Passover Memories and Recipes that Aim to Please
We're getting into the Passover spirit here at the Feldman household and as my parents begin their annual migration back from Florida to New York, we're moving full steam ahead with some of my favorite recipes that my grandmother taught my mom and that she’s finally passed down to me.
In fact, when it comes to Passover, while my dad leads the annual seder (see the video below), my mom and I have become a wonderful tag team over the years. I cook the turkey, prepare the salad and a few sides and mom tackles the tough stuff. We then get my mother-in-law to bring the chopped liver and everyone else is instructed to bring dessert. My husband is on kosher wine patrol while my daughter joins in on the matzoh ball preparation.
In our house, Passover is truly a family affair. In fact, I remember the first time my grandma Dora taught me how to make matzoh balls and the moment I rolled them and dropped them in boiling water and saw them instantly come to life, I was hooked. This is by far, my favorite holiday of the year because it gives my family the chance to finally reunite since Thanksgiving. Sure, many of us see one another in between, but I love the fact that we get to re-connect at our annual seder and catch up on lost time. Plus, we are convinced that my Grandma’s spirit is with us every year since the lights in my dining room chandelier flicker throughout the seder. The moment we acknowledge that Grandma Dora is in the room, the lights stop going on and off. It’s totally bizarre but I love knowing that my grandmother’s spirit is watching over us as we prepare some of her favorite recipes.
So now for the fun part. Here are some of the recipes that my mom prepares everywhere thanks to my grandmas, Dora and Dora (my dad’s mom was Dora too). Try these recipes for family and friends and you'll have them clamoring for an invite for your next seder:
- 6 cans of campbell's tomato soup
- lemon juice
- sugar or splenda
- 2lbs or less of ground beef or ground turkey
- chicken wings 1pkg.
- chicken gizzards 1 package
- 2 eggs
- matzoh meal
In a large pot empty 2 cans of tomato soup : Add only One can of water.
Mix ground meat with salt, matzoh meal (not too much) ,eggs, ketchup and make meatballs. Put a low flame under the tomato soup and slowly add the meatballs- then add another can of soup and add the wings - wash them and you do not have to season them. Add a can of water and another can of soup and add the gizzards. Let cook for about ten minutes on a low flame. Now comes the fun part: add two tablespoons of sugar and four tablespoons of lemon juice.
Check taste every 15 minutes- at these intervals add sugar and lemon juice- this should cook for about an hour and a half on a low flame. You don't want to cook this on a high flame and you do not want to see a rolling boil- as the meatballs and the gizzards will stick to the pot and burn.
If you want to make less just reduce the amount of soup you put in the mixture -but always start with 2 cans at the beginning.
- large or medium head of cabbage
- ground beef or turkey
- 6 cans of tomato soup
- matzoh meal
- sugar or splenda
- lemon juice
In a large pot put the head of cabbage in water and bring to a rolling boil. Let it boil for about 5 minutes- remove cabbage from the pot and rinse in a colander with cold water. Now take a sharp knife and cut each leaf at the base of the cabbage - where the stem or part that would have been attached to the vine etc. Put the leaves on a paper towel - hopefully they are soft and pliable.
As cabbage is boiling prepare the meatball mixture (see above).
When the cabbage leaves are ready fill each one with the meat and wrap as tightly as you can -sometimes if the leaves do not seem to hold then keep together with a toothpick- but be sure to remove the toothpick when you serve it.
Again use two cans of soup and one can of water and place the stuffed cabbage in the pot- put another can of soup in and put the next layer of stuffed cabages in. Continue in this manner and end with a can of soup - also do not add water to any cans of soup except the first one- reason- the cabbage produces a great deal of moisture and the pot will overflow if you add too much water. Then to make the sweet and sour mix add sugar or splenda and lemon juice. This will be done in about 11/2 to 2 hours. Every 15 or 20 minutes check and add sugar or lemon juice - you determine this if its too sweet add lemon juice if its too sour add sugar.
Though I'm not the best cook, my grandmas were, so in honor of them, I'm passing along these two wonderful dishes. As for my other Grandma Dora's secret ingredient for matzoh balls, it's simple - a capful of seltzer makes your balls nice and fluffy. My mom just made one of my all time favorites - noodle pudding - if you're lucky, I'll share that one with you too!
Grandma Dora's Matzoh Brei
- 2 Boards of Matzoh
- 2 cups of water
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon of sugar (or 1 packet of splenda or stevia)
Step 1 - soak matzohs in the water. Drain water. Add eggs, sugar and salt. Pour into a greased frying pan and let it settle, then mix up and scramble. Voila, you have matzoh brei.
Grandma Dora's Matzoh Pudding
- 4 boards of matzoh
- 3 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons of sugar (or replace with 1 tablespoon of splenda or stevia)
- 1/2 cup of raisins
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 3 eggs (or egg substitute)
Soak the matzoh. Drain liquid from matzoh. Add eggs, sugar, raisins, cinnamon and then pour contents into a hot greased pan (using Pam or other oil Kosher for Passover). After 3 minutes on medium heat, it will form into a thick pancake. You'll then take a spatula and check the bottom to see if it's lightly browned. Next, use a dinner plate, cover the pan, invert the cake and put it back in the pan to brown on the other side.
Once it's complete, put it on a plate, slice it up and serve with syrup or it can be eaten on it's own since it's so delicious!
Want a sneak peak at what Passover looks like at my house? Then take a trip down memory lane and check out this video from 2008...