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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Stepping Out
A festival holiday table
Sharing springtime traditions with family and friends
By Karen Bloom
Chocolate cups are an appealing, festive dessert.

Families throughout the area will come together in the holiday spirit shortly as we celebrate both Passover and Easter. These spring rituals of renewal and rebirth are a time to cherish age-old traditions and also create new ones.
Holiday meals are meaningful occasion to explore the boundaries of your family heritage. Try supplementing those tried-and-true recipes passed down from generation to generation with some creative additions to your holiday table.

Classic Chicken Soup
1 (3 pound) whole chicken, cut up
2 small yellow onions, peeled and cut in half
2 stalks celery, cut in half
3 carrots, cut into chunks
2 parsnips, cut into chunks
2 leeks, left whole
1 bunch fresh dill
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
3 quarts water
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the chicken and bring to a rolling boil; cook for 45 minutes. Skim the surface of the soup occasionally to remove any foam that develops.
Add the vegetables and return to the boil. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat, and simmer, partially covered, for at least four more hours.
Remove the chicken and vegetables from the broth. Strain broth, cool, and refrigerate overnight. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones, and chop or shred the meat; cover and refrigerate.

Traditional Fluffy Matzah Balls
The key to really fluffy, light and delicious matzah balls is not the matzah meal — it’s in the eggs.

4 eggs, beaten
1 cup matzah meal
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, optional
Pinch of salt and pepper

Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl with a hand beater for a few minutes. Turn off the mixer; add everything else to the beaten eggs and stir with a fork. The mixture will fall a bit; this is fine. Cover mixture and refrigerate for an hour or overnight.
To prepare the matzah balls, use a large, wide pot, as matzah balls will grow a lot in size. Fill the pot 3/4 full with water; bring to a boil with half a teaspoon of salt.
Wet your hands with a bit of water and shape batter into small balls. Drop them gently into the boiling water.
Cook for 30–40 minutes. Remove the matzah balls with a slotted spoon. Place them on a flat plate and let cool.

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