Creative Ways to Display Simanim for Rosh Hashanah
By: Esther Pransky, Lubicom Staff
The simanim (symbolic foods) of Rosh Hashana always remind me of a little brown book I found in middle school called How to Get What You Want from Your Parents.
Needless to say, I read it cover to cover.
Unfortunately, most of the book was mature suggestions like speaking respectfully and making reasonable requests.
BUT. . . there was one section about creative requests. There were tips for leaving funny notes or composing a poem for your parents. The idea was to get your parents’ attention by changing the format of the question.
Simanim are also creative requests, meaning prayers, to G-d. And while He doesn’t need the creativity, it jolts us into awareness of how we rely on G-d for all our needs.
We can use that creativity in how we serve the simanim, too. Here are some fresh ideas that will have everyone at your table paying attention on Rosh Hashanah night.
1) Personal Simanim Boxes
They’ll steal the show.
Search for “bento boxes” or “candy boxes,” and you’ll come up with endless possibilities.
2) Simanim Platters
If you have too many people for the time and expense of personal boxes, get creative with a large simanim platter for the table.
Search for “candy platters” . . .
. . .and you’ll find a spectrum of large round, sectioned platters perfect for simanim. They range from low-end plastic (think dollar store) to higher-end ceramic, metal, or wood.
Search for “condiment trays” . . .
Search a little harder. . .
3) Honey Bar
All honeys are not created equal.
If you still remember elementary school science, you know that bees suck nectar from flowers and turn it into honey. The taste and color of the honey is as unique as its flower.
That’s why there’s sage honey, clover honey, orange blossom honey, and so many more.
You can take “dip the apple in the honey” to a whole new level with a honey bar:
- Experiment with honeys from different flowers and see if you and your family taste the difference.
- Delight the kids with easy-to-eat honey sticks.
- The latest trend in honey is flavor-infused varieties. Cinnamon, ginger, or jalapeno are just a few of the options to buy – or make your own.
Be prepared for some sticky mess, but the trade-off is a sweet, educational experience that will ignite your family’s interest and curiosity.
4) Include Simanim in Your Meal
You may prefer to keep the interest and excitement sprinkled throughout the night. Try incorporating the simanim into each dish!
Here are just a few creative suggestions for incorporating simanim in every part your meal:
- Dips – Roasted beet hummus
- Drinks – Fruity Pomegranate Cooler
- Soups – Zucchini Leek Soup
- Mains – Pomegranate Red Wine Chicken
- Desserts –Honey Cake with Pomegranate Glaze
But don’t let my list limit you! Here are some more great ways to incorporate all the simanim into your meals!
5) Simanim Buffet Table
For the truly creative souls among you, this is your chance to go all out with thematic tablecloths, centerpieces, serving dishes, napkins and more.
Have fun with Rosh Hashanah themes:
- Apple – At this time of year, it’s easy to find apple plates or apple honey pots that fit your tone and style. And you can fill a table with all the apple varieties in the produce aisle. Bonus points if you took your kids apple picking, too.
- Fall – Here’s another one that’s easy to find. This classy leaf motif table runner from Crate and Barrel can get you started.
- Bees/Honey –There are two ways to go with this one. You can “bee” cutesy for the kids with bright, fun bee decorations. Or you can create a sophisticated look using these honeycomb-shaped shelves as table decorations or dividers.
These suggestions are only a springboard for your creativity. Find the ideas that will excite your family to connect with the simanim in a whole new and meaningful way.
Here’s wishing all of us a sweet new year of meaningful connections!