Passover Planning (For Real)

So things are starting to amp up in the Culinary Converter's household today. I had a total anxiety dream about Passover on Wednesday night and realized that the only way to begin to alleviate this particular neurosis was to start making a list. Happily, Joan Nathan (culinary superstar of all Jewish festivals) provided such a


in the New York Times (print guide to all things Jewish). She gives this advice: "My seder survival tactics boil down to a few basics. Make a list. Follow it. Always accept help when offered. And remember to create your own family traditions." I began to adapt the guide to suit my needs and now feel like I have conned myself into thinking this is all do-able.

Now, this is not my first Seder. The Man and I began hosting the family seder in our home twelve years ago, well before marriage and children. For years there were no kids and my younger sister had to play the part of the youngest child well into her late twenties. She is getting married in a few weeks and due to physical distances coupled with wedding planning, she will be spending Passover with my mother in a state South of here. So, this is the first year our seder has no family outside of the nuclear unit. I thought, ok, well we'll just do something small with a few friends. The head count is now up to twenty-three people, including ten kids! Clearly, the table is not big enough.

So the seder, the pre-game show before dinner, will be held in the living room (on couches and chairs and pillows), which gives the whole thing more of a cocktail party feel. And given the four glasses of wine consumed at the seder, this vibe is appropriate. I plan to also amp up the appetizers, which will lessen the anxiety about when the meal will begin. There is no need to restrict yourself to just the foods on

the seder plate

, you can serve anything that is kosher for Passover, crudites with eggplant spread, etc...

My Menu so far:

Salmon Cakes with Horseradish and Cucumber Sauce

Soup w/Matzoh Balls, Chicken and Vegetarian

an intermezzo of grapefruit sorbet and cava

Some roast lamb dish

Soy Ginger Chicken in the Slow Cooker

Perhaps a vegetarian crustless quiche?

Other veggie sides will be arriving courtesy of my guests


Matzoh Baklava

and an Orange/Mint/Date salad

There is more to come on all this, but my question for you, gentle readers (besides what you're making): what are good plan b dishes for kids who may look askance at these offerings?