Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins on Wednesday night—signaling the start of the Jewish year 5771. Part of the traditional theme for Rosh Hashanah is wishing your friends and family a "sweet" New Year or a New Year filled with only "sweet" things. This is why most Rosh Hashanah dinners include apples and honey— baked apples in honey, honey apple cake, etc.—among other food that fall into the sweet family.
While the food you serve at a Rosh Hashanah dinner should definitely follow this sweet tradition, how you set your table and decorate your dining room can play off the sweet theme, too. Some ideas to consider include:
- Splurging on dishes with a fruit design on them. I've always been a huge fan of Villeroy & Boch dinnerware, ever since I attended a table-setting seminar of theirs at the Food & Wine Magazine Classic in Aspen, Colorado. And they continue to be one of the best makers of dinnerware with fruit and other motifs on them, but which aren't gaudy or distracting. You can find similarly themed place settings at Target, Crate & Barrel and other home stores.
- Using fruit as your centerpieces. At this time of the year, the best apples on the planet are available at orchards nationwide—honey crisp apples. These apples, a cross between a macoun apple and a honey gold one, taste exactly as their name implies—sweet like honey yet crisp, crunchy and refreshing as fruit should be. Why not visit your local orchard to pick up a peck or two of honey crisp apples and display them in your favorite bowls in the center of your dining room table. Don't forget to encourage your guests to enjoy these fruits of your labor.
- Weaving fruit into your dining room decor. Along with the fruit-filled centerpiece, you can bring the sweetness of the Rosh Hashanah dinner theme home with fruit-centric decorations—from embroidered, cloth napkins to trivets shaped like your favorite fruit or featuring fruit on them. Who knows? With back-to-school sales going on now—and the apple the favored icon of teachers everywhere—you might find some great decorations for your dinner table in unexpected places and at great prices.
If you are Jewish and celebrate Rosh Hashanah, what do you do to make your special dinner sweeter?