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Passover Staples at Kenny & Ziggy's

I am so food-obsessed that I use the arrival of every holiday (even if it's in no way associated with my ethnicity/religion/national origin) as an opportunity to eat special food.

Which is why my lapsed Catholic/spiritual-agnostic self is crazy excited for the start of Passover. I don't have a Jewish grandma at home (though in a pinch, my husband will do), so I will have to do a little extra legwork to procure items for my meal. My Passover food will still be homemade...just not in my home.

This year, Kenny & Ziggy's offered a fabulous $400 ginormous "Passover In A Box" package that would have enabled me to hold a baller Passover feast. But I missed the deadline, and let's face it, most of my goyim friends aren't quite as excited as I am to eat gefilte fish.

For others in Houston who are passionate about Pesach foods, here's my curated Passover menu from Kenny & Ziggy's (all items available from their takeout menu).

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First, some chopped liver, rich in organ-meat fat and livened with black pepper. I'll balance its schmalz with bites of tangy gefilte fish with horseradish (I promise, Kenny & Ziggy's' version is a far cry from anything you've tasted that comes in a jar.)

For the second course, it's a sumptuous bowl of chicken soup. Although as a non-Jew I could technically get away with having mine "mishmosh" style (golden noodles and matzoh balls), I'll stick to the rules and avoid anything leavened. By the way, the takeout "bowl" is easily enough for two people...or do as I will and eat three-quarters of it yourself and freeze the remainder.

With no matzoh ball left behind, it's on to the meat course. Brisket is most traditional, but as a gesture to my own eastern European roots, I'm going for the stuffed cabbage. For Passover, Kenny & Ziggy's removes the rice from the stuffing, and the absence of the carbohydrate lets you focus more on the fragrant mixture of ground beef and veal, garlic and onion.

And, finally, a simple (flourless) sweet in the form of a macaroon dipped in chocolate. [Sigh of content]. I am not one of the chosen people, but am so thankful I can eat as they do.

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