Short Order: Savor the taste, never mind the cost

Pessah rolls, Pessah brownies and coconur macaroons.

'Listen to this," a colleague said, returning with lunch bought from a tiny mom-and-pop restaurant near the Post run by a Moroccan-born couple. "I like to buy soup to take out, and the ritual is always the same: The owner charges NIS 10, his wife NIS 13." My colleague added that for the sake of shalom bayit - peace in the home - she never comments and always pays up whatever is asked. "Even when his wife is there, he'll push the extra three shekels back at me," she said, adding that "it only happens with the soup." But then next day, ordering shakshuka, she gave the man a NIS 20 note. "He asked his wife, at the till, to give me NIS 7 change. She handed over NIS 6. "I kind of felt that would happen," said my unflappable colleague. What would a psychologist make of the intricacies of this marital relationship? By the way, I understand the soup is very good. 'WITH PESSAH falling tomorrow night there may be a problem at seuda shlishit, the third Shabbat meal, when matza may not yet be eaten," writes Cyril Atkins from Beit Shemesh. "Here's a recipe for Pessah rolls, which may be used instead of bread. I found it in several cookbooks, so I cannot say whose it is. Obviously the rolls should be made before Shabbat, and with matza meal that is kosher for Pessah." PESSAH ROLLS 1 cup water 1⁄2 cup oil 1 tsp. salt 2 tsp. sugar 2 cups matza meal 4 eggs Bring the first four ingredients to a boil. Add the matza meal, and mix well. Remove the pan from the heat and add the eggs one at a time, mixing well. Oil your hands and make 12-16 rolls. Bake on baking paper or on a greased cookie sheet at 190° for about 45 minutes, until browned. THIS RECIPE comes from the RaggedyMom blog and yields 9 servings. It is gluten-free, but watch the sugar. PESSAH BROWNIES 3 eggs 1 cup sugar 1⁄2 cup oil 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder 1⁄2 cup potato flour 1 cup nuts, chopped Beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the oil. Then add the other ingredients. Bake in a 23-cm. square pan at 180° for 30 minutes. ONE OF my outstanding memories of Pessah food in my parents' house was the macaroons served with coffee and tea. Having just one was impossible. Here's a recipe from "Tante B" on RecipeZaar. COCONUT MACAROONS 3 egg whites 1 Tbsp. lemon juice 1⁄4 cup sugar 2 packets vanilla sugar 2 Tbsp. honey 2 Tbsp. potato starch 2 1⁄2 cups shredded coconut Beat the egg whites and lemon juice until frothy. Gradually add the sugar and vanilla sugar, and beat until stiff. Carefully fold in the honey, potato starch and coconut. Drop from a tablespoon onto a greased baking sheet, and bake in a 165° oven for 20 minutes, or until the edges are light brown. THE SWEET stuff above notwithstanding, heed this advice from my nutritionist friend and head for a healthier, slimmer Pessah: "Steer your family away from the tons of white flour in matza; eat no more matza than you would bread. Distance yourself from all those eggs, fatty cheeses and butter in favor of poultry and fish, fruit and vegetable salads, and dishes like ratatouille, vegetable kugel and spinach pie. "Choose recipes that use just a little flour for binding and substitute matza meal. The result is only a little heavier." OUR KITCHEN in pre-Pessah disarray, I was attempting to restore some order by doing the washing up. As the water ran down the plug-hole, I heard a muted drip which suggested all was not well in the cupboard under the sink. Sure enough, a pipe was leaking. (Just minutes before, the malevolent sprite in the pay of all plumbers had also seen to it that the door behind which my washing machine lives should come off its hinges.) Suddenly the doorbell rang. "I was just passing," smiled Amran, one of a family of six brothers who refurbished our apartment in 2000, and whom I have not spoken to since. "I brought some olive oil for your neighbor. Is there anything you need fixing?" Perhaps there is also an angel who looks after weary food writers, especially in the run-up to festivals. Hag sameah. [email protected]