22 minutes ago
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Passover is such an interesting food holiday for Jewish culture.
It is a time when you don't eat bread. You eat matzoh (you know, the dried out cardboard?) instead.
This is because when the slaves were fleeing Egypt, they didn't have time to pack up, therefore no time for the yeast to rise......so we eat unleavened bread.
Moses led the pack out of Egypt, so Jews eat matzoh to signify their freedom.
Each part of the seder plate signifies something from that beautiful story.
This is the very short version.
There is a shank bone on the seder plate (signifies the sacrificial lamb), a hard boiled egg (signifies mourning), bitter herbs & salt water to dip (signifies the toil & tears)..........and haroset (which I always make!), is a combination of apples, sweet wine and nuts. Haroset signifies the mortar used by the slaves to layer the bricks in Egypt.
It is such a wonderful story and the 4 questions are usually asked by the youngest child at the table.
My friend Deborah had her annual seder with 40 people.
She invites Jewish and non Jewish friends, and everyone participates.
Kids, teenagers, neighbors, grandparents, and colleagues. It's a lot of fun, and the menu is lengthy.
The food is delicious.
I am glad we only do this once a year! The story says "on this night we shall recline", and they aren't kidding.
Here is my recipe for Haroset. It is more of a Sephardic, Middle Eastern version with different nuts and dried fruits, unlike traditional haroset (also spelled haroseth & charoset).
It is absolutely delicious.
I always say each year "why don't I make this all year long? It would be a great appetizer, and great on a turkey sandwich!".
But, I never do. It wouldn't be as special, if I did.
Stacey's Haroset: (makes enough for 20 people)
two 10 oz. containers of pitted Medjool or California dates, roughly chopped
10 oz. of raw or blanched almonds, roughly chopped
10 oz. (I use the date container to measure the nuts!) of walnuts, roughly chopped
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled
1/4 cup of toasted pignoli (pine) nuts (or chopped pistachio nuts)
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of ground cloves
1 tsp of powdered ginger
1/2 tsp of ground black pepper (gives it a nice spicey flavor!)
1/4 cup or more of sweet Passover wine (I have had the same bottle of Manischewitz for like 6 years!....it never goes bad!)
In a large mixing bowl, mix your chopped, dates and all of your chopped nuts together.
Add the dried spices and grate the two apples with a box grater into the bowl.
Add your wine slowly and see how much you like. You only need enough to bind the fruit and nut mixture, you don't want any liquid remaining in the bowl.
I also made chocolate covered coconut macaroons. Click on the link for the recipe.
Easy and delicious!