchen cooking alongside my Mum and Grandma, it’s a family tradition. As we enter into autumn and say goodbye to the summer months I know this festival is well and truly on its way. I don’t know what it is about this holy day but I get a unique feeling inside and often say to my Mum I can smell Rosh Hashanah in the air. It’s a family tradition for everyone to celebrate this festival at my parents’ house, and with our immediate family already on the lead up there’s lots of honey cake perfecting this week to ensure that the honey cake comes out the best ever.
Rosh Hashanah falls at a different time of year, commonly during the month of September. This year it’s particularly early, which is a blessing as we are often graced with beautiful sunshine to bring extra happiness to the beginning of the New Year. We might even be lucky to spend the relaxation time after our feast in the garden.
This year I’ve teamed up with @marksandspencer to ensure that my table is filled with wonderful tasting ingredients and decorated with beautiful seasonal flowers.
I don’t know if I’ve been living under a rock but I’ve recently discovered candy floss grapes! It baffles me each time I pop one in my mouth, closing my eyes, tasting that sickly-sweet, theme park childhood nostalgia. As we have lots of people over for Rosh Hashanah and a large handful of youngsters, I want the table to be overflowing with natural sweetness. This year, my table is decorated predominantly with apples and white roses in vases. Not only do I have an abundance of pomegranates to represent the 613 mitzvot and an authentic apple scented room spray (which I’ve also sprayed on my floral arrangements for that extra sweetness) but lashings of honey waiting to be dipped into by either apple slices or challah. I like the table to be overflowing and edible ingredients and this year I’m using my famous honey cake recipe to make honey bee cupcakes. I’ve also placed them in adorable silicone flower pots to create excitement for the children. For me, this festival is all about sweetness so I’m making sure our offering for Rosh Hashanah is filled with a plentiful amount of it.
A couple of my favourite recipes will be served and nothing beats a simple winning recipe combined with some fundamental ingredients to make this festival special. My Salmon with Honey & Soy and Pomegranate is always a firm favourite amongst our guests, thus I cannot wait to share the recipe with you. You’ll be sure to find everything available in store from Marks and Spencer.
And now staring us in the face is autumn… You can find an abundance of produce on offer in Marks and Spencer from Piccolini Vine, Santini & Sweet Rosso Tomatoes, Plums, Apples and Blackberries bursting with juiciness to the crisp crunch of a new season apple and simply delicious squashes! I’m not quite ready to let go of the summery feeling so I’m still experimenting with salads during our festive season. I will also be serving up some of my all-time favourite recipes: Tzimmes, a combination of Maris Piper Potatoes and Carrots, this is an heirloom recipe handed down from generation to generation, served with my Mum’s famous Chicken with Onions & Carrots and her irresistible Meatballs. As we begin to approach the colder months, a small reminder that this does not need to equal bad food choices; aim to embrace nourishing and healthy food choices whatever the weather. As with anything, it’s about learning and embracing a healthy relationship to food and with the abundance of fresh produce on offer, we truly have choice.
If you’re not celebrating the festival in your own home and you’re looking for gifts, you could make your own! Purchase some jars of honey, either Pure Acacia Honey with Honeycomb, Manuka or Acaia with Mixed Whole Nuts and combine with Apples and Belgian Chocolate Truffles for a sweet and indulgent treat. Or to make life easier, purchase an Orchid Hamper for £25 from Marks & Spencer filled with Chocolates & Orchids.
And don’t forget if you’re in need of sprucing up your table decorations, Marks & Spencer have an abundance of fantastic crockery and tableware on offer. I made a trip to their store in London Colney as they have a vast selection of homeware available and as they say, say goodbye to the old and bring in the new!