April 22, 2008

Matzoh ball soup, etc.

Every year for Passover, we have a wonderful seder with two other families of old friends. I've known the other two families since our kids were small, and our gatherings used to challenge the space available at the table. It usually involved setting up card table extensions and borrowing chairs to accommodate all the kids and an extra friend or three. Now that the kids are grown (the youngest will be off to college next year), the number of guests has dwindled, as children have moved elsewhere. This year we had the same old parents (that would be us) and three of the kids plus one "guest." There were 10 in all. The food, however, seemed to be of the same quantity—too much— as always! Because we had to work around kids' schedules this year, we had our seder on the second night instead of the first. That left me to experiment with vegan matzoh balls on the first night. I was too afraid to muck with tradition at the actual event.

Saturday night I made vegan matzoh balls a la post punk kitchen, and Ken made not chicken soup from Mollie Katzen's "Still Life With Menu." Anyone who has experimented with vegan matzoh balls is probably familiar with both the sad little hard, rubbery ones and the disappearing ones that leave behind a pot full of murky water and nothing else. I'm relieved to say that Isa's recipe yielded 24 golf ball sized matzoh balls that were firm but tender, and tasted just like they should. (Even last night, the leftovers were delectable.) I actually preferred them to the classic ones. The soup was also excellent and filled with carrots and dill. On Saturday I also made our first asparagus spears of the season. Unfortunately, they weren't local, and not up to the standards we expect from our neighboring farms. But it's still too soon for local asparagus. This is, after all, Wisconsin.

On Sunday, I cooked for our big seder with friends, and this year (most years, actually) I brought potato stuffing (three recipes), apple-cranberry sauce and a huge salad. The salad was the champagne salad I posted about recently. In addition to my contributions and the various ceremonial foods, there was soup, potato and mushroom casserole, stuffed cabbage, steamed broccoli and fruit salad.

I was really taken with the stuffed cabbage made by Claire, but I won't post a recipe. Stuffed cabbage is just too time-consuming to be considered "easy vegan cooking." I really hope that Claire will make it again next year, but she likes to change things up, unlike me, a traditionalist at heart. Maybe she'll post a recipe and I'll link to it!

I'm going to post my cranberry recipe soon — I promised Claire I would. And also the asparagus recipe.

1 comment:

  1. That soup looks amazing! I was at a seder over the weekend and had to pass on the soup because it was "regular" stuff w/ chicken, but yours looks so much better! Your seder sounds lovely. . . Happy Passover!


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