Last week I went to Oregon Ridge for Rosh Hashanah, which is part religious service and part tailgate. ...
It is casual…very casual. I wore my normal outfit of khakis and boat shoes, but for many in attendance the attire was yarmulkes and Flacco jerseys.
You have the cantor singing, the rabbi pontificating, about 1,500 kids running around like meshuggenehs, and everyone else is noshing from their picnic baskets. (For those who have already grown tired of all the Yiddish words, don’t worry. As a shaygetz, I’ve already exhausted my knowledge of the language with the exception of those words the Sun won’t publish)
My picnic basket was filled with brisket; yes, more of that Texas brisket that is the pork belly of the bovine world. One might think that I would have reached my fill of fatty, smoked meat for the year. Surprisingly, I have not.
I also had various treats from the Euro Deli in Owings Mills. I went with a duo of salami, the garlicky Jewish and the fatty, Mortadella-like Old Kiev on some black bread with polish butter and Chinese mustard. (Chinese mustard was one of the few condiments I had in small packages. My other options were McDonald’s ketchup and Arby’s Horsey Sauce.)
I followed up the meats with a digestive salad. No, not really. Well, I did have a salad. It was a beet salad made with mayonnaise, sour cream, raisins and walnuts.
Next was the cheese course, which was farmer's cheese served with apples and honey. I’m not sure what kind of farmer's cheese I bought, as the labels were in Cyrillic. I could only make out a percentage on the label, which I assumed was fat content. Needless to say, I searched out the highest number I could find.
Dessert was a sirki, which is more farmer's cheese but covered in a dark chocolate shell. It is like a York Peppermint Patty, if it were made in Wisconsin. This confection went surprisingly well with my Rufus Red wine, which tasted like a mix between Mavrodaphne and Manischewitz.
I normally celebrate Rosh Hashanah with the wife each year, but I abstain from participating in Yom Kippur. After this New Year’s meal, I think the fast might do me good.
(AP Photo/Larry Crowe)