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Lotsa Matzah Tempts Your Tastebuds

Welcome to Passover, a seven-day matzah festival in which Jews everywhere remember their history of slavery and celebrate their freedom by concocting appetizing ways to eat the plain crackers for an entire week. And like every other symbolic Jewish food, matzah has a dramatic story behind it.

Matzah, which is referred to as lechem oni, or the “bread of affliction,” represents the hardships that our ancestors faced in fighting Egyptian slavery. In the story of Exodus, the Israelites escaped their bondage in Egypt and hurriedly fled in the middle of the night before the dough had a chance to rise and become leavened. On their way to the promised land of Canaan, the Jews took the dough with them and baked the flat, hard cakes, called matzot, in the hot dessert sun.

This unleavened bread, made of only flour and water, has pretty much remained the same over the centuries. Aside from a satisfying crunch, matzah is basically flavorless unless spread with butter, jelly, cheese, or your favorite “kosher for Passover” topping. Actually, my favorite way to eat matzah is like a crispy pancake. First, I wet a sheet of matzah with water. Second, I beat an egg in a bowl and break the matzah into the bowl and coat it with egg. Third, I shape the crumbled matzah into a patty. Then, I fry the matzah in oil until golden brown. Now for the good part—I dip the pancake in honey and pop it in my mouth like I did when I was a kid.

With a little imagination, matzah can be a tasty treat. Most importantly, this simple unleavened bread has a message: we must hurry today to help all those who are not free. And in the meantime, a laxative wouldn’t hurt either.

With these recipes, matzah never tasted so sweet.
Chocolate Matzah Bark
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup almonds (optional)
Line cookie sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Use a cookie sheet with sides. Cover entire surface with single layer of matzah, breaking into pieces if necessary. In medium saucepan over high heat, bring butter and brown sugar to a boil. Lower heat to medium high and continue to simmer three minutes, stirring constantly. Pour this caramel over matzah. Bake at 350 degrees for about five minutes, or until deep golden brown. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with chocolate chips on top of caramel and let sit a few minutes. Swirl chocolate and top with nuts. Freeze or refrigerate until topping hardens. Break into small pieces.

Passover Granola
4 cups matzah farfel
one half cup nuts—slivered almonds or walnuts
three fourth cup shredded coconut
one half cup honey
one half cup vegetable oil
one cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix farfel, nuts and coconut in a bowl. Add honey and oil, mix well.

Spread mixture in a single layer on non-stick baking sheets. Bake 20-30 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning.

Remove from oven and add raisins. Mix well. Cool and store in an airtight container.

Enjoy as a breakfast cereal with milk or a snack right out of the container.

“Mishegas of Motherhood” is the creation of Ellie S. Grossman, a St. Louis freelance writer and stay-at-home-mom who never stays home. Her stories are inspired by the real life of her family, including her two children, toy poodle named Luci, and her husband, but not necessarily in that order. Feel free to send any comments, prayers, or recipes to ellie@mishegasofmotherhood.com.