Breaking for Passover… But Definitely Not Keeping It
I should probably know this, but isn’t Passover over today? Either way, I haven’t been following it… oatmeal for breakfast, pasta for dinner… I’m a bad Jew all around. Still, even when I did attempt to keep Passover, I always considered myself Sephardic (and I think being Chinese is about the same), because I will never deprive myself of rice. Never.
We actually arrived in New York on Thursday, the second day of Passover, which is unusual for us. We got in a lot early than we anticipated, and my mom and I didn’t have many plans. She decided to be nice and let me go back to Candle Cafe. She had already eaten some matzoh and butter, although I have no idea how any could be satisfied from that, so she wasn’t starving and didn’t feel like she had to eat much. She’s skeptical and unashamed of her prejudices when it comes to vegan food.
The only problem with Candle is that I never know what to order. I’d rather go there for dinner, but when I go for lunch I always end up getting a wrap. There’s nothing wrong with that, but then I realize that whenever I eat a wrap, burrito, or anything wrapped in a tortilla, I just eat out the inside with a fork, which isn’t nearly as satisfying as biting into it. Still, the Southern Wrap was a lot better than my Asian Wrap last time… it had sweet potatoes, greens (seemed like a combination of swiss chard, and mustard greens), black eyed peas, “barbequed” tofu, and came with coleslaw and a roasted tomato sauce. What I loved most was the combination of sweet potatoes and greens—maybe I would like their Paradise Casserole, which is a carb-tastic stack of sweet potatoes, black beans and millet, all served on a bed of greens.
The tofu didn’t taste especially barbequed, but it had great chewy texture. Now that I think about it, I think that was my first time trying black-eyed peas, and I really enjoyed it. The coleslaw tasted exactly like the real version—aka with real mayonnaise. Amazing. In my opinion, the tomato sauce didn’t really go with the whole southern theme. Barbeque sauce would have been better.
My mom just ordered a tiny little house salad, but I recommended that she get it with Carrot Ginger dressing, which is what Candle is famous for. The dressing was delicious. Really garlicky, but almost like a concentrated version of carrot ginger soup. I used some of this for my wrap, and it went a lot better with it than the tomato sauce.
We grabbed some macaroons for the road (for the seder that night).
On our way back to the apartment, we spotted the most adorable and authentic New York diner, the kind where you used to be able to buy egg creams for a dime and whatnot. Since I collect Coke cans, I freaked out when I saw that the restaurant collected Coke bottles. They even had a Harry Potter one!
EXCEPT… The weirdest thing happened with my hard-boiled egg. Anyways, the unwritten rule of the seder is that when it starts dragging along, you see how slowly you can peel your egg—that’s what my cousins and I do, anyway. When I finally peeled off the outer shell and broke open the white (without damaging the yolk), there was ANOTHER WHITE INSIDE MY EGG. As in, there was another layer to peel around the yolk. Double egg? What? What is the meaning of this?!
GRAVLAX. If you haven’t had it before, TRY IT. Unlike lox, gravlax is raw, not smoked, but cured in some sugar, so it’s much sweeter. My great aunt made this herself. It’s served with a mustard-dill sauce.
Knaidlach—matzo ball soup. No, I didn’t have these—I find them stodgy and doughy, BUT….
I did have a bowl of plain chicken soup with some vegetables. First time in two years of not eating meat that I’ve “cheated,” but I don’t want to consider it cheating. I don’t want to limit myself anymore, and the soup was so completely worth it. And so pure.
Potato and broccoli kugels, cranberry sauce, asparagus, salmon (there was also turkey).
Well, there you have it… that’s the seder for you. More New York posts coming soon!