What is Yom Kippur
The Jewish high holiday of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is an annual day of repentance that’s observed on the 10th day of the lunar month Tishrei. It typically falls in September or October, and many Jewish people observe the holiday by following religious law that includes prayer, contemplation, fasting and abstinence from work for a 25-hour period.
How to Break the Fast
Typically, at the conclusion of Yom Kippur, friends and family gather to break the fast. However, the holiday presents a practical dilemma: How do you prepare these foods when abstaining from work — including cooking — is required? Here are some easy tips for preparing a break-fast spread that will leave you free to observe this special time, whether you’re just with your immediate family members or a larger group of friends and extended family.
Set Up for Serving
Whether you’ll serve from a sideboard, dining table or another surface, set things up the day before Yom Kippur. Getting tablecloths, dishes, serving pieces, silverware and decorations ready ahead of time will eliminate any last-minute scrambling.
Keep it Refreshing
One of the rigors of fasting for Yom Kippur is abstinence from any beverage, including water. Fresh fruits and green salads, along with an assortment of still and sparkling waters, are perfect for quenching thirst after the fast. For a tasty and unique option, infuse pitchers of water with mint sprigs and sliced fruit.
Break Fast with Brunch
Although breaking the fast happens at night, it’s become a tradition in some families to eat breakfast and brunch items, or to eat a menu that leans on dairy and fish rather than meat. A helpful tip is to plan your meal ahead of time and include a combination of store-bought items and foods that can be prepared in advance.
A time-saving and delicious meal idea is a Bagel and Lox Board with fresh, hydrating veggies, filling bagels and smoked fish. Start with an assortment of bagels, a few cream cheese spreads, lox, slices of cucumber, ripe cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced onions and fresh springs of chives or dill. Arranging the items on a serving board or setting them out buffet-style will allow guests to help themselves as they arrive and is sure to win everyone over. And the best part? The entire board can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge, so there’s minimal assembly when it’s time to break the fast with family and friends.
Show Your Sweet Side
To finish off your break-fast meal, a caramel pecan kugel, made a day ahead and reheated, is a combination of tradition and comfort food at its best. And a little sweetness makes everything better! A few more treats, such as bite-sized rugelach and chocolate babka, will also help satisfy those sweet cravings.
Ready to plan your break-fast spread? Visit our Rosh Hashanah page to start shopping and for more inspiration!