Monday, April 16, 2012
By Susan Esther Barnes
The best thing about Passover this year is we had a seder! Last year, my father, alav hashalom, died two and a half days before the start of Passover, and although I had most of the ingredients already, I just wasn't up to cooking a big meal or making a seder. Don't worry, the unused food went into the bin at the synagogue for distribution to those who needed it.
The second best thing was the greeting I got from Ralph the morning after the holiday ended: "Pizza, pasta, or hamburger bun?" He asked this question, of course, because during the week of Passover we don't eat food with leavening in it, and many people include pasta in the list of forbidden foods, for reasons I won't go into here. So for a week, we get no bread, no pizza, no burger buns, no sandwiches. For a carb lover like me, it's tough, even though I do like matzo. My answer was, I ended my week-long bread fast with mushroom pizza!
The third best thing was the matzo ball soup reaction I've been getting at work. A few years ago, as Passover was approaching, one of my colleagues, who is Jewish but not observant, and I somehow started talking about matzo ball soup. I agreed to bring some in for her during the holiday. Other (non-Jewish) people saw it and wanted some, so I started a tradition of bringing some in for everyone each year.
Last year I was in mourning so I didn't make any matzo ball soup, and I when I mentioned it this year, people got so excited. In fact, there were a couple of people who were not going to be in the office on the newly announced Matzo Ball Soup Day, so I put aside one small container of soup (and matzo balls) for each of them to eat the next day.
And for next year: We've been using the same Passover haggadah (the book that lays out the Passover rituals and takes us through the Exodus story) forever. I have ordered two new versions, and I'm looking forward to looking through them, in order to have an even better seder next year.
What were your three best things this year, and what are you planning for next year?