Making gefilte fish is, quite frankly, a pain in the ass. I've done it, so I know of what I speak.
Even my grandmother z"l would agree.
She & I both got lazy in our old age and re-cooked the store-bought stuff,
which turned out surprisingly well & fooled everyone. Basically,
you prepare the pot as though you were making the fish from scratch,
but dump in the contents of a couple jars of Manischewitz's finest.
Re-cooking fixes the flavors enough to make the pre-made fish palatable.
Start by putting six cups of chopped onions at the bottom of a large pot. Save the peels.
Add six carrots, sliced.
Then add one sweet potato, peeled & quartered.
With no one watching, retrieve a couple of jars of gefilte fish in jelly from their hiding place.
Dump the contents into your pot.
Appreciate how modern technology has just saved you hours of grueling, smelly work. Think of the generations of
women before you who started with carps in their bathtubs.
Now comes the tricky part: You must slip out of your house to dispose of the empty jars without getting anyone's attention.
With the evidence disposed of, now is a good time to invite your family into the kitchen to see what a balabusta you are. Making
gefilte fish from scratch—could you be more of an eishet chayil?
OK, you've been flattered enough. Back to work! Just a few more steps remain:
Salt & pepper the fish cakes.
Tie up leftover soup greens (dill & parsnip—you did make your own matzo ball soup, right?) and add to pot.
Add the onion peels, wrapped up into compact packages.
Finally, add water.
Cover the pot and cook for two hours.
After about an hour of cooking, take off the lid and baste the fish cakes. Rotate which cakes are on top so all have a chance to brown.
Remove the fish cakes and arrange in a flat container with the carrots, sweet potato, and liquid.
Put the container in the refrigerator until cold.
Serve to your appreciative family. Let them heap more praise on you.