So my friend, Mandi Friedman, the owner/manager of Indulgence Cafe in Northcliff, invited us to her Rosh Hashanah dinner. She has been concerned at the recent onslaught of anti-semeticism which has arisen in recent months with the Israel/Gaza tensions. She decides to have open house (at the restaurant) for those who are interested. I was interested. I thought there might be a lot of speechifying, but there was none.
We began with prayers, the blessing of the wine and the apples and honey and wishes for a sweet New Year. I had been warned that this could be long. It was brief. One of of the most touching moments was when the leader of the prayers got the two Hebrew prayers for the apples mixed up and those who were following corrected him. This wasn’t just going through the motions, but was a meaningful ceremony.
The food was traditional Jewish cuisine and I got to taste chopped herring, Danish herring, chopped liver (very much like liver pate), salads and other fish and meat dishes as a starter before moving on to either Jewish Chicken Soup with Matzo balls or borscht served cold with sour cream. I chose the latter. I am definitely going to make some of this myself this coming summer. I am a fan.
The challah is like the usual braided Sabbath bread, but has raisins and is baked in a round to symbolise eternity. Mandi bakes her own.
This was followed by roast chicken and roast lamb with mint sauce and sweet carrots and peas. Dessert followed. Traditionally the apples and honey theme is repeated in the dessert, with apple pie and icecream being the main thing, although there were several other varieties of cake and fruit and icecream.
Rosh Hashanah fell on Heritage Day (24 September 2014) and it was certainly a great privilege to be invited to share a different heritage for a change, one which is not usually open to the general public. I thank Mandi Friedman and her mother and other relatives for making this special event possible.