In September a new kid, Mensch, joined Thatkid's preschool and was quickly initiated into the "cool kids" club. (And when your entire preschool class is 8 kids, they are all considered part of the "cool kids" club.)
Menschmom made a number of attempts to set up a playdate between the two boys, and some time last year we finally were able to make it work. And a new friendship began. Not just between the kids, but between the families. Menschmom grew up in Western PA, not too far from where I did. In fact, I mentioned to her that we had to drive out to her area in order to stock up on Passover food, given the fact my small town didn't even carry boxes of matzah.
That's when she confessed that she really hadn't celebrated Passover since she was a small child, despite the fact she had been raised Jewish. She couldn't even remember the last time she went to a seder. One of us, I can't remember who, suggested we throw a seder together this year. Which I tucked away in the back of my head until one day in March I remembered and asked her "Are we doing a seder together?" This, in turn, led to me throwing my very first seder.
I don't have a ton of Jewish friends here in San Diego, but what's funny about the two I have is that each of them is married to a non-Jewish man, like I am. I decided it would be the most fun to get all three of our families together for the seder.
We had a grown up table
And a kid's table, completely with crayons and Passover coloring books. Although the kids were much less interested in coloring, and much more interested in playing in Thatkid's room.
I was pretty pleased with the spread I was able to make given what a buys week it was with traveling to seders all over Southern California. I had made all of these items before separately, but not all together for one meal. Although, it definitely helped staying home with a sick Thatbaby because it gave me the time to do most of the cooking.
There was matzah ball soup
Honey Glazed Carrots
and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
The highlight though was desserts - which could be the worst part of Passover. I find a lot of Passover dessert recipes to be sub par. Like these strawberry rhubarb tarts. I found Passover pie crusts and was so excited to use them, but was very unimpressed.
Luckily I had also made my tried and true favorites, Almond Horns
And chocolate ganache covered macaroons.
Hopefully that means there will be a lot more summer entertaining - because it's always nice to dine with friends. And I have plenty more food ideas that are good for summer entertaining. Things that involve the grill! Or fruit! Or salad!
Salad often gets overlooked when it comes to dinner parties. Luckily Menschmom brought some over to share for our Seder. Because for me, it's just a staple of a "nice dinner." It doesn't have to be the typical lettuce, tomato, carrot kind of salad. I love caprese, or watermelon with feta. I'm even a big fan of slaws - making use of the hugely underrated cabbage. This slaw with crisp cabbage and bright radishes is complemented by the use of fresh mint. It works just as well beside a roasted salmon as it does when paired with a juicy burger. It is perfect for your outdoor barbecues, or your elegant dinners for close friends. It is THE salad for all your summer entertaining needs.
Cabbage Slaw (From Cooking Light)
4 cups shredded cabbage
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced radishes
1/2 cup diagonally cut green onions
3 Tbsp olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- Combine cabbage, radishes, green onions, olive oil, and lemon juice in a large bowl.
- Sprinkle with mint, salt, and pepper.