Tips and tricks on how to make the cosmopolitan treats in your own kitchen.
Special to the Jewish Week
Move over cupcakes, there is a new, and sweet, trend in town. What first exploded in the bakeries of France centuries ago, has, in recent years, landed on the shores of the U.S. and taken off like, well, macaroons at Passover time. In every conceivable color and flavor, French macarons (not to be confused with the traditional Passover dessert macaroons) are now popping up in bakeries across the country, on the covers of magazines and on television.
Forget heavy or light. Matzah ball varieties — from spicy to sweet to stuffed — provide plenty of options.
Special to the Jewish Week
There are a lot of important considerations when it comes to Passover. Red wine or white? Hand-baked or machine-made matzah? Streit’s or Manischewitz macaroons?
But one of the top considerations in every household before the seder is this: Should matzah balls be heavy or light? This year though, you may want to start asking more questions. Like spicy or plain? Whole wheat or regular? Stuffed or unstuffed? With so many options, any number of kneidl varieties could grace your seder table.
Passover gifts, with an eye toward aesthetics and meaning.
Special To The Jewish Week
Chanukah may be the season for exchanging presents, but Passover has its own traditions of gift giving, with none of the pressures. We searched for gifts that had beauty and meaning, with some fun too; many are handmade and some are local (and some are both). A number of these selections address the very themes of the holiday: supporting freedom for all people. Gifts that give, they enable — through their marketing — the people who made them to advance their lives.
How do you make the second seder distinctive? Readers offer a variety of suggestions.
You sit down at the seder table, start the holiday meal with Kiddush, then déjà vu hits you: didn’t we do this last night?
For many people, the second seder — Yom Tov Sheni Shel Galiuot, which takes place only in the diaspora — is a challenge. Going through the same readings and rituals seems repetitive. Those who already asked “why is this night different from all other nights?” strain to make the second seder different from the first.
‘I never missed a seder,’ says survivor who risked his life to join family at a seder in the doomed Jewish quarter.
Near the start of the seders I conduct, mostly in former communist countries, I usually cite, then refute, the statement by Ahad Ha’am, the early Zionist leader, that “More than Israel has kept the Sabbath, the Sabbath has kept Israel.”
The seder, I say, has preserved the Jewish people; most are not shomer Shabbat; most go to a seder, even it involves a sacrifice.
In a trend that has been growing in recent decades, the publishing industry – which has brought printing into everyone’s hands and allowed publishers to gear their products to particular segments of the market – now offers Haggadahs and related Pesach books that appeal on the whole, to specific parts of the Jewish community.
A former student of Rabbi David Silber at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education offered the rabbi a suggestion a few years ago — he should do his own Haggadah, based on the Passover-based classes and lectures he had given for three decades.
The rabbi’s first answer was “no.”
“I’ve never written anything in my life,” he explains. “I teach. I speak. I’ve never written — maybe two or three articles.”
Keeping the kids entertained well past their bedtimes at the Passover seder is no simple task. While you were busy scouring the floors and cleaning out the cupboards, The Jewish Week scoured the Internet for affordable gifts that will keep the tots focused on the story of the Exodus — without leaving you wistfully planning your own. Order some extras — you just may want to “borrow” a few of these masks, finger puppets, and punching bags, too. After all, who says that fun at the seder is just for the kids?
This Passover, add a little color to
the seder meal with a tuber or two.
Most people already have one root vegetable — horseradish, to denote maror — on their seder table. But for kosher cooks looking for a little more excitement over the weeklong holiday, there should be a few more colorful tubers at the meal.