Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Seder 2015

I wasn't sure I was going to host Passover this year until I saw a half-priced boneless lamb roast in the market three weeks ago.  I dropped it in the freezer and started inviting people.

I'm glad I didn't invite too many, because others seemed to gravitate.  It was only a 3 pound piece of meat.  I was also glad that folks felt they had to bring something, which would mean the leg of lamb and the sides I had planned would stretch a bit farther.  Really, once you add in the egg and gefilte, there's plenty of protein in a Seder even if the main course is vegetarian.

The thing about festive dinners being hard on the host is only if the person is not prepared or makes it difficult on themselves.  I knew I would be working Friday morning, so I did everything but cook the lamb and the spinach on Thursday.  Both of those were fully prepped and ready for the heat.  Oh, and I didn't peel the eggs because I didn't want them to get dry.  The biggest thing I didn't do ahead was set the table, because the cats don't respect the boundaries I try to set and I can't close off the dining room.

For pre-Passover cleaning, I usually just clean everything very well, including the oven.  This year, I completely took apart the stove, discovering new removable parts.  The toaster proved impossible to make KLP, but it looks better than it has in years.  For the oven, I finally got up the courage to use the self-cleaning mode.  It is fantastic!  I'm sure my electric bill will reflect the three hours of intense heat, but for once a year it is completely worth it and saves a lot of water.  All I had to do afterwards was wipe the inside with a sponge, and decades of buildup that had been reduced to ash were wiped away.

Here's a menu with a few links:

Charoset for the Seder
Roast leg of lamb with garlic and rosemary
Carrots and Oranges with Pumpkin Seeds (I used sage because you aren't supposed to use cumin for Passover)
Steamed Garlic Spinach
Balsamic Vinaigrette (as an all-purpose dressing and sauce)
Date Ice Cream (yes, it's dairy.  We waited a while for dessert.)

As far as my continuing quest to make just the right amount, I did very well.  The only reason we didn't run out of carrots was because one person cancelled at the last moment.  Everything else had one or two servings left over, saving me from cooking for a bit.  I didn't finish washing and putting away the dishes until the next evening, and felt like I'd taken a punishing exercise class.

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