This Year, I’m Celebrating Rosh Hashanah with My Favorite Game Day Food
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Rosh Hashanah, which means “head of the year,” is the Jewish New Year. Just like secular New Year, we reflect on the past and resolve to improve in the future, but with more repenting and less champagne. It’s fun, I swear!
Growing up, we rarely attended synagogue but the High Holidays, which start with Rosh Hashanah, were the main event. It was such a popular occasion to attend services that our temple had to break the congregation into two time slots just to fit into the huge, stained-glass sanctuary. And you had to reserve a seat via a ticket system, or else be left out. Some years, securing a ticket could be harder than gaining entry to a big football game.
That’s not the only commonality between football games and Rosh Hashanah. If you ask me, both events are spiritual in their own way. They both involve unique traditions and customs, and may even include some praying. Plus, we can’t overlook the food. Cheering for your team with friends and family while snacking on chips, wings, and pizza just does not get old. And, of course, Rosh Hashanah has its own customary foods, too. We eat round challah to signify the circle of life, pomegranates to symbolize that our good deeds are as plentiful as the number of seeds and, of course, apples and honey to ensure a sweet future.
Two years ago, my wedding was the day before Rosh Hashanah, so I got to celebrate with my new husband and all our favorite people during one of the happiest times of my life. This was a stark contrast to last year, where I cooked short ribs for just the two of us and we Zoomed with those we missed. There was a lot of uncertainty and, while this year is not exactly back to “normal,” we are excited to finally be with family again (safely) to usher in a sweet year — and to eat lots of delicious food, of course.
For this special reunion, I was inspired to create Honey Horseradish Wings, my favorite game day food with a Rosh Hashanah twist. Wings are a crowd food, and I love the symbolism of uniting over a dish best served for a group. Dredged in baking powder, slow-roasted in the oven and tossed in a sweet and spicy honey horseradish sauce, these wings are the perfect appetizer to celebrate the new year — and you won’t even know they’re not fried! They are a little messy but, just like this past year, they will hopefully inspire a sweet future to come.
Amy Kritzer Becker is the founder of the modern Jewish cooking blog What Jew Wanna Eat (https://whatjewwannaeat.com/) and author of the 2016 cookbook Sweet Noshings. She is also the owner of the cool Jewish gifts store ModernTribe. (https://moderntribe.com/) After a stint in NYC as a conference producer, Amy moved to Austin, TX to escape cold weather. Soon after, Amy left the business world to attend culinary school to work on her true passion. As she worked as a personal chef and did live cooking demos and classes at a local supermarket, her blog grew and gained recognition. Amy has had the opportunity to develop recipes, such as Avocado Latkes Breakfast Tacos or Pumpkin Fig Rugleach for numerous publications and she has spoken on the topics of culture, entrepreneurship, and food at events around the world like SXSW and Nosh Berlin. Amy and her recipes have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, The Today Show, Food & Wine and now The Food Network. In Fall 2017, she appeared on an episode of Guy’s Grocery Games on The Food Network. Amy lives in Puerto Rico with her husband.