This and That

Random bits of my life

Posts Tagged ‘bi’ur chametz’

Countdown to Seder

Posted by Avital Pinnick on March 29, 2010

Bi'ur Chametz (Burning the last of the leavened food)

Now we really are on the home stretch! This morning we burned the last of the chametz, around 11 a.m. My husband’s dried out lulav (palm branch) and hadass (myrtle branches), left over from last Sukkot, are burning on top of a few pita breads. There are several fires in our neighbourhood. People will be coming and going for a few hours to bring the last of their bread and crackers to burn. A few stalwarts will stand around until the end, to make sure that all the bread is burned completely and the fire doesn’t spread.

My home is completely ready for Passover. All the old dishes have been put away, the oven and stove and counter are ready, the fridge has been cleaned and stocked with food for Passover, vegetables and fruits are washed and rebagged, table cover changed. Most of the cooking has been done. Because we eat so much matzah and maror (lettuce) and charoset during the Seder before we get to the meal itself, no one is all that hungry, so I keep the menu simple. I’m baking apricot chicken at the moment.

We had one small mishap this year — my son accidentally bought a parsnip instead of a horseradish. I told him it looked like a white gnarly carrot and forgot about the fact that our minimarket sometimes sells parsnips (called a “white carrot” in Hebrew). Fortunately, there was still time to send him back to the store.

Here’s a “sort of” recipe for Sephardi-style charoset. I call it Sephardi-style because it’s my own version and I’m not Sephardi, and it’s different from the usual Ashkenazi charoset made with raw grated apple, walnuts, and sweet wine. It’s not very photogenic but here’s a picture anyway.


Sephardi-Style Charoset

Makes about 1 cup

8 large, juicy dates; pitted
1/4 cup red wine (I use dry because that’s what we have around the house)
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch ground ginger

This is very much a “too taste” recipe. If it’s too thick, add more wine. If it’s too thin, add a couple more dates or cook longer. Increase the nuts if you want. Just remember that it needs to be a thick paste.


Simmer the dates with red wine in a small pot, mashing from time to time with a spoon, until smooth and thick. Let the mixture cool.


Chop the nuts in a food processor. Fold nuts into the cooled date mixture. Chill.

A kosher and happy Passover to everyone!


Posted in Food, Israel, photography, recipes | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »