Grandma’s Best Passover Dishes

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - April 01, 2009
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In the Jewish religion, Passover is a time of inclusiveness. It commemorates the freedom the Israelites won from the Egyptians back in Exodus times.

It is now observed each year with the Seder (which translates “order”), a special meal with its own foods, four cups of wine and reading that invites all who are hungry to come and eat, leaving a door open for Elijah, the prophet of peace, to enter and take his seat at the holiday table.

Jews worldwide begin the celebration April 8, and this year, as always, the group at the Manoa home of Temple Emanu-el members Trudy and Al Wong will be large. Celebrating their 33rd wedding anniversary during “Pesach,” the Hebrew word for Passover, Al and Trudy accommodate large groups of people in their warm and friendly home.


 

Trudy invites everyone from rabbis to relatives, newcomers to non-Jews to enjoy her hospitality, and plans three Seders this year to accommodate friends from all over the world.

The following Passover recipes are Trudy’s favorites from her grandmother.

Happy Passover to the Wong family!

GRANDMA SARA SCHANDLER’S GESHMERTE MATZO

* 2 or 3 sheets matzo
* 1/4 cup milk
* 2 eggs
* 1/2 cup sugar
* zest
and juice from 1 lemon
* 1 package cream cheese (softened to room temperature)
* 1/4 cup matzo meal (if mixture is too thin, add matzo meal to thicken)

Moisten the matzos with the milk and put on a greased, foil-lined baking sheet. Mix remaining ingredients and spread generously on matzo.

Bake at 350 until slightly brown. Cut and enjoy, hot or cold! Great with a cup of coffee and fresh fruits.

GRANDMA’S BEET AND TOMATO SOUP

* 1 jar beet borscht (find in supermarket special ethnic aisle)
* 1 large can peeled tomatoes
* 1 lemon, juiced and seeded
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar


Bring to boil and allow to simmer.

For Meatballs:

* 1 pound ground beef (may use white meat turkeybreast)
* 1 egg (may substitute 2 egg whites)
* 1/4 cup chopped onion
* 1/4 cup matzo meal

Mix all ingredients and form into balls; drop into boiling water. Just prior to serving, add the meatballs to the beet and tomato mixture.

Serve hot and enjoy!

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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