Our Kid-Friendly, GF/DF Seder
Passover is one of my most favorite holidays. It’s the celebration of the Jewish People leaving Egypt as slaves. We get together to sing songs and eat and celebrate our freedom. With several little people at the seder (the passover meal), we revised the way we did things. We brought in Sammy the Spider’s Passover Haggadah, (the book we use for the order of the seder and the songs). It was a big hit!!
The Haggadah with Sammy the Spider
We will confess that though it was the perfect dinner, the haggadah was missing the 4 glasses of wine and the majority of the plagues, that we will add in next time.
The Seder Plate
The Seder plate has food on that is symbolic of the Jews leaving Egypt:
- matzah – is the cracker like bread that the Jews made before leaving Egypt, but didn’t have time to let it rise. It baked on their backs.
- the “roasted” egg (though this one was not) – symbolized the renewal and cycle of life generations later
- an orange – symbolizing solidarity with the LGBT community
- bitter herbs (usually horseradish) reminds us of the bitter times when we were slaves in Egypt
- the shank bone (a bone from a lamb, but you can see the dog bone for this one) – represents the lamb that was the special sacrifice the night before the exodus from Egypt
- Charoset – the apple, nuts, and wine mixture that represents the mortar of the bricks the Jewish had to make as slaves in Egypt
- Parsley or Celery dipped in salt water – to symbolize the tears shed by the Jews in slavery
The best GF Matzah out there is Yehudah matzah. It was marked on our table, because it technically can’t be used for sacrimental purposes since it does not contain any wheat. However, it tastes far better than the gluten matzah (like potato chips) and doesn’t make you constipated!!
Lighting the Candles
It is customary to light the candles to welcome the holiday into the home. Here my daughter and nephew were helping my mom.
Breaking the Middle (GF) Matzah (Afikomen)
During the Seder, from the stack of 3 matzah on the table, you take the middle one and break it in half. The larger “half”, called the Afikomen, symbolizes the lamb sacrifice (which is sacrificed no more since the Biblical Jewish Temple was destroyed. The Afikomen is then wrapped up in a napkin and hidden for the kids to find after the Seder is over. It’s like their incentive to sit through the whole Seder. Once it is found, money is usually handed out. When my mom told everyone they would get a present, my daughter was super excited. My mom handed out $2 bills and my daughter says, “This is not a present!!”
Appetizer: The Matzah Ball Soup
Matzah Ball Soup is on of the traditional foods served at Passover. A thin chicken stock is used and the balls are made out of matzah meal (ground matzah). These GF matzah balls were served to all the guests and no one knew the difference. They were light and fluffy. They were the best GF matzah balls I’ve had yet. (See recipe for Gluten-Free Matzah Balls below).
The whole meal was gluten-free (and dairy-free), and why not?!! We had brisket, turkey, carrot souffle, green beans with almonds, and wild rice. Feel free to ask for any of the recipes.
The Modern Seder
Write and tell me about your Seder traditions and experiences and ways of making it gluten-free and/or kid-friendly!
Mother’s Matzo Balls
adapted from Keneseth Israel Sisterhood Cookbook out of Louisville, Kentucky 1971
Serving Size: about 30, 1.5″ in diameter balls
- 3 tbsp of chicken fat (skimmed off of the top of homemade chicken stock)
- 3 eggs, slightly beaten
- 3/4 cup matzah meal
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp of soup stock
- pot of stock (we use chicken that we made)
- Mix fat, eggs, seasoning and liquid.
- Add matzah meal and mix lightly until blended.
- Cover the mixing bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
- Bring stock to a brisk boil.
- Make matzah balls using about a tsp to scoop them out and drop them into briskly boiling stock.
- Cover pot and simmer for 40 minutes.