the Pesach on-ramp

New recipe!!!! “English” Charoset

  • ~10 dates
  • equivalent volume raisins
  • a few dried Bing cherries
  • 1 apple peeled and finely chopped
  • handful of almonds

Cook all ingredients except almonds with a little water until the apples are soft, Grind almonds in food processor, add cooked ingredients and pulse until mixture reaches desired texture.

I’m calling this “English” Charoset as this is inspired by a very famous English recipe that I happen to adore. I’m not to going to mention the name of this recipe publicly because it is not the type of recipe that one would normally use for Jewish cuisine inspiration. Those of you who know me well will will know what this is, and anybody who really needs to know the answer should message me and I will fill you in.

Even the pet rats are getting into the swing of things, enjoying their chometz-free environment and getting used to egg matzo.


Binky pesach copy



Wine and Charoset pairing

You’ve heard of a wine and cheese tasting, now Sisterhood of Temple Beth-El invites you to a wine and charoset tasting!

wine tasting

This super fun event will take place this coming Sunday March 30th 3-5PM. The sommelier of the event will be local wine expert David Sparrow of Sparrows Fine Wines of Ithaca, New York.

Selected Kosher for Pesach wines will be presented together with a variety of charoset recipes prepared by Sisterhood of Temple Beth-El members.

Tickets are $10 and can be obtained at or by calling the Temple office 273-5775.

vineyard Israel

Vineyard in the Ela valley, Israel. Picture credit Yehoshua Halevi for the Jerusalem Post


We’re deep into Chol haMoed Pesach and the fridge still harbors a mound of charoset.

Although probably nobody really needs a recipe for charoset it is always interesting to try different formulas. This year we prepared a Sefardic charoset that I learned from Abraham Hanono, with whom I attended a seder with a few years back when he was a molecular and cellular biology grad student here at Cornell. It is very simple with only a few ingredients, and quite delicious. Here is the procedure in his own words, click here for a printer-friendly version.

charoset recipe

One of the great things I realized about this charoset is that it lasts longer than the type made with grated apples. So my breakfast every day is matzah (Rakuesen’s of course), topped with charoset. The dates probably also have an added benefit of counteracting the cloying effect of a matzah-heavy diet on the digestive system.

There is so much charoset that I’m going to throw some into the freezer and maybe incorporate it into a muffin recipe or something after Pesach. This plan feels a little subversive but, as my husband pointed out, you could feel the same way about using left-over matzah as a stand in for a second challah.

Charoset is not very photogenic, but I have been told not to post to the website without a photo so here we go: