Laurel Herman
Chef Instructor, Culinary Storyteller, and Culinary Medicine

Apples and honey, Rosh Hashanah, past and present

I just bought my favorite apples. Crisp, and sweet, I believe there is nothing finer in the universe than a Fuji apple.  The holidays are upon us once more. When the kids were little, the house was a buzz with food preparation and dinner invitations. I wanted to continue my parents policy of inviting everyone from all walks of life to my table. I think it is the only way we get to know each other.  Growing up, my home was the United Nations. I mean the real United  Nations.  The table would extend from the front of the house to the back, and no seat was empty. My grandmother Bessie reigned queen of the kitchen. Her chicken soup was infamous. We used to go to the kosher butcher where she would “feel up” the chickens for soup, and embarrass the hell out of me.  We had the usual fare, and there was a ton of food.

Fast forward to adulthood, my ex husband’s grandmother Esther showed me the fine art of making Kreplach. Oh it was divine. A lost art. Who cooks like that anymore? I did. I wanted my children  to retain their heritage, and that included the food. I saved my pasta maker for this time of year exclusively. We made a ritual out if it. My children  would crank the dough through the machine, we were full of flour. I would pack them in baggies for the freezer to eat with soup during the holidays, but they never made it. We always snuck a few here and there.  It was lovely. We always did the cooking together. That made it taste even better.

For many years we celebrated wherever we lived, Tucson, England. I am grateful to my friends who included us as family.

These days, I am on my own. My son lives in Georgia. My daughter, and 93 old mother live  here  in Richmond with me. The fancy dinners stopped. Gosh they were expensive to put on a good holiday. How did we do it?   I couldn’t possibly do it now. We have a moveable feast, and bring everything to my mother, who cannot travel. It’s become almost too simple, soup, and maybe a little meal, with apples and honey to dip. There are no longer any have to’s, to make this or that. Simple is the name of the game.  We are together, and that is what sweet tastes like to me.

Wishing you a  sweet New Year, may you continue to celebrate only good things and make joyous memories together. Love, Laurel

About the Author
Laurel Herman is a, writer and Chef instructor residing in Richmond, Virginia. Laurel's passion is bringing people together through food. Her workshop and retreat work uses storytelling combined with food and music to evoke a sense of remembrance. She teaches that cooking is a healing modality anyone can learn. She currently teaches at Mise en Place Cooking School,and Woodside Farms at Chickahominy Falls, Virginia. Her Book The Blissed Out Chef was published in 2015.
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