My First Seder

23Apr08

I was invited to my first Passover Seder dinner this past Saturday. If being Jewish means eating lots of food, drinking glass after glass of wine, and getting to eat chocolate covered matzah, then I’m converting very soon.

The dinner was hosted by my lovely landlords The Chamis. While the purpose of the ceremony is to commemorate the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt, it’s also a time for family and friends to make the story relevant to their own experiences and current events. I think I made it pretty relevant when I started swiping matzo to curb my grumbling stomach.

Like many holidays, one of Passover’s focal points is the food. Seder dinner holds a special gastronomical place in the heart of Jews. It’s the holiday where many familiar Jewish dishes are made: matzo ball soup, brisket, and everyone’s favorite, gefilte fish. I’m all for holidays centered around food, regardless of the religious affiliation. Just tell me what to do as long as I can join the buffet line.

I took on the task of making the chocolate mousse. I found this recipe on foodandwine.com, one of the few websites I like to surf for dependable recipes. The staff favorites are 99% of the time fail proof and guaranteed to wow your guests. I’m not a chocolate fiend by any means, but from the feedback I got, I think it was pretty good. It’s basically bittersweet chocolate and heavy cream so it’s pretty thick and rich. You wouldn’t want to serve more than 1/4 cup of it to each guest.



I’m guessing it wasn’t the most traditional Seder dinner, but it was pretty amusing. There was some yadda yadda yaddas, frequent page turnings, as well as a discussion on why one of our guests had Christian Slater on her business card. I also got to sing in Hebrew and eat a lot of food dipped in salt water. I got pretty full by the time dinner rolled around.

Oh and I got to try Gefilte fish. It’s like Spam’s underwater cousin. I think it’s made of fish byproducts as I don’t think there is a fish called Gefilte and it tastes more or less like fish sausage. Not as bad as I thought. but then again, I also really like Spam.

We had a potluck like dinner with contributions from most of the guests. For once I didn’t miss eating bread or other kinds of carbs. Although I can’t say I would be able to do it for the entire Passover. You’re talking to someone who ate rice for breakfast every morning as a child. It’s in my blood. Rice pellets I mean.

The menu read as followed:

-Ina Garden’s Brisket -simple, easy. Did you know you can buy 7 lbs of brisket for less than $20?

Pan-Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Fennel– a staff favorite on Foodandwine.com and a favorite of mine as well.

-Roasted Potatoes

Spiced Carrot and Zucchini Quinoa I added tomato juice to the recipe as it lacked a bit of acidity. Wasn’t my favorite dish of the evening, but it made for really good leftovers once the flavors got to develop a bit more.

-Arugula, Endive, and Raddichio Salad

Desserts consisted of my chocolate mousse, fruit salad, and my new favorite thing in the world, matzah layered with toffee and chocolate. I was too busy shoving both my hands into the bag of matzah so I couldn’t take a picture of it.

I’m now officially going to have a friend from every ethnicity so I can be a guest at these kinds of dinner parties. Anyone know where the Ramadan party is at?

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2 Responses to “My First Seder”

  1. 1 Shanna

    Doesn’t everyone have rice for breakfast?

  2. 2 Erica

    Amy you are invited to eat at jewfests with me anytime. Well done Amy Yiwitzbergstein


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