I have tons of sweet memories of spending Rosh Hashanah with my family, but they aren’t exactly what you would think! My mom, Marion Goldsmith, would hold a big dinner and lunch for Rosh Hashanah with family and friends alike. I never missed one – no matter where I lived or what was going on. Even when it was the UN General Assembly and I was working at The Waldorf Astoria and no one was allowed off – I was off to San Antonio. I would get to town and have to run all the errands for her, and G-d forbid I would just go to one grocery store for everything. Nope, you went to this one where the grapes were cheapest, and then that one where the lettuce was on sale, and so on and so on. I remember thinking, I guess this is why you want to have kids – so they can run all your errands. I remember Erev Rosh Hashanah (the eve of the holiday), serving around thirty family members by tray and eating big meals of chicken, brisket, chicken soup, gefilte fish, my aunt’s version of tsimmes and homemade baked goods – mandel bread, rugelach (the Russian kind), pecan sandies, sand tarts, and many other things. Once the meal was over my mom would put everyone to work–changing table linens, washing loads of dishes, and setting the table for the next day. We always used china, glasses and real cutlery and linens. It was a lot of work because the next day usually had more people.
The next day we would drive to synagogue for Rosh Hashanah services. We would rush home to finish preparing for the luncheon, which would begin around 1:30 pm. Then around 2:45, we would finish lunch and everyone got to work again. Same thing – changing table linens, washing loads of dishes, taking down some of the excess folding tables and setting up the dining room table for the open house she had every year for 150 people – complete with homemade baked goods she and all the family and close friends made. It was a Goldsmith tradition. Everyone knew after Rosh Hashanah lunch to come to the Goldsmith’s house. The open house began around 3:30 pm.
Our close friend, Debbie Levinton, had a different experience. Her mother was a perfectionist and would shoo everyone out of the kitchen. But she always managed to pull off beautiful events! How did these hostesses craft such an important skill?
Every time Rosh Hashanah draws near (and when I’m preparing for Passover – my holiday that I do), Ialways wonder, “How did they do it?” They had a little outside help, yet everything always went off near-perfect. How did the brisket stay warm? How did my mom get it all done? I know Bobby’s mom, Edith, also produced all the same miracles in her kitchen. In our fast-paced lifestyle of today, Debbie and I were talking and wondering: “How did they do it?”
So a question to anyone reading this post – Do you struggle to get everything done on time, or does everything come together at the last minute easily? We want to know! Enlighten us and leave a comment below, or on our Facebook page!
And we wish you a very happy and sweet Rosh Hashanah! L’Shanah Tova!