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Passover Family Favorites

By: Stephanie Dworkin, Marketing Director

I love spending the Jewish holidays with my family.  We are small but tight-knit, and that’s what makes us family!  I am fortunate to spend the holidays with both mine and my husband’s family- his is much larger and MUCH louder than mine!

One of the many things I am so fond of when it comes to the Jewish holidays is preparing the meal with my mom.  She opens her home to our family, my in-laws, and often times our close friends who are Jewish and non-Jewish alike- there’s nothing like watching your friends enjoy (and love) their first bowl of matzah ball soup.  In my family, the Jewish holidays are a time to simply come together, enjoy each other’s company and celebrate our Jewish heritage.

Before you can sit down and enjoy the fruits of your labor, a typical Passover meal includes a Seder on the first and second nights of the holiday.  We tell the story of when the Jewish people were freed from slavery in Egypt over 3,000 years ago.  During the Seder, the story is read from a Haggadah, and the 15 parts of the Seder include reciting the four questions, washing hands, eating the various items on the Seder plate, and drinking from four cups of wine.

A significant difference when cooking for Passover compared to other holidays is the absence of any leavened products, also known as chametz– no bread, regular flour, pasta, etc.  With that in mind, Passover food comes with lots of restrictions and it can be tricky, but I love the challenge.  How do you take the typical noodle kugel, which I consider a stick-to-your-ribs, hearty, warm dish, and take the noodles out?? OY!  But, you’d be surprised that adding apples, sugar, butter, lemon, cinnamon and vanilla to matzah, you can transform what many refer to as cardboard, into a savory, sweet and totally cravable dish that will have your guests coming back for seconds.

One of my favorite recipes to make for Passover is my grandmother’s sponge cake, and I always appreciate her watchful eye to make sure I prepare it just right.  You can make it with lemons or oranges and either way, it comes out light and fluffy- most people won’t even believe it’s a Passover recipe!

I hope you’ll consider bringing a little bit of my family to your Passover Seder this year, and may your holiday be shared with those you love.  Chag Sameach!

My Grandmother’s Passover Sponge Cake

Ingredients:

  • 9 eggs
  • 1 cup potato starch
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 entire lemon or orange, grated

Directions:

Separate 7 eggs, but keep the yolks.  Beat the whites and refrigerate in a bowl.  Then, beat the 7 yolks plus 2 whole eggs.  Add the sugar gradually and beat well.  Add the lemon or orange, then add the potato starch gradually.  Fold in the egg whites. 

Baking Directions:

Bake in an ungreased bunt pan at 350F for 1 hour.  Remove the cake from the oven and immediately invert the pan.  Keep it this way until it’s completely cooled.  Enjoy with whipped topping, fresh strawberries or any other toppings you like!

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