Early Passover

Passover came early for us this year.  A Seder on Saturday night (last night) fit into everyone’s schedule better, although I now feel slightly out of kilter, as today I felt guilty eating bread……  About Passover this year, I have two statements that don’t fit together, although they are both true. We had a good time, and we missed Andrea terribly.

Andrea’s family, my family, and one other family were my Passover family for many years.  In fact, the adults of the third family reminisced last night about the year we first got together, and we went around the table, everyone saying something we were thankful for at Passover.  Their then-four-year-old son stated, "There are no slaves in Wisconsin!"  That son is now about ready to turn 30 and get married!  I also recall this son, at that long-ago Seder, taking a poll: how  many people there were vegetarians?  Well, we were and so were they, and so are we all today.

This year’s menu was hard to plan.  Of course, after so many years we all had our own special dishes, and now in addition to the people, some foods would also be missing. Andrea traditionally prepares a "stuffing" made from potatoes and kasha (buckwheat).  Betsy volunteered to make a kasha and vegetable dish, which was delicious.  She always makes the matzoh ball soup, and did, as well as steamed broccoli.  Her sister and family brought an enormous green salad, and an extra family a delicious fruit salad.  And us…..?

I am usually responsible for the Seder plate, unless the Seder is at Andrea’s.  I made the traditional charoset, and found an enormous and lovely beet to substitute for the shankbone.  Breaking with tradition, I decided to make potato knishes, forgetting completely that dough made with matzoh meal never really bakes perfectly.  Although they didn’t taste too bad (kind of bland, though), they looked dry and cracked by the time they were served.

We’ve decided to jazz up the leftovers by making some kind of sauce to pour over them when they are reheated.

Something way more delicious, and way less complicated to make, was sweet and sour cabbage, and I’m including the recipe. It is adapted from No Cholesterol Passover Recipes, a pamphlet produced by the Vegetarian Resource Group in 1986, and probably out of print.

Sweet and Sour Cabbage (serves 6 – 8)

  • 1 small head of cabbage (I mixed red and green)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 apple, grated
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 TBS matzoh meal (but flour, rice flour, cornstarch, etc would probably work just fine)
  • 3 TBS vinegar (I used a combination of rice and apple cider)
  • 2 TBS sugar or another sweetener
  • 1 tsp. salt

Saute onions and cabbage in the oil.  Add raisins, apple and 1/2 cup of the water.  Cook five minutes.  In a jar, shake up matzoh meal, vinegar, sweetener, salt and 1/2 cup of water.  Add to other ingredients and cook ten more minutes.

For dessert, I made macaroons.  Andrea usually makes hers with carrots, but these are different…..

Macaroons (makes about 20 small macaroons)

  • 1 large or 2 small bananas
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract and one of chocolate extract, or just two of vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 – 2 TBS Earth Balance
  • about 8 ounces unsweetened, shredded coconut

Mash the banana very well and add the other ingredients, with the coconut last.  Start with about half the amount and keep adding and mashing until the consistency is fairly dry.  The dough won’t hold together but will when you squeeze it into balls.  Make very small balls and bake in a 325 degree oven for about 15 minutes (don’t let them burn).

We ended up having a very nice evening, after which we all kicked ourselves for not taking a single picture!!!!!  I guess we were too busy reclining…. and to my knowledge, there were  no slaves in Wisconsin 🙂

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