Friday, April 29, 2011

Passed over. Next? (with menu)

So, Pesach. was. awesome.

The Man worked insanely hard at work and at home, and began moving the laundry along and forgetting to press START. The kids learned that, temporarily (the adults told them, earnestly) the playroom was being remade into the Place to Store Jillions of Dishes. Also Pots. And they dealt with that, wisely taking over the long, open floor of the living/dining room.

You can wage some serious epic battles between droid-dominoes and Jedi-dominoes in that space. Also, a modified, refrigerator magnet form of Rogue. Maybe even teach it to some friends. Except when you are carefully checking the rice and beans - three times - for stray grains o' barley and such. (Also? finding them. Kosher for Pesach, my allergy mama ass.)

And I ran around, making lists, reworking last year's lists, realizing that the lists were multiple pages long, hyperventilating and explaining to paper bags that I just did not have the time to do all of this, and if i could please just get a wee bit more oxygen, I'm sure that I could do some prioritizing.

The kids brought home wonderful bits of art, a ceramic object designed to distribute grape juice to four cups, and the sweetest seder plate, made by a sweetly earnest small person.

Like that one.

And that one.

The Man and I raced around, trying to actually enjoy - and encourage? - the kids' enthusiasm without actually having to stand still long enough to do so. Until it was time to light a candle, get out a carefully cut paper feather, and unleash the kids with flashlights, to hunt for the chametz. Because we have some, you know - oats rock my world, even when they force me to clean it, too.  The boys raced through the house, shrieking with glee. I got it! I found it! and hey! that's great - I didn't think of looking under there! and the adult how on earth did you GET under there? And (thoughtfully) how are you getting back out? and the inevitable, Noooooo! I was going to find that one! and, then the hiccupping, damp wail of bu-bu-but he found two-thirds, at least, and I wanted to find half. And now I caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan't! Followed by a quiet slipping out the door by one parent, three very subtle thuds and a thumbs up.

Equity more or less restored, we were on to the seders. And the fingerpuppets. The plagues, as brought to you by the dollar store (jumping plastic frogs, red paper confetti, etc), the four questions as brought to you by Vanna Toddles - complete with glamorous waving motions - and the best Red Sea enactment ev-ah. (Note: I love teenagers. They give a whole new height? depth? to the concept of parting the waters.)

We missed some of our dear and insufficiently near ones, welcomed friends, and discovered that the formula of two preschool (current and former) teachers, plus one librarian plus the rest of us = a bouncing, question-prodding, puppet-waving seder with a fair dose of speed and giggles. And oh yes, who bring friends with their own set of hand puppets. And kids who walk into the kitchen and say things like, hi! how can I help?

It was undeservedly good. And at the end of it, when the last guests had left and we were merely elbow-deep in dishes, the Eldest rounded up his brother and father, and the three of them stood in the kitchen and applauded.

I am so doing this again next year.

Pesach/Passover 2011 - as planned, and occasionally as delivered to the table.
note: we follow Sephardic rules for Pesach, and eat rice and beans.

1st seder
* carpas:  parsley, tiny red an' yellow an' purple potatoes, broccoli, carrots, potato chips. Salt water.
(add in: chimichurri, guacamole or gremolata, grapes)
* charoset:
  • apples, raisins, lemon juice, cinnamon & sweet red wine. Add ginger juice to taste.
  • fresh cranberry-orange relish
  • orange confit, if I can find the time to make it. (I didn't.)
green salad
sweet potato fries/rice
some sort of meat (!!!)
mint sauce
lemon sorbet
blood orange sorbet

Tuesday: lunch
make your own sushi with lox, cukes, avo, scallion, mango, lettuce, sushi rice - and, regrettably, with some faux, Passover-friendly non-soy sauce. The sushi was a hit - the non soy sauce was not.

2nd seder

*carpas: see 1st seder. Add in: melon, strawberries, etc to sustain the smalls until dinner. Even though they were fed a pre-seder meal. Also? dips.
*charoset: see 1st seder. And don't slow down on the magid, because we're going to lose a third of the shorties by the end of dinner... But at least they'll last long enough for:

green salad
Karina's crustless vegan pumpkin pie, heavily reworked into a sweet potato deliciousness. 
maple syrup salmon
baked chickpea salad
orange sherbet (oh, Alton - you marvel!)
sorbet, sorbet and more sorbet.
Also? fruit.  Apple crisp if I have time.

leftovers. Also? dishwashing. 

dinner: okay, here we might manage something like a shepherd's pie using the leftover meal/poultry from the 1st seder. Bulking that up with hot dogs. Unless, of course, there are mere shreds left over from the 1st seder, in  which case it's a good thing that I bought those boneless chicken thighs. 

Leftover rice, plus add some of the citrus surplus to sliced red onion, cracked green olives, a handful of red grapes and the leftover romaine leaves from the seder for a green salad. And oh, by now, those plantains should be beautifully black. Whip out the wok, honey, and get a-frying.

make your own cheese matza deliciousness. We supply the best GF oat matza that Lakewood can make, umpteen cheeses and heck, dips and veggies. Extra points for the unexpected and yummy.

dinner: um. Who can remember?

dinner:  rice, leftover salmon, salad. Dips. Sorbet! Wow, this meal thing practically runs itself, given enough momentum. How many times can I say 'leftovers' this week, and in how many different ways? Tonight's phrasing: wrap it, baby

breaded (oat matza meal!) chicken and hot dogs
Dougie's buffalo wings sauce
condiments & cranberry relish
salad with extra crunch, to balance the mush/squish of the really moist, super-marinated chicken.
rice with fennel & herbs

dinner: basil pesto pasta, salad, tuna. Pickles!

Sunday: dinner
leftover milchigs/dairy, reinvented in fill-your-own baked potatoes.

Yeah, kind of like that. (Note: the green stuff under the carefully mashed and re-filled potato is avocado. Also, an olive. History is politely mute as to whether the potato was consumed, but contemporary journals suggest that at least 2-3 purposeful bites were taken.)

dinner: crepes! Time to go light and sweet, so whip up some cream (oy, me achin' arm), slice that dripping-sweet melon, sprinkle some of the last of the mint, chop up the sad strawberries and douse them in sugar and lemon juice, and heck, put some lemon juice into a tiny bowl, and some sugar into another. Crepes. 

This is the bestest Pesach food ever, Mum. Why haven't you made this before?
I surveyed the sweet-fest in front of me, and considered.
Actually, I have. It's just been a while.
The Toddles looked up, chewed, swallowed, and put a slightly greasy hand on my shoulder. I love you, Mummy. But I like your food better.
I nodded. All things considered, I was fine with that.

Crepes provided breakfast and midnight snack for the next three days. and by the time we ate our way through another three or four meals, crepes were also providing school lunches. And it was time to dig out the kitchen, update the Pesach inventory and find just enough non-Passover dishes to be able to cook for shabbat.

Which, by tomorrow evening, we will have done. I think. 


auntie a said...

"I like your food better" heh. With a menu like that, I'm not surprised!

Sounds like a paraphrase of the famous (in our family) dialogue between my bro and his 2-yo daughter
Bro: "What do you love better, cake or Abba?"
Daughter: "Cake!!"

Sounds like your Pesach was a blast. Thanks for sharing!

joy said...

I really need you to do it again next year. Because if I don't get to get in on all that, I may have to STOMP. Loudly. And that would wake the children, which would be a damn shame (as well as a terrible annoyance).