My method for planning our family Passover trips is to read what the local papers are recommending and avoid them. Passover, along with Sukkot vacation is one of the two main travel holidays in Israel, with the resulting traffic jams, crowded national parks and endless lines, despite the 500,000 Israelis who flew out of the country during this period.
This year, thanks to our yachting friends, we had the chance to escape for an afternoon of sailing on the Mediterranean far away from the bustle of the coast. My only responsibility was to refrain from getting seasick which wasn’t difficult with the expert maneuvering of Captain Jonathan Prais from the legendary Cape Verde expedition and his seaworthy crew. For several hours I lay about like a sunning lizard on the deck of the boat imagining myself not off the coast of Herzliya marina but, let’s say, the French Polynesia or Fiji Islands which is not hard to do if you focus on the western horizon.
Johnny, meanwhile worked almost nonstop steering the yacht, coordinating the opening and closing of the sails and yelling out safety instructions to my boys who were running about oblivious to the dangers they were getting into. By the end of the trip I was exhausted due to continually adjusting my posture to keep my balance, not very different than driving with my husband.
Rösti- Easy Swiss Potato Pancakes
This is a tasty and filling side dish easy to put together after a day outdoors and also kosher for Passover and gluten free. I recommend using a cast iron pan which caramelizes the onions and potatoes to a deep brown. This is recipe is based on the Cordon Bleu booklet on potatoes, Hebrew edition.
5 potatoes (or enough to fit pan size)
1 large onion, chopped
3-4 tablespoons of olive oil or butter
Turn on the oven to 180°C or 350°F. Boil the potatoes for 10 minutes. Meanwhile fry the onion in a cast iron skillet (or other oven proof pan) until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Peel the potatoes and coarsely grate them. Season with salt and pepper and add them to the pan. Flatten the mix with a spatula or back of a spoon to form a large pancake. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Place the pan close to the heat source to properly brown the top, which I neglected to do this time.