We spent a lovely and very delicious allergen-free second night Sephardic seder at the home of my dear literary agent friend and her family. As she placed each dish on the table, she listed its ingredients. If there was something nutty, she made a nut-free version [like the spiced date charoseth which is the only kind I ever want to have, ever] or it was placed away from my plate.
I was touched by the extra care she took to make sure I could eat. Telling the table what was in each dish was a lovely introduction to another culture’s traditional foods and also a subtle way of letting me know exactly what I was eating and thus allaying any minor anxieties I might have about partaking. It sounds like a small thing but it made a huge difference.
We started with chopped liver and wine.
When we sat at the table we had several small vegetarian salads mezze style: fennel, olives, and oranges with spices; stewed tomatoes with green peppers and spices [called chuchukah and one of my faves]; spiced artichoke hearts; eggplant salad; spiced carrot salad; and fava bean salad [ I know I’m missing a few but those were the highlights].
The main course was a prune and lamb dish [heavenly and infamous in her circle]; cold potato salad with olives and onions; and roasted string beans.
We closed with typical Moroccan-style desserts, which I didn’t even look at: all nuts. I considered having a touch more lamb for dessert but settled on a care package for today’s lunch.
Thank you Cantor family!
I hope your holidays have been as delicious and as filled with love as mine have been.