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April 05, 1985 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-04-05

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Friday, April 5, 1985


Their second dessert, the afiko-
man, brings on the high point of the
Seder for the children. Each child will
have his own afikomen to search for,
hidden by one of the adult men. After
bartering with an adult for the price of
the afikoman, each child will be re-
warded with a toy as payment.
After dinner, the Seder resumes
with the grace after meal, songs and
prayers. By 1 a.m., the Torgow family
will end their Seder with the final
song, Hadgadyah. The children will
gratefully sink into bed and Malke and
her mother will begin doing the moun-
tain of accumulated dishes to be ready
for Saturday's Seder.

he Nordan family's
Passover celebration is a
blending of two cultures.
Andre's exotic Moroccan
foods and Sephardic cus-
toms add spice to her husband's
Ashkenazi family favorites.
Traditionally, Moroccan Jews eat
charoset made with dates, walnuts
and sweet wine, served on rose petals.
Their Seder meal begins with a green
bean and potato soup. (For Sephardim,
beans are kosher for Passover, while
chick peas — "Hummus" — are not).
Next, a fish course might consist of
sole almondine. The main course is
often a sweet roasted lamb or veal
stewed with prunes, sugar and cinna-
mon, and a Moroccan luxury, truffles.
Side dishes might include stuffed ar-
tichokes, smoked beef tongue with
capers, or "Omelete" made with eggs,
potatoes, vegetables and brain, baked
thick, cooked and served sliced, with a
special salad. The salad is a Morrocan
favorite made from slow-cooking to-
matoes and pieces of broiled, skinned
peppers. Oil, saffron, ginger, curry
powder, hot sauce, paprika, cloves,
nutmeg, tumeric and cumin give this
salad its distinctive taste. Desserts are
sweet pastries and dried fruit, espe-
cially dates.
Through the years, to please her
husband and children, Andre has sub-
stituted matzah ball soup and apple-
nut charoset for their Moroccan coun-
terparts and omitted other Moroccan
specialties that were too time-
consuming. Andrea explains, "Moroc-
can women are always by the stove.
Most of their recipes take a lot of time
and effort."
The Nordan's Seder still retains
several Morrocan influences. On the
Seder plate next to the roasted shank
bone is a roasted egg in honor of the
oldest son. Andre explains, "It is a tra-
dition that the oldest son eats this egg
after the Seders." The family also
enjoys listening to a tape they made
several years ago of one of Andre's un-
cles conducting a Seder in the French
Moroccan manner.
Andre's childhood Seders were
conducted solely in Hebrew and only
the men and boys participated. The
afikoman was used as a second dessert
but children were not involved in a
search as in the Ashkenazi tradition.
Today, the three Nordan children par-
ticipate equally, in the Seder, in He-


Amy, Michael, Sara and Daniel Frank pick an exotic recipe for Passover .. .

Jewish history. Michael adds, "We
have your basic 20 Jewish cookbooks.
Why serve all traditional foods? Sure,
we'll have chopped liver or matzah ball
soup, but we love offering surprises.
Our extended family teases us for our
non-conformist attitude, but it doesn't
stop us from adapting recipes and find-
ing new and challenging ways to make
delicious food with Pesach ingre-
One year, the Franks made
Polynesian charoset with pineapple,
coconut, raisins, apples, prunes and
pistachio nuts. This recipe was one of
many exotic charoaet recipes found in
their favorite holiday cookbook, The
Jewish Holiday Kitchen, by Joan
Nathan (Schocken Books).
For another Seder, they invented
a Passover recipe for "Pansotis," mak-
ing homemade spinach matzah noo-
dles and ricotta cheese filling. They
also created a Passover mousse pie
with an egg white-and-nut crust and
mousse filling.
Like many liberal families, the
Franks hit on what Michael calls the
"hot spots" of the Seder service, "those
special prayers I vividly remember
from my childhood Seders."
They say the blessings over the
candles, wine, matzah and the Seder
plate symbols, discussing each sym-
bol's historic significance with their
children. The children ask the Four
Questions, all dip their fingers in the
wine and recite the ten plagues and
they singDayenu in a round. They also
play "hide and seek with a matzah," as
Michael jokingly refers to searching
for the akikoman.
What's being served this year?
Sorry, that's still under wraps.


IlL ike many observant Jews,
Malke Torgow began just
after Purim to ready her
house for Passover. With
well-organized planning
learned from her mother, Malke set
aside enough time each week to give

her house a thorough Spring cleaning.
From baseboards and clothing to light
fixtures and closet shelves, Malke and
her husband Gary tore apart their Oak
Park house, moving furniture, wash-
ing, dusting and vacuuming.
Early this week, she readied her
kitchen for Passover, discarding the
last bit of chometz that hadn't been
eaten or given away. On washed and
relined pantry shelves, she placed
Passover dishes, Passover pots and
pans and kosher-for-Passover foods.
Oven and range were kashered for
Passover and covered with aluminum
foil. Kitchen counters were coin-
pletedly covered with another formica
countertop, custom-Made for Passover
use. Her refrigerator was take apart,
scrubbed clean and lined. Her dis-
hwasher will not be used during the
To prevent four-year-old son Yoni
and 20-month-old son Elie from carry-
ing chometz crumbs into already
cleaned-for-Passover rooms, Malke
began after Purim offering the chil-
dren only kosher-for-Passover treats.
"If they're going to carry food around
the house, let their crumbs be kosher
for Pesach!," she explains.
The Torgows will have Malke's
family from California as houseguests
during the Passover week. To
maximize the time she can spend with
them, she prepared most of the Seder
meal ahead of time. Their Seder will
also include guests who would not
otherwise have a Seder to attend.
Today, before Shabbat, she will
finish last-minute preparations and
set the table, putting into place Seder
plate and three pieces of handmade
Shmurah (guarded) matzah, the only
matzah used by many observant Jews
during Passover. Her children will
take a late afternoon nap.
The men will go to the synagogue
for the evening service and Malke will
feed the children so that they will be
able to sit contentedly during the

Returning from the synagogue,
the men don their slippers and kittels,
a white robe reserved for wear first on
their wedding day and then yearly on
Yom Kippur and Passover.
The Seder, conducted in Hebrew,
follows a traditional Hagaddah, with
each family member and guest taking
part, offering commentaries and tel-
ling stories. This year, Yoni will ask
the Four Questions with Malke's ten-
year-old brother.
By 10 p.m., they are ready for a
traditional Ashkenazi festive meal:
sweet-and-sour meatballs, chicken
soup with matzah balls and homemade
noodles, roast chicken, matzah
spinach kugel and a parve ice cream
cake for dessert.

. . . and the Franks cook up a storm.

Continued on. Page 21

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