Monday, April 9, 2012


We had a wonderful evening celebrating Passover this year. Full of cooking, eating, praying, laughing, story telling, music playing, drinking, remembering, pondering, hiding and seeking, blessing and haggadah reading. Here are some highlights in photos:

Our seder plate-
(sans the  lamb shank. I read that a roasted beet can be used as the z'roa for those of us who do not eat lamb.)

Matthew made the delicious charoset!

and of course, the star of the evening... the matzo!

We start the night with prayers, and telling the story of the Exodus from Egypt.
Matthew breaks the middle matzo and hides half for later. 

We drink wine and eat soup (which was quite delicious, if I say so myself. Seriously, I am getting better at making "Jewish penicillin)

We enact the 10 plagues and I ask the four questions.

Then we eat! The main dish was stuffed cabbage. Matt's late aunt, Ester, was known for this dish, and I have heard Matt talk about it for years. This was my first crack at it, and I knew I wouldn't even come close to remaking hers (for one, I don't use meat... kind of a big difference!) but it was pretty good! The recipe is at the end of this post. We talked of Ester while preparing and cooking this dish, and throughout the dinner- Matt shared some of his memories of her, some touching, some very funny ... so Matt dedicated this Passover to her. 

Matt reads the 4 sons:

And I find the Afikomen, and get an apple as my prize!

Then we finish the night with some songs... I am pretty sure "Let my people go" and "Dayenu" were in there. Along with some others... Matt rocked The Cars, "Just what I needed!" 

Hope your Passover was both meaningful and fun!

Recipe for Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage:

Core a large head of green cabbage so that there is a cone shaped void where the core was. (This is the hardest part, make sure you have a good, sharp knife!)

Boil (and lightly salt) a large pot of water. I used my biggest pot. Put the whole head of cabbage in the water. Allow for each layer to boil for a minute or two before peeling each leaf off carefully using tongs and a gentle touch.

Let the leaves cool.

Make your filling. You can put anything you like in the filling. In a saute pan, I mixed a package of Morning Star meatless meat starters (It is like fake hamburger) with onion, mushroom, garlic, and other spices. I added this to a couple of cups of cooked rice and added an egg to the mix to help it stay together.

Form the mixture into a patty and place inside a cabbage leaf. Fold to make a little packet. You should be able to get by with one leaf per packet when using the largest leaves but will need to switch to two once the leaves get smaller.

Place the stuffed leaves in a baking dish.

Top with sauce. I used a mix of diced tomatoes and tomato puree. Instead of flavoring it with Italian flavors, like a marinara, I added some sugar, cinnamon, black pepper and apple cider vinegar.

Sprinkle with white onion slices.

Bake at 350 until it looks done. With meatless meat, everything is already cooked and the baking is to allow the flavors to combine. Mine was in the oven for about 30 minutes.


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