Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Passover Cookbook - Great Recipes and Helping the Homeless!

Fabrangen, a counter-cultural Jewish havurah (fellowship) from the 60's which has gradually matured into a 3 generation community, just published a new edition of their Passover cookbook, A Hopeful Passover. Rachel Braun, who edited it, sent me off a copy - my first blogging perk, pretty nice!!
I love the book - it's got a home made feel and voice, with lots of ideas for managing Passover cooking, creating lively seders, and naturally - matzah balls and beyond.
The Passover cuisine very much reflects their demographic - kugels and quinoa, "Back-of-the-Manischewitz-Box Sponge-Cake" to Queen Anne's Cake (fancy! scrumptious!).
Here's a nice part: all proceeds from the book ($25 + shipping) go to Project Hope, their support project for homeless families. Their long term commitment has made a difference in the lives of many families, including one whose daughter has headed off to college. To purchase, just click on the title above.
Here's one of the book's great suggestions for seder enlivening:

The "Freedom Plate": We ask every seder guest to bring an item that symbolizes freedom to him or her, and put it on a plate on the table. When it is time to hold up symbols from the seder plate, we also hold up symbols from the freedom plate. Each person who brings an item speaks about why it symbolizes freedom. You hear great intepretations. Martha Hausman
and here is a really cool recipe/arts and crafts project from Laura Bellows. She grew up at Fabrangen and is an environmental educator - kind of a Flower Child 2.0!
Elan's Candied Violets

Here's another impetus for refraining from the use of herbicides in your yard. Use the beautiful wild violets that bloom in spring in most grassy locations as decoration for Passover cakes and as delicious edibles. This recipe is also adaptable to other edible flowers such as pansies.
20+ blooming violets, fresh picked, rinsed and patted dry. Cut stems to 1" from flower and open blooms.
1 egg white
1/2 c. fine granular sugar

Beat egg white until frothy. Dip violets in egg whites to coat, and then into sugar. Place each violet separately on wax paper on a cookie sheet. Dry in 200 degree oven until crystallized. If story many, put wax paper between layers.

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