Seder Plate… Check!
Charoset/Parsley/Salt Water/Horseradish/Hard Boiled Eggs… Check!
More matzah than I will ever finish… Check!
Cup for Elijah, cup for Miriam… Check, check!
Computer placed at the end of the table ready to virtually connect with loved ones to tell the story of Passover… well that’s a new one on my list… Check!
Passover, the Jewish festival holiday which celebrates Moses leading the Hebrews out of Egypt and escaping Pharaoh, is normally celebrated with the saying “all who are hungry, come and eat!” – neighbors inviting neighbors, family, friends, anyone and everyone to come and join their Seder. In a time when social distancing has become the new normal, those who celebrate have had to make adjustments, with many moving into the virtual realm. My own family ended up with about 20 people streaming in via video conference.
The last time I wasn’t with my family for Passover was when I lived and traveled abroad a few years ago. I had gotten an internship working for a boutique travel agency in Israel. Along with professional learning experiences, the internship also provided a unique way of seeing the country. I explored the ancient ruins of Caesarea, Masada and Jerusalem (ruins that make Europe’s look like new), swam in the Dead Sea, and ate the most delicious hummus in Akko. While celebrating holidays virtually was not as popular back then, being able to celebrate with those I was with and eat traditional food certainly helped.
One of my personal favorite parts about Passover is the food! This was the first year I made the matzah ball soup, and if I do say so myself, it came out pretty great! In addition to the Seder fixings, we had brisket, potatoes and a salad for dinner and a delicious flourless chocolate cake for dessert.
Additionally if you wish to be transported to Ancient Egypt, I highly recommend watching “The Prince of Egypt” to experience the full Passover story!
Matzah Ball Soup
2 Tbsp vegetable/canola oil
1 packet of Manischewitz Matzo Ball Mix
64 oz Chicken Broth
In a small bowl, blend the eggs and the oil together. Add the packet of matzo ball mix and stir together until evenly mixed.
Put the bowl straight into the refrigerator and let chill for about 15 minutes. In the meantime, pour the broth into a large enough pot and bring to a boil.
Remove the chilled matzo ball mix and form the batter in approximately 1 inch diameter balls (batter should make roughly 9-12 matzo balls). Once the broth has reached a boil, drop the matzo balls into the boiling soup and cover tightly until the balls have almost tripled in size.
Season and add additional soup fixings in as desired. (I added in some salt, garlic powder, rosemary, parsley and basil to taste, along with some carrots.) Serve immediately or let simmer until ready!
*Classic Matzo Ball recipe from Manischewitz. Soup/seasoning from Rebecca Fisher