The euphoria of the Passover Seder complete, we’re now into the downside of the holiday. In my mind we go from festival and celebration to observance of shitty food, aka leavening free Week. You’d be surprised to learn how often “leavening” and “good” go together in food. Just have any Passover dessert you’d care to pick, they all have one thing in common.. B A D. My moms “famous” Passover pound cake recipe went something like; 1 cup sugar, 2 cups matzo meal, 1 cup potato starch, 9 dz eggs… 3 dz egg whites… mix well, bake at 175 for 7 hours… Not a recipe for good.
The kids play me like a cheap harp this week. They know exactly how to get to me. From College kid to Middle kid.. the daughter lacking sophistication and strategy in her evilness. Yet. Yesterday the middle kid starts asking questions like “Dad, are granola bars ok for Passover?” Oh he cares.. “No son they’re not” “Ok Dad, I was wondering because in my zeal to keep the commandments I had to starve myself at school all day long, nearly passing out by the time I got home and was able to take nourishment again. Oh Father, the limits of my observance of our tradition knows no bounds.”
I nearly wept.. I have successfully passed along to the children the most important tenants of our faith, insuring the next generation of Jews will be there to suffer through matzo week. I remarked to my bride, Mrs S aka the “Shickze” which isn’t the nicest term on the planet, but in her case, at this time of year, kinda fits because Mrs S’s sense of observance and adherence sort of stops when it intersects with her strong aversion to any sort of inconvenience . She also serves as my cold shower of reality, often BTW. “Dry the tears there Rabbi, dude had pizza for lunch. He’s only asking you because he knows what you want to hear”. Turns out he was talking to college kid about it on the phone the other day about it. WTF..
Well just to show that they aren’t all that bright, at least when it comes to being evil.. I got the call from college boy this morning.. “Dad, are Granola Bars ok for Passover?” Couldn’t even change it up? I’m so disappointed.
Actually I think the middle kid was trying to figure out what was, as the kids say KforP meaning Kosher for Passover, the subline on every Manishevitz product on the market, in order to figure out what he could eat at home. We, not being so observant that we throw out every non-leavened crumb of food in the house, like my folks did. I mean, after a couple days of this deal, some family members, not pointing fingers, become so inconvenienced by the endless meals of tasteless food, that they will crack open a pack of hoho’s and call it a festival complete.
Or a ham. Years ago the legend of the Passover Ham was born. Mrs S and I, invited to a another families Saturday before Easter dinner, where we were treated to ham. Ham.. I like to refer to ham as “pig flesh” or “swine meat” and usually avoid the stuff. During the week of Passover, I totally avoid it. So, over to the house we go, the hostess serves up ham steaks and other stuff. I sort of move the food around my plate and pretend to eat it, a skill I had as a pre-teen, but apparently am not as good at anymore. The hostess sees what I’m doing and announces “You’re not eating your HAM”. Busted. I smile and profess my gratitude for the meal, but explain that I don’t eat ham especially during Passover. “But we asked your wife about it, she said ham was fine.” Everyone immediately looks over to my wife, who looks up, sees that she’s the center of attention and without batting an eye.. “Oh, I know, I love ham.”