Monday, April 09, 2007

New Passover

As a kid, Passover meant sitting for a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time at the kids table with my cousins and siblings trying to get drunk by sneaking sips of the nasty wine as we leafed casually through our sweet Haggadahs so as not to miss our queue to read.

It was a long drawn out affair accompanied by a bizarre combination of bone-shaking hunger and extreme competitiveness. The internal conflict would hit me hardest when the Seder was finally over and I had to choose whether to inhale my soup and pile two tons of charoses on my matzoh OR slink quietly away from the table to find the afikomen for which my Pop-pop would shell out a shiny silver dollar.

Either way, I would end up at the table sucking down as much matzoh ball soup as possible, knowing that there was precious little else on the table that interested me.

Sadly, Passover food (gefilte fish, horseradish, hard boiled eggs, no good dessert) is not nearly as fabulous as Hanukkah food (latkes, chocolate, etc) - an issue that is compounded in it's horribleness since you have to sit through a long ass Seder just to get to it. Typically, it's wholly disappointing.

Until this year, however.

I think Bubba and I *may* have worked out the Perfect Passover Plan (albeit as un-Kosher and sacrilegious as possible.)


We go to In N Out on our way to my parent's house. Yes, we get cheeseburgers. And, yes, we eat the buns.

I know, I'm lucky I haven't been struck down on the 101.

But just as my Jewish onset self-loathing was setting in, we sat down at the table for the Seder (with not even a hint of the shakes) to find that, while our usual, and very *fancy*, Maxwell House Haggadahs were placed atop the family china, my dad began reading from a totally different text altogether.

Text = "The Two Minute Haggadah" - A spoof email forwarded last week to the entire family by my godfather which paints the Passover Seder in a much more humorous light; marking transitions with cooking instructions (Heat the soup now, Plate the brisket now), summing up long-winded stories of wandering Jews in mere sentences (We wander 40 years in the desert, eat manna, get the Torah, wind up in Israel, get a new temple, enjoy several years without being persecuted again) and basically just ties up the gist of Passover in a neat little package.

Thus eliminating gnawing hunger, eye-rolling boredom, endurance of a billion family jokes (or, really, the same three jokes repeated by everyone at the table) and the cringe factor of a dozen off-key Jews singing Dayaynu.

Whaa? What is this? Who *are* these people?

Soup was then served, followed by a lovely green salad, my grandma's brisket, a trough of mashed potatoes and *GASP* real wine.

This was not the Passover Seder I had been dreading. I was not starving (although it wasn't because I'd eaten so much gefilte fish, I assure you), or bored or even uncomfortable from sitting for a long time.

My dad was not all crabby from having to tell us to "Sit still and be pleasant!" throughout the meal. My mom was not all harried from running amok between the kitchen and dining room. The dog hadn't even gotten restless and begun sniffing fingers for matzoh residue.

I'll say it - it was weird.

But the nice kind of weird that means I won't be dreading this particular event with quite as much dedication next year. Hey, I might even forego In N Out if things go well. (Bubba, I'm just kidding. We can still go.)


  1. ooh. love your collage photo at the end. so many beautiful foods.

    happy to hear that you survived your new Passover.

  2. I went to Taco Bell before my meal.. Mmmmm...nachos...

  3. Happy to hear you survived.

  4. mmmm, that looks good and I am not even hungry!... well, now I am :)

  5. hee hee! I love it Fin! I can just see Burts Bees standing there and reading that email.

  6. that is so funny that you mention the two minute version. We basically did the same thing, but used the preschool edition from my sons school. Nice and sweet, the kids weren't crabby and neither were we. I do have to say I almost miss the craziness of the traditional seder. Next year, we'll probably go back to the long drawn out version. Wonderful pics of everything.


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