Archive for April, 2010
Passover is always a time of challenges, and in a secular world, observing the holiday takes work. In my family, we have always restrained from eating Chametz during the holiday and on nights when we’ve eaten too many Matzah Pizzas or run out of creative ideas we will eat out at restaurants, always avoiding the breaded, battered, or “leavened” options on the menu.
This past weekend, I was out of town visiting with family and was faced with the challenges of eating out on Passover. If you are one with a similar observance I am sure you can agree with me. The days were filled with deep thoughts, “can’t have this, can’t have that, don’t want to go there, can’t eat this there etc..” running down the lists of places to go and more importantly what we could eat if we go to a specific place. This experience really got me thinking about Passover and freedom. Sometimes we feel trapped by our usual routines. We go to the same restaurant where we eat the same meal every time. Passover serves as a reminder that we are free, and can actually redeem us from our enslaving routines. It gives us the ability to look at menus differently than we do every other week of the year, and allow us to try something new, something different than we might have previously picked, and bring us awareness of what we eat by looking deeper into those little description beside each option.
I hope everyone had a great Pesach – mine was a little challenging. The actual holiday part was wonderful, the Seders were family filled with songs and wine and even a few insights linking past to present. The part that was so challenging was that this year the Pesach yomtevs backed onto the Easter long weekend. Just so we understand the issue…I live in a city where everything closes for Good Friday (most importantly for Pesach reasons – the supermarkets are closed). Saturday is not a legal holiday but it’s Shabbat, I don’t shop. Sunday is the one day when I can hope to find a supermarket open (remember that’s Easter Sunday so not everything is open for business). Sunday night was the start of the 2nd yomtev – no shopping (again) but please notice – if I didn’t find an open supermarket on Sunday then there’s also no eating going on. My daughter ran to a large supermarket chain on Sunday at 5 pm (the sign said it would be open until 6) just as the manager was locking the door. She stood on the outside along with many other people and pointed out that the store was closing early. The answer was that she should come back tomorrow (yomtev – good luck explaining that one through a locked glass door).
In the end she noticed some friends in the check out line of the supermarket and she quickly called them and read them a condensed (but essential) shopping list over the phone. They ran around the store getting some fresh food for us and we managed. Everything worked out alright but I have to say it caused anxious moments, lots of texting back and forth and last minute scrambling.
Between Pesach holiday occurring during the week, Easter occurring over the weekend, statutory holidays and figuring out the intervening days of Pesach, I came back to work with my head spinning and constantly thinking today was Tuesday (btw, it’s Thursday which means – yes – Shabbat is right around the corner). Sometimes Jewish holidays can make your head spin.
Since this is my first Passover at the new house with just my husband and I, what do we cook? No more help from the sisters or moms, we are on our own here…
As the fear slowly set in, we decide to take on the challenge and make our first matza ball soup on our own.
What can I say? I never imagined that a semi-clear liquid with yummy matza balls out of a box could taste sooo good.
From that moment on we both agreed that this would be our breakfast, lunch and dinner dish over Passover… Not only for its simplicity when making it, but for the warm childhood memories it brings with each spoonful you take.
Nothing beats a bowl of Matza Ball Soup!!!