|Letter from Los Angeles
||Friday | 22 April 2016
Los Angeles, California: We were smart
and decided to abandon the Coachella Valley Music Festival again this weekend.
We drove to Los Angeles to spend the Passover holiday weekend with the kids.
The aisles in the supermarket near our RV resort are nearly impossible to
negotiate during the three weeks of
Every inch of floor space is covered with cases of beer, water, snacks, energy
drinks and other necessities. Don't think I am complaining. I am not.
Just because the largest music festival in the world is held one mile south of
our RV resort... nope, we love the kids, the crowds and all the money the
festivals brings to the local community. Our favorite taco shop, Tacos Gonzalez
is packed during the festival. Our grocery can't sell beer fast enough. Hotels
are full. Our resort usually houses 30-40 motorhomes renting sites and
pretty-much no one complains about the young girls in bikinis at the pools. The
best thing about the music festival? The kids - great, fun-loving young people
enjoying a weekend of music with their friends.
It is easy to stock-up on groceries and hunker-down for the three festival
weekends - especially since we have a restaurant/bar in our resort - because
there is one aspect we do not like about having an extra 100,000 people in town.
Traffic. It Sucks the Big One... which is why DT and I hit the road at 11a
Friday, driving against festival traffic to reach Los Angeles. (We also stopped
to have one last bit of leavened bread/tortilla before Passover started in taco
form at Tacos G on the way of out of town.)
We had to only contribute three things for the Seder this evening - Matzo
Crunch, a salad and
with everything a bit more interesting this year. The kids were holding a vegan
Seder because several guests are vegan, and Lisa always loves a culinary
So my Matzo Crunch was made without the usual caramel layer (because caramel
contains butter and fake butter contains soy, which is not permitted during
Passover... pretty-much anything that can be fermented is not allowed during
Passover... wheat, grains, soy, corn, beans, rice... rules vary amongst
different countries, sects and families...). I melted vegan 85% cacao chocolate,
spread it over matzo and sprinkled almonds over. It wasn't a very sweet dessert,
but everyone still munch away. Confused much?
(pronounced harr-OH-set, is a sweet paste-like mixture made to
represent the mortar used by the Jewish slaves as they built stuff for the
Pharaoh in Egypt) was made with apples, dates, walnuts, orange zest and juice,
salt and cinnamon. I do not put wine in my Charoset.
Leo was still at school when we arrived, so Dave helped Lenny and Lisa prepare
for their Seder while I kept Lucy busy in the garden. I may have snapped too
many photos of our beautiful little granddaughter - now 20 months old.
Lenny and Lisa hosted ten adults and five children for dinner, including
Lenny's parents, his sister's family, and several friends.
Salad with arugula topped with shaved fennel, shaved artichokes, roasted red
peppers and olives, dressed with olive oil, almond oil, lemon juice, lemon
zest, salt, pepper and mint - made by me.
Two long tables placed on the patio in the back garden. Lisa arranged all
Lisa roasted beets, drizzled with olive oil and topped with
vegan ricotta and pistachios. This was my favorite dish of the night.
The "cheese" is made of almonds in Hayward, California by
Kite-Hill. It is
Our Clever Girl used the sauce from
beef brisket recipe, but instead of beef, used grilled/roasted sliced
portabella mushrooms. (She also substituted tomato sauce for the orange
juice in my recipe to reduce the sweetness - and added carrots.) It was
served over mashed potatoes. No one missed the meat.
We also had roasted asparagus, sweet potato kugel and
mock chicken liver pate. The pate, made by Lisa's friend, Erin, was
especially flavorful and I would love to make this as I really really really
really do not like chicken liver, but loved this dish. Erin said black sea
salt is her secret ingredient. Not a secret any longer, Erin.
Lisa has an amazing group of friends. Another friend, Marya,
sewed the dress Lucy wore to the Seder tonight.
Due to the five toddlers present, the Seder was relatively
short. Lisa and Lenny compiled their own
for tonight's ceremony.
After prayers were said and sung, the meal was eaten and the guests went
home, Leo crawled into this jammies and declared this his Best Passover
Until my next update, I remain, your well-fed correspondent.
You May Also Like:
That time I made Lasagna with Matzo
Passover in Portland
2012: None of Us are Free
2011: Semi-Seder in a Wind Storm
My Matzo Ball recipe
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