Monday, March 29, 2010

Outside the Box

I usually have a Passover seder with my family (with the exception of two years ago when we had a rather unusual seder in Mexico). But this year, due to a variety of reasons, we were on our own.

I can't say that we had an actual seder (although we briefly considered downloading this). We ate many of the traditional foods, however the meal didn't quite come together without a hitch.

A lot of the food, I must admit, came from a box, including matzos, macaroons, and matzo ball soup. While this isn't the worst thing in the world, we had some minor mishaps too. As the eggs hard boiled, several cracked in the roiling water causing poofy whiteness to burst out of the shell. No big deal. The chicken burned too, just a little.

But the one item that I feel like I truly made from scratch and turned out to be the best part of the meal, I thought, was charoset. This is a sweet mix of apples, honey, cinnamon, nuts, and wine. Despite how good it tastes, scooped on a piece of matzo, charoset has a somewhat darker meaning. It symbolizes the mortar that the Jews used while they were slaves in Egypt.

I followed my mom's recipe, only she had no measurements, just ingredients. Keep mixing them together until it tastes right, she said. So that's what I did.

Mom's Charoset Recipe

Chop apples and walnuts* in the food processor.
Add cinnamon, honey, sweet red wine**, and golden raisins to taste.

*We used almonds
**We used white riesling

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