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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Seder Menu

As you may know the first night of Passover is spent at the "Seder". The "Seder" (literally means "order") is a long festive meal geared to the children and adults like me who pretend they are children - to get them to ask questions about Passover and the celebration of the Jewish people going from slavery into freedom and leaving the shackles of Egypt.

This year I have around 15 people coming to my Seder. Essentially the meal begins only after the first part of reading the HaGaddah is done. Some people rush through this and it takes them around an hour with singing songs etc. Some people like moi! - well we spend a great deal of time talking and discussing the Seder, Passover and all those things. We get to the meal around 11:30 PM. The Seder ends for us around 2-3 AM.

Some traditional foods such as "Charoset" will be home made. This is a mixture of nuts, apples, cinnamon etc. It is eaten to remind us of the "mortar" used by the Jews when they had to make bricks.

Marror - Bitter Herbs is either ground Horse Radish root (for the courageous) and or Romain Lettuce.

Of course we eat Matzo and must drink 4 cups of wine each. I happen to love hand Matzo. And there are many different types - some that cannot be eaten on Passover! (But we will do a separate piece on Matzo.)

So here is the planned (subject to changes) menu.

  1. Home Made Gefilte Fish - (yours truly is going to make it)
  2. Chopped Liver - (Store bought - this I am not messing with on Passover)
  3. Home Made Chicken Soup with Matzo balls (currently there is a wee bit argument over whether the Matzo Balls should be made from scratch or whether to use a pre-mix. Depends on time actually!)
  4. Pieces of Chicken - Home made not by me though
  5. Turkey
  6. Salad
  7. Mashed Potatoes
  8. Desert - Fruit bowls - Strawberries and Kiwis cut up in a Fruit Salad & maybe even a few bananas (all in season now)
  9. Tea & Coffee
I will supply the recipes for each dish as we go along.

So if anyone has any great recipes or wants to suggest a change in the menu NOW is the time to do it!

AND if anyone of you out there does not have a Seder to go to, and you are in Jerusalem -

Come in and enjoy. Come in and eat. Come and join us. We would love to have you! For we are Free. And we are celebrating our freedom.

**In Israel there is only one Seder, whereas outside of Israel, Jews have two nights in a row with a Seder on each night. (Pays to live in Israel :) ---> The first Seder we do not eat any "roast meat". The "Passover Sacrifice" which is explained in Leviticus was Roast Meat. Thus we do not eat any Roast Meat on that first night to remind us that the Temple was destroyed and thus there are no longer any sacrifices brought and to make sure no one makes a mistake by thinking we are eating any meat that was "sacrificed" in our time. (Welcome to the world of Jewish law - "Halachah")

***Edited - There is an important caveat to the above. It is those of Ashkenazic descent that do not eat roast meat. Those of Sepharadi and Temani (Yeminite) descent do eat Roast Meat. Indeed traditionally they eat a lamb - and it is considered especially blessed to eat the head of the lamb. I am going to try to supply some pictures... which may gross you guys out... but hey!

4 Fire Comments - Click To Post A Comment:

Rickie Beth said...

My first comment here -- I love coming here and knowing that every recipe will be kosher, so thank you for that!

For the past two years we've been making our own chopped liver and it's surprisingly easy. Do you have Empire products in Israel? If you do, they sell pieces of liver that are already koshered and roasted, so the hard part's done. We just saute some onions and boil some eggs, then toss it all in the food processor with some schmaltz and salt and pepper to taste. A very unscientific recipe for sure, but what's cooking without a little trial and error?

Deborah Dowd said...

Teddy,

Despite the fact that Iam not Jewish, I am following your blog carefully because I am always trying to finds ways to incorporate different cultures in our lives. It makes sharing food more meaningful, and there is no food history with more import, whether Chistian or Jew. Thanks for giving us an inside look. And I can assure you if I were in Israel with not Seder dinner to attend, I would be at your door!

Deborah

Ted W. Gross said...

Rickie...

No Empire products in Israel. And making chopped liver from scratch..especially because of the needs of dealing with liver in a kosher kitchen is just over the top for me to be honest. I like chopped liver, I am not a big fan of liver though. And I go easy on the eggs in the liver.

But why don't you put that as a recipe and submit it - and I will put it up as the chopped liver recipe! No need to be unscientific.
We would love some recipes from you!

Deborah:
You are invited. Just wait. Hopefully I will have some great pics of the "Suk" - "MarketPlace" known as "Machaneh Yehuda" later on. It is a gas to go there at times!

And come on over....


Teddy

Anonymous said...

Teddy,
I just made my batch of noant for Passover - - special request from my mother. A long standing tradition in my family, my grandmother regularly made it. It seemed intimidating to make, but once I got over that many years ago, it's been a delicious treat for Passover and Rosh Hashanah each year. I freeze what is left. My recipe differs slightly from yours since I make it all in a pan and pour it onto a tempered cutting board to harden. My husband and I love adding lemon slices, and have increased this addition. Once the noant hardens, the lemon slices are the "filet" of the candy - - we eat the rind and honey and nuts that settle inside. That's the best part!
I found your site doing a search online for my mother for noant. It is more common than we initially realized. For years, we only knew that my grandmother made it. Now we see it spelled "noent" and "nont", in addition to "noant".
Happy Passover.
Nancy