Menu planning: the nitty gritty (Tishrei 2011 part 2)


Rosh Hashanah is the first of the holidays in Tishrei, and having a detailed plan for Rosh Hashanah helps you get it under control and done so you can enjoy the holiday. In part 1, we talked about preparation. Next comes menu planning!

1. Set your goal.

2. Menu planning.

3. Master Grocery Shopping List.

4. Be flexible in shopping.

5. Make a detailed cooking plan.

6. Keep it simple!

#2 is menu planning. This is trickier with Rosh Hashanah than with other holidays (except Pesach, of course!) because of the simanim. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have leeks or black eyed peas every week, so I have to find and make new recipes for those. And this year (2011), it’s even trickier because it is a three day chag–two days of Rosh Hashanah backed up against Shabbat. Last, I try not to leave anything to be cooked on Yom Tov because I want to enjoy the holidays with my family and not be slaving away in the kitchen. Taking all of these into account, here is my plan of attack:

  • List the simanim your family uses and find recipes to use for each them. We don’t typically have guests for RH night, so this makes a big percentage of our meal. (We have a lot of simanim to get through!)
  • Plan for the 6 meals (including 2 for Shabbat). Here is my printable Rosh Hashanah Menu Template. I will be making one dairy meal since we really enjoy dairy in this house, but you can adjust the menu to your heart’s desire.
  • Revamp dishes if you can. For example, last year, I made a basic pureed carrot soup. Then, I’ll divide it in two and flavor each half separately. Half will become an Indian carrot soup for Thursday lunch and half will be a more tradition carrot soup with matzah balls for Shabbat dinner. Two different soups, but not the full amount of work!
  • Make dishes you can mix and match. While I don’t want my family to get sick of things, I also don’t want to have to make completely new dishes for each of the 6 festive meals. I don’t know if our fridge could handle that either!  So some overlap is in order. For example, I will make a noodle kugel, a kid favorite around here,  that will be used for both nights and for Shabbat lunch (as a side).  That leads me to…
  • Make some family favorites to accompany the new dishes. Food makes a big imprint on memories of a holiday!
  • Choose some things you can make and freeze ahead of time, especially if you have a lot of guests to cook for.
  • Be sure you consider guests, allergies, and weather in your menu plan. If it’s going to be 95 degrees, a hot soup might be too much while a cool gazpacho would be much appreciated.
  • Make sure to include nosh / snacks and drinks for everyone.

Next up, we’ll talk about setting up the detailed plan of attack and checklist to get everything done by the deadline!


About Amital

A die-hard listmaker and observant Jewish mommy of 5, managing the challenges of life bit by bit with the help of a Shalom Bayit book and lists. And chocolate, of course. Lots of chocolate.

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