Okay, so we all know there are these lists of the do’s and don’ts over Passover. But like so much in Judaism, there are multiple rules that can be completely contradictory to one another – just ask someone of Sephardic background what counts as chametz then ask someone with an Ashekanazi upbringing.
This matters a great deal to me this year because a friend and I are planning to host a Seder together and he says he wants a “traditional” meal. I’m excited about cooking a full Passover Seder, except I don’t really know what “traditional” means. (an orange on the seder plate?) I didn’t grow up Jewish and so often I hear that you are expected to follow your family customs at Passover – especially in determining what counts as kitniot. But my family is Christian and they typically eat ham (and among other things, butter shaped like a lamb) for Easter – so that is not going to be a very helpful guideline for me now.
But even beyond my own limited personal experience at menu planning for a Passover Seder, I am expecting a very diverse group of dinner guests around my table – at the very least there will be non-Jews, kosher omnivores, vegetarians and vegans. So far we’ve decided to serve a nice “traditional” grass-fed organic kosher brisket, with lots of vegetables from the farmer’s market, and homemade gefilte fish made with conscious fish choices. We haven’t yet discussed what will constitute as kitniot (I’d like to do something with lentils or should I just stick to quinoa?) but that’s okay because at the moment I’ve got matzah balls on my mind.
I was planning on doing a vegetable broth matazh ball soup, but so everyone at the table can enjoy the soup, I’m wondering if there a good way to make vegan matzah balls? If I can’t use eggs to bind the matzah, what is a good substitute that will hold the matzah together while retaining a fluffy poached ball?
But what else makes a “traditional” Passover Seder? Any good dessert suggestions?
Not Your Grandmother’s Passover
Perfect Passover Menu
Pecan Matzoh Balls? What About Roasted Fennel?