Yesterday we celebrated our second rosh hashana seder ever. Yay! With two friends who didn't mind the impromptu invitation - work kept me so busy I planned everything last minute - and our lack of expertise in Jewish tradition (improving slowly but steadily, though). And intently wishing each other "shana tova u metuka" (שנה טובה ומתוקה), which means "a good and sweet year". Now, why sweet? Why not just good? Like, isn't "good" good enough for us? Well, since sometimes what's good for you may be bitter, too, you might as well wish for a year that is not just good, but sweet. See? Very pragmatic!
Now, personally, this year had it's fair share of good things: Some even really over-the-top good, like my anniversary trip to Rio with my habibi, or a surprise romantic weekend with the motek. But some also bitter (very bitter) ones (which still made me a better person, so they were good in the end, tough bitter). So at yesterday's dinner you couldn't blame us for being particularly intent on following the tradition of dipping our apple slices and bits of bread in sweet stuff first and foremost to represent a sweet 5776, right?
Anyhow, in stark contrast to last year's seder, we are also very well settled now. Which we're grateful for. Sure, we had to use bagels again as the only round vegan bread we could get our hands on. And used agave syrup instead of maple – a sign of our new life here in Mexico? But we did replicate last year's beetroot and pomegranate salad with cilantro, and tried a new variation too with jicama (more Mexican influence!). I guess that, as long as I can, I'll have beetroot at the Rosh Hashana table, a nice symbol of the Ukrainian part of my ancestry. We also had udon with tahini-Mirin sauce, green onions and avocado! Yum! My China-born Russian grandfather spent time in Japan during his wanderings, just before Mexico, so I thought that dish was fitting. And we finished with a chia, chocolate and blackberry pudding. How vegan of me, eh? Plus red wine, of course. And some special vodka I was dying to share with my friends (it would be too easy and romantic to blame Russian/Ukrainian roots for my love of vodka... hell, yeah, why not?).
Good friends. Good food (phew! I was worried I'd mess it up!). Good drink. And sweetness in many forms and shapes. A good and sweet year! !שנה טובה ומתוקה !אַ גוט געבענטשט יאָר