Special to the Jewish Times
Because Yom Kippur focuses on my favorite meal of the day, menu planning for this holiday has always been especially enjoyable.
First, it’s automatically buffet-style, and no one expects any different. I can invite a few extra people, add an extra egg casserole and not worry about my table being too small.
Second, I can conjure up all my best brunch recipes. Even though tradition is the main ingredient on my table, I’m always looking for a new twist on an old favorite. A Salmon Terrine, a Basil Cream Sauce to garnish local sliced tomatoes, and a homemade Crunchy Salmon Spread for bagels are a few ideas I’ve incorporated.
Instead of an ordinary flower centerpiece, be a little creative this year. Insert small assorted herb-filled containers in a larger basket interspersed with some fresh flowers. Surround with some old family photos, symbolic artifacts and even some seasonal produce for an interesting and thought-provoking effect.
If you’re an invited guest, make a hostess gift by filling a basket, festive bag, attractive tin or a reusable plastic container with honey, horseradish, pomegranates and packets of yeast (for challah).
If serving fresh fruit for dessert, use a Star of David or other attractively shaped cookie cutters for the melons. Use a crinkle cutter for the watermelon and then you can skewer the melon pieces with strawberries, blackberries and grapes.
Miniature or regular cookie cutters can be used to shape thickly sliced carrots and potatoes. Just cook each of them separately in some water and garnish your brisket or chicken platters. Don’t forget to take advantage of fresh flowers to garnish your desserts. A dark honey cake baked in a tube pan looks beautiful with bright fresh flowers covering the hole.
Especially for Yom Kippur, have extra cherry tomatoes, assorted olives, kale, dill and parsley to dress up your platters. Even if you’ve ordered a tray from a caterer, a few homemade touches can make a big difference. A “catered affair” is fine, but if you’ve invited guests to your home, make at least one side dish yourself. Something as easy as combining fresh or dried chives, a dash of white pepper and a little chopped nova lox to low-fat or fat-free cream cheese is a welcome addition.
And don’t forget your camera. Splurge on a couple of disposable ones to scatter around. They’re not just for weddings and you’ll have some delicious memories later.
Special Salmon Terrine
Summer Tomatoes With Basil Cream
Crunchy Salmon Bagel
Make-Ahead French Toast With Cranberry Maple Sauce
Herbed Artichoke Spread For Bagels
Stuffed Herbed Red Potatoes
Baked Eggs In Tomato Shells
Orange Danish Coffeecake
Easiest Apple Crisp
Ilene Spector is a local free-lance food writer.