For the record, I am still in a matza coma while writing this. The last two nights brought the traditional Passover Seder, celebrating the Jews’ exodus from Egypt. There are two, I believe, because if you screw something up the first night, you get a do-over the second. Also, you can not possibly eat enough gefilte fish the first night.
This year we were at my parents’ house. As we start, I can’t help but be eager to get to page 77 of the traditional Haggadah (the book
that tells the story, complete with song, prayer and a few snarky side comments.) You see, page 77 is where we get to break to eat the festive meal. And trust me when I tell you this: you work up quite an appetite talking about going from slavery to freedom, eating a sprig of parsely in salt water and stuffing your face with
horseradish root (the bitter stuff, not the red stuff in the jar – that is for wusses, and we are not.)
A lot of families have hard boiled eggs in salt water with the meal. We were not one of those families, until FKGuy came along and said that his family always had them. In an effort to not disappoint, from then on, hard boiled eggs made their appearance at the table. These are quickly followed by gefilte fish, Now, I know you are thinking that gefilte fish is that disgusting stuff that comes in a jar covered in goo. But the stuff my mom makes is really more of a fish paté. It is salmon, grouper, onions, carrots and spices all ground together and made in a bundt pan (cue My Big Fat Greek Wedding jokes here), and it is delicious.
Following the fish comes the chicken soup, then the mail meal. By this point I am usually full, but I forge
ahead, because I know delicious things await. Brisket, sweet and sour meatballs, apricot chicken, chicken
Marsala (not so traditional, and I am not sure how this made its way onto the table, but I am not complaining), mashed potatoes, roasted fingerling potatoes with pesto, matza farfel kugel with apples (no, I have no idea what a farfel is, either, but it tastes good), and some gratuitous vegetables (which I did not eat). It is all amazing. It is so good that it is not unusual to see people (me) going back for seconds, or even thirds.
Then comes dessert. this year brought a new cake: the macaroon cake. It tastes just like a coconut macaroon with chocolate ganache (so what is bad about that?) and I am eating some leftovers as I type. There were plenty of other desserts, too: the chocolate, pecan brandy cake, lemon cake, cookies, brownies, macaroons (yes, in addition to the cake) and even some fruit (I didn’t eat any of that, either.)