Congratulations to Alex J. Cavanaugh on the second anniversary of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. The group has grown to over three hundred participants, and continues to flourish. I've watched many of the writer's become published authors over the last two years, and would like to finally fulfill my dream of writing a novel. As tomorrow begins the Jewish New Year, I can't help but equate the essentials of a good story to the ingredients of a traditional Rosh Hashanah feast.
The prologue sets the tone for the story. You want to provide just enough to whet their appetites for more. A little chopped liver goes a long way spread out on a slice of challah. At first the gefilte fish complements the liver; however, there's no telling if things will erupt later.
The most difficult part about serving the soup is in making sure it is the right temperature. Although the broth tastes better when it's hot, it's important not to overheat the matzo balls. This could bring on severe shrinkage which draws more attention to the lopsided noodle.
The secret to preparing the brisket is adding the right amount of savory spices. You want it to be mild for your parents, sweet for your kids, and to have just enough bite for your contemporaries. The potatoes are the loyal sidekick. They are there to support the main course, while the squash and green bean casserole conspire a takeover. The squash goes down smoothly, as the casserole teases us by slowly peeling off crunchy layers. By this time you're too full to fight, thus leaving the potatoes out in the cold.
Being over-served usually works one of two ways; you either pass out at the table, or you keep going in fear of not regaining consciousness from a food coma. There's a two dessert minimum followed by a caffeine fix. We toast to a sweet New Year, and hope that everyone leaves before the gefilte fish kicks in. It could take hours or even days which always makes for a surprise ending.
Happy and healthy New Year!