Why is this night different from all other nights?

passover meal

Why is this night different from all other nights?

The eight-day Passover holiday concludes today at nightfall.

The story we tell at Passover isn’t a fairy tale that happened “once upon a time.” It is a true story. Each year at Passover we retell the story of our ancestors and go on a journey in our hearts from slavery to freedom, from sadness to joy, from darkness to light.

On this holiday God commands us to light candles. May each of us help kindle the flames of hope and freedom in our lives and the lives of others. As we light the candles we thank God who has given us life, kept us in life, and enabled us to reach this season of joy.

Blessed are You, Eternal God, Creator of the universe, who makes our lives holy with Your commandments, and commands us to kindle these holiday lights.

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Our Beautiful Passover Seder Table, and Frogs!

passover, passover table, seder table, seder, table setting

Our Beautiful Passover Seder Table, and Frogs!

Extending warm wishes for a wonderful Passover from our family to yours…

This post is the second in a series highlighting our Passover customs and traditions.

passover table

Kristy & Stone

The Passover Seder Table is not simply a place to tell the story of the Exodus and to eat dinner. The Table is symbolic in and of itself. It is a place where memories are made and traditions are taught. It is where we gather with family and friends, and perhaps strangers too, to celebrate our freedoms. The care with which my sister-in-law Kristy sets her Table reflects the solemnness and seriousness of this holiday. The vibrancy and beauty of the Table reflect our gratitude to God for taking us from slavery to freedom, from sadness to happiness, from pain to joy, from darkness to light. Fresh flower arrangements make the table especially spring-like and festive.

Newcomers to the Seder ask, “What can I bring?” We say bring a frog…and we have built up quite a collection over these past ten years!

Why a Frog?

God told Moses, “Behold, I hear the cry of the children of Israel. I have surely remembered you and seen what is done to you. And now I will put forth my hand and smite Egypt with signs and with wonders. Go tell Pharaoh, Let My people go!”

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Haroset, Ashkenazi-Style חֲרֽוֹסֶת

haroset, passover

Haroset
חֲרֽוֹסֶת

Welcome to our Seder! In the next few posts I plan to share customs of the Passover Seder. The Hebrew word seder means order. The Seder tells the story of how we were slaves in Egypt before God led us to freedom. Each year at Passover we go on a journey in our hearts from slavery to freedom, from sadness to joy.

Haroset is a mixture of chopped apples, walnuts, wine, cinnamon, and a touch of honey. Its texture and color remind us of the bricks and mortar Jewish slaves had to make when we built cities for Pharaoh. And the sweetness of haroset reminds us of the sweet taste of freedom…

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How to Make the Fluffiest, Most Delicious Matzoh Balls


Matzoh Balls

Over the last decade, I have made in excess of one thousand Matzoh Balls. We make about one hundred every Passover and enjoy them throughout the year as well. As the self-proclaimed Queen of The Matzoh Ball, with Passover around the corner, I’m sharing my tips on preparing the fluffiest and tastiest of matzoh balls!

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Tradition! The Brisket! Tradition!

Tomato Onion Brisket

It’s been a decade since I cooked my first Passover brisket. I had been tweaking the recipe by adding more red wine, and substituting wheat-free tamari, caramelizing the meat under the broiler, and lowering the cooking temperature. In recent years there are no more changes! If you come to our Passover dinner this is the brisket that you’ll be served. Now it’s tradition! And it’s gooooooooooood!

When I first looked at this recipe years ago, I was skeptical. Garlic powder and ground ginger weren’t esteemed ingredients in my kitchen. And I didn’t remember the last time I used onion soup mix. Was it to make dip in college? But the combination of the brisket from Paulina Meat Market and canned tomato sauce mixture produced, well, a miracle of sorts.

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