April 01, 2010

Guest fest

My Passover dinner plate

I am so tired. We've had company all week with no time to blog or even read blogs. But that's not the source of my fatigue ... no, I've got some sort of stomach bug that's getting me down. At least it hit at the end of the week. Though with more company coming tonight, I hope it doesn't linger too much longer.

We've been busy entertaining my husband's mother and sister, who traveled here from the East Coast to spend a week with us in the Pacific Northwest. We've done a bit of sightseeing and hanging out.

Monday was the first night of Passover, and we celebrated with a family Seder. There were 11 of us around the table, and after the service, we enjoyed a festive meal prepared by two of my sons and me. We had matzoh ball soup, roasted asparagus, potato stuffing, chickpea croquettes, cranberry-apple sauce, salad, and carrot-coconut macaroons.

This was the ceremonial Seder plate with a couple of vegan substitutions. There was an avocado instead of an egg, and a roasted beet subbing for the lamb bone.

Here we are reading from our Haggadot, or Passover prayer books. Mr. Easy Vegan conducted the service and we all took turns reading. Lest you think we are very religious, we're not. But I love maintaining some of the rituals I grew up with, and which tie us to our history.

Here is my youngest son and his girlfriend, attending her first Passover Seder.

One of the things we did during our family's visit was to take a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island, and you can see the Seattle waterfront and skyline as we pulled away from the dock. It was kind of sunny and pleasant, and I was really hoping we would have a clear view of the mountains as we headed towards our destination, but it wasn't quite clear enough. We spent a pleasant afternoon wandering around the Bainbridge Island downtown, poking into stores and having tea.

Tuesday evening we went to a vegan Chinese restaurant, and there were so many of us that they put us into a private room with a huge round table. I really enjoyed the dinner, and all was well until I went to bed, and started to experience stomach distress that kept me awake most of the night. The next morning I had tea instead of breakfast, and at the point where everyone headed out for a walk at the lake, I headed up to bed. Later, as our guests enjoyed a tour of the Theo chocolate factory, I alternated between hurling, the big D, and sleeping. I made a brief appearance before dinner, but once they began to eat, I headed back to bed. I managed to consume a banana and drink water, but that was it. I feel a lot better today but my stomach is still not happy.

So with all the sightseeing and pleasant outings, what was the most entertaining aspect of the visit? I think our guests would agree that the always cheerful and ebullient Miss E wins hands down.

Except for the stomach bug, it was a pleasant week. My brother arrives this evening for round two of guest fest. I hope I feel better soon!

For all those celebrating Easter, I wish you a happy holiday!


  1. Hi Andrea,

    Your passover dinner plate looks absolutely fantastic. Everything looks and sounds so delicious especially carrot-coconut macaroons, Mmm..Mmm!! That looks like a wonderful celebration with your lovely family.

    Sorry for the stomach bug, I hope you're feeling 100% better soon:)

  2. Sorry to hear you're feeling crummy, but you stepped up with the stoicism of a true Mom! Your Passover supper looks delicious--and your son is way cute! Feel better soon!

  3. I'm so sorry you were sick! And I got really "homesick" for our seder, looking at your picture, thinking that Mr. Easy Vegan and all the little Easy Vegans should have been at our table too! But I'm glad you had a good time, and thanks for the girlfriend pic!

  4. Wow, you really have been busy! Sorry about the stomach bug, though :(

    Your seder meal sounds amazing (and what a beautiful plate!). Hope your son's girlfriend enjoyed her first seder!

    And THANK YOU for your support of my Ellen quest--I really appreciate it! (No word yet. Going to keep tweeting!)

  5. Claire,
    I'm better, yay! I missed our seder, too, but it was great to have the family together again.

    I admire your gutsy attempt to get on the Ellen show, and I sure hope it works. That would be a real coup. Perhaps you should send her a tape, if you haven't already done that — and a cookbook.

  6. Great family photos. Hope everyone had a great time. The food looked excellent!

    James Reno

  7. James,
    Thanks for your comment!

  8. Those chick pea croquettes look like a great counterpart to my carnie dad's matzoh-meal coated chicken cutlets; do you use a recipe?

    This year I made some great faux gefilte fish you might want to try:

  9. Abigale,
    I didn't use a recipe this time — just threw them together on the fly — but there are probably lots of recipes online. Mine were basically chickpeas with chickpea flour and matzoh meal, plus all sorts of flavorful add-ins like toasted sesame seeds, garlic, etc.

    Thanks for mentioning the gefilte fish — next year I'd definitely like to try it!

  10. It looks like you had a wonderful passover! I hope you feel better and fresh again!

  11. THANK YOU for the link to that matzoh ball soup recipe! Thank you! It looks great and I can't wait to try it...a little late, but I love matzoh ball soup so much I will eat it any time :-)


  12. Mihl,
    We did have a wonderful holiday.

    Just remember that the dough should be VERY firm and dry. The 2nd time I made the matzoh balls the dough was a little softer, and they fell apart. I had to re-make them with a dryer dough.


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