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A Witch Does Passover - 2017, part 1

This year the first night of Passover falls on a Monday evening, so I didn't expect to have many people come. The turn-out looks to be higher than my expectations; we might have six people.

For years, I've used the same Haggadah: The Family Seder. It's the one my family used starting in the 1970s. Many Jewish family rotate between various Haggadahs, because different authors make different points, and can be the source of new topics of discussion. I've stuck with the one I've always used, in part because I'm a Gardnerian witch; Gards are "ritual sluts" and like to stick with the same thing.

This year, inspired by a friend on Facebook, I picked up a copy of the The (Unofficial) Hogwarts Haggadah. It's cute, but I wouldn't use it for a complete seder. It's also a bit pricey to give everyone their own copy. I'll have it nearby so folks can browse it and discuss anything they want from it.

Food notes so far:

- I'm feeling a bit sluggish this year, and went for easier paths to the seder. The potato latkes will come from a pre-made mix; I did not shred potatoes myself. The same goes for the matzoh balls.

- Never again will I buy a whole cauliflower for the mashed cauliflower. I'll just buy a couple of boxes or a single bag of frozen cauliflower and steam it for 15 minutes in my slow cooker. Breaking up a whole cauliflower means lots of itty-bitty pieces breaking off and going on grand adventures in little nooks and crannies in my kitchen.

- I flavor my mashed cauliflower with "veggie parmesan" and chopped garlic. I have to remember "less is more": I overspiced it this year. Or maybe everyone will like it flavorful. We'll see tomorrow night.

- I finally found a recipe for apple kugel that does not require me to beat the egg whites separately. Again, I'll see how it turns out tomorrow. If it works, this is one I'll use from now on.

- No roux or dill for the mixed carrots and pearl onions this year. I'll let the "Holland-style" sauce in which the onions are packed serve as the flavoring. I'd like to move away from these pearl onions, since that sauce has more sugar than I'd like. However, as I discussed last year, it's hard for me to find pearl onions that I don't have to peel.

The pre-Passover cooking is done. I still have to cook the roast and fry the latkes. I'll do that tomorrow, at the site of the seder. Tomorrow, the adventure begins! The day after: food coma.