Not many of you know that Joey and I have celebrated Passover for the past 3 years. No, we aren’t Jewish (or at least we can’t definitively prove it…) but we enjoy any reason to cook a great meal, and more importantly- this was the one holiday that Jesus celebrated, so why shouldn’t we?
Anyways, we’ve had a lot of fun learning all the ‘rules’ of Passover and kosher cooking- as well as the symbolism behind the rituals that are observed. I used to babysit for a family who had ‘around the world meal nights’ with friends, and each time they’d cook a meal from a different country and decorate the table in the style of that place. Sounds SO fun!!
This was Gabs’ first time hearing the Passover story- but it won’t be her last!
I think this was the best year as far as the meal goes- I hunted for delicious-sounding recipes at 4:15 am on Monday morning (I’m starting to think I do my best work in the wee morning hours!), solidified a menu, took Gabs grocery shopping at 9 am, and got cooking at 10:30! Besides a quick shopping trip with Nicole (her pregnancy craving is Old Navy- LOVE it!!) I spent most of the day cooking up a storm.
I went the traditional route this year- here are the recipes!
~Charoset~ I LOVE when there are leftovers of this! I have come up with my own recipe for my favorite charoset-
3 Gala apples, diced
10 dried apricots, diced
1/2 cup golden raisins
small bag of chopped walnuts
1/2 cup Craisins
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup red wine
cinnamon to taste
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, chill and serve!
~Matzo Ball Soup~ the idea of matzo ball soup always disgusted me. It looks so gross! However, I wanted to go full steam ahead with a traditional menu this year, and there was no getting around The Soup. I didn’t want to commit hours to make something I didn’t have high hopes for, so box mix it was!
All in all, it wasn’t horrible! Tasted like chicken noodle soup. But instead of noodles, there were dumpling-like matzo balls.
By the end of the day, I smelled like Kugel and Matzo Balls- aside from that, it was a wonderful Passover meal. Joey always prepares a devotion for the end of the meal, and we each attempt to explain the meaning behind the Seder Plate that is in the center of the table.
There are 6 elements to a Seder plate:
1. roasted lamb shank bone- symbolic of the Pesach offering that was brought to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem
2. A hard boiled egg– a reminder of the festival offering that was brought to the temple on Pesach
3. Bitter roots- symbolize the harsh suffering and bitter times of the Israelite slaves in Egypt
4. Charoset– a mixture of ground up apples, nuts, and wine that resemble the mortar and bricks that the slaves were forced to make when they were in Egypt
5. Karpas- this can be a slice of onion, boiled potato or parsley that is dipped in salt water- to symbolize the tears the Israelites cried when they were enslaved
6. Romaine lettuce– second portion of the bitter herbs to represent the bitter suffering
We also had Kosher wine during dinner- interesting taste. I definitely prefer regular wine!
Regardless of whether we as Christians ‘need’ to celebrate the Passover or not, we have found that it is a great way to reflect on the atoning work of Christ on the cross for us. So, while it is not required for us to celebrate this holiday- we have found it totally interesting and beneficial to study it and celebrate it! It is great preparation for Easter Sunday and has definitely led to a greater appreciation and understanding of Christ’s death and resurrection.
So, besides smelling like lamb and Kugel all day, this was definitely a great celebration!