A Witch Does Passover – 2012

This year there were eight people at the seder, four of whom had not been to a formal Passover seder before. It was a grand seder, the discussion was stimulating, and the people were great! Among the things I learned:

– In archeology, just say “I discovered evidence of a low wall.” No one will contradict me.

– In Egyptian hieroglyphics, names were written in cartouches to magically protect them.

– Pennsylvania is a commonwealth, not a state.

– If an elevator gets stuck, check if there’s a ghost inside before you start opening doors.

You can see the conversation was free-ranging indeed!

In 2013 and 2014, the first night of Passover (Erev Pesach) will fall on a Monday night again; it won’t be on a Friday night until 2015. I don’t know if I’ll host a seder those two years. In 2010 and 2011 Erev Pesach was also on a Monday night, and only four people attended, including myself. I’ll have to see if I want to put in this level of effort for potentially so few people. Maybe I could go to someone else’s seder for once.

In the meantime, here are my meal notes for future seders:

– Too much food! I cooked for 11, there were 8, and I had enough leftover food for 15. The only “reasonable” amount of food was the chicken soup. A pound of carrots, a pound of pearl onions, two potatoes worth of latkes, and three apples worth of kugel is enough for 8. If I cook for 4, I’ll need even less!

– If I cook potato latkes again, grate the potatoes and onions finer in the food processor, and add at least as many eggs as potatoes; soak up any excess fluid with matzoh meal. When frying latkes, a single thin layer of oil is quite enough; a 1/4″ of oil is far too much. My scheme for keeping the fried latkes crisp worked fine: drain and dry thoroughly; let them cool completely before packing them in a container; heat & crisp in the oven for ten minutes before serving. Don’t fry them too much; they’ll darken some more in the oven.

– I’ve been cooking the matzoh balls in the soup. This may be a mistake. Next year, cook them separately in water then add them to the soup; this may result in fluffier matzoh balls.

– 10:30 is a good target time for serving the meal. I can put the roast in the oven at about 6:15 and it will be done by 9:30 or so, leaving plenty of room in the oven for anything else I choose to bake.

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  1. shades_of_nyx

    And they got the very special if Pesach lands on Shabbos version too!
    Yes, please, cook matzoh balls separately. We always do.
    Also, drain potatoes for latkes thoroughly before adding other ingredients.
    And, laughing, too much food is the correct amount for Seders.

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