Rosh Hashana is fast approaching. As the chef for the yeshiva, I need to be ready to serve four holiday meals for 200 people and they need to be good. And I don't mean maybe. Here is how I get ready.

  1. Deadline and commitment.
  2. Plan. I take some time and look at what I did last year. Decide what I will keep on the menu and decide what new dishes I'm going to prepare. Only one or two new dishes so preparation doesn't become unmanageable.
  3. Discuss the menu with family or friends. See how they like it, consider their suggestions.
  4. Make a list of everything that I will need. Shop early.
  5. Make a plan. Do a little bit each day. Make a schedule. Be realistic. Get help. You can't do it alone. Finish early, allow for the unexpected.
  6. Put it into action. Don't procrastinate.
  7. Evaluate. Take a step back. Make adjustments if necessary.
  8. Serve it. Tablecloths, china, silverware, crystal and flowers. Take pleasure and enjoy.

You can follow my plan for your own personal preparations for Rosh Hashana – not just for preparing the food, but spiritual preparation – and you'll be ready for the High Holidays.

My mother used to make carrot tzimmes and potato kugel.

Carrot Tzimmes

  • 8 large carrots cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar or honey
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsps. Margarine
  • 3 tbsps. Flour

Place carrots in saucepan. Cover with water. Cook carrots until almost tender. Add salt, sugar, lemon juice, and simmer 20 minutes. Melt margarine, add to flour and add to carrots.

Distribute evenly into baking pans or brown under broiler. Pour potato kugel (recipe to follow) over and bake at 300°F for 2 hours.

Reb Baruch's Potato Kugel

  • 4.5 lbs. potatoes
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/5 cup chicken soup mix
  • 1/2 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. white pepper

Wash the potatoes and grate them (I don't peel them. Place in water and drain again. Add all the ingredients. Bake at 300°F for 2 hours or pour over carrot tzimmes and bake at 300°F for 2 hours.

Garlic Soup

  • 5 heads of garlic
  • 2 small boxes of mushrooms
  • 1 onion chopped
  • olive oil
  • a little margarine
  • 2 medium carrots grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup pareve cream

Peel and halve garlic. Saute garlic in oil and margarine with onions. Add mushrooms and carrots. Add 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Lower the flame and add the creamer and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Judy's Peppers

  • 1 each red, yellow, orange and green pepper, cut into large strips
  • 1 tsp. rosemary
  • 1 tsp. coarse pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar

Roast or fry garlic. Combine all the other ingredients. Mix with peppers. Marinate 1 hour, more or less, and serve.

Roasted Salmon with Nectarine Salsa

  • 2 firm nectarines halved, pitted, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 chili pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsps. minced fresh mint
  • 2 tsps. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 4 6-oz. salmon fillets with skin

Combine first 6 ingredients. Season salsa with salt and pepper. Wrap and chill.

Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper. Place skin side down on a baking pan. Bake until salmon is opaque in the center, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a plate, top with salsa and serve.

Eye of Rib Roast

  • 4-5 lb. eye of rib roast
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup mustard
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • salt and pepper

Mix ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Spread over the top of the roast. Bake 30 minutes covered, the rest of the time uncovered, using a meat thermometer to tell you when it is done.

My Daughter Adina's Plum Pie

DOUGH

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Combine all the ingredients. Spread in a large pie dish.

FILLING

  • 750 gr. plums sliced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsps. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract

Mix all the ingredients except almonds. Pour into pie crust. Bake at 350°F for 45 min. to one hour.