SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (Mass Appeal) - Passover kicks off next week and one of the most popular dishes served on this Jewish holiday is Matzah Ball Soup. Jeff Rembrant, Executive Director of the Jewish Community Center in Springfield joined us to show us how to make this tasty treat and share more about Passover.
Matzah Ball Soup
- 1 cup matzo meal
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons oil or 4 tablespoons melted schmaltz (fat)
- For firmer matzo balls the above plus
- 4 tablespoons water or 4 tablespoons broth
- Passover is an eight day festival that recognizes the freeing of the Jewish people, the Israelites, from slavery in Ancient Egypt.
- The festival begins on the 15th day of the Jewish calendar month Nisan, so it usually occurs during March or April.
- Passover observers perform rituals in order to relive the experience that their ancestors felt. Participants eat bitter herbs to represent the Israelite's bitter time of slavery and drink wine to celebrate the Israelites new freedom.
- Israelites gained freedom suddenly and had to pack their bread before it was properly made. Passover observers remember this by eating nothing with grain or flour, like bread, cookies, or pasta. The flat, unleavened bread called matza replaces bread items in meals.
- The night before Passover, Jewish households will remove the chametz, all food products that contain grains or would cause bread to rise (cakes, bread, corn syrups). These products can be consumed, burned, or sold to non-Jewish buyers.
- The Seders are the main celebratory meals eaten the first two nights. A Seder is filled with tradition and rituals.
- At the Seder, the story of the exit from Egypt is read from the Haggadah, a Jewish religious text that sets out the order of the Passover Seder. This ritual fulfills the biblical obligation to retell the story to one's children.
- Children play an important role during the Seder. The youngest child asks a series of questions, like, "Why is this night different from all other nights?" The adults then respond with prompts from the Haggadah and their own commentary.