This year, more than 1,000 Los Angeles families in need received food from organizations that provide assistance specifically for Passover.
Never mind the gefilte fish and brisket, the mass-produced, cardboard-like matzah and the kosher-for-Passover wine. Instead, Passover seder at my parents’ Karaite Jewish home includes a mouth-watering menu of barbecued lamb chops, crisp homemade matzah, sweet raisin juice and chewy almond cookies that stick to the roof of my mouth.
I have always enjoyed researching and developing new dishes to serve during Passover, but have you ever heard of Mock Gefilte Fish? Because everyone loves chicken, I am constantly looking for new and different chicken dishes to prepare, and I find that each recipe has a story all its own.
Four modern-day gladiators do battle for the gold (a lifetime supply of Gold's mustard) in the Heeb Olympics
An anonymous source breathes heavily on the other end of the receiver, softly intoning that the only way to get the goods is from an inside contact. Through friends, I discretely discover my intermediary, who leads me through several dark corridors for an encounter with an angry man.
The first time Tina Wasserman prepared gefilte fish for Passover, it smelled up her whole house. The fish was past its prime, but it wasn't spoiled, so "it didn't make my family sick," she said. But still, the experience was so horrifying that she didn't attempt to prepare gefilte fish again for many years. Since then, Wasserman, who is Reform Judaism Magazine's food columnist, has learned a thing or two about gefilte fish.
I added a new experience to my Passover preparation last year. In addition to counting the haggadahs, practicing the Four Questions with my daughter, inviting guests, shopping and cleaning the house, I made gefilte fish from scratch for the first time ever.
Neither my mother nor any of my grandmothers had felt the need to initiate me into the gefilte fish sorority, even though I know they all had this experience. After trying it myself for the first time, I think I may have a good idea why they decided not to pass on this tradition. I went in with blind and irrational optimism after watching the instructor at a cooking class make it look so easy. Here's what I learned.
Passover is a special holiday for me and brings back many wonderful food memories.