Monday, April 21, 2008

It was fun playing with Seder food, but all good things. . .

Wow - seven blog posts showing our Seder preps. Hard to believe it is all over, but this is the last one. It has been a labor of love to prepare and serve all of this food to some of our family and friends, while my own family is so far away in Massachusetts, and Long Island and Binghamton NY. And I didn't even include everything - I was not happy with the brisket pictures, so those will await another occasion (although, be assured, Mister Brisket's meat cooked up magnificently, as it always does).

The last prep I photographed was the Charosis or Charoset. This mixture of nuts, apples, wine and sweetener is another of those holiday delicacies that can be prepared in innumerable variations. Every year, I think of adding exotic Sephardic spices like coriander and tumeric - but in the end, I make this once a year, and I can't bear to mess with perfection.

Charosis is one of the six items placed on the Seder Plate, together with a roasted egg (Beitza, the festival offering), onion and horseradish (bitter herbs, or Maror), roasted lamb shank bone (to commemorate the Paschal offering at the Temple in Jerusalem), and Parsley (Karpas, which is intended to stimulate the curiosity of the children). Charosis symbolizes the morter used by the slaves to make bricks for the Egyptians.

Mom made her charosis in one of those 1970s nut choppers like this one:

This resulted in a very coarse product. Yes, it kinda looked like mortar, but it fell apart when put into Hillel's Sandwich. And it was a bear to process all the apples and nuts needed for a big Seder in that little thing. I prefer to process the mixture a bit more than mom did, using the food processor.

Mom always used sugar to sweeten this dish, but I've become passionate about Ohio Honey, and so that is what I use. Walnuts, Heather's awesome Vietnamese cinnamon, Organic Apples (no waxes or pesticides, please) and KP Blackberry wine complete my ingredient list. Interesting note about the wine - Manischewitz Blackberry has no artificial ingredients, unlike the more traditional Concord Grape. And, it actually tastes good, in a sweet kind of way. So, this is my "go to" Kosher wine.

I start by giving the nuts a light buzz in the food processor, then peel and chop the apples. I then buzz them up together, finally adding the remaining ingredients as it goes.

It does eventually look like mortar - but it tastes so good!

Finally, here is a photo of our Seder table. May all of you enjoy your Spring holiday, whatever it may be, and have a wonderful season of green, growth, good health and of course, playing with your food!

1 comment:

  1. Cheers to another Cleveland food blogger blogging about Passover.