I hope everyone has had a wonderfully relaxing spring break! Whatever you celebrate, I hope your holiday was wonderful as well! I love spending Passover with my family and eating nonstop at our seder (the Passover meal). I apologize in advance for these incredibly cheesy titles insisted by my incredibly goofy Uncle Guy.
A Meal Not to be Passed-Over
We always celebrate Passover with a meal cooked by my Aunt Melissa (Missy), who after years of making the Seder definitely has this meal down to a science! After a reading of the Haggadah, the book of the Passover story which is read at dinner, (as we get older, the Haggadah somehow seems to get shorter and shorter… ), we began with my aunt’s famous matzo ball soup! Her matzo balls are exactly what matzo balls should be. Soft on the outside and chewy on the inside. Then, I like to guess how many times I am going to be asked if I want gefilte fish even though I have never once in my life liked gefilte fish at all ever. I think this year it was only twice, actually! Then, we have a buffet of all the yummy main dishes and sides. Here are the standouts.
Two types of potato kugel– one with shallots and one with carrots. After a thorough examination and much deliberation, I determined that contrary to many, my favorite kugel was the carrot. I think that often, the more colorful food is, the better it tastes! The orange flecks in the grated potatoes brightened not only the color of the dish, but the flavor as well!
Lemon garlic string beans made by my mom. While the garlicky aroma got old in the backseat during the 3 hour drive to Connecticut, it was definitely worth it! I ate mounds of these fresh, tender beans and then couldn’t help picking straight from the bowl when cleaning up after dinner!
Roast beef. This was not just your regular old roast beef. It was the most beautiful fourteen pound (yes, I said fourteen pounds) roast beef ever. Coated in savory, fragrant rosemary and wonderfully juicy and tender, this roast beef was absolutely perfect.
Then, dessert. A rich flourless chocolate truffle cake. Thick, rich chocolate is a never fail delicious dessert, and even though I was bursting from fullness after the rest of the meal, that didn’t stop me from devouring my delectable slice of cake… and maybe a couple of coconut macaroons too… and some candy… and some fruit but fruit doesn’t really count, right?
Let’s be real here. Matzah is gross. But it doesn’t have to be! It helps if you choose to see matzah not as a piece of cardboard but as a blank page– a vehicle for delicious things. It’s a matter of perception. For example, I decided to find a super exciting spread in which to smother my otherwise bland matzah. I found a pretty little jar of Dalmatia Orange Fig Spread. It’s a sweet cross between fig jam and marmalade– a surprising and delicious duo. I’m going to be spreading this gold on everything once Passover ends too! Another great option to mask matzah if you can’t find a fancy spread is Nutella because I mean… Nutella.
In the search for kosher for Passover alternatives to normally leavened items, it’s often hit or miss. We have two Shop Rites near us within 10 minutes of each other– one had a whole aisle of Passover items and one had a sad looking bottom shelf with a few boxes of matzah. Yeah. But the Shop Rite with the aisle had lots of interesting Passover goodies that were surprisingly enjoyable! Kosher for Passover pastas (Gefen brand and Manischewitz brand are both great) taste just like normal pasta! While they’re a bit gummier in texture, the taste is there and it’s an easy substitute for pasta. This makes life a lot easier as a pasta addict because a week without pasta is a really long time… Also, Lieber brand’s Kosher for Passover cake mixes are such a yummy treat! Smothered in some homemade chocolate frosting, I was shocked at how much it tasted like actual cake baked with normal flour!
Passover doesn’t have to be so hard now, does it?!
Enjoy! Love, the Perky Foodie