Weekend open thread: Easter and Passover edition

What’s on your mind this weekend, Bleeding Heartland readers? This is an open thread.

If you are celebrating Easter or Passover, I hope you’re enjoying the spring holiday with friends or family. I tried an Italian haroset recipe for last night’s Passover seder–the recipe is after the jump.

UPDATE: Senator Chuck Grassley caused a bit of an uproar in the Twitterverse Saturday with this bon mot:

Constituents askd why i am not outraged at PresO attack on supreme court independence. Bcause Am ppl r not stupid as this x prof of con law

SECOND UPDATE: CBS news legend Mike Wallace has died at age 93. Morley Safer remembers his former colleague, and CBS posted other reflections, photos, and video clips at that link.

Claudia Roden included many recipes for haroset in The Book of Jewish Food. She offers this as a “general version” of Italian style haroset, but says that Jews in different regions of Italy have their own versions. You don’t have to be too precise with quantities in most haroset recipes. My adaptations are in parentheses below.

Haroset from Italy

3 apples, sweet or tart (I used two gala apples)

2 pears (I used one large Anjou pear)

500 ml/18 fl oz sweet wine (I used about 1/2 cup white grape juice)

50g/2 oz pine nuts (I used about 1/4 cup walnuts)

250g/9 oz dates, pitted and chopped (I used 5 large dates)

100g/4oz yellow raisins (I used a handful of regular raisins)

100g/4 oz prunes, pitted and chopped (I used three or four prunes)

100g/4 oz sugar or honey (I used a few tablespoons of honey)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Peel and core apples and pears, cut into small pieces. Grind nuts in food processor. Put all ingredients into a pan together and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour. Add a little water if it becomes too dry.

Let cool and spread over matzah or other crackers.

Variations: add chopped lemon or orange candied orange peel, pistachios, dried figs, orange or lemon juice, nutmeg, or cloves.

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