Making Family Traditions My Own, The Matzo Cloth

Many of us grow up with family traditions. Often in those traditions there are family heirlooms. As we grow up and leave home to start our individual lives as adults we start reminiscing over holidays past. We think of the smells, sights, sounds and even the heirlooms and it evolves into a nostalgia. If there are family heirlooms you may even secretly hope that one day they may be passed on to you, but what about all those years till then?  Continue reading

Easter and Passover: How to Celebrate Both Through Food Without Overdoing It.

I was raised in a Christian household but we also celebrated some of the big Jewish holidays. We even went through a period of celebrating the sabbath every week. Depending on the time of year it seemed like there was either a heavier emphasis on my Christian upbringing, say like Christmas, or my Jewish heritage, like Passover. We still would celebrate Chanukah and Easter but if I thought of food I would say Christmas and Passover got priority. Then there are times they bleed together. This would best be explained but sharing that our traditional Christmas Eve dinner were, and still are, blintzes.  Continue reading

Rustic and Elegant: My Passover Salad

When looking for a new Passover salad I quickly discovered a huge gap in cookbooks. Where are all the salads to compliment a dinner. There are tons of recipes for salads that are meant to be a meal but where are the ones meant to be a side salad or the salad corse of a meal? Cookbook after cookbook and nothing. If by some miracle there were small salads they just were often overloaded.  Continue reading

A Modern Twist on a Timeless Classic: The Seder Plate

For over 30 years I have looked at the Seder plate and wondered why we don’t eat everything on it. If it’s about symbolism and reverence what better way to create a lasting memory than with flavor. Our ability to remember something from a smell or taste is truly remarkable. The taste, the smell, the texture, the feel of the food can not only help you remember but it can almost transport you in time… and after all isn’t that the point of the Seder plate?  Continue reading

Seder Plate Amuse Bouche: Beitzah with Karpas

On the Seder plate there are two items. The romaine lettuce or “Karpas” and the roasted hard-boiled egg or “Beitzah” of the two typically you only eat the Karpas. This is actually the first thing you eat during the Seder. It is dipped into a bowl of salt water. The salt water dripping off the lettuce is symbolic of the tears of the Jewish slaves while in Egypt. The egg is a symbol of mourning. It’s a remembrance of the destruction of the Temple. So it only seems fitting to bring tears and mourning together.  Continue reading

Seder Plate Amuse Bouche: Chazeret with Matzo

The horseradish sandwich. This strikes strong memories for anyone in my family and/or anyone who has attended our families Seder. Here’s the idea if you’re not familiar… The leader of the Seder will take a piece of matzo from the three stacked on the table. Then they will break it up in to bite sized pieces. Then they will use two pieces to scoop up a small bit of horseradish and sandwich it between the two pieces. These are then passed out to everyone in attendance. Together you all eat your sandwiches. This is a part of the actual Seder where you are learning about the items on the Seder Plate and of their symbolism. This is a remembrance of the bitterness and harshness of slavery.  Continue reading