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Spertus Closed for Rosh Hashanah

Spertus Closed for Rosh Hashanah

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 to Friday, September 26, 2014

For Rosh Hashanah, Spertus will close at 3 pm
Wednesday, September 24
 and will be closed all day
Thursday and Friday, September 25 and 26.

Rosh Hashanah, which translates from Hebrew as “head of the year,” is the Jewish New Year and the commemoration of the birth of mankind. It is a time for joy, reflection, and new beginnings. This year Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the year 5775.

From all of us at Spertus, l'shanah tovah, a good year!

Why do we eat apples and honey on Rosh Hashanah?

Apples and honey represent two different kinds of "sweetness" in our lives. The first type comes from moments that are naturally sweet: holidays, life milestones, or being around family and friends. These moments are naturally sweet, just like apples. The second kind of "sweetness" comes from overcoming challenges: finishing a work project, making amends with an old friend, or taking care of a sick child. These moments seem painful at first, but later become occasions to celebrate, just like how bees (with their painful stings) go on to produce deliciously sweet honey!

Chef Laura Frankel is Executive Chef for Spertus Kosher Catering Featuring Cuisine by Wolfgang Puck. She’s the author of the Chosen Bites column in the Jerusalem Post and is a passionate teacher. She has made it her creative mission to reimagine and revitalize the diverse and delicious traditions of Jewish cooking.

It's our pleasure to share one of her recipes to get 5775 off to a sweet start:

Apple and Honey Pies with Thyme and Lavender
Yields 4 individual mini-pies

2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) cold non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening cut into ½-inch cubes
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
8-10 tablespoons cold water

Preheat oven to 325° F.

To make mini pies, you will need four 8-oz. ramekins or oven-safe teacups.
1. Whisk dry ingredients together. With a pastry blender, fork, or your fingertips, cut in shortening until you have pea-sized chunks.
2. Add vanilla and vinegar to 6 tablespoons of the water. Mix to combine, and add to the flour mixture. Begin mixing and bringing dough together by hand. Add more water as needed. (You may not need all of the water.) Be careful not to overwork the dough. You want to be able to see the blobs of shortening.
3. Divide dough into 2 disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll chilled disks into two ¼-inch thick ovals. Cut out four 6-inch circles and line each cup. You should have an approximately 1-inch overhang.
5. Chill for 30 minutes. Place cups on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.

Apples and Honey Filling
½ cup wildflower honey
1 teaspoon dried lavender flowers
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon corn meal
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup canola oil
3 large eggs
1 egg yolk
1 cup prepared unsweetened apple sauce
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Powdered sugar for dusting
Fresh lavender flowers

1. Place the honey, lavender, and thyme leaves in a small pot. Place over low heat and cook until honey just bubbles. Turn off heat and allow honey to infuse for 15 minutes. Strain, discarding lavender and thyme.
2. Whisk sugar, flour, corn meal, and salt together.
3. Add oil, eggs, egg yolk, apple sauce, lemon, and infused honey. Whisk everything together.
4. Pour filling into the prebaked pie shells. Bake for 20 minutes until slightly puffed and golden. The filling should be set, but still jiggly.
5. When cooled completely, dust each pie with powdered sugar and fresh lavender flowers.

Shofar, So Good

Did you know? The blowing of the shofar horn has specific requirements. Exactly 100 notes are blown each day of Rosh Hashanah. To learn more, check out this visual guide to the Rosh Hashanah shofar blasts from Joyful Jewish.  

Shofar, So Good! Use this fun and funky origami shofar to set on the table as a place-card or decoration or glue to the front of a Rosh Hashanah greeting cards. So simple even the kids can do it!