All our holidays are a little bit different this year. Most synagogue services will be conducted online. Many people are feeling disconnected from both the ritual of holidays and their communities. And if you are lucky enough to gather with close family or friends outdoors, these break-fasts or other meals are decidedly smaller and more intimate than during a normal year. At least I sure hope they are.
Another way to ensure safer gatherings is to set up individual tables so family units or couples can sit down together while still being 6 feet apart from another table.
If gathering outside feels still too risky, or it will be too cold, consider putting together break-fast baskets for those close to you, so even if you can’t physically be together, you could do a mitzvah and bring someone else a little delicious comfort.
I know it’s a hard year for so many of us. Here are some ways to make Yom Kippur break-fast a little safer but just as delicious.
Make individual lox platters
Sure, it might be a little more work to pull together individual plates with all the bagel fixings, but it’s also cute and a fun project. If you don’t typically break the fast on bagels and lox, it could be anything: individual hummus and veggie plates, individual cheese platters, or individual fruit and pastry plates. Take some inspiration from Instagram or Pinterest and have fun with it, which can present both a nice distraction from fasting or any sadness you may be feeling this year.
Mini kugel cups or other individual pastries
Kugel, honey cake, coffee cake and even babka lend themselves to becoming mini, especially when they fit easily into muffin tins. Try one of these recipes for a mini treat for you and your guests.
Individual noodle kugels from A Sweet and Savory Life
Kugel muffins from Martha Stewart
Cinnamon chocolate babka muffins from Bunsen Burner Bakery
Cheesy garlic babka muffins from Molly Yeh
Mini potato kugels from Mayim Bialik
Mini honey cakes
Buy mini quiches, knishes or other frozen bite-sized treats
I’m not telling you need to whip up individual quiche crusts and fillings; you can easily buy mini quiches, knishes or other delightful puff pastry bites in the freezer section. Heck, if you have kids attending, buy some mini bagel bites. Trader Joe’s also sells mac & cheese balls as well as other puff pastry mini treats that just require a little reheating. Warm puff pastry and cheese is always a crowd-pleaser.
Individual bottles of water and orange juice
Everyone knows that individual bottles of anything are cuter. I know, I know — it’s not awesome for the environment. But it will make hosting easier and eliminate everyone getting their grubby hands all over a communal water pitcher and orange juice carton. You could also tell your guests to BYOB: bring your own beverage.
Individual mugs of matzah ball soup
Soup at the end of a long fast is comforting and nourishing. It doesn’t have to be matzah ball soup — it could be any kind of vegetable or noodle soup. Serve in individual mugs for a cozy and easy experience. Here are some of my favorite soups to consider:
Sopa de huevos y limon (classic for Yom Kippur break-fast)
Overnite Yemenite chicken soup
Egyptian golden potato soup
Russian cabbage soup