Friday, April 2, 2010

A Shiksa's 1st Passover

Okay technically it's not my first. Last year we celebrated Passover with some good friends who are religious and I was able to experience a real Passover. Even if it wasn't a first night. See Passover lasts 7-8 days depending on the website you look at. Yes it's true I just googled "How long does Passover last?" I'm not proud, I don't claim I actually know anything at all.

 Jason telling us the history.

Anyway, I do want our daughter even if we are not a religious family to have good solid family traditions. Growing up we always had traditions despite our religiousness. We celebrated all the holidays with the exception of the Jewish ones and I guess the Catholic ones because we don't put ash on our head or anything... I guess you can say we were uncomplicated folk. So part of giving our daughter traditions is to teach her about the Jewish holidays. I'm not sure how we're going to do this but we'll do it by trial and error. There's a whole lot going on in September that is highly confusing and symbolic, one step at a time!

 Veggie Kugel (Left) Tzimmes (right)

So what is a Shiksa's Passover if there is not a religious aspect to it? Well it's food, good conversation and the story of the travel through Egypt by the Jews as told by Papa in a very animated way. (I'm hoping to make dolls to represent everyone and then we can act it out! Wouldn't that be fun. But then Papa said I had to make dolls for each of the plagues, including the frogs... not sure about that. Although I was looking at a windup frog yesterday and thought hey! Maybe we could fill the table with windup toys. Or not.) I started cooking on Tuesday. The menu was:
  • Lamb
  • Veggie Kugel
  • Haroset
  • Tzimmes
  • Asparagus
  • Gifelte Fish
  • Matzoh
  • Matzoh Ball Soup
  • Macaroons
  • Wine
  • Decaf Coffee
We decided to celebrate Passover just one of the nights and picked Wednesday since that is our regular dinner club night. Our friend Nigel joined us as always. It was quite fitting because Nigel is originally from New Zealand, and complains that we American's just do not know how to do Lamb. He said it was very good, which of course it was, but apparently kiwi's like their Lamb overdone, and I just cannot do that to anything. 

I did make a sedar plate, but nothing was really done with it. (Oh yes, that's really a picture of our sedar plate. Not it's not, it's from Wikipedia. Thank you Wiki!) A sedar plate contains:
  • Bitter herbs (Parsely soaked in salt water)
  • Horseradish
  • Roasted Egg (boiled egg works)
  • Haroset
  • Lamb bone (we didn't do this part because we're entirely to cheap to go buy another lamb to get the bone and we just don't have east coast butchers.) 

Tesla found the Afikomen. The Afikomen is a piece of Matzoh that has been hidden. (See how I dumb that down? So simple.) In Tesla's case I showed it to her, had her chase me around the room and then placed it on the floor behind her wedge pillow... Then said "Tesla get the Afikomen!" I can't believe she found it! She's a genius I tell you!!! She loved the Matzoh, it turns into quite a mush when mixed together with all the other foods. She's a great eater though and had everything except the fish. The fact that I served fish in my home is a miracle. The fact that it's still in a jar in my fridge is because I love my husband very much.

Let me know if you would like any recipes. Everything came out fantastically with the exception of the Haroset. Jason said he's had it much more soaked in wine and my recipe only called for 4 tablespoons. Perhaps the apples were to big in relation to the wine. Not sure.

Yes she's just wearing a diaper. She's taken to crying for no reason and once I remove her clothes she's fine. She must be my daughter!

Follow the links if you're interested in more information about Passover. We had a fun night and will continue our tradition.

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