Dates – תמרים

Date in Hebrew is תמרים related to the word תם—to end, and so on that note we make the following request when eating this symbolic date:

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ ה’ אֱלֹהינוּ וֵאלֵֹהי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, שֶׁיִּתַּמּוּ אוֹיְבֵינוּ וְשׂוֹנְאֵינוּ וְכָל מְבַקְשֵׁי רָעָתֵנוּ

May it be Your will, Lord our G-d and the G-d of our fathers, that there come an end to our enemies, haters and those who wish evil upon us.

So having this in mind, here are two recipes for how to serve up your war-ending dates this year!

Dolci Datteri

Dolci Datteri – Sweet Stuffed Dates

Makes 24 dates

Ingredients:

24 pitted dates
½ cup chopped, toasted pine nuts (or nut of your choice)
6 tablespoons red wine
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper (optional)
½ cup honey

Directions:

Stuff dates with chopped nuts in the empty cavity left by removing the pit. Place the dates in a medium sized sauté pan. Sprinkle with pepper if desired. Add wine, and then drizzle honey over the dates. Cook over a medium heat until the skins begin to peel off the fruit. Transfer the dates to a serving dish, and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Angels on Camels

Devils on Horseback – Angels on Camels?

This recipe originally called for the use of bacon, but I’ve switched it up with the use of deli meat instead, and re-named them Angels on Camels rather than Devils!

Makes 20 dates

Ingredients:

20 wooden toothpicks
¼ cup reduced-sodium or regular soy sauce
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¾ cup brown sugar
20 dates, pitted
20 whole smoked or roasted almonds
10 thin slices of turkey or beef pastrami, cut in half to make strips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Soak the toothpicks in a bowl of water (so they don’t burn in the oven). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce and ginger. In a separate shallow bowl place the brown sugar. Spread open the pitted date, and stuff each one with an almond. Wrap a strip of the pastrami around the date and then secure in place with a toothpick. Dip the bundle in the soy mixture and then into the brown sugar, and then place on the prepared baking dish. Repeat this process with each of the dates. If desired, sprinkle a little more brown sugar over all of the bundles. Bake in the preheated oven until the pastrami is brown and crisp, about 15 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes before serving; serve warm or at room temperature.

New Year’s Countdown – 9 Days To Go!

Rosh Hashana

It’s that time of year again! No, not to get your spot early at Time’s Square, but to prepare for the Jewish High Holidays and the non-stop cycle of prayer services and eating! This year, Rosh HaShanah falls out on a Wednesday evening, meaning that it will go directly into Shabbat. This means more and more cooking ahead of time, and no breaks between the bounty of the New Year and the Shabbat meals! Ladies and gentlemen… loosen your belts, pop your antacid of choice, and get your celebration started!

One of the ways we celebrate is by eating symbolic foods that promote blessings, health and well being throughout the year. Some of theses are Dates, Apples and Honey, Small Beans, Beets, Leeks, Gourd/Squash, Pomegranate, Fish Heads (or Lamb for the brave!), and a new fruit on the second night of the holiday. Each day I’m going to give you some neat ideas on how to switch up serving these tasty treats. But don’t be limited by the ingredients listed above! Get creative! One year, someone served Celery; so that we’d be blessed to merit a raise in our “Salary”. Use different languages, play on words. Just remember that it’s so that we should merit blessings and well being throughout the year, for our families, our people and and the world around us. Amen!