Thursday, September 13, 2007

Shana Tova

If you were here, I would feed you apples and honey.

Actually, I would also attempt to feed you kugel.

Every so often, in late September, I get the urge to make kugel. Apple kugel. When I check the calendar, it's invariably in or near the High Holy Days of the Jewish calendar. (Early this year by the Gregorian calendar.)

I am used to my Jewish cultural roots coming out in the Spring, at Pesach. It somewhat takes me by surprise when it happens in the fall, since I didn't grow up celebrating Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur.

But, every so often, in late September, I get the urge to make kugel.

As a Witch, this doesn't surprise me too much. Apples are such a fall food, and the early local apples are starting to arrive at the Farmer's Market. Kugel is comfort food, and it's noticeably darker, earlier; the days are getting shorter, more quickly, these days; and over the last few days here in southeastern Michigan, it's also gotten chilly, with lows in the 40s F at night, and highs in the 60s F during the day. And the urge to cook also makes sense to me from both a Pagan and a Jewish perspective.

And so I have been craving kugel.

I've had a music-filled evening while cooking: Broadside Electric, disappear fear, Juliet Spitzer, Hugh Blumenfeld, music from our wedding. There's a an apple-noodle kugel in the oven, with traditionally mishmash ingredients and spices: apples, egg noodles, cottage cheese, dried apricots, sugar, pecans, ginger, cloves, lemon juice, etc.

So I wish you shana tova, a good new year, a sweet new year; and if you were here, I would offer you kugel.


Anonymous said...

Now I want apple kugel too! -and I was Roman Catholic-in a town with a big strong Jewish community!
Ann Coakley, a cookin' quagan

Ben Newman said...

Oh, there you are — with a blog and everything!

Out of curiosity, do your Jewish cultural roots include Sukkot? Growing up, I was aware of it, but we didn't celebrate it at home at all. Over the last few years, I've explored the themes of Sukkot in song and gotten more of a feel for the holiday, but this is the first year I'm planning to build my own sukkah. Coincidentally, it's also the first year I've gotten most of my vegetables from a CSA farm — somehow an appropriate time to enter more fully into a harvest festival.

I'm curious because Sukkot is very much the "pagan" sort of Jewish holiday that I feel would be a good fit for what I know of your spirituality.

staśa said...

Yes, here I am. :) Glad you found this blog!

Although our neighbors observed Sukkot when I was growing up, we didn't. I was just starting to discover it through feminist Jewish Pagan friends (Otter & Elliott) before I left Philly. Jen or Nif, do you have anything to add? Ben, I think you're right.


staśa said...

Ann -- Good to see you here! - Stasa