Passover Seder 2011 – day 1

April rolls around and it’s seder time again, the ritual dinner celebrating the exodus from Egypt. As usual, things have to be done in full Gavin style.

Various ingredients. There are all sorts of traditional requirements to this meal, the most significant of which is an avoidance of any leavening agents, yeast, etc.

Parker 92. “Bachelet’s 2005 Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes – from 60- to 70-year-old vines both below the route nationale and north of Gevrey in Brochon – offers lovely black fruit aromas with hints of anise and mint. A truly palate-staining intensity of vividly-fresh, tart but ripe black cherry and blackberry is underlain by firm, fine tannins (not precluding an emerging silkiness of texture) and augmented by bitter-herbal and stony notes. Although palpably dense and abundantly tannic, this outstanding village wine still comes off as juicy, sleek, invigorating and refined. Put it away for at least 5-7 years.”

Parker 94. “The profound 1997 Barolo Bussia boasts intense aromas of molasses, cherry liqueur, melted tar, licorice, and toast. Dense and full-bodied, with enormous quantities of glycerin and fat, this hedonistic, thick, viscous Barolo can be drunk now and over the next 15-16 years.”

And for those who crave the old school sweet and alcohol finish of the classic kosher wine, the Kesser. No vintage listed or needed.

This is a traditional seder plate. It contains each of the ritual elements of the dinner. Starting at the egg on the right and heading clockwise. Egg, horseradish, lamb shank, lettuce, horoset, parsley.

Hard boiled eggs. Dipped in salt water before eating.

A glass of wine is left for Elijah, the prophet. He gets the cool cup.

Parsley, dipped in salt water.

Matzah, or unleavened bread. When the Israelites escaped from the Pharoah Ramses (check out Exodus if you aren’t clued in on that) there was no time to leaven the bread. So matzah, an unleavened cracker, is eaten in symbol remembrance.

More traditional accompaniments. At the top, Horoset (mixture of apples, nuts, and spices — homemade of course), the green is parsley, the pink stuff horseradish with beets, the white atomic horseradish! Mind bendingly potent. The water in front is salt water.

Another seder plate.

Matzah is traditionally eaten with the horseradish and horoset. This is called the Hillel sandwich, for more on that click here.

Gefilte fish. This is housemade from Pico Kosher Deli. It’s various chopped fish, boiled. A sort of unfried chicken McNugget of the fish world. Yummy with horseradish.

A big dinner requires a big pot.

Matzah balls prior to cooking.

The matzah ball soup. A very tasty vegetable/chicken stock with… matzah balls.

Start of the stuffing for the chicken.

The stuffing. Onions, matzah, peppers, etc.

The stuffed chickens.

On the BBQ. The grill is really the best way to cook whole chickens. You do need something like this foil to protect the bird from the direct heat.

The spread.

The plated chicken and stuffing.

Potato kugel.

Carrot fritters and pesto.

The salad and dressing.

My plate. You can compare to the litany of Thanksgiving plates.

The dessert spread.

The sponge cake in its early stages. Because no leavening agents are allowed, sponge cake is traditional. It’s fluffed up with egg.

It’s served with strawberry sauce (basically strawberries and sugar).

Fruit slices, also traditional.

Cookies.

Matzah, coated in chocolate and carmel.

Home toasted almonds.

The flour-less chocolate torte.

Iced.

Iced, decorated with almonds and chocolate dust.

With finished decoration.

Very full!

To see day 2 of passover, click here.

6 comments on “Passover Seder 2011 – day 1

  1. Do cookies get a pass because they’re made without water or other liquid (thus not activating the natural yeast in flour)? Or just made without wheat flour?

    • agavin says:

      Those are special cookies made with matzah meal and no leavening agent (or dairy products because this is a non-dairy meal). They are a bit pasty in consequence.

  2. gil says:

    Its cool that you used Israeli made cocoa powder. Is there a reason for that?
    And as a born and raised Israeli (living here all my life), I never heard of the Hillel Sandwich. We eat the haroset and hazeret(horseradish) by themselves and not together… I will have to try it!
    Happy Passover!

  3. […] year we hosted the first seder (SEE HERE), but my Mom cooked the second. That means a very high bar of […]

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