"Serve Immediately Does Not Apply"

Okay, a timeout from the world of Women’s Philanthropy and our travels to Cuba, our very exciting plans for Women’s Awareness Day and the Lion Lunch on April 30, and Spring Fling on April 15. Here’s what’s really happening on Leslie’s Laptop – the search for Passover recipes! It’s taken a few days of research on the internet, consultation with various cookbooks and old issues of Gourmet and comparing what I made for the past few holidays (we’re giving Chicken Marbella a nice long, well-deserved rest), but I’ve come up with the menu and started cooking yesterday. A note on recipes for Passover (I once sent a letter to the editor of Gourmet on this topic, but it never saw print) – anyone who writes a recipe for a Passover meal that concludes with “serve immediately” has never attended a seder. We need recipes that can be prepared in advance, can withstand uncertain timing (another round of “Dayenu” – why not? Late arrivals from outer boroughs – of course!) and that are still colorful and delicious when served. I’ve served more than one carefully planned meal where, upon laying out the buffet table, I realize everything I’m serving is some shade of brown. I’m trying to avoid that result this year – starting with not having brisket – and also looking to lighten things up, which includes a wonderful quinoa salad courtesy of Alma Schneider at www.TakeBacktheKitchen.com and a tomato and avocado salad I found in one of my new favorite cookbooks, Hip Kosher by Ronnie Fein. I’m never sure how I’m going to get everything done in time, and I need to leave myself big reminders to roast the shankbone, find the seder plate (which disappeared for a while after my kitchen renovation, but I found it when I was making Rosh HaShanah dinner last fall – I hope my sister-in-law remembers where I told her I found it, actually) and dust off the haggadot. Somehow it all comes together and the most important part is not the food, but that family and friends are sitting together, remembering that we were once slaves in Egypt and our obligation to bring freedom to this world today.

Wishing all of you a zissen Pesach, filled with great food, wonderful seders and a lovely Passover break – I will see you again after the holiday with more tales from the beautiful island of Cuba.

Leslie

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