Here's a photo of our window herb-garden blooming to represent the fact that: it's Spring! That's nice and all, but I am in a total tizzy! In two weeks I'll be heading back to the USA for an extended visit, and then coming back to Berlin only to head directly to Budapest for a summer internship. In the meantime, there's Passover, Easter, a ton of friend's birthdays, and all the normal stresses associated with being a cleaning lady.
But, I am trying to put off the freakouts just a little bit longer and approach the coming madness with the sort of non-chalance that I am known for. (Not.)
In the meantime I've been having some casual meals like the one pictured above: my take on blini w/ caviar. My friends and I made these little pancakes w/ a bit of onion mixed in, then topped them with a sauteed mince of mushroom and peppers laced with balsamic and soy sauce to make it a bit salty. On top, a dollop of soy yogurt (sour cream would also be nice) and spring onions. Perfect fancy little dinner.
And now onto Pesach! Every year I plan a huge Passover Seder and every year I end up freaking out! This year is no different. I'm having 12-15 Berliners over, only one of whom is Jewish, and trying to not only teach them about Passover but also do the whole thing vegan for a bunch of avowed meat-eaters. Yikes. I am trying to avoid major problems this year in 3 ways:
-testing out a few new recipes beforehand
-making about 1/2 the meal the day before
-doing some experimental combos that take some of the labor out of the traditional meal, and make it exotic enough that people don't even think about meat or dairy.
I hope it works! As you can see, I have a sort of Middle Eastern/ Sephardic theme going on, what with the orange and almond salad, tagine-esque quinoa, and various dips. This is also partially because of the unavailability (or expensiveness) of a lot ingredients I would normally use. However, there's still matzoh balls, so I guess its all ok.
At the end of the day, its one night of these people's lives, so if something goes wrong I am not going to freak out. But since I want people to walk away with a better understanding of both Judaism and Veganism, I am definitely feeling the pressure.
With that said, I present this year's potential Passover Seder Menu:
-Traditional Apple-Walnut Charoset
-V'Con Cucumber Dip
-Kosher for passover Matzoh ball soup (recipe here or here) (ie, no tofu!)
-Giant Salad w/ Spinach, Arugula, Almonds and Orange slices and some sort of dressing
-Quinoa Tzimmes Tagine (?)
-This is an idea for a recipe that came to me which combines roasted root veggies and quinoa as a heartier, make-ahead side. It will be roasted chunks of sweet potatoes and carrots, added into a quinoa prepared with onions, garlic, ginger, and some morrocan-ish spices, ie, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon. On top will be some diced apricots.
-Eggplant Potato Moussaka w/ Pinenut Cream (from V'Con)
-Herbacious Leek and Mushroom Kugel (from years past)
And for dessert, coconut macaroons, expresso, and chocolate covered strawberries.
Ok, let me know what you think. Am I missing something? Is quinoa AND moussaka weird? Am I freaking out too much?
Anyways, if you are planning your own seder please feel free to peruse my archives:
-2010 "Dip" Seder
-2009 Seder with recipes that work for Easter and Passover
I'll post pictures afterwards to show you how it went!
Song of the Day: Get Down Moses- Joe Strummer