We held our third Nourish Gathering last weekend to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Passover. We hosted nine wonderful people at our table and we each shared our family's stories of immigration.
Seder means order in Hebrew- it is the Jewish ritual feast that marks the beginning of Passover. Passover is an eight-day spring festival during which we celebrate our freedom. Every year for thousands of years, we've eaten the same ritual foods and told the story of our Exodus from Egypt. In many ways, the story of fleeing one place to create a better life for our families in another, is the story of many cultures. For Bryan and I, it's a time to pause at the beginning of each year and remember that not that long ago, our ancestors were once slaves and refugees.
This year, we had fun customizing our Seder to reflect our heritages: Japanese and Jewish. We incorporated some Japanese elements like a tsukune (chicken meatball) "matzah ball" soup and a banzai toast in place of kiddush (traditional Jewish blessing over the wine). Lilacs have become part of our Passover tradition, so we always have some on the table at this time of year. We used our Isabel Halley Seder plate, a gift from our wedding, for the first time. I like to imagine what our family's Passover table will look like generations from now. Maybe our Seder plate will be hundreds of years old, a cherished family heirloom. Here's a look at the menu from the weekend:
spring crudités with green tahini
smoked McFarland Springs trout
dijon horseradish cream
beet and orange salad with Mediterranean oil-cured olives, pickled shallot vinaigrette
"matzah ball" soup with ginger-leek tsukune chicken meatballs, turnips, carrots, homemade broth
sweet and sour brisket
cabbage and celery root slaw in a shio koji tahini dressing
sweet potato kugel
cherry blossom malabi
spring 2017 Denshin Haru junmai ginjo nama saké
2016 Thackery & Co. Pleiades old vines red blend