Category: Holidays

Easter Eggs

Aaron and I celebrated Easter on Sunday, first at the family Easter service at church, which included this fantastic story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOwY9PbVMwk

I mentioned to Aaron last week that I missed getting an Easter basket (I tend to really enjoy when people give me things…), and he actually got me one, complete with a seder plate. It was very sweet.

We had also purchased a $1.50 egg dying kit (I wanted the wire egg holder, likely worth << $1.50). In an effort to capture a nice picture of my Easter spoils, I ended up with this photo. This scene is pretty indicative of the rest of the day; Hairy and Luna definitely wanted to participate in the festivities.

Hairy and the Easter Basket

Equipped with our egg dying supplies, we set out to dye our 7 hardboiled eggs.

Egg Dying Supplies

Our coffee mugs were just the right size for dying eggs; we ended up using bits of paper towel, however, to identify the colors, because it was (unsurprisingly) hard to tell the colors apart in the black mugs. Not to be left out, Hairy and Luna tried to partake in our festivities…

Luna with Easter Eggs

All in all, it was a pretty nice way to spend the weekend. We’re slowly starting to make our own holiday traditions, which is a wonderful process. We love spending the holidays with our families, but it can be difficult to carve out the time for travel, plus I’m not a huge fan of leaving the cats for too long (and, having taken Luna to the vet on Saturday, I think we can safely rule out the possibility of ever taking her on a car trip!).

Passover Food, continued

On Friday night, we went to a second seder at our UU church. This still a pretty traditional seder, though it was somewhat shorter than others I’ve experienced. You can view the beginning of the haggadah we used here: http://uuja.org/holidays/lit/haggadah_dave-weissbard.html

When we signed up for the seder, we were provided with a list of kosher-for-Passover recipes; yes, even our UU seder respected this tradition! We chose to make something different than for the beginning of the week; this was both great because we don’t have duplicate leftovers and also unfortunate because maybe we could have just separated the dish initially and served it twice.

In any case, we made tzimmes for our Friday seder. I also learned that I’ve apparently been pronouncing tzimmes incorrectly for a while–I have no recollection of where I learned to say this word. Oops. This dish had sweet potatoes, carrots, oranges, and apples, and turned out quite well.

sweet potato tzimmes

After the seder, Aaron and I stayed to help clean up. FUS has a full kitchen, and a full set of real dishes, and these needed to get cleaned up after serving 56 people! We actually had a great time getting to know the people we were working with.

One of the men asked us what our favorite parts of the seder were. Mine, as it turns out, is the making of the matzah and haroset sandwiches; I realized that I actually really miss my Grandma’s haroset. I had emailed her for the recipe at the beginning of the week, but I never actually made it. So on Saturday, Aaron and I bought ingredients (really, apples) to make my Grandma’s version. This haroset definitely makes me feel at home.

haroset

Happy Passover!

Monday night was the first night of Passover, a Jewish celebration of Exodus. The past several years, we’ve had a seder at my grandparents’ during whatever weekend fell during Passover (traditionally, seders are held the first two nights of Passover). This year, we ended up staying home. However, not to miss the celebration, we were invited to a first-night seder with friends.

Now, the challenge with Passover food is that leavened goods (chametz) (and leavening agents) are forbidden; this may also extend to legumes, depending on your beliefs. While Aaron and I do not follow this at home, we obviously observe this tradition when celebrating with others. Passover provides us with the opportunity to be extra creative when selecting a potluck dish to bring. (When we’ve gone to seders with my family, this gets entirely ignored. Last year, I think we took a pasta with roasted butternut squash….)

When we attended this seder two years ago, we made Apple-Nut Kugel from Something Different for Passover by Zell J. Schulman (a kugel is basically a casserole). It was tasty, but a little boring. So, this year, we decided to make something new.

I was pleasantly surprised that googling for “vegetarian passover recipes” was actually successful.  We settled on a this Sweet Potato Kugel; I was hoping that the wider assortment of vegetables (okay, sweet potatoes and apples) would create a more flavorful dish. I liked the result, and it seemed to go over pretty well with our friends. As advertised, it did yield enough to field a small army.

sweet potato kugel

We’re going to a second seder on Friday night at our Unitarian Universalist church, which should be interesting. I’ve been to traditional seders, secular seders, and sarcastic seders (Aaron uses this term to describe my family’s seder experience), but I’ve never been to a UU seder before!