It's important to remember that Jesus' Last Supper took place during Passover. The Gospel even recalls that Jesus "reclined at table," and that the supper took place on the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread.
St. John's Gospel refers to Jesus as the "Lamb of God." That title is still used in Christian prayers and songs, because we believe that Jesus' blood marks us as belonging to God and brings us salvation, much as the blood of the sacrificial lamb marked the doors and lintels of the houses of the Israelites when the Angel of God passed over the land of Egypt.
Easter's origin is forever tied to the holy feast of Passover. A bond that close calls for special food--shared food.
I didn't realize the impact this baking project would have on me, or I would have taken more photos!
from the Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum
The dough is the simplest combination of white and whole wheat flours, water, olive oil, salt and rosemary. No leavening, of course--to recall the haste with which the Israelites fled Egypt after the 10th and final plague--the death of the firstborn.
Once the dough is mixed, it is left to rest and then rolled out on a floured counter top. I was surprised at how easy it was to roll the dough into very thin sheets.
I pricked it all over before baking, because the first couple of them were very bubbly and not very crisp.
The dough is baked on a preheated baking stone at 475 degrees for a total of only 5 minutes. Halfway through baking they are turned over.
Now for the best part--
To my surprise and delight, Penny and her daughter Katelyn took my homemade matzo to a Seder meal! I am so touched to think that my little "crackers" were part of such an important tradition. Penny said that the rustic appearance made the Seder plate look so much more authentic than the usual packaged matzos, and that the gathering was enhanced by these simple flat breads. They loved the taste as well!
Afterwards, Penny shared this lovely message from Jackie, her friend and hostess:
"Please tell your friend Michele that she has missed her calling. I tried her matzo with a little butter and salt and was blown away by the whole experience. I put it against this company in NY that is moving after 80 years and there is no comparison (Streitz Matzo Factory). Really phenomenal."
Once again we see the power of food to bring people together. Oh, how I love sharing the many blessings in my life with friends and strangers. It never ceases to amaze me how many people I am able to touch.
Please, my friends--bake, cook, and make some memories. You won't regret it.
My deepest gratitude to Rose Levy Beranbaum, author of the Bread Bible, for this, and so many other wonderful recipes!