Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Celebrations - Birthday & Passover Seders

Birthday treat ...
...finally a new photo with me and my girls - Sharron, Joanna and me

Ready for the Passover Seder

I mentioned before that my daughter Sharron was in for my birthday and it's been joyously hectic since her arrival. I thought I'd share some of the highlights...which always entails cooking and recipes.

Saturday morning at the market held an interesting discussion in the line at Getaway Farm about liver. Bottom either love it or hate it...there is no in between. I love it, but never make it because my Honey ...well...he's in the other camp. So at least twice a year - for Jewish holidays, Joanna makes some chopped liver - no recipe, sorry and no picture either because...well, it never looks pretty. It's hard to find good beef liver in this town, so I was excited when I saw some and called my daughter (waking her up at 7 AM) to ask how much she needed..."Lots" was the answer so I took 4 pounds which was probably twice as much as we needed. No worries - those of us who do enjoy it at the Seder table on Monday had fantastic care packages to take home!

The afternoon was spent doing a little of the cooking for the Seder (I like to do everything as close to serving as is possible. So starting two days before is as early as I care to go.)...some fantastic Caramel Matzo Crunch from Marcy Goldman's A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking and of course I forgot to take a picture of that too. The rest of the day was spent visiting and organizing.

Sunday was my birthday and I opted to cook dinner for family and friends of Sharron's who are like family. My Honey thought we should eat out or order in... that I shouldn't have to cook on my birthday. Silly him - it's one of my biggest pleasures.

Cooking schedule for the day...
Chicken Soup & Matzo Balls

and Tunisian Date Cake for Monday's Seder

My Birthday Dinner - from one of my latest cookbook acquisitions -
Rose Reisman's Family Favorites: Healthy Meals for Those Who Matter Most
Roasted Salmon with Teriyaki Hoisin Sauce

Roasted Root Vegetables with Maple Syrup Dressing

And my own, thrown together, simple mixed green salad with a blueberry balsamic vinaigrette.

Dessert was just the birthday cake. Everyone seems to have a personal favorite....homemade with love, or store bought; ice cream cake or something baked. My family usually opt for something chocolate, and usually of the ice cream variety. I, on the other hand have to wait until my birthday comes around for the store bought (I'm talking grocery store) vanilla cake with white butter cream icing and hard candy roses (see top of post).
Boaz and Dov seemed happy with my choice too.

Monday morning and more cooking for the Seder...boiling a dozen eggs and whipping up Charoset for the ritual part of the meal.

Gefilte fish (I cheated)...bought frozen logs that you just put in boiling water, seasoned with a carrot and onion for an hour and a half.

Two giant Potato Kugels (One would have been plenty)
Roasted Asparagus - without the grated cheese garnish in the recipe, whipped up while everyone was eating their appetizers.

The rest of the cooking was perfectly prepared by Joanna and her able assistant, Sharron - too busy for a photo.
Roast stuffed leg of lamb, carrot tsimmis, salad, and of course the chopped liver.

Plus some candid shots....note the empty table...that's the ritual portion before we overindulged.

Ezra, Boaz, Joanna & Dov
The rest of us, pardon the blur. And what does a three year old do when he's not quite engaged in the Seder? He uses Grandma's camera...
Poppa's shoe and my favorite...
Self Portrait.

For those of you celebrating Easter this coming weekend, I hope yours is as wonderful as our past weekend was and may it bring you Peace and Joy. Oh...and what will you be serving anyway?

Remember that I'll be hosting this week's Presto Pasta Night Roundup - I even found kosher for Passover pasta. Send your entries to ruth (at) 4everykitchen (dot) com.


Goody said...

Happy Birthday.

I had to laugh when I saw we had the same Haggadahs. My first thought was,
"Ruth hasn't replaced Haggadahs since 1974 either!"

They used to give away free ones at our neighbourhood grocer, and each year we'd get one or two odd editions, but there were never enough for everyone to use at a seder, so my mother went out and bought these one year. They've been used every year since. I do like the woodcut illustrations-they seem so old fashioned.

Ruth Daniels said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes. As for the Haggadahs... I've actually bought replacements over the years. Some look alike but the words are slightly differnt.

My favorites are the ones the girls used when in Hebrew School with notes as to who said which portion. They make me smile every year.

Now we have my kids plus the W kids (my son-in-law and his sister). We even have different tunes for the songs and have blended them to make them our own.

Hope your seder was as much fun as ours.

li'l sista said...

Well I haven't seen a seder table that long since the old days! Made me smile.
And Bo seems to be quite the photographer! Maybe he'll learn how to take videos next!
I was there in my heart, and hugging you all in my mind.
Happy Pesach! Next year in Halifax! ...same as Jerusalem. Oomain. xx

tigerfish said...

Happy Birthday! What a feast!
Just sent in my pasta entry too :)