Chag sameach! Happy first day of Pesach. I hope that all of you observing Pesach were able to celebrate in style last night. If not, hopefully you will celebrate in style tonight. If not, well hopefully you are able to hunker in a corner somewhere with a piece of matzah and bottle of wine.
We hosted a seder last night for 11 people (7 guests plus my family). I finally got smart this year and took a full vacation day so I could prepare all the food. As it was, I still ended up rushing around at the last minute trying to get everything ready. This is standard operating procedure. No matter how many days ahead of time I begin the process, I must spend the last two minutes before our planned start time saying, "Aaaah! Salt water! We're supposed to have salt water!"
We tried a host of new recipes this year, opting for a more Sephardic meal. As usual, we had the Sephardic charoset of oranges, dates, nuts, and grape juice. The main course was Pesadic spanikopita pie, garlicky stir fried green beans, curried white and sweet potatoes, and a quinoa pilaf. But of course, we had to start with vegetarian matzah ball soup and the walnut onion salad (mocked chopped liver). Those two are absolutely critical. Even if we decided to do something wacky like an all sprouts seder, we still would have to have matzah ball soup. I'd just sprinkle the sprouts in the soup.
I am curious. Do any of you get innovative on Pesach, or do you always have the same meal? If you do get innovative, do you have certain dishes that are absolutely required year after year, NO MATTER WHAT?