During ancient times, God sent 10 plagues on the Egyptians when Pharaoh refused to free the Jews as commanded. Killing the firstborn son of each household in Egypt was the final plague.
Mattson said Pesach (Hebrew for "Passover") observes God's promise to "pass over" every home with the blood of the sacrificial lamb on the doorpost the night he sent the Angel of Death.
Raised Jewish, Mattson practices Messianic Judaism. She explained that Messianic Jews believe "Yeshua" (Hebrew for "Jesus") is the promised Jewish Messiah. Messianic Jews continue their Jewish roots, heritage, lifestyle and culture by worshiping Yeshua in a Jewish context.
"(The Passover story) has a different meaning now because Yeshua was the sacrificial lamb," Mattson said.
During Passover, the Mattsons observe the tradition of a Seder (Hebrew for "order") meal during which the family eats certain foods symbolic of the Passover story handed down for thousands of generations.
"Because of the order of events that things happened, there's order that we're supposed to eat and drink to tell the story. You tell the story as you go," said Mattson.
She said the Seder meal includes bitter herbs to remember the bitter life of Israelites. Salt water represents tears and vegetables (parsley) dipped into salt water signifiy the most bitter of circumstances.
A mixture of apples, honey and nuts and wine represent that bitter circumstances can be sweetened by the hope in God. The apples are cut in squares symbolizing the bricks and clay used to build the pyramids that Jewish slaves built.
Shank bone signifies the lamb whose blood marked the doorpost, egg represents the special holiday offering and new birth, and horseradish represents bitterness. The meal also includes unleavened Matzah bread since the Israelites did not have time to allow their bread to rise before their escape from Egypt.
Following the Seder meal, the Mattsons serve a family meal that includes many old family recipes of Mattson's grandmother's compiled in a book after she died.
"The recipes are fun because they say a 'pinch of this' and 'a pinch of that' and 'a little but of that' like the old recipes," she said. "When I was little, we would be in the kitchen (preparing for Passover) and she would let us help her, especially with the baking. I remember just the excitement, sitting in the kitchen while my grandmother was baking. It was just a lot of fun."
She said, "It's important to continue the traditions so that we remember and history doesn't repeat itself. It's important to remember where you come from," Mattson said.
6 eggs well beaten
4 tablespoons melted margarine
small bottle club soda
Salt and pepper
Beat eggs. Add salt and pepper. Add club soda and about 4 tablespoons melted margarine. Add enough matzo meal to make it thick. Then gradually add enough of the club soda to make a medium mixture so that it plops off the spoon. Let stand in refrigerator overnight.
Use a large pot of boiling water, add salt and some oil. Make small balls as they puff up. Allow to cook about hour drain. (They are the right consistency when they float to the top.)
For the chicken soup
Roasting chicken no skin
Carrots, celery, parsnip, turnip, onion, chicken bullion, pepper
Place above into large pot of water and cover. Cook on stove couple hours until done. Add matzo balls into pot before serving.
Passover Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 teaspoon grated orange peal
3 tablespoon water
1 cup chopped semisweet chocolate (or semi sweet chocolate chips)
cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 cup sugar
2 cups matzo meal
matzo meal (dusting cookie sheet.)
Preheat oven to 375. Beat eggs and sugar together until thick and lemon colored, beat in oil and water until blended. Stir in chopped chocolate, nuts, orange peel and salt. Stir in matzo meal until well mixed. Let batter stand 10 minutes. (It will thicken.)
Oil and lightly dust cookie sheet with matzo meal and drop batter into 4 strips (each approx. 12 inches long and 1 inches wide). Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cut each strip into 15 slices. Remove from baking sheets and cool. Makes 5 dozen cookies.