Wednesday, April 4, 2007


Judaism, in general, is a food based religion. Okay, so there is some stuff about G-d in there too, but mostly, its about the food - I only know this because I'm not actually Jewish, and when you are friends with a number of reform/liberal/non-practicing Jews you realize that the only thing they really connect with in their faith is the food. The High Holy Days - Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippour both involve eating massive amounts of food. Yom Kippour also involves the fast, as it is the day of atonement.
Passover is every Jew I know's least favorite holiday. For more information check out Passover, which exists mostly to remember the Exodus from Egypt, lasts for approximately a week (again, I'm not actually Jewish), and involves eating nothing with leavening. "This commemorates the fact that the Jews leaving Egypt were in a hurry, and did not have time to let their bread rise. It is also a symbolic way of removing the "puffiness" (arrogance, pride) from our souls." Different denominations of Judaism observe the rules of Passover differently - Reform tends to eat pretty liberally, just not eating breads and things with flour, etc.; some Jews also don't eat rice, corn, peanuts, and legumes (beans) - which includes corn syrup, which is in nearly everything in American pre-prepared foods.
If you're a vegetarian on passover, it can be very difficult, because Matzoh is not a great source of protein, and it is incredibly high in carbohydrates. Meats are still available to those who eat them, and fish for the pescetarians, and for the Vegetarians the options are pretty much down to mushrooms and animal proteins such as eggs and cheese.
I had this at a Seder last night, it's called Matzoh Brie and it is basically scrambled eggs with Matzoh in it. This is a smaller recipe, probably good for the individual on passover who is trying to eat.


  • 1 Passover matzo (can be found in most supermarkets)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Butter/Cooking Oil Spray
  • Salt, to taste
  • Syrup, jam, etc. for topping
  • 2 large bowl
  • Cold Water
  • 1 frying pan/skillet


  1. Break the matzo into medium-sized pieces.
  2. Put them in a small bowl, cover with cold water, and let them soak until soft.
  3. Add the pieces of matzo to the beaten egg, stirring once or twice to coat. Season with salt.
  4. Grease a small or medium skillet and pour in the egg mixture.
  5. Scramble matzoh/egg mixture like scrambled egg (push around in skillet).
  6. Turn off the heat when the mixture starts to brown.
  7. Serve with jam, syrup, or a topping of your choice.
To the Seder I, with my Unitarian Universalist upbringing, brought mashed potatoes with garlic and cream cheese. To make these you will need:

  • 3-6 potatoes (I like to use Yukon Gold and leave the skin on)
  • 3-12 cloves of garlic (I like garlic)
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • Cream Cheese (to taste)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • Vegetable brush
  • Cutting board/sharp, heavy knife
  • Mixing bowl
  • Large Pot
  • Colander
  • Stove
  • Potato Masher or electric mixer
  1. Scrub and peel potatoes (leaving the skins on is a matter of personal taste and also largely depends on the type of potatoes - Yukon Gold and Redskin potatoes are good with the skin still on, some other types aren't - its entirely up to you.)
  2. Cut potatoes into small chunks - 1 inch cubes or a little bit larger - they will boil much faster.
  3. Put potatoes into a pot of water and bring it to a boil.
  4. Chop garlic
  5. When potatoes are soft enough to be smushed against the side of the pot with a fork, empty them into the colander.
  6. Melt the butter into the pot and cook the garlic for a few moments, then add the garlic and the potatoes to the mixing bowl.
  7. Add the cream cheese to the top of the bowl and stir it in, then use potato masher or electric mixer on a low speed.

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