I grew up in a tiny, white, 90% Polish Catholic town in the farmlands of Massachusetts. Diversity was moreso economic than ethnic, and I didn't know any Jewish people my own age or even someone of a different ethnic background than myself until college. The one brush with Judaisim I had was when I was a flower girl for a Jewish wedding when I was 5 or 6, and I wanted to be able to sit on the chairs people were lifting into the air but my mom told me I couldn't. By age 10 I'd decided that Catholicism wasn't my ideal religion, and today my spirituality is kind of all over the place. However, religion has always fascinated me, and I love learning about them.
|Fish and soup appetizer|
My favorite part of the Seder table was the new tradition of the orange. The mythical reasoning is that at after a lecture by a famous Jewish feminist, a man stood up and angrily said that "a woman belongs on a bima the way an orange belongs on a Seder plate!" and so the feminist reaction was to put an orange on the Seder plate. I love this story, because for one, YAY GIRL POWER, and for two, it is a new addition to an old tradition that was made within our century. It's a symbol that we are forever growing, forever evolving, and bringing our traditions with us. While that story is mythical, I found the real story online, in a copy of an essay written by the feminist scholar who started the tradition.
Then we all played Cards Against Humanity, which probably isn't a tradition that will happen at many Seders but was a hilarious way to end ours!
Toffee Matzo Bark
(From Once Upon a Chef)
Makes about 25 pieces, or 20-25 servings. Recipe can be halved
- Enough Matzos to cover 1 large baking sheet or 2 small ones -- I used whole wheat
- 4 sticks butter
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1.5 bags dark chocolate chips -- I used a combo of that and semisweet
- 1 cup pecans (or whatever nuts you wish)
- sea salt, a few pinches
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray baking sheets with non-stick spray. Cover with Matzos, using broken pieces to fill in any bare spots.
Heat butter and brown sugar until they come to a rolling boil. Whisk vigorously until mixture is thick and bubbly. Pour over Matzos and put in oven for 10 minutes, until toffee is crackled.
Pour chocolate chips over Matzos and return to oven for 1 minute. Immediately spread with spatula and then sprinkle with pecans. Let chill in fridge.
Before serving, break into large chunks--I used a meat hammer--and serve.
PS. I've decided to pull the Giveaway winner on Tuesday. Two hand-picked-by-me gift baskets are being given away to say thank you for all of the love and support I've received this week with the Sign Me Sal/Do You Wanna Write a Cookbook contest. Seriously, I am absolutely FLOORED and I wish I could hug every last one of you! Please enter the contest for a chance to win some awesome goodies!