Nothing beats a holiday with a table full of food and tradition especially the. Easter and Passover ones. With them comes the question of catered or home cooked? Would it better and easier on the home chef if the whole brunch or dinner was cooked? Or are family recipes important and vital in keeping up tradition?
Easter may be the easier dinner - especially in the States - to have catered. Every family has different traditions. Southern Italians and Greeks are the most traditional, cooking and baking foods and bread recipes that have been passed down for centuries.Everyone else usually just makes ham and a few sides.Some groceries such as Acme and Stop & Shop will work with you to create the perfect holiday dinner. They'll offer sliced ham and/or turkey along with sides such as potato and macaroni salads along with throwing in a festive Easter cake.Easter brunch is always popular and there are shops and caterers who will bring in such brunch favorites as quiche, scrambled eggs and even French toast.Of course, all of this can be made at home and there is a lot of control as to the ingredients. If you don't want an elaborate Easter meal, then think of a German style one.It's a roast ham with do it yourself potato salad and handcrafted baked beans. All these are labor intensive but the homemade taste is worth it. Dessert can be a simple lamb, bunny or egg shaped cake, and again these can be baked on Holy Saturday.
Passover is a bit trickier because there are strict family traditions involved. Some Kosher markets can cater the entire menu, creating even better versions of tsimme - a sweet stew of carrots and dried fruit and charoset - the sweet paste of apples, cinnamon, and raisins, symbolizing the mortar used in building the pyramids. Many caterers will offer such traditonal dishes as kugel but with a hip twist such as broccoli and spinach added.The main courses could be an entire brisket or roast chicken or both if you're hosting a crowd. caterers can also supply chopped liver and gefilte fish too. yet there is something in making decades old family recipe too.Relatives may want the family version of charoset which is not only rich in flavor but also stories too. They also make want just your matzoh ball soup, because of the way you make the balls or because you add scallions for bite and color. Unlike Easter, Passover lasts a week and you could easily cook one night and have the second night seder catered. It's up to you and what you can handle.
Catering or home cooked? What makes for a better holiday meal. It's up to you and what you want.