Did anyone say HOME for Pesach this year? Highlights of your meals?
I've been saying home for Pesach ever since that program in Palm Springs a number of years ago where half the guests got sick (I won't mention the me). I didn't want to try another program, preferring instead to do my own cleaning and cooking. I also found that the overbbundance of food wasvsuch a waste. Lavish 24 hour tea rooms with non stop cakes and gourmet candy! So much of it was thrown in the garbage. It's total Baal tashchis (wasteful) and it made me sick to see.
So for those of you who stayed home, what did you make and was there anything that really stood out?
I stayed home but I didn't make anything. I bought from Park East Kosher on the Upper East Side/NYC. *Everything* was great, but I had some minor complications with my order which caused a delayed delivery and the wrong product being delivered. Thankfully, they made up for both when I reordered for the last days.
I love to stay home and cook. It's a bit stressful trying to prepare all the meals, given that I also work, but I do have chol ha'moed off, so preparing for the last days is a bit easier.
Here is what I made this year:
Almond Butter Cookies
Apple Matzoh Pudding
Arthur Schwartz’s Apple Cake
Butternut Squash Ratatouille
Cauliflower-Leek Kugel with Almond-Herb Crust
Chicken Soup with Matzah Balls
Chilled Tropical Soup
Chocolate and Olive Oil Mousse
Chocolate Mint Cookies
Creole Farfel Kugel
Double Fudge Olive Oil Brownies
Meringues: plain, chocolate chip, coffee chip, coconut
Persian Charoset (Hallaq)
Quinoa Butternut Squash Pilaf/Salad with Citrus Dressing
Sorbet: strawberry and strawberry-orange
Sweet & Sour Brisket
Sweet & Sour Meatballs
Thai Carrot Salad
I hate to sound immodest, but we really thought everything turned out quite well. The Apple Matzoh Kugel was a new recipe for me, and it was really good, but quite a potchke. If I do it again next year, I'll probably wait until chol ha'moed when I have more time, rather than do it for the first days. The Creole Kugel was also new for me. The DH really liked it, but I don't like peppers, so the strong taste of them was a bit much for me. And the Persian Charoset was a third new recipe, and was also excellent. And though I have made it before, the mousse is always a treat; it's good I don't make it more often, rich as it is.
I could not see going away; if the food was good, I'd overdo it, and if it weren't, I'd be too upset about the waste of money to enjoy myself fully. Anyway, I like being in my own shul, and in my own home,
We stay home, but really dont buy anything. My wife likes to try new recipes, and I prefer to stick to the tried and true. I'm not a fan of the pesach pasta, rolls, pizza, etc. I rather prefer the matza pizza from scratch, meat matza lasagna, etc. I look forward to eating food that I only get once a year. Aside from all the other great things my wife makes, the one real highlight is a wine (grape juice) spice cake that we all go nuts for. 9/10 eggs, 3 bowls and it is the fluffiest sponge cake you will find.
Also kashered my BBQ this year (took a while), so had BBQ the 3 nights of chol hamoed which was nice.
Also stayed home and hosted the seders (first time hosting!) It was tough (we have a tiny apartment kitchen), so I understand why many people choose to go to a hotel. But I made an awesome brisket and matzo stuffing that really made it special!
I stayed home and through a complicated chain of events, found myself with only a (fleischig) toaster oven to cook with. Did not host a seder, but I did very nicely for the rest of the holiday.
Chicken legs baked with orange juice and minced garlic
Apple kugel that was about 95% Yonatan apples, with just enough eggs & potato starch to hold together
Fish baked with canned crushed tomatoes, turmeric and fresh coriander (my favorite of all the "Pesach" dishes I prepared, although it was for this past Friday night, so no longer technically Pesach by me)
Grilled eggplant salad
Oven-baked pot roast in red wine
For years I went away for pesach until the year that the Tamarack Lodge cancelled their program one day before erev pesach(!!!) and I lost all my money (moral, pay by charge card or pay at the end of the program!).
Anyway, I had:
Brisket - Costco (Meal Mart)
Turkey breast - Costco (Meal Mart)
BBQ Chicken - Brachs
Stuffed cabbage - Costco (Meal Mart)
Meatballs - homemade
Chicken cutlets (fried using eggs & matzo meal coating)
Chicken soup - home made (still have a half a gallon left over)
Chopped liver/ liver saute - homemade
Potato kugel - Brachs, half steamer sized $19 - delicious and great value
cranberry apple crisp - homemade
Gefilta fish - A & B loafs
Matzo cheese lasagna - homemade
Zucchini souffle - homemade
Cole slaw - MAJOR rip off from Chap-a-nash 2lbs $15! and not even that good
Kishka - Costco (Meal Mart)
Brownies - homemade
frozen chocolate pudding pie - homemade
salads, soda, fruits etc
costco had cole slaw and potato salad that were pretty good, also something called jalapeno dip that i thought was kinda mayonaissey, but everyone else liked
and fairway had lasagna tin size kugels made by meal amrt in the freezer case for between 15 and 20 depending on the kugel
i did not get, bc i went in with cash for a specific item, but it certainly looked interesting and was fairly priced
They had violations and were not allowed to open. I found it suspicious that they would close them up right before pesach - smacked of anti-semitism. As they say, you can't fight city hall especially two days before pesach.
I found the Meal Mart items not bad. I have been buying the turkey breasts for quite a while. The brisket was not bad but I am not a big eater of red meat (except for rib steaks). The kishka was tasty, stuffed cabbage was ok - sweet sauce and the meat dense - I guess it really needed the rice to lighten it up. My meatballs were made using Costco bought chopped meat.