Religion was very much in the background when I was growing up in the former Soviet Union. However, tradition was always at the forefront. I have great memories of delicious foods in the early Spring (which I now realize was for Passover) and getting money in the early Winter (which was for Hannukah). My parents and grandparents did not really elaborate on why we have certain traditions, but that we just do. So getting back to the food… my early Spring memories always center around chicken soup with matzo balls and gefilte fish. There were of course many other delicious dishes, but to me, Passover is not celebrated unless we feast on gefilte fish and chicken soup with matzo balls.
Traditions must be kept and passed on and this year we were treated to an amazing meal in lovely settings. My sister hosted our Seder dinner and cooked many delicious dishes including the mandatory chicken soup with picture perfect matzo balls.
My mom made her famous gefilte fish which by the way, is not bland, run of the mill, supermarket purchased, pale and unattractive.
It is flavorful, handmade, and very, very, very delicious. Now that I sit back, read over the beginning of this post and reminisce about all the delicious foods we had on Friday, I only hope that I can too one day have enough courage to host such a beautiful Seder.
Finally, a big shout-out to my sister who is an amazing chef thanks to or perhaps despite being a working mom of a rambunctious eight year old. Ingredients turn into gold in her hands and she manages to host so effortlessly.