Passover ceremony

Ceremonial food for PassoverA Passover Seder plate with the ceremonial foods.
Haroset
This is a sweet mud like mixture:
1 apple, grated
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons of sweet red wine or grape juice
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon of honey
Prepare all the ingredients and then mix together well. The resulting mixture should be lumpy and of a similar consistency to heavy porridge or moist stuffing. If you have a food processor, the easiest way to make haroset is to roughly blend it all in one go, adding the apple at the end. The proportions are not exact but are based on a family meal for six to eight people.
Roasted egg
The easiest way to create a roasted egg effect is to boil an egg and then light a match under it when it is cool.
Parsley and lettuce
Have enough so that each person can have a couple of pieces each.
Horseradish
Freshly grated horseradish is most authentic but very hot. It is traditional to grate it together with cooked beetroot (beet) and this lessens the intensity. Horseradish sauce is more easily available and is perfectly acceptable.
Lamb bone
This should be a shank bone. Roast a leg of lamb in the weeks coming up to Passover. After your meal, boil the remaining meat off of the bone and then leave it in the bottom of your oven for a few weeks to totally dry it off. This should remove all of the meat, although I did once have a dog run off with one! If a real bone is impractical or you are a vegetarian, make one out of cardboard or modelling clay.
Matzah
This should be available in most supermarkets. It is the modern unleavened bread that is more like a large biscuit. Sometimes they are in boxes that say `Not Kosher for Passover'. There are subtle differences but, unless you are in a Jewish home using special Passover crockery and a kosher kitchen, your Passover will not be technically kosher anyway, so these matzahs are fine for Passovers in a Christian setting and many Messianic families. There are 14 in an average box. You will only need about half a piece per person. Place three in the matzah cover and any others on a plate on the table. It is important that they are not broken beforehand.
Red wine or grape juice
There are four `cups' so one bottle is needed for about every six people. Each `cup' needs only be enough for a toast to be drunk.


A Passover menu
If you want to approximate a kosher meal there are certain details to remember. No flour, bread or raising agent can be used in any part of the meal. If meat makes up part of the meal, milk, cream or other dairy products must not be used in any part of the meal. No pork or seafood should ever be used. Do think through how the meal will be served. It will not be easy to do much last minute preparation just before you serve (this is where slow cookers and heated trolleys come into their own!). The most solemn part of Passover Seder comes immediately after the meal, so leave the clearing up until the end of the evening.
To start
Boiled eggs served with salad
Main course suggestions
Chicken in orange sauce (Recipe in A Feast of Seasons and similar Middle Eastern recipes can be found elsewhere)
Baked potatoes
Green vegetables
Dessert suggestions
Cinnamon balls and coconut pyramids

Further recipes and ideas for festivals can be found in the popular paperback: A Feast of Seasons