Off to the Passover races

yesterday my son and my future son in law and I switched the house over for Passover. My daughter got a pass because she looked so sick. She has a grotty cold so I sent her home. But the three of us worked and worked and got the house ready for the next stage of my life, Passover cooking.

My husband was in our bathroom doing the heroic job of  re-plastering the walls. Earlier this year a small child emerged from our bathroom and commented about how scary it was. She was right. But thanks to my husband, the bathroom will no longer terrify small children.

When I was a little kid I helped my parents get ready for Passover. There were lots of jobs just right for small children. I did them all, peeling eggs, chopping nuts on the tiny hand mill, sweeping up messes and washing or drying dishes.

My household is no longer populated with small children and the ones I did give birth to are either in school or working so all of the tasks have fallen to me.

I know that the first Seder is not for a week but some jobs need to be done early.
The soup is doing it's thing simmering away in the giant pot.

I boiled the eggs for Seder.
The task is done a week in advance because we serve ours pickled in beet juice.
If the eggs sit in the beet brine for a week they will be magenta by Seder. 
If you decide to make them, the brine is made out of one part beet juice, one part vinegar and one part sugar. I also added pickling spices. You simmer the hard boiled  and peeled eggs ( this is where a small child is sore missed, for the egg peeling) in the beet brine for 30 minutes or so and then pack it away to transform itself into it's Passover finery in the fridge.

I also have a confession to make. I am usually a big proponent of hand chopped charoset. The fact that I was sick for the past month has taken a toll on my strength so I wimped out and made it  in the food processor. I was careful though to keep an eye on how pulverized the mixture is. This must not become a smooth paste. It needs a complex texture in your mouth. A smooth paste will make me sad and will be a disappointment to my family who is awaiting their first mouth-full to contrast with the bitterness of the maror.

Charoset is always improved by soaking raisins in sweet wine, as my father used to do.
The charoset is made as my father used to make it with
apples
a lemon
an orange
figs
dates 
apricots
prunes
fresh ginger
cinnamon
allspice
walnuts
almonds
 a bit of honey 
and more of the sweet wine


The charoset then sits in the fridge and mellows until Seder. Today the taste is disappointing, by Seder it will be delicious.

There are many tasks still to go. I had ventured to the local Jewish market to buy some necessities and nearly had a coronary at the prices. So a friend and I are venturing out to Brooklyn at 9 am to a market that stays open 24 hours a day in the weeks before Passover and promises the cheapest prices in Brooklyn.

I used my time writing this post to rest before I finish off Cavill's tallit.

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