This post is in association with Marks & Spencer Food.
What springs to mind when you think of Marks and Spencer? For me, it’s two things. Firstly, that the company has Jewish roots! My Dad always used to tell us how it was founded by Michael Marks, a Polish Jewish refugee, who teamed up with Tom Spencer to open a market stall. The rest, as they say, is history!
The second thing I think of is quality, and perhaps even a spot of indulgence. For me, M&S is synonymous with high quality products – a little bit of luxury for every day. It’s where I go when I want to indulge, to treat myself and my family. I was delighted to check out some of their gorgeous food, flowers and gifts ahead of Rosh Hashanah, which I think is the perfect time to splurge on extra-special goodies for my family and friends.
Apples and honey for a sweet New Year
It wouldn’t be Rosh Hashanah without apples and honey, and Kipper and I found a lovely selection to choose from at M&S. We do an apple and honey tasting, as a really fun and simple way to liven up the tradition, so having plenty of apple varieties, including favourites like Pink Lady, Royal Gala, Granny Smith, Braeburn and more to choose from is terrific. M&S also has a great selection of different kinds of honey, including my Mum’s favourite, Manuka honey. I chose two British honeys and an award winning Greek one for our comparative honey dipping experience. Sweet!
Bursting with good things, like the seeds in a pomegranate
Does your family eat pomegranates on Rosh Hashanah? We usually enjoy them on the second day, as an excuse to make another shehecheyanu blessing. I learned recently that M&S pomegranates (and pineapples and mangoes) are left to mature on the tree for longer than those from other retailers, so that they’re riper and more flavourful. Kipper couldn’t keep her hands off the sweet, juicy, ruby-coloured seeds!
M&S also has a beautiful range of dried fruits, including dried apricots, raisins, sultanas and prunes. Perfect additions to your yomtov tsimmes! Or just a sweet and healthy snack – slip a few in a plastic box and take them to shul, to help keep the kids (OK, and adults too) fuelled through the extra-long YomTov service.
A fruitful New Year…
I made up this beautiful Autumnal fruit platter with glistening medjool dates, soft and succulent dried apricots, plump fresh figs, and fragrant, ripe, jewel-toned plums.
We eat a lot of fruit and on YomTov afternoons, having a healthy and delicious little something on hand to ‘put you on’ till dinner is essential. I was also really taken with the M&S specialty grapes (see photo above) – ‘Candy Floss’ and ‘Tutti Fruitti’ – with their delicious, sweet and unusual flavours.
Looking forward to the present!
My Mother-in-law has long been a fan of M&S flowers and this year they have some truly stunning bouquets which are a fabulous way to wish Shana Tova to your nearest and dearest. I filled this vase with a ‘Rose Garden Bouquet’, plus a few additional long stemmed white roses. All the flowers in M&S looked so vibrant, and they have a guarantee of freshness so you know they will last. They also had some glorious white orchids, and fabulous late summer sunflowers, among other things.
Kipper insisted on also getting this sweet miniature white rose in a lovely textured china pot. I must admit I didn’t take much persuading! It makes a really pretty table decoration, snuggled among the apples and honey.
Fishing for compliments
Since I’m cooking for a crowd this Rosh Hashanah, I opted to get a full side of Lochmiur Scottish salmon which will make an impressive centrepiece dish. I just need to decide what to make with it!
I also picked up some beautiful rainbow carrots – I can’t decide whether to simply roast them with a little olive oil and honey, or combine them with some of those lovely dried apricots (above) for the prettiest tsimmes ever!
Wishing you Shana Tova
I hope you have a luxurious, indulgent, but most of all meaningful and delicious Rosh Hashanah! Wishing you and your family all the best for a happy, sweet, peaceful, healthy and prosperous New Year. Shana Tova from Family Friends Food and Marks & Spencer!
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Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by M&S Food, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands which support