April 26, 2005 |
My childhood memories of Passover are distinctly double-sided. On one side are long and lively Passover seders conducted in our dining room. My father sat at the head of the long table, and my grandfather sat at the foot. Together, they conducted the seder. On the other side are long and lively afternoons preparing for the seder in our kitchen. My mother stood at the stove. My Grandma Mary, Great-aunt Becky, Aunt Marsha, Aunt Mindy, sister Kim and I sat around the kitchen table.
April 21, 2005 |
For many years I had my own four questions to ask at Passover: Why is the food so bad? Who needs a holiday with bad food? If we cooked with interesting spices and ingredients would the food taste better? Why don't we try it and see? I am Jewish, so I can say these things (although I would never say them to my mother). Passover is notorious for its bad cuisine. An important holiday on the Jewish calendar, Passover marks the exodus of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt (thanks to Moses)
April 21, 2005 |
If you've had one too many dry or tasteless or excessively sweet desserts at the tables of family and friends during Passover, supposed sweets crafted to meet the food requirements (read: restrictions) of the holiday, you'll be interested in pastry chef Amy Edelman's take on the subject. Her motto for desserts for Passover and other occasions is "Moist and Delicious. " For home bakers, that can be a challenge at Passover time, since strict dietary laws for Jews during this holiday ban the eating of leavened food (chametz)
April 14, 2005 |
The story of the Passover seder at Vetri is an unconventional one. To begin with, there will be no matzo balls. But the matzo itself will be homemade. And there will be, as one would expect from one of the city's leading Italian chefs, a Mediterranean accent to the meal. At which, we must add, there will be no paying customers - only close friends and family. That Marc Vetri should host a private seder at all (for the second year) might come as a surprise to patrons who have seen the special joy on his face when he cranks the antique prosciutto slicer in the dining room.
April 5, 2004 |
A line recited at the Passover table arguably is the most famous of all: "Why is this night different from all other nights?" That line again will be chanted around the world this week as Jews gather to mark this holiday, which celebrates freedom from Egyptian slavery. But this year, the question has a contemporary answer. This is the year of The Passion of the Christ, a film that has rocked the Jewish community and brought, in the view of many, what my grandmother would call tsuris - trouble.
April 3, 2004 |
When is Passover, Rabbi Arthur Waskow wondered last week. The scholarly Waskow knew, of course, that the "night unlike any other night" is the 14th day in the Jewish month of Nisan, which is Monday this year. Instead, his question was a reflection on liturgical time. Waskow, director of the Shalom Center in Mount Airy, has written a new haggadah liturgy for Passover, and will use it as coleader of a public, interfaith New Freedom Seder tomorrow at the Episcopal Church of the Advocate, 18th and Diamond Streets in North Philadelphia.
April 1, 2004 |
When Jewish families gather after sundown Monday to begin the eight-day observance of Passover, they will commemorate not just the exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt more than 3,500 years ago, but also culinary traditions for the ceremonial seder meal, some of them unchanged for many generations. But increasingly, those menus are reflecting a mix of national cultures, says Israel Aharoni, a chef whose restaurant in Tel Aviv, Tipuach Zahav (Golden Apple), was rated "best restaurant in Israel" by GaultMillau, the French travel guide.
March 31, 2004 |
If this is your year to host the Passover Seder, don't panic. It's really not difficult to pull off in style if you keep it simple and easy, says Zell Schulman, author of "Passover Seders Made Simple" (Wiley; $16.95) and two other cookbooks, from her home in Cincinnati. "Preparing for Passover should be an adventure rather than a chore. "Look at the Passover Seder as something different, fun and a challenge," advises the 76-year old mother of four, who has been cooking and hosting an annual Seder for more than 45 years.
April 23, 2003 |
This has been a holy and sacred time for so many in our community. The end of the active war in Iraq, the return of American POWs, and the spring flowers cropping up all give us reason for hope. Each spring we are given the opportunity to mimic the natural world and to begin afresh our efforts toward understanding one another and making the world a better place. The Passover holiday, which will be celebrated until nightfall tomorrow, also brings poignant messages of freedom from oppression and freedom to create a more perfect world.
April 16, 2003 |
Last week, as I was preparing for the Passover holiday, I happened to mention to my mother that I felt as though I, riveted by the images of Operation Iraqi Freedom, had been watching the Passover story play out live on the small screen. Some of the parallels to the Passover story in the book of Exodus, a story Jews are required to relive every year during the Seder meal, are striking. I heard one pundit say, "We are witnessing the birth of a new nation; but it will be a tough birth.