Tuesday, March 30, 2010

After the (Matzo) Ball is Over


This is all that remains of our 16-person seder.  It was indeed a wonderful evening with old friends, new friends, and friends of friends.  We were a diverse group and nobody was shy. 

I’m sorry I forgot to take a picture of the table when it was beautiful and awaiting all the guests.  But things here were a little hectic.  It all started last night when the power failed just as we were going to sleep.  We rarely know the cause or the duration when that happens. 

I had arranged to go share my neighbor’s kitchen this morning if it didn’t come back.  She even graciously offered to move the whole affair to her house.  But by 3:00 am the power had returned.

Today was not a heavy duty cooking day.  In fact by about 3:00 in the lull before the storm I took a nap.  It was a good thing, because I’m never so good as everyone starts arriving with coats to hang up and things to contribute to the meal. 

I was most happy to see my chef friend Brock, who walked in just as I had declared the soup broth tasteless.  He went to work to fix it up and then to help me make crucial decisions, like when to get the matzo balls out, when turn on the oven, how to serve each course.  He is so infinitely wise and calm at the same time.  I guess those qualities are simply in a chef’s job description.

At one point after inviting him, I had said to myself, “Are you crazy to be cooking for your cooking teacher?  What if something really flops?”  But he had high praise for the homemade matzo, the gefilte fish, and the Thai-style matzo ball soup.  He quietly helped me remember the garnishes and a few details while being the gracious guest.

I loved having a chance to meet 5 people I had never before met.  There is no better way to get to know someone than through an interactive seder.  My husband had created our haggadah once again (this year spiral bound) and even given us homework ahead of time.  It was an evening that focused on freedom.  We even ended the evening by singing freedom songs from greats like “rabbi” Pete Seeger and “rabbi” Bob Dylan.



True to form I forgot to serve something intended for the evening’s dinner.  I just found the fruit salad in the refrigerator with the Saran wrap still on top.  It works well as a (very) late night snack as I sit here waiting for one load of dishes to finish so I can reload and go to bed.



As good a time as I had tonight, I’m really glad I don’t have to cook anything tomorrow.  And we have leftovers to last quite a while, always a good thing.



L’chaim!

2 Comments:

Blogger Kristin said...

L'chaim, Barbara. It looks like you had a wonderful night and a fantastic start to Passover.

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blessings to you! How wonderful. Thanks for sharing the details of your evening. I love that your husband made your haggadah, that you & Brock aligned so seamlessly, and that you enfolded "strangers" into your midst (strangers no more!).

Although I don't identify as Christian (or Buddhist or Jewish or...), today I re-visited a stunning newish Catholic cathedral as part of my eclectic multi-faith spring rituals, and was graced by a service conducted almost entirely in Spanish (a language I'm not fluent in). I was a "stranger" when I entered but was welcomed by those around me.

May spring keep opening our hearts and minds!

F.

12:48 AM  

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