For many, Passover is celebrated at home with a special seder (service) and dinner. The holiday starts with the reading of the haggadah (story of the exodus and related writings) and many of those attending the dinner help with the reading. If you are attending a Passover seder, it's very nice to bring a hostess gift, which can be something as simple as printed napkins, a box of stationery or a set of note pads.
If you are entertaining this holiday, you might want to consider some elegant disposible plastic plates which are monogrammed. When you have a large number of guests, they make a great appearance and and are ideal for easy clean up. The smaller size plates are perfect to place on your main dishes for the start of the dinner and can be used for the matzah and the gefilte fish and the larger plates are perfect for the main course. Remember to order extras for desserts too.
There are many traditional menu items served at this meal which varies depending on what region of the world you are from. But the one constant is that matzah is served. Matzah is a flat large cracker-type item which is served instead of bread. The reason for this is that we are told that the Jews had to escape from Egypt and did not have enough time to wait for bread to rise. Instead, they ate matzah, unleavened bread.
Some of the more symbolic foods eaten at the seder are maror (horseradish, a reminder of the bitterness of slavery), salt water (symbolizing the tears of the slaves), charoset (a mixture of sweet wine, chopped apples and nuts symbolizing the mortar the slaves used to build the Egyptian pyramids), zeroah (shank bone, representing the Passover sacrifice), beitzah (hard-boiled egg, symbolic of life and birth associated with the spring season), and karpas (a leafy green vegetable, usually a piece of lettuce, symbolizing hope and redemption).
Some traditional Passover dishes include chopped liver, gefilte fish, matzah ball soup, brisket, kugels like potato kugel or matzah apple kugel tzimmis (a cooked fruit dish) plus for dessert there are typically macaroons and sponge cake (made from matzah meal) for dessert. Flour is not allowed to be used in any dish during this holiday.
Whether you are hosting or attending a Passover dinner, enjoy this special occasion and celebrate the many traditions of the holiday.
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