The article I’d planned on posting next is so grisly, I just can’t post it now. Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, begins tomorrow, and with it a very beautiful season of renewal. So I’ve set the article aside, but not without sharing that with each grisly discovery or insight I have into history, the more deeply I appreciate being able to celebrate my holidays, eat my foods and just be my authentic self. This is something I truly wish for all people. Αll. The world would be a sweeter place.
On Rosh Hashana we wish for a sweet new year. The theme is traditionally emphasized by eating honey, whereas beans, often in the form of black eyed peas, are consumed to encourage abundance and prosperity. Eating beans for prosperity is a Sephardic New Year tradition, though we’re not alone; on December 31st Italians eat lentils for the same reason, and modern Spaniards eat twelve grapes at the stroke of midnight.
My bean of choice is slim, green, and stringless. The French bean. I still prepare them much as my grandmother did, using a very Old World method, in an Ottoman dish called fasuliya. (It means ‘beans’). Could there be anything nicer than an abundance of sweetness, too? Well, move over, honey! With just a little help from carrot and onion, braising green beans very slowly in oil and tomato turns them tender and brings out their natural sweetness. These are two of the loveliest qualities you can ask for in people, too.
So for this New Year I offer up my very sincere wish that people’s hardness be softened, and their bitterness turned sweet. In my experience, this recipe goes a long way toward helping. Make plenty.
Shana tova, anyada buena i dulse ke tengash. A good, sweet and happy new year to all.