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Happy New Year

It is 5774 already? Where does the time go! Such a great time of year. A new year -Rosh Hashanah - a change of season and school starts. Even my birthday is in autumn - a new cycle begins.

Our little hipster started school this morning! Lunch box in hand, rockin' green & yellow "GO DUCK" crocs... Lisa and Lenny took Leo to his first morning of three-mornings-per-week preschool. 

Leo has been taking "Mommy & Me" music, tumbling, etc., at his school for over a year, so was in a familiar place with many familiar faces. After watching him for a while, and realizing he was comfortable in his new classroom, Lisa and Lenny thought it would be fine for them to make their exit. They told Leo they were going home and he started crying. They felt terrible - until they realized Leo thought HE was leaving as well. Leo didn't even look back at his parents when they walked out the door. Adjusted.

Grandpa and I will be down in Los Angeles in a few days to celebrate the new year with the kids and we will get to take Leo to school one morning. We can't wait!

The traditional braided Challah (pronounced HALL-ah) loaf served weekly at Shabbat, is formed into a circular turban or braid for the new year - to symbolize the cycle of a year. Often the bread is a bit sweeter this week (for a sweet new year) and some bakers add raisins as well.

Another tradition is to eat apples and honey - again to symbolize a sweet year ahead.

Our appetizer/salad tonight was rolled smoked salmon slices, baby heirloom tomatoes and sweet & sour artichoke hearts... drizzled with a dill-infused vinaigrette. 

I didn't want to prepare my usual Rosh Hashanah brisket for only two. I wanted something sweet and savory. Something middle-eastern or Israeli, but could not find a recipe for exactly what I wanted - so made one up.

I browned chicken thighs (in a heavy Dutch oven) in olive oil and removed them to a plate. Then an onion was sauteed in the remaining oil, and basmati rice, spices, nuts and raisins were added with stock, orange juice and wine. The chicken thighs were nestled back inside the rice mixture and the entire casserole was covered and finished in the oven.

Though the results were just wonderful, I will perfect make this dish a few more times before I post the recipe... but look for it soon.

The combination was a perfect representation of symbolic Rosh Hashanah foods.

Dave and I wish you all a Very Happy New Year!

Until my next update, I remain, your Rosh Hashanah correspondent.