A pre-Passover meal, a post-Christmas party and Palm Sunday were weekend highlights.
The Passover, or Pesach, observance was at a family home with guests from several faith backgrounds. We all read parts from the ceremony as the hosts explained our actions. We all leaned to the left as we partook of wine or grape juice because it was historically thought that this position of reclining at table aided digestion.
Other tidbits I learned were that the man of the house traditionally shreds the spicy horseradish and the act represents tears he may have caused his wife. Homemade matzo should be prepared in less than 17 minutes to signify the haste with which the original meal was made.
This experience, with singing and guitar as part of it, was emotional and lovely as new friends were introduced to new traditions.
The Christmas affair was at the home of a friend who missed celebrating the holiday, because of Harvey. She’s back in her home and couldn’t pass on setting up a tree. Christmas music, Tex-Mex flavors and a white elephant exchange made spirits bright. The funny part is, beach bags and towels were fought-for prizes at this Christmas party. Hey, it was snowing to our north, but we Texans are ready for the shore.
“A Taste of Pesach 2”
Pesach If you know how to plate gourmet, you don’t have to cook gourmet. That’s purpose of the spread in “A Taste of Pesach 2,” picturing how slices gefiltefish becomes artwork beside a row of sliced cucumbers, spiralized beets and a clear dish of pink condiment. Stacked plates go high, brushstrokes of sauces are background for ribs, fruit cups are layered like stained glass and cakes get a swipe of puree on the side. All these nuances transform a meal into a celebration. I’m getting useful ideas for plating leftovers. Potato-stuffed chicken capons, doughless potato knishes, spinach nests jalapeno sole, apple-apricot kugel and matzo kugel are some tastes cooks can create from this book. The photographs and recipes make this book stand out. It’s a project of Yeshiva Me’on HaTorah, a dormitory Mesivta High School and Beis Medrash, founced in 2005 in Roosevelt New Jersey. The group strives to help young boys develop into budding Torah scholars. Pesach, or Passover, is from March 30 to April 7 of this year.