1) Someone else prepared the Passover for us (usually I do it)
2) It was not your traditional seder food (at least not MY traditional seder food.
E. and M., friends of my dad and stepmother, hosted the event. E. is an incredible cook of Moroccan-jewish descent and since I am quite partial to Moroccan cooking in general I was eager to attend my first Moroccanish seder.
I was surprised we even made it there since Izzy still isn't himself but he perked up after a nap and I guess since he was a seder baby (born on Passover) he decided to make an appearance after all. We were late so unfortunately missed out on the good parts (though Izzy was pleased with his Pyramid of Plagues which provided ample entertainment throughout the remaining readings.
The most unusual looking aspect of the table were the "Charoset Balls". There was actually an entire platter piled high with these smooth dark brown balls. At first glance I thought they were some unusual meat dish so I was surprised to find out that they were made out of pureed dates and nuts. They didn't even seem like a distant relative of the Charoset from my childhood which was and is made from red wine, walnuts, apples and cinnamon. I don't know that I would change my recipe but they were interesting to sample.
Aside from that the whole table was groaning under the weight of the Moroccan salads including garlicky eggplant, spiced carrots, red peppers, green salad with fennel and radishes, and the traditional chopped liver spread (my dad and Izzy's favorite.)
The fish course was next; sliced Gefilte Fish and an excellent Moroccan Fish dish topped with tomatoes and peppers.
That was followed by Matzoh Ball Soup filled with chicken,parsnips and zucchini. Not my grandma's chicken soup but flavorful, homey and filling, nonetheless. That could have been my dinner. But then there was more.
Deep Fried Turkey..How that found a place at the Passover table is the fifth question that I forgot to ask. Was it their family tradition, who knows? Served up in Flintstone-sized portions it was delicious and went perfectly with the Sweet Potato souffle with pecans on top. Wait, was it Thanksgiving or Passover...hmmm. More signs of Passover included a huge platter of smokey Brisket, Roasted Asparagus, Mushroom Farfel (Passover Pasta), and Green Beans. How could we possibly go on after all of that. And there was still dessert.
Kosher for Passover cakes, both chocolate and angel food served along with a fresh fruit platter, strawberries and strawberry sauce. And, lest I forget, this was all accompanied by a huge bowl of non-dairy whipped cream (stay tuned for comments about that later).
All in all, it was a commendable meal, full of surprises and I am ever so thankful that we were able to join in the fun. A perfect place to start building Izzy's Passover memories.