Report and Photography: Alyson Vogel
A full house of enthralled listeners attended pre-Passover dinner on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at Jennifer Clair’s Home Cooking New York kitchen. Each woman brought a traditional Seder dish, and joined Middle Eastern chef, member, author, and culinary instructor Jennifer Abadi for an evening of storytelling and to learn about the diversity of culture surrounding Passover offerings in the Sephardic and Judeo-Arabic communities. Her stories came from her historical cookbook entitled Too Good To Passover: Sephardic & Judeo-Arabic Seder Menus and Memories from Africa, Asia and Europe and spanned memories she garnered from women from Africa to Asia and parts of Europe. During this storytelling, the large group of us was sitting around a giant table tasting some delicious offerings beginning with a twist on a Syrian haroset made with dried apricots and orange blossom water, and even a balled Moroccan haroset that could have passed for truffles! This was followed by a delicious soup called Kibbeh Hamdah, a tart soup made with lamb meatballs, lemon and mint.
Other highlights were a Gibraltarian-style layered matzah pie with ground beef, turmeric and nutmeg. Desserts included Egyptian walnut date macaroons and Italian Almond Cake with almond syrup. Thanks to Jennifer Abadi and Rebecca Miller French for co-hosting a warm and inviting evening, and to Jennifer for signing many copies of her lovely cookbook that will be shared with friends and loved ones. As Clare Treves Brezel has said, "Preserving the memories and the recipes is so, so very important!"