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Thursday, April 05, 2012

Pesach 2012

I'm only one of hundreds of thousands of women who get ready for Pesach every year, but when I get to the final day and EVERYTHING is, more or less, ready, I still swell with pride.

House is clean, regular dishes are put away, everything is out for Pesach (except the porch where the kids will have the leftovers of last night's pizza for breakfast before we burn everything).

Pesach cleaning at my youngest daughter's friend's house uncovered our camera which had gone missing sometime during the year. Hurray! Hope that it works. One may ask....what was the family camera doing at her friend's house to begin with? I don't ask. But it's hidden now.

Shelves are stocked with everything that one may need that's permissible. I don't think that I forgot anything, though restocking will occur during the week.

Made meat for tonight and chicken for tomorrow, plus a tofu dish for my vegetarian daughter (other vegetarian daughter is in Miami -- i miss her, but it sounds like she's having a good time.

Various side dishes and salads -- this year I made my own pesach matboucha, a tomato paste with lots of garlic, spices and corriander. Yum. I have enough avocados on stock to open a greengrocers and, in deference to my older son who can't get through a meal without humos, I got a tub. In general, Ashkanazim don't eat pulses and legumes -- "kitniyot" -- on Pesach but once the vegetarian situation wore me down (tofu is kitniyot, but I don't know what else to make for a vegetarian non-dairy main dish), I backed down a bit. My son's wife is Sepharadi and he's embraced their eating customs, spices, Pesach food and all. I still try to keep the house kitniyot-free for myself, anyway, but if the kids want to eat kitniyot -- let 'em.

I also made a batch of pesach muffins with matza meal so that everyone has something to eat during the day today (we don't start eating matza until the Seder, tonight) and my homemade strawberry jam, a general favorite. I want to run up to town and buy a nice jar to fill with jam and send  to my son's parents-in-laws....they always send little gifts down to us, including the father's amazing homemade wine, so I'd like to reciprocate. I can't compete with his wine, but hope that they like the jam. They're such nice people.

First thing that I heard this morning was someone yelling what I thought was bloody murder, but the end of the conversation, he said "todah" -- thank you -- so I guess that the police don't need to be called. This country is full of people who are loud and volatile, but once you get used to the atmosphere, you realize that that's their nature and they're quite lovely and warm-hearted.

My last chore (well, there are some food-related chores too) is to find some Pesach wisdom for the Seder. Truthfully, the seder is the one time of year when I envy other families who talk, discuss, elaborate, and basically have a lot of fun as they make the seder meaningful. If I say "too much" I get looks from my kids, but I would love to have a seder that really creates a meaningful "coming out of Egypt." So I try to slip in an extra sentence or two...nothing exciting, but just something meaningful.

Each of us is a slave to something -- lack of confidence, desire to be accepted and "one of the crowd", slave to the fashion and dictates of society. If we can figure out how to get past that, we'll truly have our own personal "coming out of Egypt." My own challenge involves developing a vision of how I want to live the second half of my life (God-willing) and pursuing it. I work for an amazing non-profit for which I'm very proud to be involved, but I'd love to find a passion and pursue it.

In the meantime, I planted some basil and dill seeds this morning. Better than nothing.