Tag Archives: Passover

5 Things Kids Should Know About Passover

Passover is an eight-day Jewish holiday that celebrates the story of how the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. Here are five things that kids should know about Passover.

  1. Passover is the oldest continuously celebrated Jewish festival.
  2. Seder, the traditional meal eaten to celebrate Passover, means “order.” Families eat very specific foods to remind them of the story of Passover. The bitter herbs are to remind them of the bitterness of slavery. The wine is a reminder of the rejoicing they felt when they were freed. The unleavened bread is a reminder that they had to leave Egypt so quickly that their bread didn’t have a chance to rise.
  3. Every seder table is set with a fifth cup of wine which is reserved for the Prophet Elijah. It is believed that Elijah will answer Jewish legal questions that the rabbis could not resolve. On the night of the Passover seder, the hope is that Elijah will return and answer the question of whether or not four or five cups of wine or grape juice should be drunk during the dinner.
  4. The last thing eaten at the seder is the afikomen, or dessert. The afikomen is hidden and the children at the meal must find and negotiate for its return. Until the afikomen is found the meal cannot be completed.
  5. During the first two days and the last two days of Passover participants do not go to school or work; instead, they say special prayers and eat meals together.

Happy Passover, and to all of you who celebrate it, “Next year in Jerusalem!”

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Kosher Cook Claims Prize in 5th Annual Manischewitz Cook-Off

Stuart Davis, a father from Cherry Hill, NJ, was the big winner at the 5th Annual Manischewitz Cook-off last month, which the company sponsors to get more people cooking with kosher food products.

Famed French chef (and Julia Child culinary co-conspirator) Jacques Pepin judged the competition.

Davis’s winning recipe is a donburi, which is a Japanese food loosely translated to mean a “rice bowl dish.” It typically consists of meat, poultry, or vegetables served over rice.

Davis is a father of four who speaks fluent Japanese and teaches a “Digesting Hebrew” class at Temple Beth Shalom in Cherry Hill. For his award-winning recipe, Davis received $25,000, including cash and GE appliances.

Of the five finalists, three are not Jewish. One of the finalists became familiar with kosher food after dealing with Celiac disease, which is best managed with a dairy- and gluten-free diet.

The cook-off is a great way to get people thinking about food, challenging their assumptions, blending flavors and cultural influences, trying new things and – hopefully – learning about more about the intersection of food, religion and culture.

With Passover around the corner, now is a great time to do a little research on kosher food and maybe try a new recipe or two.

Check out Davis’s winning recipe for chicken and egg donburi.

For more recipes and a Kid’s Corner with games for children to play, visit the Manischewitz website.


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Can You Feed a Kid Caviar?

Well, the truth is you can; but ask yourself: should you?

If you’re an inquiring eater (like myself), there are a few mythical (or near-mythical) foods that just sound interesting but somehow out of reach. For a long time I thought caviar was one of those foods that you only saw at fancy parties on television.

It turns out you can find it next to the tuna fish at your local grocery store!

But what does the average person who doesn’t eat like Thurston Howell do with it?

The answer is as easy as Easter/Passover leftovers!

Traditionally, caviar can be eaten with both deviled eggs and latkes. Having recently made both of these foods, I decided to do a food experiment.

First, I tried the caviar on a white potato and onion latke with a dollop of sour cream.

This was good.

Then I tried the caviar on a deviled egg. The egg yolks had been smashed with mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, and salt.

This was also good.

However, it quickly became apparent that I lacked the “hunger” to continue to compare the two. After the second round, I was slightly over my fascination with caviar and regretting that I hadn’t invited over an eating crew! So you’ll have to try both ideas and tell me what you think.

For the record, I couldn’t get my kid to eat caviar. And I’m OK with that.

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A New Day Begins At Sunset

I’ve always found it interesting that Jewish holidays begin at sundown the night before but I never really wondered why until recently.

According to the omniscient (and sometimes accurate) Internet, the reason dates from the creation of the Universe.  In the Torah, it was written that G-d created the heavens and the earth and evening came and morning followed, the first day.

I like this idea a lot, particularly since it means that I can cram a lot more life into my days if they begin just as my work day is ending.

Tonight, I finally pulled out the recipes I’ve been hoarding for traditional latkes.  Truth be told, it’s just a happy coincidence that my latkes attempt corresponds with the start of Passover, a holiday that retells how the Israelites broke free from slavery in Egypt.

Passover is a fascinating holiday but so many other have written so well on this topic and I have had so little first-hand experience with it that I hesitate to add anything except to say that it sounds like an amazing, tradition-fueled holiday that coincides with some interesting food.

I chose to focus on something simple:  latkes.  They were easy to squeeze in after a long day at work and I thought my son would like to help me cook.  I was right on one count, wrong on the other, but I still managed to single-handedly whip up some delicious latkes.

I had two recipes, a traditional white potato and onion latke and a sweet potato latke.

The steps were easy:  I peeled and grated about 4 medium white potatoes; I grated one-half of a yellow onion; I added some salt and pepper; one beaten egg; and two tablespoons of flour.  Once I mixed that well by hand, I heated about 3 tablespoons of oil over high heat and then carefully dropped the potato mixture into the oil.

The sweet potato latkes was even easier.  I grated one large sweet potato, added two beaten eggs (this was a larger amount of potato than my recipe called for); two tablespoons of flour; chopped green onion (about 3); and added salt, pepper, and two tablespoons of flour.  I thought the original latkes could have been improved by a little spice, so I added some paprika to this mixture but it really didn’t add much.

Of the two, my favorite was the white potato version.  I could easily see making them again and I think my son would enjoy them.  

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