Saturday, April 16, 2011


Oy! she said. An Oy that summons all the woes and pains of her foremothers. It's time for the Big P - Passover. A spring-time celebration of freedom, that requires heavy labor to prepare for. The uncanny thing is that Passover comes at just the right time this year. After a particularly shut-in winter, a radical cleaning and purging is really necessary. The winter detritus just accumulated and left everyone feeling cramped and stifled.
I was surprised by how much pleasure I got out of organizing my arts and crafts closet. I threw away several years worth of junk. And gave away jars, baskets, art supplies, and assorted knicknackery to friends/neighbors who will put it all to good use. Filling up bags and bags of clothes, toys, magazines etc. made me aware of how we have so much more than we need. Beauty is hard to resist, comfort is a habit, and non-stop amusement is expected but in the end all these trappings become a burden. Please remember next time at the mall.

The kitchen was where the Oy-ing really took place. My pantry is crammed to overflowing with jars, bottles, boxes. Some of the stuff is daily baking/cooking necessities, but a good amount are exotic flashes in the pans, that have not been used since the 4th of July 2006. I have a chili oil that is older than my little dude. A jar of meyer lemon curd that remains unopened and untouched through it's second winter. All the half-finished, or barely sipped, bottles of booze that we've accumulated over 7 years of Hanukkah parties and other adults-only gatherings, makes me think we have a half-drinking problem. Getting rid of it all was a bother and hassle, but the results are (insert image of the red sea parting)...liberating. The pain in my neck is my badge of freedom, and, it connects me to the generations of Passover preparin' maidels before me.

I'm looking to challenge myself with this year's holiday menus. Besides having to hunt around for the best Passover products and ingredients, there is pressure to offer the best food and dishes at the Seder. Additionally, I want to put forth something creative and meaningful that I can use in the book. I've come up with a sketch of a menu that is based on the Seder plate. Poached eggs on spring greens, glazed chicken wings, horseradish crusted roast beef, apple and walnut macaroon crumble. For me the preparation is over, now it's show-time for the monday night seder.

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