A Passover Seder is a busy, complicated celebration, and we recommend that everything be made ready before the family sits. Three matzos should be wrapped in a napkin and placed on the table.
A Passover Seder is a family meal celebrated at home.
A Word About Wine
The traditional Passover wine is a sweet, red, kosher wine (if you have such wines available to you) produced from the concord grape. Two such wines that are available in most areas are Mogen David and Manischewitz. Each participant will be served four 4-ounce cups of wine/grape juice over the course of the meal.
Believe it or not, kosher candles are available in many grocery stores. They are sold near the kosher foods (with matzos). Small Manischewitz brand kosher candles cost about one dollar each. Have matches or lighter near candle.
A small cup of water is served. This water is not for drinking. It is used to ceremonially wash the hands.
Do not serve drinking water on the table (to avoid clutter on an already busy table). Have pitchers of drinking water on the serving table, available upon request.
Matzos are available at many grocery stores throughout the year. Around Passover supply tends to rise. A popular brand name is Manischewitz.
Three whole matzos should be wrapped in a napkin and placed on a plate on the table before the celebration begins.
Salt Water and Green Vegetables
The green vegetable is traditionally parsley. Each participant’s plate receives two separate servings of parsley (four medium springs of parsley per serving) before the celebration begins.
The salt water can be served before the celebration in a small bowl (like a finger bowl), or in a small opaque plastic cup (four ounces). Make the salt water by mixing three tablespoons of kosher salt per quart of warm water.
The bitter herbs are usually horseradish. Red shredded horseradish is preferred. However, deli shredded is also acceptable. Do not use horseradish sauce, as it contains dairy.
Each plate receives one whole hard-cooked egg, peeled.
Each plate receives a small serving (about 1/4 cup) of charoseth—a sort of an apple/walnut salad. Although only a small portion is served, we recommend that extra be made, reserved on the serving table—charoseth is a popular dish.
Here is a recipe for charoseth:
2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. honey
1/3 cup red wine
In a bowl, combine apples, walnuts, cinnamon and honey. While stirring, pour wine over the mixture. The apples will turn brown, but that is appropriate—charoseth is supposed to resemble ancient mortar.
This recipe will yield two cups of charoseth—enough for eight servings. But remember, extra is usually required.
Serving the Meal
If you serve a green salad with the meal, be sure to avoid dairy—no cheese .. no Ranch dressing. Italian dressing and French are usually dairy free (although some Italian dressings contain Parmesan cheese). Check labels.
We have included recipes for five main course stews. Choose one or two. (We do recommend that one be a lamb dish.)