Yom Kippur Break-the-Fast Recipes
Martin Jacobs, AlamyA Little Something More for Yom Kippur...
Breaking the Yom Kippur fast is a thrilling event. If skipping one meal seems tough, missing three squares and a few snacks is certainly trying. By the time the afternoon rolls around, thoughts of food sometimes outweigh those of repentance for which the holiday is observed. In my family -- and in most American-Jewish families from Eastern European descent -- it is custom to eat "appetizing." This milchig or dairy meal consists of bagels, cream cheese, smoked fish and all the appropriate accompaniments. Sometimes, though, I like a little something homemade.
Cooking for the break-the-fast meal is a challenge (work of any kind is strictly prohibited during the Yom Kippur fast). That's why "appetizing" is ideal, as it requires no preparation or cooking, can be purchased before the holiday begins, and enjoyed the moment the holiday ends. Also, such food is considered much lighter than a fleishig or meat meal, which might be rough on the digestive tract after having fasted. There are, however, a few foods we can prepare in advance to add that homemade touch to this most holy day, including the following.
rugelach right before Rosh Hashanah; I bake one batch right then and there, and then freeze the remaining dough to bake another batch for Yom Kippur after Rosh Hashanah ends. Rugelach stores beautifully in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week. Fruit and nut rugelach are most traditional, but chocolate lovers need to be satiated after the fast, too.
Breaking the fast with these dairy and fish recipes is not the norm for many cultures around the globe, I have learned. I once celebrated Yom Kippur in Strasbourg, France many years ago with local friends while I was in school. All I could think about the entire day in synagogue was how I was going to enjoy a big plate of "appetizing" in France. How I had missed such food during my semester in Europe!
As grateful as I was to be included in an intimate family gathering on such a holy day, I must admit that I was astonished and more than disappointed when I was served a sweet roll (albeit homemade) and fruit salad. "Where is the rest of the meal?" I asked. My friends were surprised that I was expecting more food. "Don't you eat like this in New York? You should not eat more. It is not good to overeat after a fast," they told me.
This is good advice, of course, no matter how you break the fast. I definitely plan on the usual appetizing spread with a little something homemade, too. I'll just have to invite lots of family and friends to share it with me so we all eat a little less!
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