There are many reasons I look forward to Pesach. Well, I should specify that by Pesach I mean the Seder. The Seder conjures up memories of huge family gatherings, loud singing, and a feast of colossal proportions. The Seder for us was not about finding the afikoman but stealing it off the adult who was wearing it on his body. The Seder was about brown hard-boiled eggs that we salivated over for the first two hours we sat at the table, because our Seder (at least seemingly) lasted all night.
And then there was the Charoset. Charoset comes from the Hebrew word for clay. it's one of the foods we put on the Seder plate and is meant to symbolize the mortar used by the slaves in Egypt.
My dad's family had come to Israel from Iraq and as a result we had always celebrated the holidays the Sephardic way. I had grown up eating a Charoset made up of Silan (a date syrup) and walnuts. It's equal parts sweet and nutty and a perfect complement to the tasteless Matzah (did I just say that???). I was probably in college when I realized that most everyone I knew ate a different kind of Charoset that has apples and nuts in it and does not resemble the one I grew up loving.
This year I won't be celebrating Passover with my parents, so I decided to make some Charoset a little early, and I couldn't believe how easy it was!
Dad, you're fired! I just figured out the Charoset I thought was so much work and that you said was "a little bit of this and a little bit of that" takes exactly two ingredients and less than ten minutes to whip up.
So here is the recipe, please let me know what you think after you try it: is it back to the Ashkenazi Charoset or have I been able to convert you?
1 1/4 cup walnuts
1 cup Silan (I was able to find this at a local grocer but it's also available on Amazon and other online retailers)