Pyramid Matza Balls from Goshen

Pyramid Matza Balls from Goshen

It’s Wednesday. It is the day that newspaper food sections across the USA highlight a Passover recipe or two or three for all those readers who are preparing for the chag. And what a treat today has been nationwide.

I am talking, of course, of the Washington Post story on pointy, pyramid shaped matza balls. Bonnie Benwick, known for her “quick exodus” or seder-lite story a few years back, writes this year about Phil Esocoff, an architect who molds his balls into tiny pyramids. Esocoff, an award winning designer (GWU’s Loudon County Virginia campus), gets his matzoh to perform in ways the author can’t achieve. She continues her article by interviewing famous seder cooks, including Sheilah Kaufman, who adds jalapeño peppers and cilantro to her soup; Montreal author-baker Marcy Goldman, who makes her balls small; chef Dean Gold, who relies on extra virgin schmaltz, and rotisserie duck and poultry fat to yield fluffy orbs; and Steven Weintraub, an executive chef in NJ, who supplies El Al and other airlines with kosher meals.

Maddahi's await food (Photo: Amy Dickerson, NYT)

Maddahi's await food (Photo: Amy Dickerson, NYT)

Not to be outcooked, The New York Times published a story today by Joan Nathan, the empress of Jewish food writers and authors, on a seder among Persian Jews in Beverly Hills. Included in the story is a recipe for HALLAQ, a Persian style of Haroset. Angella Madahi, a professor of Psychology, author, seder hostess, and MILEW (Mother I like to eat with), says, “Jewish people never do anything without eating.”

Speaking of Iran (No, #AIPAC2010, I am not speaking of you), The Boston Globe also highlights, today, the seder of a Persian Jewish family in Brookline, that of Caroline Ganjei.

Ganjei, a Sephardic Jew from Iran, was the sheltered teenage daughter of a prominent physician in Isfahan, when she fled Iran. The story explains how she, and her mother, Margrit Jacobson, prep for Passover. They observe the tradition of whacking each other with scallions while singing “Dayenu.”

The Miami Herald has no seder story. Shocking. Instead, they write about Sarah Freedman-Izquierdo of the Miami area, who won the national MAN-O-Schewitz cookoff, last week, with her kosher version of Chinese wonton soup with a ground turkey filling seasoned with ginger and sesame oil (not Kosher for Passover though)

You say Haroset, I say Charoset (LATimes)

BSD? Jews and Bondage? In LA, the do not Boycott, Divest themselves or have Sanctions on quinoa. The Los Angeles Times’ published a story by Yam Miri, I mean Miriyam Glazer and Phyllis Glazer on Spring infused seders. They highlight the use of quinoa. They explain that quinoa is kosher for Passover, because, although the Incas called quinoa “the mother grain,” it is not a grain at all, but a seed. In 1999, American rabbinic authorities declared quinoa kosher for Passover. The Glazers highlight a recipe for quinoa stuffed bell peppers of various colours. BUT, then they go on to highlight… yes… you guessed it, some Iranian inspired recipes for Passover (Persian style chicken soup, gundi, pomegranate lamb).

The Huffington Post got into the act in a snarky way. They published a piece titled, Passover Ham, on eating ham at Passover by Meredith Lopez. Lopez writes about how, growing up, her family mixed Jewish and Easter traditions, and, to this day, she holds a seder on a weekend night during the 8 day festival of Passover, but she usually serves a ham. Okey dokey…

Some people — I am not naming names — might benefit from a recipe in today’s Chicago Tribune, which highlights the Spertus Seder Bootcamp. The recipe is for a Southwestern (U.S.) spiced brisket, adapted from the NYT Passover cookbook.

While Israel’s Mahsanei Kimat Hinam grocery supermarket stores are busy offering “killer prices,” Toronto’s Globe and Mail has skipped the recipes today, and writes about kosher wines. Their picks? Sentieri Ebraici Gioia Vino Spumante 2008 ; Chateau Larrivet Haut-Brion Blanc 2006; Israel’s Dalton Safsufa Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Chardonnay and Israel’s Galil Mountain Shiraz 2007.

Wine will not be included in the MRE meals ready to eat packages sent by the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency to American service personnel worldwide. To see what it does include, click here.

Ancient Texas Big Hair Seder (Houston Chronicle)

Ancient Texas Big Hair Seder (Houston Chronicle)

But no matter what you serve, whether you leave an empty chair for Gilad, have Miriam’s cup and/or an orange, Rabbi Amy Weiss, writing in the Houston Chronicle, cries out that even at age 48, please let there be someone at the seder younger than she, who can recite the four questions, so that she doesn’t have to.

And in the words of that great rabbi, Lao Tzu, better a crumb of hametz on the seder table than an angry word among seder family members and guests.

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