Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Passover Food

When I was a kid, it was exciting to eat Passover food. It was different from the food we ate the rest of the year. And different is always (usually?) a treat. We got used to Matzoh and actually enjoyed fried matzoh. Farfel in milk for breakfast? It's not Frosted Flakes, but for eight days it was a novel change.

As adults we probably expect more. Sure we get good food during the seders. There are the feasts of turkey (at least in my family), chicken soup, gefilte fish, salad, tsimmis, cakes, fruit, salads, aaaaaaannnnnnd MATZOH! After the seders, leftovers can only satisfy you for so long. Then you need some variety.

My wife has taken care of that. She plans our Passover meals, and makes some really good meals. We've had garlic mashed potatoes, chicken in some kind of sweet, apricot-based sauce, artichoke soup, matzoh lasagna (she does it vegetarian, with spinach, but you could probably do it with meat), potato cheese triangles (yes, they're wrapped in matzoh, but they're deep fried. We use good, healthy extra virgin olive oil, and let's face it; taters, cheese, deep-frying; they were made for each other. They go together like Moe, Larry, and Curly.) And then there are the deserts: chocolate-farfel-dried cherry candy (home made here in our home) cheese souffle with real whipped cream that's whipped, this lemon meringue thing with chocolate dripped over it. I've been eating like a pig. And loving it!

The source of many of my wife's recipes is a lovely book called The Passover Gourmet by Nira Rousso. We haven't tried all of the recipes, but the ones we have tried have been delicious. We have found that sometimes you have to adjust some of the recipes. Cooking times may vary according to your stove. You may want to use canned or jarred artichoke hearts instead of fresh artichokes, but this book has made for some inspired Passovers, food-wise, at our house.

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