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a personal passover
by Joanna Piatek |
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continued from page 3

All of this is explained in the Haggadah, which is read throughout the meal. Choose a head reader to recite the lines in the Haggadah, or take turns. Certain lines are reserved for children, or whoever’s the youngest in the group. The most important of these lines are the four questions concerning why this night is different from all other nights. Why do we eat matzos instead of bread? Why do we taste bitter herbs? Why do we dip our vegetables in salt water? Why do we lean on pillows? The Haggadah goes on to answer these questions.

At some point the Haggadah indicates that is time to stop reading and start eating. This, then, is when you get to the really good food. The Passover meal is traditionally, at least in my home, a gastronomical feast that features matzo ball soup, gefilte fish, roast chicken, spring vegetables, potatoes, and more wine. After dinner, sweets are usually served. Since we’re forbidden to cook with flour or leavening during Passover, dessert choices are somewhat limited. Try coconut macaroons or baked apples filled with raisins and cinnamon, my favorite post-Seder desserts.

With family and friends all gathered together at your table, you now have the remainder of the evening to sip wine and eat good food while giving thanks to freedom, peace, and spring.


  Grandma’s Light and Luscious Matzo Balls

1 cup matzo meal
1 tsp. salt + pepper
4 eggs
1/4 cup oil
(wesson type not olive)
1/4 cup seltzer
(water will do- though they will not be quite as light)
Grandma's special tip - a small handful of chopped parsley

Beat eggs with oil in a bowl. Add dry ingredients, stir, then add seltzer. Chill in fridge for 15 min. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add 2 tsp. salt.  Form 1" balls with wet hands and drop into rapidly boiling water. Cover tightly and cook until matzo balls rise to the surface (20 min.)

Boil canned or homemade chicken broth with chopped carrots, celery and onions, and maybe some ground pepper and fresh parsley. Put 1-2 matzo balls in each bowl, spoon broth and cooked veggies over the top. YUM.


Joanna Piatek lives in Portland, Oregon, where she spends a great deal of time dodging raindrops and thinking of new reasons to have a party. This is her first attempt at writing outside her journal.

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