Chag Pesach Sameach!

Happy Passover, fellow celebrants! The time of alternative carbohydrate solutions is upon us. Matzoh lines our shelves, ready to be spread with jam, crushed into matzoh meal, dipped in egg and fried as matzoh brei, or assembled into awkward, crumbly sandwiches. (I don't recommend the last unless you have a solid plan for crumbs and lost sandwich detritus. Elsewise it can only end in mess and regret.) Kosher wine and grape juice fill glasses. Children sneak noshes of the charoses when no one is looking. Unlucky, daring, and/or uninformed children also sneak noshes of the horseradish. Families take turns reading from Haggadot. Dayenu brings down the house. Elijah seder-crashes, but is kind enough to do so inconspicuously.

Having attended Passover seders with a few different configurations of friends and family, I've witnessed a broad variety of seder-traditions. My own family's traditions consist mostly of things that caught on as in-jokes. When it comes time to recite the Hebrew names of the ten plagues, we do so together in a supremely nasal exaggeration of my grandfather's Bronx-by-way-of-Long-Island accent. A few years ago, we began to occasionally pronounce punctuation ("comma," "period," "semicolon") while reading aloud from the Haggadah, a joke that started with my tendency to do so by accident. The family with whom we shared a seder last night used to dramatically re-enact the plagues. They unanimously preferred hail over all other plagues, as they got to simulate it by throwing ping pong balls at each other.

Jewish readers (and others who have attended seders!): What are some of your seder traditions? Is there a dish that's never absent from your table? Does a particular person have the honor of hiding the afikoman? Do you have your own wacky version of Had Gadya?

Before I go, allow me to recommend PPP's little book of Jewish quotations: First Aid for the Jewish Soul.

Image credit: Maglara/Shutterstock.com

Recipe Thursdays: Passover Matzo Meal Pancakes

Passover, the Festival of Freedom, marks the liberation of Israel from Egyptian bondage. Unleavened bread, or matzo, is a staple among Jews, helps symbolize the hardships of their flight, and is a reminder that the struggle for freedom is always difficult and full of deprivations. Here is a recipe for Passover pancakes made from matzo meal from Simple Jewish Cookery by Edna Beilenson.

Passover Matzo Meal Pancakes

Ingredients:
3 eggs
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup matzo meal
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:
1. Separate eggs.
2. Add sugar to yolks and beat until very light.
3. Blend matzo meal with water, and salt and add to the egg yolks.
4. Beat whites until stiff and fold into rest of mixture.
5. Drop by spoonsful into deep fat and fry until brown.

Interested in more recipes for the Jewish holiday? Download the entire eBook to your reader: 

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