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Peculiar Passover Practices

This is a thread that got started by accident in a Cooking with Salami thread on the Home Cooking board. It seems that for some of us, salami & eggs was a special passover dish, while others had it year-round but had other passover-only foods (other than those obviously demanded by the holiday itself). Like, in my house, passover was the only time of year my mother would buy butter instead of margarine - but it had to be Breakstone's whipped butter!

What are your memories?

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  1. matza brei, no reason not to eat it other times of the year!

    4 Replies
    1. re: smartie

      Thats crazy talk. I'd eat matzoh brei all year round if I ever found myself with a box of matzoh in my apartment. When I see it on the menu of diners around me, I always give it some thought.

      Matzoh pizza and matzoh grilled cheese on the other hand are delicious but get old after 8 days.

      1. re: ESNY

        I eat it all the time. And I always start craving it a few weeks before Passover starts.

      2. re: smartie

        I love matzoh brei and make it several times throughout the year. (Only for me though - DH and son don't like it - what do they know.)

        1. re: smartie

          I LOVE matza brei...with a little grape jelly....YUM! I'm so excited!

        2. lots of white fish. also, my mom makes loads of veggie pate on Passover (by the pounds, seirously) -- I think it's the only thing that makes able to bear the horrible dry tastlessness of matza.

          2 Replies
          1. re: tastytamarind

            Spread schmaltz (with embedded fried onions) on your matzoh and sprinkle with a little salt. It's a foretaste of paradise!

            1. re: Striver

              That was my reply on the original post. It's so gawdawful unhealthy, but soooooo good!

          2. Hey, BobB...you must have been reading my mind. When I posted last on the Cooking with Salami thread, it was about eating matzoh with cream cheese and jam - "slightly" off topic. Being the procrastinator that I am, I was hoping someone else would start up a thread about Passover eating idiosyncrasies.

            Just as salami and eggs was, and is, a Pesach dish for me, I've never been able to figure out why I don't usually make matzo balls the rest of the year. Everyone loves them, and I've gotten my bubby's "tam" and texture pretty well duplicated. We prefer "cannonballs" to fluffy balls, and I follow my grandmother's lead by putting fried onions in the mixture. I guess she started this as a substitute for schmaltz; we actually called fried onions "gribenes" in our family. And, to avoid any possibility of the matzoh balls coming out fluffy, they are baked, dry, in the oven (becoming browned and "crusty" on top) before being served in the soup. Bubby also put a tiny bit of cinnamon in her mixture, which I like, but which my husband and kids consider going a bit too far.

            15 Replies
            1. re: FlavoursGal

              My family's secret for matzah balls are the mixes - any of them we prefer them fluffy - so just follow the recipe and they come out fluffy every time - we have them year round

              gribenes - is not exactly fried oniions - it is the crispy pieces of chicken skin with some onions leftover after rendering out the chicken fat - definitely good eats but bad for the heart -

              1. re: weinstein5

                I know what gribenes are, but my bubby used fried onions as a substitute after my zaidie developed heart trouble.

                By the way, did you know that you should never buy gribenes from a Mohel?

                1. re: FlavoursGal


                  That's terrible.

                  1. re: FlavoursGal

                    Sorry wasn't is this was case like occurred to me trying to hid what it really was - my mother use to feed me and my brothers 'sweet meat' which turned out to be pickled tongue - once we learned what it was that was it for us eating it -

                    1. re: weinstein5

                      I love tongue - fresh and pickled. My kids won't touch it.

                      1. re: FlavoursGal

                        My mom used to make it when we were kids - although I don't remember it being a passover staple - more like something that we would eat on sukkot. She would cook it sweet and sour style with plump raisins and pineapple. As with FG above, when we come to visit an my mom is serving it, my kids don't touch it.

                        1. re: FlavoursGal

                          My son actually LOVES tongue. In fact, when we go to a deli for dinner, he has a tongue sandwich.

                        2. re: weinstein5

                          OMG I forgot all about that. My mom had an oval dutch oven (club aluminum) and every so often she would make us a boiled tonge for dinner. There wer major fights in the family about who got the tip slices and who got the slices further down. It must have been a cheap meal cause we were pretty poor.

                          1. re: jfood

                            My mother used to make tongue in the pressure cooker. Her pressure cooker was very sensitive, so we had to be very quiet when it was on the stove, tiptoeing around, whispering.

                            One day, I don't know what happened, but the pressure cooker literally blew its cork (or gasket, whatever), and the tongue that was cooking inside at the time went spewing out through the tiny hole at the top.

                            You can't imagine the scene. Pressurized, pulverized tongue on EVERY surface in the kitchen.

                            1. re: FlavoursGal

                              "Pressurized, pulverized tongue on EVERY surface in the kitchen."
                              Great story! Thank you for sharing that memory.
                              My mom used her pressure cooker for many things, probably tongue on rare occasions, and definitely sweet corn in the summer. I was always a bit fearful of the cooker, and tried to stay out of our small kitchen when it was on the stove.
                              Mom thought I was a wimp for being nervous. I wish I could tell her your story!
                              I have never used a pressure cooker, and don't eat tongue anymore. It was always purchased along with other deli meats for sandwiches, and I would take a slice or two to add to the corned beef, pastrami, and turkey. But I could never look at a whole tongue!!'
                              Chag sameach, p.j.

                              1. re: p.j.

                                To you too. Actually, Happy Purim.

                                We always made calves' tongue, so it wasn't quite as gross to look at as a beef tongue.

                            2. re: jfood

                              We had the same pot in 60's style avocado green! My mother made stuffed cabbage, chicken soup and other goodies in it!!

                          2. re: FlavoursGal

                            **LAUGH** That sounds like a great book title: "Never Buy Gribenes from a Mohel"

                            1. re: FlavoursGal

                              Where does the Mohel store his instruments? In a Brisket

                            2. re: weinstein5

                              I like the matzoh ball mixes, too. I add a little chopped dill to the mix. They NEVER fail!

                          3. I do not think of it as peculiar but I do not of anyone else who does this - as an appetizer for the Seder in place of giving everyone a hard boiled egg and salt water we have egg soup - a cold soup that consists of nothing more than chopped hard boiled eggs and salt water - it is excellent -

                            11 Replies
                            1. re: weinstein5

                              Yes, we had egg soup (a very common seder table dish, by the way) at my bubby's seder table. I hated it and went for the whole egg.

                              1. re: weinstein5

                                We have the same thing but also with onions in it. Cold salt water with chopped up hard boiled egg and onion. I love it!! Always ask for seconds.

                                1. re: weinstein5

                                  Us too, same thing. Not that anyone is actually crazy about it (especially as it's always followed by the traditional chicken soup - two soups?), but we can't stop it now, it's been going on for well over half a century.

                                  1. re: weinstein5

                                    There'd be a revolt in my family. We really like our hard boiled eggs!

                                    1. re: weinstein5

                                      Wait, are you related to me???
                                      My mother's maiden name is Weinstein and I never heard of anyone else doing this!

                                      1. re: bolletje

                                        Read the other responses to weinstein5, it's actually quite common.

                                      2. re: weinstein5

                                        I was always under the impression that this was a recipe that was exclusive to my Bubby (paternal), and I assume her sisters and such too. The kicker is, she adds a piping hot boiled potato to the salt water and chopped egg, which makes it warm and soupy. Me and my brother seem to be the only ones in our generation who get this dish, in fact, we've even talked our mom in to making this on the other seder where it doesn't go over too well with her side of the family.

                                        I am surprised that others are familiar with this dish, as I have been told this is a family recipe. I don't think I will ever be able to look at my bubby the same way. Thanks for ruining Passover, the herbs will truly be bitter this year.

                                        1. re: weinstein5

                                          As a kid, we'd start the meal with a hard-boiled egg. Our modern-day version of that is egg salad.

                                          1. re: weinstein5

                                            My family also does this-- it's a great favorite of mine. I'm wondering if it's some sort of regional variation. Those of you who do this: where are your families from? Mine came from Belarus and Lithuania...

                                            1. re: mscaroline

                                              Well for reverse logic, my family is originally from Belarus (not unusual as understand it) and Vilnius and we don't do this.

                                              1. re: pescatarian

                                                That's amusing. We could be related-- my family's also from Vilnius, although I guess that's not really surprising. Just out of curiosity, does your family make lox & eggs, and if so, do you put bell pepper in it? I'm told that the bell pepper is "a Litvak thing." :-)

                                          2. It was only during passover that we would have strawberry jam on our matzo-meal pancakes. My grandmother would get a huge jar of strawberry jam and it had to have big chunks of strawberries. I liked it, but I never understood why we couldn't have syrup. I guess none of the syrups were k for p.

                                            1. Another staple during Passover has always been Manishewitz borsht with beets. It was, and still is, always served with chopped green onions (scallions, which in Montreal are called shallots). My grandparents and parents always added sour cream.

                                              1. Chopped liver and chocolate covered raspberry jelly rings. No, not together. Chopped liver only at Passover because of the amount of work it took to make by hand and how bad it is for you and the jelly rings - I don't know why. Again, no reason for them to be Peasch only, but those are my special treats.

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: rockycat

                                                  Yep, jelly rings are only for Passover. I wouldn't dream of eating them at any other time of year.

                                                  1. re: sivyaleah

                                                    omg ring jells! They are so foul but somehow i love them at passover and eat a silly amount.
                                                    Also that homemade candy with the matza, sugar, butter, chocolate and almonds... kind of like toffee bark

                                                    1. re: chowkitten

                                                      How about those chocolate lollipops shaped like a cone? Why a cone? Is there some passover significance to that shape?

                                                      1. re: sivyaleah

                                                        Maybe they're really shaped like a Cohen?

                                                          1. re: sivyaleah

                                                            Do they still make those? Haven't seen them since I left Brooklyn in 1960!

                                                    2. One thing my sister and I always made as kids during passover was "passover pizza". Matzoh spread with Manischevitz canned tomato sauce with mushrooms and grated cheese, broiled in the oven. Surprisingly, satisfied.
                                                      Other than at Passover, how often would you actually find people who seemingly enjoy mixed horseradish with charoset? Love it with gobs of both.

                                                      21 Replies
                                                      1. re: pescatarian

                                                        Oh, a culinary delight! Must be fresh horseradish, though. That last little matzoh sandwich before dinner - oy, to die for! :-))

                                                        And why is it that I make charoset only during Passover? My kids adore it, and I always make extra for them to have after the seders.

                                                        1. re: FlavoursGal

                                                          I agree. I love charoset. But I feel the same way about gefilte fish. I like it more than once or twice a year :)

                                                          1. re: pescatarian

                                                            I love Perl's gefilte fish, but that option's gone now (I've heard that they may not be re-opening). We're going to Montreal for the seders this year, so I guess I'll shlep some back from there, or buy the boil-ready fish. Gefilte fish is one thing I still haven't gotten around to making on my own.

                                                            1. re: FlavoursGal

                                                              I'm lucky in that my Aunt makes great gefilte fish. I made it also last year. It came out pretty good - nice texture and flavour. I think I need to work on the combos of fish though. I went to the grocery store late in the game and they only had one kind of white fish left and I think it is better with a combination.
                                                              I also made fresh horseradish last year. What I learned in making it is that it all depends on the root you get as to how hot it will be and one batch came out nice and hot and the other was pretty tame. I don't think it's necessarily worth making.

                                                              1. re: pescatarian

                                                                I only buy enough horseradish root for the seders. I don't use it to make chrain, just for the seder plate (some in matchsticks; other grated).

                                                              2. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                I make it. We managed to get Grandma's recipe from her before she died by two of us doing it... my cousin wrote and I ran around behind her with cups to grab her handfuls and pinches and measure them. It is an awful lot of work, tho, but sooo good!

                                                                I like Hillel Sandwiches. surprised no one has mentioned them yet!

                                                                1. re: ChefJune

                                                                  Pray tell, what is a Hillel sandwich?

                                                                  1. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                    The Hillel Sandwich is eaten at the Korech step of the seder - right before the meal - it is a sandwich made of matzah, maror(bitterherb/horseraddish) and charoset -

                                                                    1. re: weinstein5

                                                                      Oh, of course. I never knew it had a name. It has been mentioned, though. Pescatarian and I had a discussion on its yumminess, above.

                                                                    2. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                      See below (definition of Korech). According to the Talmud (Tractate Pesachim) the sandwich was originally made by Hillel.

                                                                      1. re: PapaT

                                                                        A shainem dank/toda rabah, PapaT. :-)

                                                                      2. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                        While many people think the Hillel sandwich is charoset and horseradish on matzoh, this is not correct, according to my Hagaddah (the Passover prayer book). It specifically says that the Hillel sandwich was horseradish (bitter herbs) on matzoh. The charoset/horseradish sandwich is different.

                                                                        1. re: kiwijen

                                                                          Hillel sandwich is horesradish and matzah. there's also horesradish and charoset together. But in my family at least it was never a sandwich with all three.

                                                                      3. re: ChefJune

                                                                        What the big deal about making fresh horseradish? Two ingredients: horseradish and vinegar. Peel the root, cut it into chunks, puree it in the food processor with the vinegar. Done. And if it's a good root it'll knock your socks off!

                                                                        1. re: BobB

                                                                          true but for the purist it has to be grated by hand - with the occasional piece of knuckle

                                                                            1. re: BobB

                                                                              It is, especially when it gets made into potato latkes. :-)

                                                                              1. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                                Now THAT (latkes) is a dish for which the food processor was invented! It makes it all so quick & easy I don't know why I don't make them more often.

                                                                                1. re: BobB

                                                                                  Double B

                                                                                  We went from once a year to 5-6 times a year once we saw how easy it was with a processor.

                                                                        2. re: ChefJune

                                                                          I LOVE the Hillel sandwich! In our family we always say, "It's so good, you cry when you eat it!"

                                                                  2. re: pescatarian

                                                                    Hard hand baked (shmurah) matza with butter - on passover its irresistable. Matza pizza (as quoted above although mom never used mushrooms). Matza with cream cheese and jelly. Matza bubbeleh that my grandmother made - like pancakes made with matza meal and eggs - served with sugar not syrup. Also, we always had fried fish (from scratch) with boiled spinach and mashed potatoes.

                                                                    As to egg soup - I never saw it until I spent my first passover with my inlaws. As soon as we finished the matza/maror/charoset sandwich (aka Korech) they passed out bowls and everyone started mashing their eggs with salt water. I was shocked - we always just ate the eggs (half or whole) and dipped them in salt water. Ten years later and I still pass on that soup. As to chicken soup with matza balls, bring it on!

                                                                  3. My grandmother made the absolute best cookies only during Passover. They were made with cake meal and potato starch, with chopped almonds. We always begged for them during the year, but she could never find cake meal other than at Passover time. We would ask her to buy extra so she's have it on hand, but she never did.

                                                                    I make these cookies now, too. Only on Passover! :-))

                                                                    1. Also this is the only time I eat salami with ketchup(catsup?) - between two pieces of shmura matza -

                                                                      And then shmura matza - the handmade matza that is round and usually burnt - who knew that burnt flour and water could taste so good -

                                                                      1. The can of Manichevitz tomato sauce came with the mushrooms already mixed in. We didn't add them.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: pescatarian

                                                                          Uch. My mother used to make veal burgers and put that tomato-mushroom sauce on top. Uch.

                                                                          Only on Pesach.

                                                                        2. - I am so proud that my mothers secret recipe for matzah balls now comes in many versions and called Mrs Adlers. Now i need to read the lable. WHen I was growing up it was "jelly or thin" relating to the goop around the gefilte in the jar. Now I need to spend 5 minutes reading the various jars. Sweet, No MSG, Bite sized, etc. Who ever heard of such variety?
                                                                          - Joya Jelly Rings. Man I love these things. Every year i buy four or five boxes of them and when I bring them home Mrs Jfood tells me that no one likes them but me. I tell her I forgot and put them in my stash in the basement. Happy Jfood
                                                                          - Joya Chocolate covered White Marshmallows. Ibid. :-))
                                                                          - Buy one of everything - Matzah meal, potato starch, matzah farfel, matzah everything. Just throw it in the cart. It is so much easier than going back the sunday before the event and just staring at all the empty shelves.
                                                                          - Israeli versus American Matzah - No brainer, go with the Israeli.
                                                                          - "They Like Me" grocery chains - Certain store chains are nicer than others. My local merchant puts everything for the holidays on sale. Brisket is never cheaper than the days before Passover. Many chains are already starting the buy early and save routine. Five boxes of motzah for $1.99. What a deal. Others view this as the us versus them and the Jews need to buy this stuff so let's charge them through the nose. One gives away the shank bone and the other sells it for $1.99. What goniffs. Guess where I take my business.
                                                                          - Chopped Li(o)ver - Yes this is one of the great food contributors of us Jews. Take the most unhealthy organ of the chicken and fry in the most unhealthy non-organ of the chicken. A little onion, some matzah and you have a great commercial for Lipitor. Pass the salt please.
                                                                          - The great brisket versus chicken debate - Vat no brisket this year? Oy vay, you gotta have both. Remember uncle bernie does not like meat and auntie fanny would feel offended if we did not let her bring her famous brisket. Have both!!
                                                                          - The Sedar Book - Has anyone EVER listened to the sign over the Maxwell House Coffee box that says, "Take Only One Please".
                                                                          - Horseradish Purchase - Bottled or fresh. I now have to buy three types. Gold's red and white and then mine. It's fresh from a local merchant has more heat than Gold's but does not send steam out of your ears.
                                                                          - Horseradish Eating - Major debate. How hot do I go. This is the only meal i remember my father enjoying. How do I know, he piled Gold's horseradish (white) on his gefilte, and into his mouth. He turned beet red, started sweating and tear welled up in his eyes as he said "Wow that's hot." No kidding dad, you've been doing that stupid routine as long as I can remember.
                                                                          - "It needs salt" - I love this line. Chicken soup hits the table and the first words spoken are...
                                                                          - Four Questions - Uncle Morty always says, "Have I got a better question for you"
                                                                          - Dog finds Affikomen - Don't you love Fido walking into the dining room with the affikomen in his jowls. We call that a total win for the kids. Gelt for everyone.
                                                                          - Pasta, is it or isn;t it - The always present argument on night four or five on whether pasta was passover approved or not.

                                                                          What a wonderful life.


                                                                          28 Replies
                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                            Nice points and anecdotes, except on the matzoh. Horowitz-Margareten is what I was raised on, and having tried all sorts of other matzoh's (including an ultra-thin English brand, Israeli brands, schmura, etc. - Riverdale has lots of matzoh options), I always come back to Horowitz-Margareten. De gustibus, and all that - but I think it just tastes better than any others and has just the right thickness - not too fat, not too thin.

                                                                            Oh - and on the great chopped liver debate - my mother, whose chopped liver was a family treasure, only used steer liver - never chicken liver - although there was schmaltz in the mix, along with chopped hard-boiled egg and onions.

                                                                            1. re: Striver


                                                                              If you can find Yehudah brand, buy a box and give it a whirl. The Horowitz and the Manechewitz just do not taste as good.

                                                                              Oh yeah I forgot the egg in the liver. Yup I do know people that used beef liver in their chopped liver. Now sit down. I once knew someone who put mayonnaise in their chopped liver. I am so done, stick me with a fork.

                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                I agree about the shmura matza - it is our favorite daily matzah - and if you can find it for the extra fiber - check the Yehudah Whole Wheat matzah -

                                                                                For the Seders it is nothing but the Hand Made Shmura Matzah -

                                                                                1. re: jfood

                                                                                  The San Francisco Chronicle had a taste comparison of different matzos (Israeli and American)

                                                                                  YEHUDAH was the winner....I must agree ...it is toastier and tastier....!

                                                                                2. re: Striver

                                                                                  Since this story dates from the fifties, perhaps the moderators will let it stay...

                                                                                  One of the highlights of my final year of Talmud Torah was a field trip to a local matzo bakery in New York. I'm pretty sure it was Horowitz, though it could have been anywhere. They were making Passover matzos, and we were told to be sure we had no chometz in our possession or on our clothes.

                                                                                  I'm not sure whether special rules apply to working in a matzo bakery (versus handling, say, grapes or milk). The product wasn't shmura, but it definitely had a reliable hashgacha. Many of the employees were easily identifiable as non-Jewish. The mashgiach was omnipresent. But he was of a certain age and obviously couldn't see very well.

                                                                                  While we were on our tour, the staff broke for lunch. They stood adjacent to the production facility, chatting and eating their sandwiches. These sandwiches contained not only bread, but various suspiciously verboten meat products. Our teachers were horrified and quickly got us out of there, pretending all the while that nothing in particular was wrong. (They said nothing to us or our parents, though next year's class did NOT have this field trip.) While all this was happening, the mashgiach continued on his rounds, seeing absolutely nothing.

                                                                                  I told my parents what we had seen, but was warned that I shouldn't be spreading bubbe meises [sic] about such an important issue.

                                                                                  1. re: Striver

                                                                                    Totally agree about the matzo. Have you noticed that several american matzo brands now are including some ingredients which just shouldn't be in matzo? I don't remember what it was I saw on the labels, maybe it was corn syrup? What ever happened to just unleavened flour and water?

                                                                                    1. re: sivyaleah

                                                                                      Are you sure that the matza boxes don't have a disclaimer on them that they are not for passover use. Over the last month we have been using a box at home with such a disclaimer. When I looked at the ingredients it included Canola oil.

                                                                                      1. re: PapaT

                                                                                        You are most likely correct. I probably was looking at boxed not during Passover. However, I still don't understand what oil is doing in there anyway.

                                                                                      2. re: sivyaleah

                                                                                        To be perfectly honest, the only matzos I can really stomach are not kosher for passover. Kind of defeats the whole purpose of eating matzo, but that doesn't stop me.

                                                                                        1. re: jonnybee

                                                                                          As you don't indicate your digestive problem its tough to give direct advice. However, you may want to speak with your local Rabbi about your probelm. It is not uncommon that a Rabbi will permit someone who has digestive issues to use egg matza instead of regular or shmura matza. Additionally, depending on your issue, you may be able to use spelt matza.

                                                                                          Ed comment - Of course like with meds, its important not to self medicate, but you may be surprised with the amount of latitude you may be alotted by your Rabbi.

                                                                                    2. re: jfood

                                                                                      Pasta on Pesach? Nisht kasher. Not until they came out with kosher for Passover noodles and spaghetti.

                                                                                      Is it just me, or was it not more fun when we didn't have all of these "luxuries" on Pesach? What's "our" world coming to when you can buy baking soda for Pesach?

                                                                                      1. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                                        Great debate on pasta, i still sit on the fence on it because it does not rise.

                                                                                        Another question of contention. Is rice kasher?

                                                                                        1. re: jfood

                                                                                          My understanding is that rice is OK for Sephardi, but not for Ashkenazi.

                                                                                          1. re: Striver

                                                                                            Rice, corn and legumes, as well as mustard, are permissible for Sephardim. In this respect, like Tevye said, it's tradition.

                                                                                            1. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                                              I have heard that in Israel some Passover foods that only Sephardim would eat are labeled "For bean eaters only."

                                                                                                1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                  I've seen Passover mustard, labelled "kitniot," which seems to be the correct word.

                                                                                              1. re: Striver

                                                                                                When Passover comes, we Eastern European Jewish Americans choose to go back to our orginal Sephardic roots. Passover is not only 7 days instead of 8, but you can eat many more foods.

                                                                                              2. re: jfood

                                                                                                In the same vein, jfood, why can we eat matzoh, which is made from flour, but are forbidden to use flour in our cooking?

                                                                                                Pasta is definitely a no-no. Ask your rabbi.

                                                                                                1. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                                                  Madonna - "Time after Time" is the answer to the flour/matzah question.

                                                                                                    1. re: Clarissa

                                                                                                      Oy Vay what a mess I made. u are rite.

                                                                                                  1. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                                                    It is because matza is watched/timed to insure no rising takes place - it is only 18 minutes form the time the water and flour are broght together and it is baked -

                                                                                                    1. re: weinstein5

                                                                                                      Understand the 18-minute rule, but modern technolgy can get me from combining to out of the water. i make the pasta dough in the cuisinart, into the pasta machine and into the water in under 18. Sorta cheating but it can be done.

                                                                                                    2. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                                                      They now sell Passover noodles. Like the Passover cereal, the noodles get better every year.

                                                                                                      1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                        It's made with potato starch

                                                                                                      2. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                                                        And need I belabour the obvious fact that eggwhite foam is damn well a type of leavening?

                                                                                                    3. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                                                      In my family we always laugh that we cannot eat bread, but we can eat chocolate caramel covered matzoh (yum!). As if our ancestors didn't have time to let the bread rise, but they had time to cover the matzoh in butter and sugar and chocolate!

                                                                                                  2. There are many observant Jews who do not eat "gebrochts" (broken matzoh). So they don't use matzo meal, cake meal, matzo farfel, or any products made using these items. No matzo balls even!

                                                                                                    I can't imagine following such restrictions.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                                                      I beleive the gebrochts comes from the chance that some little bit of yeast may have survived the matzoh backing process and by adding water to the matzo meal one runs the risk of allowing that yeast from becoming active and casing the matzo balls from rising. But I could be wrong about this.

                                                                                                    2. batempte whipped cream cheese
                                                                                                      macaroons (sic) of all sorts - which i personally cannot stand
                                                                                                      salted butter and raspberry jelly on matzah for breakfast
                                                                                                      home-made gefilte fish
                                                                                                      home-made sweet and sour tongue (red meat as it was called before my sister and I learned the truth)
                                                                                                      my grandmothers passover salad: grilled onions, chopped up hard boiled eggs and oil = delicious

                                                                                                      1. All these posts and no one has mentioned my most horrific Passover food memory: Passover rolls! Utterly tasteless.

                                                                                                        Or were we the only kids who were subjected to these things?

                                                                                                        19 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                          i actually enjoy them with butter and apricot preserves

                                                                                                          1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                            I've made them, and they're good within about 2 hours of baking. After that, yuck. But what's the point? There's no mustard for the salami sandwiches.

                                                                                                            There are a couple of Jewish bakeries here in Toronto that make matzo rolls that are chewy and taste like the real thing. I bought them once, and found them so bread-like that I find it impossible to believe that there isn't some sort of chometz in them. These particular bakeries are not certified kosher. I haven't bought them again. It just seems wrong.

                                                                                                            1. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                                                              The intresting thing about the passover rolls is that the recipe is very similer to Choux Paste. Make a pastry cream using potato starch instead of corn starch and you could have a KP Cream Puff.

                                                                                                              1. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                                                                When I was in my teens, we used to spend Passover at various Catskill resorts. (That's before my mother learned that she was supposed to kascher the apartment anyway...) At some point in the mid sixties, those Passover rolls appeared on the resort scene. They resembled choux pastry and they were delicious. They certainly weren't "bread rolls" in any form, but they made wonderful sandwiches. They were crisp outside and a mix of airy space and moist pastry inside. The shelf life was a couple of days. This was before I got into food in a big way, so I never thought to ask for a recipe. They seem to have disappeared from the earth. The ones I've bought in Toronto were just nasty and no recipe I tried ever worked. If anyone knows the secret, PLEASE...

                                                                                                                C'mon FlavoursGal, surely you can figure this out.

                                                                                                                1. re: embee

                                                                                                                  embee, do you have Second Helpings, Please! - the Jewish Montrealer's culinary bible (and the first of Norene Gilletz's books)? The recipe I've made in the past comes from there. As I mentioned, they're crisp, airy and delicious initially, but become soggy and eggy after a few hours. Then again, this happens to stale eclairs and cream puffs, too.

                                                                                                                  It is basically a choux paste recipe, as chazzer mentioned. Whisk together 2 cups of matzo meal, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp granulated sugar. Bring 1 cup water and 1/2 cup oil to a boil, and add to the matzo meal mixture. Using a wooden spoon, beat in 4 eggs, one at a time. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.

                                                                                                                  Using oiled hands, shape into rolls (recipe make 1 dozen). Place on a greased/parchment lined cookie sheet and bake at 400F until golden brown, about 50-60 minutes.

                                                                                                                  There is another recipe in the same cookbook for Passover bagels. Combine 2 cups matzo meal, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1-2 tbsp of sugar, add to 2 cups water and 1/2 cup oil that have been boiled together. This recipe calls for the mixture to cool before beating in 5 eggs, one at a time. Same baking directions.

                                                                                                                  1. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                                                                    Hey FG, Jewish Torontians grew up with Second Helpings, Please! too :)
                                                                                                                    My sis and I were looking at it recently and laughing. Some of the recipes sound pretty antiquated the way they are worded.

                                                                                                                    1. re: pescatarian

                                                                                                                      And there's onion soup mix in every second recipe (I'm exaggerating here).

                                                                                                                        1. re: pescatarian

                                                                                                                          Laugh as we might, it was a pretty good cookbook for its time, put out by a Montreal B'nai Brith Women's chapter. I still refer to it from time to time, and Norene is a sweetie (and living in Toronto now, too). Check out her website for recipe ideas.


                                                                                                                          1. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                                                                            Oh, I agree, I can make fun of it and still appreciate it. I still like some of the cookie recipes especially.
                                                                                                                            I don't know Norene personally, but I have gone to her website and I have used the Food Processor Bible very often (more than Second Helpings) and I like Meal-lenium too.

                                                                                                                            1. re: pescatarian

                                                                                                                              Norene is a woman who is always on the go. Her energy is boundless, and she's warm and funny. I don't know how she does it; I've got a great amount of admiration for her.

                                                                                                                        2. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                                                                          Onion Soup!! Only Knorr's will do....my late mother-in-law could cook only three things...Brisket was the highpoint of my husband's life when he was single and still living at home, Lemon Pie (which was made only for birthdays and she shared her recipe with me.)..neglecting to add quantities for the ingredients and no, she wasn't from the 'old' country!! Lastly, spagetti and meatballs....made with ground chuck and soda crackers (Christie's) Well, it's almost passover again bring on the hard boiled eggs, chopped with onion(certainly not Vidalia's)and a bowl of salt water with a gravy ladle!! By the way, I too, use Knorr onion soup mix for the Brisket..looking forward to the first 'night' seder...bring on the FOOD!

                                                                                                                      1. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                                                                        I don't have the book and, given your post I guess I won't need it ;-)

                                                                                                                        Norene Gilletz is a regular poster on the Yahoo Jewish Food Group.

                                                                                                                        1. re: embee

                                                                                                                          I've never heard of this. What's the web address?

                                                                                                                          1. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                                                                            Jewish-Food@yahoo groups.com

                                                                                                                            You need to get a Yahoo Groups account and you sign up from there. But, after monitoring this list for a few weeks, I don't think you'll get much from it and you could spend hours answering queries posted on it.

                                                                                                                          2. re: embee

                                                                                                                            I think my mother has about 41 cookbooks at home. A "Second Helpings, Please" that is falling apart and 20 books on either side to hold that one up.

                                                                                                                            I love the #1 sweet and sour meatballs. I make that at my home now, and they are the only meatballs my kids will eat.

                                                                                                                          3. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                                                                            I make those rolls most years. To the "choux paste" add some sauteed minced onion (sauteed in chicken fat if you don't mind fleishig) and chopped parsley. It helps to hide the matzah-y flavor. You can leave out the sugar if you're adding savory seasonings.

                                                                                                                      2. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                        We had them too. It's not that they were so awful per se, but at least from my mother's recipe, they were just a bit too sweet to make a good savory sandwich. Good with sweet stuff like jam, as dogfacedboy notes.

                                                                                                                      3. matzah brie, homemade gefilte fish, the Queen Mother's Cake (Maida Haetter), apple matzah kugel, cauliflower quiche with grated potato crust (original Moosewood), homemade coconut macaroons dipped in chocolate

                                                                                                                        1. When my mother was a child, her family ate only fleishig on Passover (to avoid the extra set of dairy dishes). Their rabbi was dubious about the origins of vegetable oils, suspecting that most were probably kitnyot. So they used schmaltz for cooking and baking. I suppose they could have made a pure version, but they didn't. Imagine chocolate cookies made with matzo meal and (onion-flavoured) schmaltz. There were other taste experiences of a similar nature, but I don't want to put anyone off their chow.

                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: embee

                                                                                                                            I'm intrigued - not put off. :-)

                                                                                                                            1. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                                                                              Chicken fat works very well in a surprising range of things. It's often used in Chinese baking (along with lard) and a (probably defunct) "ladies who lunch" tearoom chain in the NY and Boston areas called Schraffts had it in their chocolate chip cookies.

                                                                                                                              I don't know whether McGee or Corriher have addressed it, but I assume it has some good shortening properties. Thinking about it, it acts something like a partially hydrogenated fat when exposed to temperature changes. But not flavoured with onion and mixed with matzo meal, sugar, and chocolate. Yuck. Most of the generation that did this was gone before my time, but I'll always remember those chocolate cookies. What do you think of tuna on matzo spread with schmaltz?

                                                                                                                              1. re: embee

                                                                                                                                Hard to believe, but schmaltz was not a part of my diet growing up. Although I'm sure my father's mother used it IN her cooking, it was not something that was served to us as a spread.

                                                                                                                                My mother's mother (my sweet, dear, "good" bubby) was very conscious of cooking using very little fat once my zaidie had his first heart attack in his late forties or early fifties. This would have been around 1950, so I guess it was understood even then that animal fats are bad for the heart.

                                                                                                                                Nonetheless, tuna on matzo with schmaltz sounds delicious! :-)

                                                                                                                          2. I am surprised no one has mentioned the can o' macaroons from Manischewitz!

                                                                                                                            Also I agree with an earlier poseter about TemTee whipped cream cheese - there is nothing like that on Matzah and homemade gefilte fish -

                                                                                                                            Also only a few mentions of a matzah meal pancake - affectionaly known in my family as a bubblah! - with a little cinnamon and sugar - it can not beat

                                                                                                                            A new tradiiont we have is form a friend from south africa - he makes a special batches of horeradish following an old family recipe - he will not divulge his secret but it is awesome - sweet and fiery colored with a little beet juice -

                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: weinstein5

                                                                                                                              Great call on the can o' macaroons -- they now come in flavors like mocha and cherry chocolate. While I am certainly a fan of more upscale macaroons, I always buy a few cans of the plebian macs as well. Passover is definitely a holiday for coconut lovers.

                                                                                                                              As for TempTee whipped cream cheese, there's nothing better on matzo brei. Also, it's great for matzah because you can spread it over the entire surface area without worrying about pulverizing your matzah. You put it on gefilte fish too????

                                                                                                                              1. re: weinstein5

                                                                                                                                My husband, who isn't jewish, lives for Passover time because it's the only time I'll buy those macaroons. He adores them and obviously, never had these growing up.

                                                                                                                                1. re: sivyaleah

                                                                                                                                  I can't stand any of those macaroons. Never could even though I love coconut. In college, though, all my non-Jewish friends would line up waiting for me to give away all the leftover cans of macaroons my parents had sent me. They all thought they were a fabulous treat. I couldn't give them away fast enough.

                                                                                                                                  I either make coconut macaroons from scratch now (very, very easy to do) or make French-style from pulverized almonds.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: rockycat

                                                                                                                                    I don't eat them either. I much prefer the french style too. However, I like to indulge his cravings once a year. For me, feh!

                                                                                                                              2. Growing up in Columbus, Ohio Passover was a big event. My Hungarian grandmother lived with us and we were very strict kosher. My father ran around erev Pesach with a wooden spoon and goose feather looking for chometz. My mother and grandmother had to make everything from scratch. I don't care for gefilte FISH and on Pesach they would be considerate and make me gefilte CHICKEN, sort of like quenelles. My mother would sclep to the fish market and buy live (!!) carp and make gefilte carp. We too used Horowitz Margareten matzos. We had a man who delivered eggs to us from the country side and for Pesach, he would deliver maybe 4 dozen eggs at once, way more than usual. It was also the only time of the year our kosher market carried Polaner brand jam, which we liked very much. We also got our annual supply of whipped Breakstone's butter as we usually used Fleischman's margarine. Most of all I remember how yummy the house would smell the 1st and 2nd days of Pesach, with all the once a year foods being cooked. Now, as a married lady for 25 years, its a heck of a lot more work than any other holiday and my teenage daughters don't seem to want to learn any of the "old country" recipes or traditions.

                                                                                                                                1. We didn't have jelly rings, but rather half-moon shaped jellies with white patterns on them to make them look like citrus. My grandmother used to make noodles out of eggs-- perhaps a thin omlette shredded to look like noodles for soup? It also used to be the only time of year we could get kosher marshmellows for some reason (or only time my mother would let us have marshmellows?). Hence my favourite pesach treat as a kid: ghost gum.

                                                                                                                                  p.s. I didn't think I'd come across so many defences of schmurah matzah. yuck! i always have the smallest hillel sandwiches at the table.

                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: oralfixation

                                                                                                                                    My grandmother made homemade egg noodles on Passover, too. They were delicious.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: oralfixation

                                                                                                                                      We had those half-moon jellies too. For some reason, I wouldn't eat the white part - I thought it was inedible. Weird, huh?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: sivyaleah


                                                                                                                                        I was forty before anyone told me to eat the "rind." Now I love the whole thing.

                                                                                                                                    2. My mother used to doctor the boxed chocolate frosted brownie mix and use extra frosting. That was the only thing that made them edible. I think they were Streit's?
                                                                                                                                      My mom's matza balls are amazing-we like 'em fluffy. An aunt of mine, makes hers like golf balls. One actually shot out of my bowl once when I tried to cut in!
                                                                                                                                      BTW- are the kids in your families afikoman hiders or hunters? We were hiders and would negotiate with the adult men at the table in order from them to get it back and finish the Seder.

                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: MRS

                                                                                                                                        Hiders, same as you. I've never heard of hunters, do they exist?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                                          we were hiders too. thought i might be a good candidate for a career as a union negotiator based on my performance. but i've heard of hunters.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                                            Yes, there are "hunters". In my husband's family, my FIL "hides" and the kids have to go find it. Since there are many g-kids, they each have an afikoman bag to find with their name on it. Then, my FIL bargains with them to let the rest of us have some and finish the seder. It's very cute, but I confess I do miss the days when I would watch my older, male relatives stumble around looking silly and my female cousins driving a hard bargain for me. Granted, there were not as many g-kids in my family and I was an only for a while. One year, my cousins insisted that I get $10 from every man at the table before I handed it over!

                                                                                                                                        2. Bubelehs - wow reminds me of sitting in the kitchen while my mum fried up the left over matzoh meal and egg mix and dusted them with sugar.

                                                                                                                                          Just love eggs in salt water, could easily eat them year round but don't.

                                                                                                                                          Matzoh, unsalted butter and strawberry jam, yum.

                                                                                                                                          and charoset is the best thing and again don't eat it year round.

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                            I am sure this is psychological but charoset does not taste as good any other time of year -

                                                                                                                                          2. Gefilte fish was only made for Passover. I personally hate matzo and anything that tastes like it so matzo ball soap, matzo brei, matzo meal pancakes and matzo itself only at Passover.

                                                                                                                                            Salami and eggs is a year round breakfast treat.My husband loves macaroons and will eat them whenever he gets the chance.

                                                                                                                                            1. growing up, i remember there were two foods we would only eat at passover: my aunt becky's matzoh farfel muffins - which were actually quite delicious and would have been welcome at any other time of the year, and the stewed fruit compote dessert at the seders, which i later came to appreciate as the antidote to the seemingly endless pieces of matzoh one had to consume at the meal.

                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: mshpook

                                                                                                                                                My grandmother used to make stewed dried fruit, called "fahgen and flohmen" (figs and plums/prunes?). Also, only for Passover.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: mshpook

                                                                                                                                                  Ohhh...I had forgotten about the farfel muffins. My mom made those,too. Additionally, I do recall my aunt making stuffed breast of veal with matzo "stuffing".

                                                                                                                                                2. We weren't generally allowed coffee in my childhood, but for some reason on Passover, we'd eat broken matzo in a bowl, covered with sweetened, very milky coffee (substituting for cereal with milk) for breakfast. We also always bought Fox's U-Bet on Passover, for making chocolate milk and egg creams. The rest of the year we used Hershey's or Nestle's or whatever. When I went away to college a local bagel place sold egg creams with Fox's U-Bet and I realized that I could buy it year-round. But there was something special about the way it tasted on Passover. I also loved, and still love, whipped cream cheese on matzo with grape jam spread on top of it. I like the way the matzo gets almost a little soggy under the layer of cream cheese.

                                                                                                                                                  These days we eat only whole wheat matzo and I actually like it better, as it's not as gummy and insubstantial as the white matzo. My father was a big fan of shmura matzo but I never developed a taste for it -- it tastes like burnt cardboard to me. My husband always gets a box and has to eat the entire thing.

                                                                                                                                                  I think most packaged Passover desserts are terrible and it has always struck me as funny that there's a prohibition against leavening yet all these bakeries make cakes that look exactly like cakes one consumes the rest of the year. But looks can be deceiving -- they seem to taste like wet cardboard covered in shortening mixed with sugar. I guess there is something sacrificed for the holiday -- flavor and decent texture. My mother and I do make some very good Passover desserts, and we go a bit nuts buying all of those Kosher-for-Passover Israeli chocolate bars. My favorite Passover treat of all time were these chewy almond macaroons I once had in Israel. The closest thing here are the French macaroons one gets at places like Fauchon. I imagine they're not difficult to make, maybe I'll try that this year.

                                                                                                                                                  1. Oh yes, the stewed fruit compote! We called it Bubby's bowel buster. One year, a cousin hid it under the bed, and amazingly, no one missed it. It was found months later, still in its sealed glass jar, looking like a very funky science experiment.
                                                                                                                                                    We also never used schmaltz, either in cooking or as a spread. I do remember my grandmother using Nyafat, which was supposed to be a healthier version if schmaltz, but I have no idea what it was made of.

                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Missyme

                                                                                                                                                      Ah, yes. My mom always bought a jar of Nyafat for Pesach. I think she used it as a fat for matzah balls. I won't let the stuff into my house.

                                                                                                                                                      I know that for years, we were able to buy K for P peanut oil, even though the prohibition against peanuts was observed. Then K for P peanut oil disappeared. Does anyone know what happened??? I thought it added a nice flavor to the matza rolls, which we make small, large, and hot-dog shaped. My kids loved the Pesach hot dogs. Ugh. Brisket, tuna salad, soup chicken salad, and sliced egg sandwiches--yum.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: p.j.

                                                                                                                                                        you must not be buying your pesach hotdogs from the right place - most kosher hotdogs are kosher for pesach year round because they are all beef with no filler - here in chicago there are great kosher hotdogs from Romanian Kosher Sausage -

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: weinstein5

                                                                                                                                                          It's not only the filler that must be kosher for Passover, weinstein. The meat itself has to be kashered specially for Passover, as well. Here in Toronto (and Montreal, as well), hot dogs that are kosher for Passover are clearly labelled as such, and do not carry a Passover hechsher year-round.

                                                                                                                                                    2. I've added two dishes to our normal fare, one is a cranberry chutney with apples and the other is yam casserole. Neither one is traditional but both seem to be appreciated. I also added and original appetizer which I call Paneer Cups. It is amazing what you can do with Indian cooking.


                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: doctorjerry

                                                                                                                                                        Your Paneer Cups sound interesting. Would you be willing to share your recipe?
                                                                                                                                                        Thanks, p.j.

                                                                                                                                                      2. Potato salad, coleslaw and cranberry sauce along with the staple matzo kugels and turkey. It was like Jewish Thanksgiving mixed with an outing at Bens Deli!

                                                                                                                                                        1. Long before Atkins and South Beach was the Sinai Diet. That's right low carb and bread free eating has been practiced for 3 thousand years. Old is Nu again.