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Passover Best Bets for NEXT Year: Start Now

Now that Passover’s over and we’ve all crossed the sea and the desert back to our normal, hametz-eating lives, it’s time to compare notes. What worked or didn’t work this year? What new and exciting rituals, readings and recipes enhanced your seders or your holiday-at-large? Email your answers to Mel Weiss, Lilith’s blog moderator, and watch them appear below!

Passover Best Bets 2007

A Truly Personalized Haggadah
This was my first year making my own haggadah. Although I relied heavily on the Reconstructionist Press version–Rabbi Joy Levitt and Rabbi Michael Strassfeld–(which I bought in bulk during my Hillel-leading days at a major lefty college), I got to mix, match and add my own commentary, particularly helpful when non-Jews out number Jews at your seder. It felt like the best of all possible worlds–and an acknowledgement section let me feel like I was adequately crediting everyone in true feminist fashion. It was great to have the finished product, but I don’t think I’ll be updating or upgrading any time soon: it took me long to photocopy than it did to clean my apartment!

–Mel Weiss, Brooklyn, NY.

Those Who Have Come Before Us…
The host of our first seder asked us to write our names on the inside cover of our haggadot. We thought that was wonderful–an amazing way to see who passed through the holiday each year.

–Susan Weidman Schneider

Successful Food Ideas
1. Charoset: I make it from chopped apples (tart green and red delicious) with the skin on, pecans, white raisins and honey.
2. I always buy cooked foods for the holidays, since I’m just too tired to make roast chicken breasts, turkey, brisket, chopped liver, chicken soup, gefilte fish, kugel (potato and sweet potato) which are so well prepared by a glatt kosher butcher
shop, kosher for Passover.
3. I saute fresh sweet onions and fresh mushrooms to add to vegetables, etc.
4. I prepare two kinds of matzoh brie: sweet and savory. For the sweet, I add some of the large amount of charoset that I have prepared for the seder. For the savory, I add some of the sauteed onions and mushrooms.

–Lynn Liss

Miriam and Susan and Miriam Again
My best Pesach moment was inspired by an e-mail from your magazine! I saw the article about Miriam’s Cup, so I Googled that. I found a beautiful one from Armenia and sent it to my cousin, Susan, in Bellingham, Washington. She’s a fabulous woman (wife, mother and amateur folksinger). We grew up about 1,200 miles away from each other, so we don’t really know one another very well. Her paternal grandmother (Miriam) was my aunt (father’s sister). Aunt Miriam died a little over a year ago at the age of 100 (7 weeks after her big birthday bash). Aunt Miriam kept our family together. Sixty-two relatives came to Tucson in Jan., 2006 to celebrate her centennial. We had three parties that weekend. One of them had 112 people in attendance. Aunt Miriam looked great. At one of the parties, some of the family entertained us, including Susie and her daughter Arielle. It was a watershed event for all of us. I collected e-mail addresses from everyone who wanted to participate. We don’t all correspond as well as we should, but some of us correspond better than we used to. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for inspiring me to purchase, send and give my cousin a beautiful Miriam’s cup for Pesach. Susie loves it!

–Sara Leviten

A Rarely-Heard Seder Compliment
I went through our few previously-used Haggadahs and, because my grandchildren and I
have short attention spans, I worked for a few hours and compressed them. I managed
to get a three page Haggadah out of all ot it, and as everyone at the table agreed,
it was instructive, enjoyable and best of all – short.

Because we were able to eat my incredible brisket immediately, one comment raved,
“this seder was perfect for us hypo-glycemics.”

–Shirley Pullan

Pesach for the Rest of Us
Marge Piercy’s PESACH FOR THE REST OF US
was a marvelous text and figured in the
compilation of our own family haggadah.

I am sure that many others felt the same.

–Judy Geller-Marlowe

Liberating Kugel Recipes
Carrot Pudding for Passover
For me it is always a non-measuring recipe. If you need to measure – forget it!
Take nice fresh carrots, firm, ( I use l0 – 12) and put into the Cuisinart in the length to get finely chopped up. (If they fall sideways they get woody and thready.)
When done, add 2 tsp. baking powder, 3 jumbo or 4 normal eggs, honey – about 1/2 cup and or 1/2 – 3/4 c. sugar, and 1/2 or so cups of dark raisins.
Lightly grease pan with oil, pour in mixture and bake at 350 for about l hr. as you want all the carrots to cook soft.
Delicious hot or cold, as side dish or dessert.

Broccoli Pudding
Freeze 2 large bunches or broccoli. Sautee 4 onions in a little oil. Boil two potatoes.
Next day: defrost broccoli and slice up in Cuisinart, add onions, 4-6 eggs (depending on size), mash up potatoes and add, 1 tsp. baking powder (the more you add the fewer eggs you neeed, salt and pepper to taste
Bake at 350 for about 45 min. to l hour. If you like crisp edges, preheat pan before putting in mixture.

Any of the above recipes can be broken up into pans of various sizes so you can freeze unused portions.

–Ita Aber