Hello dear readers,
I was cleaning out the basement a few days ago, and I came across a BEAUTIFUL seder plate that my daughter Ronit made in middle school. It was more of an art project than a functional plate, but it got me thinking about the seder (even though pesach is still many months away!).
After thinking about what I wanted to say, I decided to start a new feature that will be running between now and pesach 2018 (FYI it’s Friday night, March 30th ). Introducing … drumroll please… the Seder Plate Blue Plate Special! (I can already hear my kids telling me that our seder plate technically only has blue lettering, and is mostly white; I guess only my older readers will get the reference.) Each edition of the Seder Plate Blue Plate Special will cover a different aspect of the seder plate, and will include some history, a recipe or two, and of course some of the personal anecdotes and humor that I know you all love. 🙂
Let’s get the Seder Plate Blue Plate Special started with everyone’s favorite mush: charoset!
The word charoset comes from the word cheres, meaning clay, and the food symbolizes the mortar that the Jewish slaves used to make bricks for the Egyptians. At the seder itself, it’s more of a supporting character than a leading food; it’s not on Rabban Gamliel’s Top Ten List, and there’s no bracha for eating charoset. The charoset is eaten as part of the Hillel sandwich (but even then we don’t mention the word charoset in the korech part of the haggadah).
People keep asking me (both in person and online) what our family “tradition” is. And I always tell them… there is no tradition! Neither my husband nor I have a knockout family traditional recipe for charoset, so every year we experiment a bit. We’ve tried different recipes and we’ve also tried adding new ingredients to old formulas. So that’s a bit of pesach fun for us!
If you don’t have a knockout family traditional recipe that you love, try spicing up one of your existing recipes with one of these specialty items. Yes, we’ve tried all of these at one point or another:
- Golden raisins
- Pine nuts
These ingredients have been suggested as parts of complete charoset recipes, which were suggested by many different people: neighbors, business associates, farmers, and even a South American couple we met on a kosher for Passover hotel (that was the coconut by the way)!
Have fun experimenting! And if you have an unusual and tasty ingredient that you use in your charoset, let me know in the comments!
More soon, (and more soon from the Seder Plate Blue Plate Special),
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