Passover begins April 16th. Do you plan to celebrate with friends and family? What are your favorite traditional/untraditional dishes and treats? Some families may mix & match with Easter on April 17th. Best places to shop for ingredients?
Passover is my least favorite holiday of the year. The food is as painful as a trek through the Sinai barefoot. The only redeeming items: matzoh brei, matzoh ball soup and potato kugel. Still not doing family gatherings due to covid and my folks being in their 80s and not that healthy. But I certainly don’t miss sitting through a sedar at all.
Makes me think of Alan King’s Jewish holiday summary: “They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat!”
I like the charoset, and a good brisket main course, and not much else. Certainly not several hours at the table with half-drunk restless children (and adults!).
Brisket and children’s length seder.
Yes, I call it a Cliff’s Note’s seder, short and sweet with all the ritual intact. Followed by the delish holiday comforts. We started to gather again last Passover and it came off well. Love being with the family, and still enjoy the ‘Four Questions’ read by my 13 year old granddaughter…
By the way, as part of the symbolic ceremony, my mother would prepare a bowl of salt water for each guest with a hard boiled egg. I actually liked it…
Green Garlic Matzo Ball Soup. Living in the Bay Area for many years I long ago discovered green garlic. It’s now one of my favorite springtime foodstuffs. Particularly elevates a Matzo Ball into something delicious. Chop up the whole shoot, saute briefly with your choice of fat and incorporate into the matzo ball batter. Proceed.
that is a good part… as a kid, that egg could not come soon enough as the multi hour seder my grandfather was leading kept dragging on.
we now do the cliff note version of the seder as well and even that has gotten thankfully shorter every year.
Matzoh ball soup, matzoh brei, potato kugel, and my favorite: gefilte fish with horseradish.
Costco used to sell giant jars. I’d buy 3 or 4 and stock them so I could eat the stuff all year.
Yeah we had those when I was a kid.
My dad kept them reasonable. Occasionally throwing in things like: “The Jews worked from 7 in the morning to 11 at night and that’s how they came up with 7-Eleven LOL
What, no macaroons? I like the dark chocolate dipped ones…
not a fan. way too sweet for me. the chocolate dipped fruit (even the weird processed fake fruit jelly ones) are good
I may be wrong about this, but oftentimes I think that outsiders appreciate culturally specific foods more than those raised on them. For example I am about as much of a goy as anyone could be. Not only is my DNA completely anglo-saxon, celtic, and nordic, but I am a practicing Christian. However I have beloved in-laws who are nominally Jewish. We celebrate Passover together every year. They let me cook. I love it!
This is not for the Seder itself, but for the feast afterwards. Appetizers are home smoked salmon:
then matzo ball soup;
An absolute necessity for this is fresh schmaltz. I save up chicken fat and skin for months to make this according to the recipe in here, https://smile.amazon.com/Book-Schmaltz-Love-Song-Forgotten/dp/0316254088/ref=sr_1_19?crid=1GMMDGAXWMW28&keywords=michael+ruhlman&qid=1649300733&sprefix=michael+ruh%2Caps%2C146&sr=8-19. Another goy in love with Jewish food.
Bruce Aidell’s brisket is the centerpiece (no pics), Holiday Beef Brisket with Onions Recipe - Bruce Aidells. I serve this with latkes of course, Old-Fashioned Latkes Recipe. I know it is more of a Hanukah thing, but I love them!
Cheesecake for dessert.
I also love pastrami, Jewish rye, noodle kugel, and gefilte fish. You can call it cultural appropriation, but I think it is more cultural appreciation.
Whenever I make a pot of chicken soup, the skimmed schmaltz I don’t use for matzo balls, I’ll freeze in 1/2 cup quantities in ziploc freezer bags.
Great for either making matzo balls or frying up onions for kasha lol.
Being an honorary member of my tribe, turn those skins into schmaltz gribenes
They don’t seem to be on their current menu, but Mamaleh’s in Cambridge used to serve gribenes as a side dish. I once took the train over from Back Bay just to have them, and they instantly transported me back to my childhood.
Memories…my mom would keep a jar of schmaltz gribenes in the fridge all the time. As far as the Passover meal this year, my live in professional chef, who is a shiksa, always provides a flourless chocolate cake for the table. This year, though, she spotted a recipe by Joan Nathan in this week’s New York Times Food Section for Matzo Brittle with chocolate or peanut butter. May add it as a surprise…
I do. They are great on salad. “Jewish bacon” a good friend, a member of your tribe, calls them.
Definitely something to this! I love Passover (we’ve always done a quick Seder that’s light on monologue and heavy on wine) but I don’t really like gefilte or ketchupy brisket or the noodle kugel someone always puts out. My friends huevo con weenie burritos when I was a kid, on the other hand…
ditto— can’t stand gefilte fish (unless it’s homemade-- not the jelly encrusted jarred kind) or brisket cooked in that manner (smoked Texas brisket is good) but LOVE a good noodle kugel.
Sadly, as with many other things right now, we are going to pay a higher price for holiday goods this year. Just heard a report about the jump in egg prices…
Our Passover came off beautifully. The food was delicious! And our leftovers are going fast. I have to offer special praise to my shiksa’s matzo brei with green onions, asparagus and smoked gouda.
Happy Passover & Happy Easter to all!