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What’s for supper? Vol. 29: Perfect Matzoh Balls and Black Jeddy Beans

There will be no April Fool’s Day jokes in this post. Mama too tired.

The week after Easter is probably the weirdest culinary week in our household, unless maybe the week after I have a baby. On Holy Saturday we have our Passover seder, and then we eat the leftovers mixed with whatever food I can scrounge up after having no time to shop because of the seder and Easter. There is, of course, candy debris all over the place, and the fridge is utterly crammed with hard boiled eggs that nobody wants.

I kept forgetting to take pictures, too, and every few hours, Benny feels the need to remind me with the blazing opprobrium of a four-year-old, “You and Daddy ac-ci-den-tal-ly put black jeddy beans in my baksket, but I don’t like black jeddy beans, so next year you won’t put black jeddy beans in my baksket!”

[img attachment=”97255″ align=”aligncenter” size=”medium” alt=”benny easter basket” /]

You know, I kind of regret what I said about gentiles celebrating Passover. First of all, it’s not in line with what the USCCB says:

A. Many Christians are given the opportunity to participate in a Passover Seder during Holy Week.”This practice can have educational and spiritual value. It is wrong, however, to “baptize” the Seder by ending it with New Testament readings about the Last Supper or, worse, turn it into a prologue to the Eucharist. Such mergings distort both traditions.” Ideally, then, Christians who wish to attend a Passover Seder should do so at the invitation of Jewish friends, families or synagogues that often welcome guests to this important meal. This allows Christians to experience the Seder as a Jewish family liturgy, still deeply meaningful to Jews everywhere. However, in the event that Christians celebrate the Seder alone, the following advice should prove useful:

“When Christians celebrate this sacred feast among themselves, the rites of the haggadah for the Seder should be respected in all their integrity. The Seder . . . should be celebrated in a dignified manner and with sensitivity to those to whom the Seder truly belongs. The primary reason why Christians may celebrate the festival of Passover should be to acknowledge common roots in the history of salvation. Any sense of “restaging” the Last Supper of the Lord Jesus should be avoided…. The rites of the Triduum are the [Church’s] annual memorial of the events of Jesus’ dying and rising.” (God’s Mercy Endures Forever: Guidelines on the Presentation of Jews and Judaism in Catholic Preaching, no. 28)

I didn’t present my opinion as doctrine, but still, I try to listen to the bishops, and you should, too!
Second of all, I made it sound like I feel more strongly about it than I do. This is a pitfall of blogging every day: you get ahold of an idea and, in your zeal to express yourself clearly, you end up working yourself up into a vehemence that you don’t necessarily feel.

So if I caused you any distress, I do apologize. As long as you are discreet and respectful, I think there is a lot of wiggle room here.

We had a very lovely day with my parents and one of the kids’ friends.

[img attachment=”97252″ align=”aligncenter” size=”medium” alt=”seder” /]

My mother, who has Alzheimer’s, had a lucid moment as she was leaving, and said, “Your house is so little, but it . . . shimmers!” It was a day that shone, and not just because of all the chicken fat molecules suspended in the air.

[img attachment=”97253″ align=”aligncenter” size=”medium” alt=”seder dessert” /]

All right, so here’s what we ate:

SATURDAY

-Chicken soup with 94 matzoh balls
-3.5 lbs. Chopped liver
-2 jars Gefilte fish
-About four gallons of Charoset
-Roast Leg of Lamb 
-2 large roast Garlic Cinnamon Chicken 
-about a pint of horseradish
-Spinach pie

Dessert:
-2 large Lemon Sponge Cakes
-Assorted macaroons (store bought)
-Jelly fruit slices; chocolate-covered jelly rings 
-Almonds
-Chocolate-covered halvah
-About a cubic yard of Chocolate-covered caramel matzoh, which the kids eat like it’s offended them and needs to be punished with their teeth

You can find the recipes for all of these things here. Except I used the sponge cake recipe on the canister. It was a little simpler and turned out just fine. Having a silicone pan was very helpful, as this is a fragile cake. Someday, I will buy a bundt pan, but not until I get around to using my springform pan at least once!

Oh, this is the first year I’ve used a food processor for the chopped liver, rather than a manual meat grinder. WOW, what a difference. It was like velvet. Liver-y, oniony velvet.

Also, my father brought Blackberry Mansichewitz, rather than grape, and guess what? It tasted good! A Passover miracle.

This year’s matzoh balls were perfect. Just perfect. Big and light and fluffy, every one. I’m very proud of myself.

[img attachment=”97260″ align=”aligncenter” size=”medium” alt=”matzoh balls cooking 2″ /]

I’m also proud of how much not-yelling I did while cooking. I made the matzoh balls in the morning, rather than cooking them ahead of time. I boiled them in plain water and then transferred them to the soup.

We also made the charoset on the same day:

[img attachment=”97257″ align=”aligncenter” size=”medium” alt=”sophia charoset” /]

SUNDAY
Seder leftovers, matzoh meal latkes, candy

The kids had their Easter baskets in the morning, then we went to Mass, and then we went to the playground. A sweet and happy day with my favorite people.

[img attachment=”97258″ align=”aligncenter” size=”medium” alt=”Easter morning” /]

I went with the simplest possible latke recipe — just matzoh meal, water, eggs (of course eggs) and salt, fried up in oil. They were lovely.

Oh, and Damien made homemade waffles for lunch. I forgot how much better they are than frozen!

[img attachment=”97254″ align=”aligncenter” size=”medium” alt=”corrie waffles” /]

MONDAY
Frozen pizzas, candy

A.K.A. what I could grab quickly on the way home while the baby did her Tasmanian Devil routine.

TUESDAY
Hamburgers and chips

The kids were really craving something that wasn’t egg-based.

WEDNESDAY
Bangers and Mash

Mashed potatoes and sausages. I made some quick gravy using the drippings from the sausages. Tasty.

THURSDAY
Gochujang Bulgoki, white rice, roasted broccoli

Must order some more gochujang. I also used the food processor again, rather than slicing meat and veg forever and ever, and it turned out great. But man, that machine is violent. I’m used to the brisk and powerful but sort of poetic orbital motion of the standing mixer. The food processor is all business.

Sauce recipe:

5 generous Tbs gochujang
2 Tbs honey
2 tsp sugar
2 Tbs soy sauce
5 cloves minced garlic

and cooking instructions here.  I’m cheating with a picture I took last time:

[img attachment=”97249″ align=”aligncenter” size=”medium” alt=”korean plate” /]

Also *whispering so Korean grandmothers don’t hear*: I didn’t have any honey, so I used maple syrup, because it kind of looks like honey. And I skipped the carrots, and crushed the garlic instead of mincing it. And I used terrible American rice, and skipped the lettuce. IT STILL TASTED GOOD.

FRIDAY

I have no idea. The inside of my refrigerator makes me want to weep. I guess we could have matzoh brei! Okay, yes, this sounds like a plan. It may not have meat, but it’s definitely not penitential.

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