Guest blog by Dana Shapiro
Lauren, who is part of our team, knows Dana from Drake University. Lauren and Dana have fond memories from Drake where they attended International Cultural Festivals, often dined out, and had late night conversations. Dana, a Minnesota native, graciously put together a piece for us about the Jewish holidays. Dana, the floor is yours…
Every year as the summer heat draws to a close, the leaves transition from shades of green to red, orange and yellow, and the cool autumn crisp is in the air, I know the Jewish holidays are right around the corner.
Rosh Hashanah, Hebrew for the ‘Jewish New Year’, and Yom Kippur, translates to the ‘Day of Atonement’, are the two High Holy Days in the Jewish calendar. I’ll admit, it’s nice having two chances to make new years resolutions. The first chance is on January 1, and the second is on Rosh Hashanah. Unlike the set date of January 1, the Rosh Hashanah holiday can occur anytime between the beginning of September and end of October (the date adjusts with the Jewish calendar).
Just as Fall means new beginnings with “back to school” for some, I too find it a time for transition where we reflect on the past year and we look ahead to the upcoming year. Between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we are encouraged to ask for forgiveness from those we have wronged and do Mitzvot (good deeds).
Throughout this time, during the day, we gather in the synagogue alongside family and friends to welcome in the Jewish New Year – 5773. We gather together and pray that we will again be inscribed in the “Book of Life.”
At night, we have family gatherings to celebrate the holidays together. We drink wine, and we eat traditional Jewish foods like challah (braided bread), matzah balls soup, kugel, and potato knishes, just to name a few. There always seems to be an abundance of food, accompanied by laughter and good times all around.
This year my parents hosted one of the dinners. My sister and I invited some friends, who moved to Minneapolis without family, to celebrate with us. My sister makes this great sweet and nutty kugel recipe with a twist, and it’s quickly becoming a family favorite. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we do…
Serves: 10-12 people
1 ½ sticks (¾ cup) salted butter or margarine
¾ cup dark brown sugar
1 cup pecans, halved
1 pound wide noodles
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1. Melt half the butter in a 12-cup mold or tube pan. Swirl it around the bottom and up the sides.
2. Press the brown sugar into the bottom and press the pecans into the sugar.
3. Boil the noodles according to the package directions and then drain. Mix with the eggs, the remaining butter, melted, cinnamon, sugar, and salt and pour into the mold.
4. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the top is brown. Let sit for 15 minutes before unmolding. The top will become slightly hard like a praline. Serve cold or at room temperature.
It is so meaningful to be able to celebrate the holidays together, as we honor our family’s traditions from the past and create our own for the future.