Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Passover Seder

We’re having a seder at our house this year. Some of my favorite people are coming: Rachel, Michael and Linda and their three children, Rebecca, Kris and Bill, Florence, Nancy, Peg, and Paul. Even though David will lead the seder, I want everyone to contribute in some way. I suggested that David throw out something for people to think about ahead of time. After all, this is a thinking crowd who are not shy about sharing their opinions. I want it to be more than just ticking off pages that mean we can finally eat.

We may buy new haggadahs because our old traditional ones are awful. I want one with nice pictures, thoughtful readings, minimal Hebrew, lots of music. Not too long, but with lots of things to think about.

I would also like to do something artsy for this seder. I’ve been thinking how special the passover symbols are – the ones that adorn the seder plate: the lamb shank bone, the egg, the horseradish root, the parsley, the charoset. I came up with the idea of painting small plexiglass circles to represent these various symbols. Another possibility is to use layers of colored tissue paper afixed with glue. Maybe the artists like Rachel, Rebecca, and Kira can do this. I think it will be fun and they will make great table decorations. I just need to figure out what to use for a base – maybe a slit in half an apple? A better idea might be to put three of the circles together in a triangular shape and put a candle inside them.

I want to make sure we think about music ahead of time. We always get to the songs and no one can remember how they go, so we just skip them. There is some good passover music. It would really be fun to find a duet or two. But that would mean that I would have to talk someone else into playing with me. Maybe Kira?

As for food, I will definitely make gefilte fish with some very hot, very red horseradish. We must have matzoh ball soup. My matzoh balls are iffy, so maybe someone else will volunteer to make matzoh balls. Rachel is good at this; maybe she will make them. There are unlimited possibilities for main dish and vegetables. Maybe something out of the ordinary. But it must be able to be prepared ahead of time so I don’t get stuck in the kitchen cooking during the reading part. Maybe we will offer people choices: roast lamb and roast chicken, sweet wine and good red wine. As for desserts, Florence is bringing a nut cake. I really suck at making passover desserts, so I hope someone else offers. Otherwise, we will be eating my sponge cake that tastes like shoe leather.

We no longer have any little children in this crowd and the ante for finding the afikomen is definitely no longer a dollar. It looks like Lizzy at age 16 is the youngest and will get to ask the four questions.

I really like having things like this to look forward to. Passover is a great holiday with great food and a story with a happy ending. Just like I like it...


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