Thursday, September 25, 2014

Chatter 53 Rosh Hashannah 5775 (Everywhere!) 24/09/2014

On the 24th of September, with the appearance of the third star, the Jewish New Year, 5775, began.
It's a time of celebration and, to some extent a time of reflection symbolized by the blowing of the Shofar, a hollowed out rams horn. This is to remind us to wake up and mend our ways. 
The table looked magnificent.
This festive meal, with family and friends, starts with apple dipped in honey as a symbol of the sweet times ahead for the New Year 

and usually featuring pomegranite as some part of the meal. The pomegranite is a symbol of ririghteousness supposedly having 631 seeds - the number of commandments in the Torah.
We celebrated with a semi traditional banquet, a quite memorable meal. After a glass of champagne

candles were lit, and the usual prayers blessing the wine and the bread, a round chulla to symbolize the endlessness of time each year ending and the new year beginning,

the meal began.
We started with a smorgasbord to die for.
Air dried beef and smoked tongue with a creamed horseradish sauce.

Gravalax with a mustard dill sauce.

Smoked duck.

Stuffed eggs.

Fish cakes (Gefilte fish)

served with horseradish

A humus dip
Tehina (Chic pea) dip

A cabbage salad

Carrot and diacon salad

And a carrot salad
And a cheese plate
This was followed by the more traditional chicken soup and kneidle (Matza balls)

Before we got to the main courses

Fillet steak, cooked sous vide at 57 degrees for an hour,

 with mushroom sauce,  

Frica salad, the recipe is from George Calombarous's Hellenic Republic, which included pine nuts and pomegranite.

 served with Greek yoghurt
Roasted eggplant
A saffron rice and nuts

Chicken fesenjan, a Persian chicken and walnut stew. It did not look photogenic but the taste was wonderful.

and a pea and beef stew
Dessert, caramel oranges and cream filled brandy snaps

Two wonderful cakes
An American traditional red velvet cake

and a chocolate hazelnut cake

rounded of the meal with tea and coffee.

No we didn't make all these fabulous dishes ourselves. Guests contributed handsomely. I can say that every dish was near perfect. Nothing could have been better.
We also enjoyed two excellent wines, as well as the traditional sweet King David kosher wine at the start of the meal.
Richard Hamiltons Centurion shiraz a deep dense red with ruby highllghts described on the web as a
 "Full ripe and superbly varietal Shiraz highlighted with integrated French oak to show cedar, vanilla and mocha characters" and a "Full bodied palate of great length, but tempered with fine, long tannins to give finesse, elegance and style".
and a smooth aromatic Oscar Semmler Lynedoch 2009 Barossa Shiraz, an aromatic dense ruby red, wonderfully well structured and flavoursome with hints of red fruits, currants and bold mocha/chocolate.
I know there was more to eat than that but, except for the ice cream, I can not recall what, after all it was two days ago! 
As a reminder here is a sample of the entrees.
Some meals are to die for, this one was a double whammy - to die for and from. We don't score dinners at home BUT if we did - several hats please.

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