It is the Wednesday before Passover preparations and shopping really begin in earnest, so traditionally, North American and other publishers print stories and recipes for their Passover observant readers. Let’s take a peek:

Joan Nathan, the goddess of Jewish cookbooks, published her annual essay in The New York Times. Her article, “Countdown to a Passover Seder,” reviewed her plans for her annual seder, with commentary by her 98 year old mother. This year, she will bake eggs that are covered with sand, and she will host a pre-holiday gefilte fish party. Tonight she will be making varieties of haroseth at the U.S. White House in Washington DC (White House recipe link here).

Nathan also made a video on how to make matzo balls. We learn that she adds fresh ginger and nutmeg, and likes hers hard and small.

Melissa Clark, an NYT food writer joins her, and nearly gives birth to a seder plate in her excitement to be cooking with Nathan. Nathan’s newest matzo ball recipe is here.

Passover Rolls

The Washington Post, which last year won kudos for its pyramid shaped matzo balls, kicked off the season with a story from Shaar Hagai Israel on the Canaan breed of dog. Perhaps Moses and the Hebrews saw this dog while noshing on: Passover Popover Rolls, Fruit Crisps, Passover Halibut Plaki with fennel and celery, Linda Capeloto Sendowski’s Passover Zucchini Quajado, or Lemon and Honey Artichokes. Please note however that if you use a Jerusalem artichoke in the recipe, its U.S. passport will not be stamped “Israel.”

The Toronto Globe and Mail published a memory by Ellen Chaikof of her most treasured object, the chopping bowl used by her mother and grandmother to make horseradish and other items for Passover. The Montreal Gazette highlights an Austrian Chocolate Walnut flour-less torte, macaroons, and passover bark.

The Miami Herald was much too busy with the Pope and Cuba, but the Palm Beach Post published the story of a Rebbitzin and her culinary tribute to her Hungarian grandmother.Adele Grossberg-Bark was inspired by her grandmother, Lena Krauss Feldman, and shares her chicken and her beet salad recipes. Grossberg-Bark, who lives in Delray Beach with her husband, Rabbi Emeritus Nathan Bark, has even published her own cookbook, The Rebbetzin Cooks: 40 Recipes for Passover and Beyond. The Sun-Sentinel also profiles her and her chopped liver and wine cake.

The Chicago Tribune focused on Queens, NY instead of the Windy City for its recipes. It features recipes from June Feiss Hersh’s “Recipes Remembered”, a book of pre-War recipes and memories. It includes a recipe for Wolfie Rauner’s matzo dumplings. Also in the Midwest, The Kansas City Star profiles the freedom-laced matzo ball soup of Elena Kosiborod, a recent immigrant from the Former Soviet Union. A little bit more West, The Honolulu Star Advertiser features a honey cake of Passover.

The Los Angeles Times has not published its recipes yet, instead it has reviewed and panned a film about Passover. Reuniting the Reubens “is a frantic, badly constructed, slightly offensive muddle that doesn’t so much end as run out of things on a checklist.” It stars Timothy Spall as Lenny, a lawyer who is guilt-tripped by his elderly mother into gathering his family for what may be her last Passover seder.

Hopefully our seders will be better than the Reubens’.

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  • Larry you slay me every time. Great post and happy Passover! “if you use a Jerusalem artichoke in the recipe, its U.S. passport will not be stamped “Israel.”” I nearly choked on my Sabra hummus I laughed so hard!

  • I always tell my friends that nothing can be better than a home-made national food!
    Book of pre-War recipes?I wonder how many have lived till today. Hopefully we do remember the wine cakes our grandmoms used to make.

  • Oh… about the Recipes Remembered, pre war recipes, i was too opaque about that. It is a collection of recipes from Holocaust survivors which raises funds for a Holocaust memorial museum and is published by “Ruder-Finn” which I assume is the publicist for the memorial.

    • Oh… understand! But anyways if they are collected from survivors, they must be pretty old. A friend of mine once shared a notebook with old recipes,some originating from her granny(she was a cook) thought I have tried just few of them…Thank you for inspiring to cook more, the holiday is coming!)


    sorry.. the video above should have said.

    The White House Office of Public Engagement and the National Endowment for the Humanities host an interactive event with curators of the Chosen Food, an interactive exhibit currently on display at the Jewish Museum of Baltimore that explores the relationship between the customs and culture of the American Jewish community and food , the White House Kitchen, and Jewish celebrity chefs to explore the unique histories and lore of these foods and their place in the American Jewish experience. March 28, 2012.