Pesach has come and gone, although there’s still matzoh on the table. In general, I’m responsible for two elements of my cousin’s seder, the charoses and dessert. The former is why I’m really invited – I make a quart for a small seder and it’s never enough. The latter is an annual experiment with my family as the willing guinea pigs. This year, I made almendrados (lemon-almond macaroons) and some frosted brownies from Marcy Goldman’s book, neither of which I remembered to take pictures of because I was running around like a headless chicken at the time of their creation. I thought the brownies came out all right – with that much chocolate, how can it be bad? – but I think they could have been better.
But after the seders are done, it’s time for more pedestrian fare. Normal people can look forward to a week of meat and potatoes, but I will admit that I sometimes struggle with what to prepare. It’s not the bread or pasta that I miss, it’s the rice and beans and tofu and the spices that are verboten because of one reason or another.
Also, there was corn on sale at the grocer and every day that I passed it, I started really craving the corn-and-mung-bean salad I sometimes live on in warmer weather. But, of course everything but the basil is chametz, so there was none of that.
Of course, some parts of Pesach aren’t so bad – the first matzo brei of the year is always a treat.
I’m in the wetting-the-matzo-beforehand camp – yes, this is a point of contention – and I generally use a 1:1 egg to matzo ratio. I’ve made both sweet and savory matzo brei; this is a sweet one – a pinch of salt, a pinch of sugar, and a lot of cinnamon.
Something I tried for the first time this year was to make a kind of pancake – I was really going for crepe-like pancakes I could slice up as noodles for soup, but they ended up with a little bit of lift as they cooked – they flattened out once they got off the heat.
They tasted nothing like pancakes, but they could fake it from a distance.
Something that had to wait for Passover to end:
My cousin who hosts the seder just got back from a trip to Australia. In an attempt to head off the possibility of a kangaroo plushie or koala baby-doll t-shirt as a souvenir, I told her that I wanted Tim-Tams. I’d had them years ago when some Aussie acquaintances brought them along to a gathering; I presume they’re sold somewhere in NYC, but I’m sure these are fresher. And so much better than a stuffed kangaroo – imagine a chocolate-covered oreo except the cookie and cream are both tastier.
My cousin and her friend were most generous and I have a selection to snack from:
Considering that I have baked my own treats for years and have never been a consumer of supermarket cookies… I have rarely been this excited by processed food.