Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Dear Common Household Husband made Easter dinner. Not only that, but it was delicious!

Ginger-Honey chicken, baked on matzo stuffing, with carrots roasted on top. All in one pan! He's a genius.

Sabra Honey-Golden Chicken
1 4 pound chicken, cut into serving pcs salt to taste
1/2 lemon
1/3 c peanut oil
2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 c honey

Rub lemon on chicken pieces. Sprinkle with 1 tsp ginger and salt. Combine oil, honey, and remaining ginger. Brush chicken with honey mixture. Roast at 350 F for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, basting occasionally.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Hail to the Egg-Layers

This week we are taking advantage of the huge efforts of egg-laying chickens. As of yesterday (Thursday) I have used 1.5 dozen eggs to prepare: the egg for the Seder plate, a sponge cake, cookies, Passover rolls, lemon squares, and matzo ball mix. Plus one of our Seder guests is a vegetarian, so I’m adding 0.5 dozen hard boiled eggs to our table, since she can’t eat the fish or chicken soup.

My son is not a big fan of matzo or any Passover food, really. I asked him what he would eat for breakfast during Passover, and he said “eggs.” Scrambled, that is.

Today I went to the store to get more Passover staples: 2 dozen eggs and 3 pounds of onions.

We have not dyed any eggs for Easter eggs. The plastic, colored eggs with candy inside are starting to look more appealing, just for variety’s sake.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Passover Cream Cheese Brownies

One of our favorite Passover treats. Not too hard to make either - no need to whip egg whites!

Passover Cream Cheese Brownies
* 1/4 cup butter (or unsalted margarine)
* 1/3 cup soft cream cheese (NOT the whipped kind)
* 1 cup sugar
* 2 beaten eggs
* 1/2 cup matzah cake flour
* ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
* 2 Tbsp. potato starch
* ¼ cup chocolate chips (not melted) (or you could use 1 cup finely chopped nuts)

Cream butter, cream cheese. Add sugar and eggs; mix well. Stir in cake flour, potato starch, cooled chocolate, chocolate chips or chopped nuts (reserving some nuts for the top). Spread batter in buttered 9x9 inch pan. Sprinkle reserved nuts over top, if desired. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Cut into squares while warm.

These are best stored in refrigerator. They are rather fudge-like. Remember that they are a dairy food.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Reflections of a Presbyterian on her son's bar mitzvah

The day was wonderful. There’s an indescribable feeling to having friends and family gather for an important family event. Each person’s presence is inestimably important.

I think that it’s good to have events like these because they can be (if we let them) a glimpse of what heaven might be like. Or is it a wonderful day just because I find I can’t believe people are willing to give up an entire Saturday morning to witness a worship service half in a language they don’t understand?

The difference between the bar mitzvah worship service and a Presbyterian confirmation are, of course, many. Judaism says, “We do, and [therefore] we believe.” Christianity says, “We believe, and so, we do.”

Start with the fact that there is actually no worship service or ceremony required to “become bar mitzvah” (or bat mitzvah). The bar mitzvah service is really the first time that the person is called for an aliyah to the Torah. No declaration of belief is required. However, long years of study in Hebrew, in learning the system of chanting the prayers, the Torah portion, the Haftarah are required.

Contrast that with the confirmation class at my church. There is a class that meets once a week for about half the year. There is (thankfully) no foreign language to be learned! The participants in the class learn theology, write their own statement of faith, and get to know each other. The culmination is their answering questions about their faith in front of the congregation. Answering the questions, that is, making a public declaration of faith, is required.

So for the bar mitzvah child, the learning and action come first, with belief to follow. For the Presbyterian kids, defining one’s beliefs comes first, with more learning and action to follow.