Holiday Weekend — Passover Dinner

9 Apr

This wonderful weekend started for us with an invitation from my husband’s best friend to celebrate Passover this Friday at his family’s house, and knowing his mom’s amazing cooking in no way possible could we refuse it. Simi has such a strong personality, full of positive energy, that it seems like she’s filling everything around her with it, her beautiful bright home, people around her, and especially her cooking. I have never been at a Passover dinner before, thinking that it would be just a festive version of Sabbath, that they usually invite us to. If only I would have known just how exactly festive it would be, I wouldn’t have eaten for a whole week in advance. The holiday of Passover commemorates the freedom of Jewish people from the enslavement of Egyptians. It lasts for seven days, during which no food that contains leavening agents is allowed. A symbol of the Passover holiday is a Matzah, flat bread made solely from water and flour, that looks and tastes just like a big cracker.

Dinner started with a special prayer that was followed by a round of appetizers. Simi prepared three types of fritadas, one with spinach, one with leeks, and the other one with squash, that were accompanied by a tahini sauce. There were also plates of potato salad and purple cabbage salads on the table and home-made chicken liver paté that was supposed to be eaten with matzah bread. By the time I was done with my plate, my stomach looked like I was five months pregnant–good thing that I wore my flared black dress that was perfectly disguising it.

Meanwhile, Simi gave everyone 10 minutes break to let the appetizers settle, after which matzo ball soup was served. “The trick to these fluffy matzo balls is to add some sparkling water when you make them,” Simi’s daughter told me while I was admiring this flavorful soup. I guess it would make sense to me if I knew how to make it in the first place. Although I have tried this soup before, it never was as good as hers, and after trying her version I am determined to learn how to make it. I’ll make sure to cover my try-out in a separate post.

And just when I thought I wouldn’t be able to eat any more food, the main course was served. Plates with roasted chicken, kebabs, and baked potatoes with peas and carrots in a special tomato sauce were passed around the table. I had to pass on the chicken, no matter how delicious and moist it looked, my stomach couldn’t possibly handle that much food, though I did try a little bit of potatoes and a little piece of kebab, which was cooked tender and juicy to perfection.

By the time dessert was served, my stomach already looked like it was around the eighth month of pregnancy, which didn’t stop me from enjoying chocolate matzo cake with a cup of mint tea. The whole atmosphere during the dinner was so relaxed and easy; their family has an amazing ability to make everyone feel as welcome as if you were born a part of it. I could count at least three separate conversations happening along the line of that long dinner table. And laughter, lots of jokes and laughs all evening, which wouldn’t be possible without the presence of such a wonderful energetic person like Simi. She just has a rare ability to fill your heart with warmth and sincerity that makes you look at the world through totally different prism of optimism.

Stay tuned for my second part of this Holiday Weekend — Easter Paella lunch with my husband’s family!

Yours truly,

— Vita (:

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One Response to “Holiday Weekend — Passover Dinner”

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  1. Holiday Weekend — Easter Paella Lunch and Other Goodness « Diet Drop - April 9, 2012

    […] started with the Passover dinner at our friends’ house, which you can read about in the post “Holiday Weekend — Passover Dinner”. Even though we ate full for a whole week ahead, it was just a […]

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