I’m Cutting Back On This Particular Tradition.

Passover begins tomorrow evening, and for us that means our traditional seder with friends. I just did the math and figured out that we’ve been sharing the first evening of Passover at this particular house for sixteen years with various combinations of families from our temple Havurah, which was formed for the purpose of spending many of the Jewish holidays together. (Our group of six families was formed when D was in preschool!) There have only been a few Passovers–the earliest ones–on which every family was present at the seder (25 people!), and over the past few years as the kids have grown up and some have taken Spring Break trips, the numbers have dwindled. In fact, this year there will only be six of us there, all adults.

A couple of things never change, no matter how many people are in attendance:

1. My friend who hosts the seder sets a beautiful table.
2. We use the Haggadot (prayer books) that she made by photocopying and binding pages out of her favorite prayer books of past years.
3. I make the charoset, which is one of the symbolic foods of Passover.

Charoset is supposed to represent the mortar that the Israelites used to make bricks during the time they were slaves in Egypt, and it is made out of apples, nuts, and a few other ingredients which I’ll share in a moment.

I made a really good bowl of charoset, honestly. I follow the same recipe every year, with my own alterations tossed in for good measure, and although my charoset doesn’t resemble the texture of mortar, it tastes darn good and my lovely friends request it annually.

The problem for me this year is that I have a little bit of fear about the process.

My famous charoset involves spending between thirty minutes and an hour, dicing apples into small pieces.

The fear comes from what happened in November, when I cut my finger off (slight exaggeration) when chopping…apples.

I mean, sure, I learned my lesson and am very careful these days when I have a knife in hand, but for me


So you can see my dilemma, right?

I figured out a solution, thank goodness, when I remembered that my friend Jen made this awesome soup for lunch one day. Her soup had perfectly diced vegetables in it and when I asked her how she got them all uniform in size, she showed me her favorite kitchen tool. I picked up one of those for myself yesterday (with my own money, i.e. this post is not sponsored!):

Williams Sonoma Multi-Chopper, Saving One Finger At A Time

I’m excited to be able to attend this year’s seder without having to worry about having one less fingertip.

If you’d like to check out my charoset recipe, get a little more information about the Passover holiday, and see vintage pictures like this one, click here.


Happy Passover to those of you who celebrate it! And Safe Chopping!


  • Tara R.

    I’m glad your earlier apple mishap (and I hope you’ve heal completely), isn’t keeping your from preparing your famous charoset. I hope you and ours have a blessed Passover.

  • Grandma W

    OMG I can’t believe they still make those things I had one more that 40 years ago. but mine didt’n have a catcher bowl. Greatly improved. You kids loved to push down on it and see a whole item turn into pieces. That was pre food processor.

    I’m glad you are being extra careful.

    Love have a great passover
    Grandma W

  • Robin Frisch

    I wish you a very happy and healthy Passover! And enjoy every bite of what I am sure will be delicious as well as uniformly chopped charoset!

  • Colleen

    Hope you have a lovely passover! (Is that appropriate? To wish one a ‘lovely’ passover? Hm. Must study up on proper greetings/well wishings for Jewish friends…) I totally read Liz’s comment in the voice of the guy from the “HOPPAH!” Dish network commercials. 😉