Pesach has come upon us, and while it has always been recognized as the Jewish Festival of Freedom, today its appeal goes beyond that because of intermarriage and ecumenical sedarim. Seder in Hebrew means "order," because 6 symbolic foods are served in order. While feasting on these foods, the Haggadah is read, which tells the story of the exodus out of Egypt. Haggadah in Hebrew means "telling." I have hosted ecumenical sedarim, with both Muslim and Christian guests. The only modification I had to make to the seder was that I could not serve wine, because alcohol consumption is not approved by Muslims and certain Protestant Christian sects. But all could identify with the story in the Haggadah, because the exodus is mentioned in the Bible, and Moses is mentioned in the Qu'ran 136 times. I did not start celebrating Pesach and having a seder until adult years. I was raised in foster care, but like all foster children, I wanted to know my roots. Well, my father was a Hungarian Calvinist, and my mother was a Sephardic Jew. So that lead me to have a strong interesting in the Sephardic cuisine. Two of my favorite recipes for the Pesach seder are of Sephardic origin. They are Sephardic charoset and huevos hamidados. Here are the recipes for both of them:
1 cup dried figs
1 cup raisins
1 cup pitted medjool dates
1 cup almonds
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
3 tablespoons pomegranate juice
Mixed up all of the ingredients in a food processor.
The charoset is served on the matzah (unleavened bread) during the seder.
Heat oven to 200 degrees F.
Line a casserole dish with dried onion skins.
Place up to 1 dozen eggs in the dish.
Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of ground coffee over the eggs
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt.
Pour water over the eggs until they are just covered.
Cover the dish, and place in the oven for 8 hours.
So obviously, you would want to make this dish the day before the seder. But this represents the roasted eggs, that are one of the six symbolic foods served at the seder.
My personal preference for wine is Chianti Classico, a kosher wine imported from Italy. This goes along well with a Sephardic seder, for Benjamin Disraeli, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, came from a Sephardic family in Venice. But irrespective of your background or if you have not celebrated a seder before, or maybe once before, it is a wonderful experience. The Dalai Lama was a guest at an ecumenical seder, when he was in Washington, D.C. So if you have not celebrated one before, hopefully you will get the chance. Happy Passover!
Latest Activity: Jun 23, 2013
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