I am making chicken soup for the third time. I am worried that there won't be enough. Passover is coming. My inlaws are coming. It is their 50th wedding anniversary. All their brothers and sisters and almost all their nephews and nieces (along with the children of their nephews and nieces) will be joining us for a service and supper at sunset on the first night of the holiday. "Now I understand," said one of my friends. "Passover is the true equivalent of Christmas: so much anxiety for the mother."

The next month, in April 1984, we sit down to begin the seder. I had crawled around the floor measuring and remeasuring to make sure the rented tables would fit. I had called the rental company to confirm the delivery of the tables and chairs and dishes and glasses to serve the 32 of us. I had put little pots of daffodils and asparagus here and there. All my husband's cousins had brought what they said they would bring. My mother and my mother-in-law had helped too.

It works. The high family feeling generated by the holiday is augmented by the anniversary. Kinship is sensed: those absent are missed and those present are cherished. There is the comfort of traditional foods.

What each family serves year after year is what becomes customary, and there may be many variations from one seder to another. But there are several dishes that find their way to most tables.

Here, in time to prepare for the start of Passover April 6, are our recipes for chopped liver, chicken soup, matzo balls, chicken, brisket of beef, matzo stuffing, tsimmes, and apple cake. They are traditional, and they are also tasty. ANNIE'S CHOPPED LIVER (10 to 12 servings)

1 large onion

1 tablespoon chicken fat

1 pound fresh chicken livers

2 hard-cooked eggs

1 teaspoon mayonnaise

Salt and pepper to taste

Chop onion. Heat chicken fat in skillet. Cook onion over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until tender and golden brown. Cut livers in half. Trim and discard extra fat and bitter green part, if any. Add livers to onion and cook, stirring frequently, over moderately high heat until done (no pink remains) but not overcooked. If livers seem dry, add a bit of water. Let cool. Chop with eggs by hand or in a food processor pulsing briefly; do not make into a paste. Add mayonnaise and salt and pepper to taste.

Livers may be prepared a day ahead. Chopping with eggs should be done shortly before serving. CHICKEN SOUP (10 to 12 servings or 2 1/2 to 3 quarts)

6-pound stewing chicken

1 package (about 9) chicken wings

Extra backs, necks and giblets that you have on hand

4 to 5 carrots, cut up

4 to 5 large celery stalks, cut up

2 to 3 large parsnips, cut up

1 bunch parsley, stems only (save leaves for other purposes)

Large chunk butternut squash (about 1/4 of a medium squash)

2 large onions, cut into quarters

Salt to taste

1/2 teaspoon peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds

Put all ingredients in large pot. (Peppercorns and coriander seeds may be put in a tea-egg or tied with cheesecloth.) Add water just to cover. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer until chicken is done and vegetables are mushy, about 2 hours. Strain broth and refrigerate. Remove fat and reserve for another use. Taste for seasoning. If broth tastes thin, boil it down. Store in refrigerator for about 5 days or freeze. Save chicken for salad or other dishes. ESTHER'S MATZO BALLS (Makes about 12)

2 eggs

1/4 cup water

Pinch ginger

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 small onion, grated

1 tablespoon chicken fat plus extra for rolling

1/2 cup matzo meal

Beat eggs lightly. Add water, ginger, salt and pepper, onion and chicken fat. Stir in matzo meal. Mixture should be loose. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Using chicken fat to grease palms, roll mixture into balls about the size of walnuts. Drop into boiling water and cook until firm, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and let cool. Refrigerate or freeze. Bring to room temperature or thaw and reheat in soup. Since matzo balls soak up a fair amount of soup, plan to make extra. CITRUS CHICKEN (10 to 12 servings)

2 3-pound frying chickens, cut up (save backs, necks, and giblets for soup)

Juice of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 orange

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Put chicken skin side down in aluminum foil pan. Combine lemon juice, orange juice, honey and curry powder. Pour over chicken. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let stand for 2 hours at room temperature. Turn skin side up; baste with marinade. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour or until done. To make ahead, bake until barely done, 45 to 50 minutes, then refrigerate. On serving day, return to room temperature, then finish cooking at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes. BRISKET OF BEEF (10 to 12 servings)

1 large first-cut brisket of beef

1 large onion

1 large leek, white part only

1/4 teaspoon thyme

2 bay leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup kosher wine*

Brown meat in its own fat in dutch oven. Slice onion in food processor and add to meat. Slice leek in food processor, rinse carefully to remove all dirt, drain and add to meat. Add thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper and wine. Cook covered over low heat, turning once or twice, until meat is tender, about 4 hours. Remove meat from sauce, slice while still warm and refrigerate. Run sauce through a food mill and refrigerate. Remove and discard fat. Meat and sauce may be frozen. Reheat, together, in a slow oven, on top of the stove, or in the microwave.

*For other purposes, use cognac instead of kosher wine. MATZO STUFFING (10 to 12 servings)

1 large onion

4 ribs celery

1/4 cup chicken fat plus extra for pan and top of stuffing

6 cups matzo farfel

1 1/2 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade

2 eggs

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon ginger

Salt to taste

Chop onion and slice celery in food processor or by hand. Melt chicken fat in frying pan. Add onion and celery and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until soft, about 5 minutes. Put matzo farfel in large bowl. Add chicken broth. Add vegetables. Stir in eggs beaten with water. Add ginger. If broth is salted, little or no additional salt need be added to stuffing. Grease a 9-by-13-inch pan generously with chicken fat. Spread stuffing in pan and rub top of stuffing generously with chicken fat. Bake at 325 degrees until top is golden and edges begin to shrink from sides of pan, about 2 hours. Stuffing may be made ahead and reheated. PAT'S TSIMMES (10 to 12 servings)

5 pounds short ribs of beef

2 large cloves garlic, pressed

Salt and pepper to taste

4 pounds sweet potatoes (4 do 5 medium large)

1 1/2 pounds pitted prunes

12-ounce jar apricot preserves

1 1/2 cups water

Juice of 1 lemon

Brown meat in bottom of large (6- to 8-quart) dutch oven. Season with garlic and salt and pepper. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into large chunks. Place on top of meat. Put prunes on top of sweet potatoes. Top with apricot preserves. Add water and lemon juice. Cover and cook at 350 degrees for 2 hours. Then reduce heat to 250 degrees and cook until meat is tender and sweet potatoes are soft, about 6 hours more. Check occasionally to make sure meat is not scorching or sticking and add water if necessary. Let cool and refrigerate. Remove excess fat. Reheat in a slow oven for 1 to 2 hours. SANDIE'S PASSOVER APPLE CAKE (9 to 12 servings)

4 granny smith apples (or other tart cooking apples)

3 eggs, separated

1/2 cup oil

1/4 cup fresh orange juice (about 1 orange)

1 cup plus 3/4 cup sugar

1 cup matzo cake meal

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

With a paring knife, cut apples into quarters, peel and core. Slice in food processor or by hand. Beat egg whites until stiff. Set aside. In large bowl at medium speed, beat egg yolks with oil and orange juice until creamy and thick, about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of sugar and mix well. Stir in matzo cake meal and salt. Fold in egg whites. Spread half of batter in an 8- or 9-inch square pan. Cover with apples. Mix remaining 3/4 cup of sugar with cinnamon and sprinkle about 1/2 cup of this on apples. Top with remaining batter and sprinkle with remaining sugar and cinnamon. Bake at 375 degrees until top is golden brown and edges begin to shrink from sides of pan, 35 to 40 minutes. Cut into squares while still warm. Let cool before removing from pan.