Recipe contributed in honor of Naomi Leiserowitz
by Bonni Leiserowitz
The entire recipe is there. One of the most impressive things about my mom is her determination to carry through with what she has decided. She decided that, to respect my dad's wishes, she would raise me as a Jewish person and keep a Jewish household. For a person who wasn't and isn't Jewish, that is no small task. As a small child, I had the sense that performing Jewish rituals at home was an act suffused with love in a way I didn't fully understand. Reflecting on this as an adult, I can see that what I felt was my mom's love for my dad and me that brought her to plan and cook Jewish meals and celebrations. The Passover seder is the most vivid of these for both of us. My mom made sure we had guests present, that we planned out the course of the seder ahead of time, and that the discussion around the readings was relevant to our lives and to world events. Smelling parsley in the springtime ("Italian parsley is really the best, isn't it?" I can hear her saying, holding out some for me to sniff) takes me instantly to my parents' blue-and-white kitchen where we prepared, assembly line-style, the hard-boiled eggs, salt water, horseradish, and haroset. That haroset! If there is one of my mother's dishes to which I feel loyal, even more than her matzah ball soup, it is her haroset. There is no wine in this recipe: "Why should it taste like mortar, too? This is supposed to be figurative, not literal." The importance of that statement of my mother's, which informs so much of my own Jewish practice, has stayed with me from my childhood just as the recipe for haroset has stayed. I am so grateful to my non-Jewish mother for giving me the best Jewish childhood a person could wish for. And also for giving me the recipe for this haroset. We hope you enjoy it.