Passover Seder

So thus far in my week long blogging career, I’ve stuck to writing about restaurants I’ve loved in New York.  However, I am going to break the trend, since “these nights are different then all other nights” (yes, I just quoted the four questions in my post).  On Friday after work, I ventured home to the foreign land of New Jersey.  My grandparents were in town from Boca and we were expecting tons of guests for the next night’s meal as well.  My mom had been preparing for weeks, which I loved because I had lots of delicious pre-passover meals to make people at work envious.  My mom is an excellent cook, and even better at singing songs in the living room about Passover Seder.  I think it’s extremely appropriate to share my Passover dining experience, since my mom makes the carb-less feast one to remember.

(our Seder plate; Egg, Shank Bone, Horseradish, Charoset, Parsley, Celery, Salt Water, Orange)

Next to all of the typical components to the Seder plate lies an orange.  My mom tells a beautiful story about its place and why it has graced out plate.  The story goes that a Rabbi laughed and said “a women will become a Rabbi when there is an orange on the Seder plate.”  Well, now there are women Rabbis and to honor that, we add an orange to our Seder plate.  I love my mom’s ability to bring such meaning to everything we do, especially on such a symbolic, important holiday.  And she was sweet enough to whip out a vintage Matzah cover.  (It’s as old as my middle sister, and older then the youngest.. weird).

(Courtesy of Agudeth Israel Nursery School)

My dad does not possess the same rock star culinary abilities as my mom, but man, he knows how to make horseradish.  Like I’ve said before, I am not a big fan of spice, but when it comes to my dad’s interpretation of “maror” I am hooked and put it on everything! I think I was born with the gene to love the horseradish.  Traditionally, you make a sandwich of Maror and Charoset to remember the bitter and the sweet.  My mom brought the sweet addition to the plate with her Persian interpretation of the classic apple and cinnamon mixture by adding pistachio nuts.  The two are supposed to go together, according to the Haggadah.

(Mom’s charoset on the right, Dad’s horseradish on the left. Making on perfect sandwich in the middle)

Finally, we hit page 46, the best part.  Time to eat!  My mom cooked a delicious feast of steak, multi-colored potatoes and roasted carrots.  Not your typical first night of Passover meal to say the least, but it was so good and eating a home cooked meal is a treat.

The traditional feast occurred on Saturday night, complete with Matzah Ball Soup, Cabbage Soup, Gefilte Fish, Brisket, Matzah Kuggle, the whole nine-yards. And of course, what is a Passover meal without the chopped liver, made by yours truly!

(Livers, Hard-boiled Egg, Sauteed Onion, Parsley, Thyme, Cayenne)

My mom created some fun additions to the meal to give it a flare unlike any other Passover Seder. She makes the most killer, amazing, mouthwatering, addicting, perfect spicy nuts.  They have such a perfect kick and rosemary to balance out the heat.  She mixed cashews, peanuts, almonds, and used pistachio nuts for the first time.  Warning: One bite, and the entire bowl will be gone.

(Nuts and Matzah Man)

My mom also is the reason half of the Seder had a little too much to drink with her intoxicating sangria.  She has developed a knack for this beverage and amazing concoctions after one summer night at a family friends.  Her sangria of choice this time was Mango Nectar, White Wine, Peach Schnapps and fresh fruit.  My dad and middle sister just got back from Israel and were able to round out the beverage table with some legitimate Israeli, Kosher wine.  Needless to say, all of the factors contributed to a fabulous night.

It was a wonderful Seder and a great meal with family and friends.  And of course, countless political discussions with my Dad who just bought the new Rachel Maddow book for me (he’s reading it first though…).

Look forward to lots of bread-less posts this week!

My House – North Caldwell, NJ

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