One tradition I started many years ago was having my guests sign their names in indelible ink on a large polyester-cotton tablecloth. After the cloth was washed and rid of wine stains, I embroidered over the signatures. Each Seder is represented by a different color, and every year returning guests look for their names and new guests eagerly await their turn to sign.
Here are some tips I shared at a recent temple Passover workshop:
Each place setting should be set with a dinner plate topped with a salad-size plate topped with a small dessert bowl sometimes called a nappy. The little bowl should contain some salt water and the plate underneath it should have a piece of parsley or other green herb, a slice of fresh horseradish or whatever your family uses for bitter herbs, and a tablespoon of charoset, an apple-nut-wine mixture. You should have a big bowl or two of charoset on the table to eat with matzoh during the meal, but having a sample of the necessary foods at each place setting saves a great deal of time during the actual Seder ceremony.
If you normally start the meal with some hard-boiled egg (symbolic of spring and spiritual renewal), slice the egg with an egg slicer and place it in the bowl with the salt water. Slicing the egg is a perfect way to camouflage a roughly peeled egg.
The best way to avoid difficulty peeling eggs is to buy Grade A -- not AA eggs -- or just buy your eggs a week or two in advance. The egg white will separate more easily from the shell membrane when peeled and won't lose chunks of white with the shell.
Matzoh balls made in advance can be refrigerated in water or bouillon. They may also be individually frozen (with no liquid) on a cookie sheet and then placed in a freezer bag. Make sure you remove air from the bag to prevent ice crystals from forming. The best way to remove air from freezer bags is to insert a straw into the partially sealed bag and suck out all the air. Seal tightly just as you pull the straw out, and your food will remain fresher longer.
If you make chicken soup or matzoh ball soup, cook with cut-up chicken instead of a whole chicken, which requires too much water if you add "water to cover."
-- Tina Wasserman