A Bittersweet Passover

I have finalized my menu for the seder this coming Saturday. It is the second Passover that I have ever hosted. While I am happy to host the seder dinner, it will be a bittersweet seder for my husband and me. The sweet part is that we will get to use the beautiful seder plate, matza plate and matza cover that my beloved cousins gave us as a wedding present, but the bitter part will be that my beloved cousin, Michael, passed away in January and will not be here to help us celebrate the seder. He was a vital part of our seder for the past three years and his absence will definitely be felt. We will miss you Michael, but will carry on in your memory.

The menu is as follows:

Salmon with a Tarragon Sauce (instead of gefillte fish)

Chicken Soup with Matza Balls

Italian Haroset alla Famiglia Nordell

Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Spiced Pinenuts

Steamed Artichoke

Wild Rice Mix

Damp Apple and Almond Cake

Wild Citrus Sorbet (from the wild citrus trees around the moshav)

Pesach kasher vesameach lekulam (Happy Passover to Everyone) from Baroness Tapuzina and Family

Dare I Say It?

Pesach or Passover is in a little over three weeks! April 2nd is the evening of Pesach and it is time to prepare the house and think about what I am going to bring to my cousin’s house in Jerusalem.

I always bring my grandmother’s world famous matza balls, David’s world famous haroset (secret recipe that he will not part with) and a couple of homemade desserts.

I will give you one special ingredient in David’s haroset, chestnut paste.

My grandmother’s matza balls are made with whole matza.

Nathan Matza Balls

I make them in advance and freeze them. I can’t enter my cousin’s house without bringing these matza balls and David threatens to stop Passover if I don’t make them.

Speaking of stopping Passover…. I have a great story about my great-uncle Alfred. A few days before Passover one year he went to the local supermarket in my hometown in Alabama to buy some matza. He looked in the usual place and he couldn’t find anything. So, he went to the manager’s desk and asked where the matza was. The manager said, “Sir, the matza will be here next week.” To which my uncle replied, “Ok, I will go home right now and pray to the Lord our G-d and ask him to postpone Passover for a few days!” True story.

As for the seder plate above, I just love it. I dreamt about this seder plate before I bought it. I always wanted one with glass vessels. On my second trip to Israel, I saw this seder plate at the gift shop at the Museum Complex in Jerusalem. The artist’s name is Shraga Landesman and he makes some beautiful pieces of Judaica.

Someone once told me that my seder plate looked like something from Star Trek. I told him that would be one interesting seder considering that Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock are MOT (members of the tribe).

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