Confession: Even though the month of April is history, I still want to share pictures of our Passover supper with you.
For the past two years, we’ve chosen to celebrate a Passover feast with our children on the Thursday night before Easter, as part of remembering Jesus’ last days before death. My giant disclaimer fits here: This is an American Anabaptist Passover. The main event is the food, and we don’t go kosher – we shamelessly pick which pieces to observe, and then fill in the rest with foods we like to eat together.
But our children love it, and we leave an empty place setting and a glass of grape juice for Jesus.
We eat lamb, because that follows the original story of when God’s people left Egypt. It’s a costly meat, special for our family – I know we could roast a chicken instead, but there’s something so perfect about the Lamb. We buy a small roast, already seasoned delightfully with garlic and lots of rosemary.
Last year I roasted potatoes and carrots, which is more traditional. This year, having served roast veggies a couple of nights before, I whipped creamy mashed potatoes.
We picked bitter herbs from the yard – dandelion, yarrow, and parsley (does parsley count?) – and dipped them in salt water. The herbs symbolize the bitterness of the Israelites’ slavery in Egypt, and the salty water is their tears.
For unleavened bread, I tried homemade matzo this year – thin crackers with salt. That was a hit, especially when we dipped them in the haroset.
Haroset is an apple salad, made in a food processor to look like the mortar the Israelites used. I can’t for the life of me find the site from which I originally borrowed this particular recipe, though I tried hard. It was from a private blog and I really liked how he wrote about Passover. We love this recipe well enough to eat it any time of year. Its spices and honey add a curiously delicious twist. So thank you, Mr. American Haroset, wherever you are…
3 red apples
3 green apples
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup pecans
To taste: honey, cloves, and ginger
Process all together in food processor.
Of course we ate hard-boiled eggs, though when I turned them into mice with cheese Ryan said “Do you know how horrified a Jewish person would be to think of a mouse on the table?” I just laughed and said “Okay, well, yeah. Good thing we’re not Jewish?”
We lit candles and poured our homemade sparkling grape juice, and served everything up.
Each year I think, “This time we will do some of the readings and questions.” I even found Elisabeth Adams’ beautiful Haggada and printed it off, trying hard to include it. But then…
Do Jewish babies not fuss?
Are Jewish mothers more long-suffering when they do?
We skipped the readings for another year, and just ate a lamb cake for dessert. I told you the food was our main event, and hey.
It made Jenny happy again.
What ideas will you give me for next year’s feast?
Hi, Shari! I’m super honored that you had a look at my blog…and oh, this made me chuckle! I’m a detail-oriented person, so I love all the Passover-Last Supper connections, but I’m alllways trying to tweak the Haggada to make it less like a reading and more something people can participate in…even with adults.
It helps me to remember that, biblically (and Jewishly) speaking, Passover is supposed to be for the kids. That means lots of actions, questions, and answers.
The Israeli family who “adopted” me for Passovers always does a skit of the Exodus story. The other thing that really helps me to is to find lively redemption-themed songs the family already knows, and make that a major focus as well.
But really, the Bible just says to eat lamb, bitter herbs and unleavened bread, and tell the story, so you totally covered it. (And beautifully, I might add: your food and table look lovely.)
Aw, THANK you! Coming from you, that means a lot. We had so much fun!
Thanks too for writing lovely stories about the event. I still hope to be a guest at a Passover dinner in Israel someday.
That cake is soo cute! AND the little mice boiled eggs. I really like the concept of observing Passover. It would help to bring out the fullness of the meaning of Easter, I think. I would do that if I ever have children of my own.
so maybe next year… I’ve tho’t about doing this for a few years now but have been scared off by the readings and ‘getting it right’ and with a baby and toddler it just has felt too big but you take the stress out of it and give me hope that we could do it and that it’s ok to not ‘do it all’. Thanks Shari!
And it never once crossed my mind that you can make homemade matzo… now I have another option when we get to communion and once again I’ve forgotten to buy the matzo (we use it instead of bread). Thankfully I’ve discovered one grocery store that sells it year round…
Matzo would make great communion bread! I too had trouble finding it in stores off-season – Online is another option, though probably pricier.
I’m happy I bumped you one step closer to trying this at home. 🙂 I’m waiting for the courage to invite someone to join us at our table!
This is wonderful! Love the idea. Definitely putting this in our calendar as a next years event. Thanks for sharing!!!
This is wonderful, Shari!!! Moms are so much more fun oriented these days when it comes to celebrating the different parts of our faith!! I made unleavened bread for many years for our church for communion. Ask Ryan if he remembers eating the “leftovers”.