After the last dinner party, normal people would probably take a hiatus from cooking adventures. Normal people are boring. And normal people don’t invite 12 for a Passover seder without checking to see just how many wine glasses they actually brought with them. (Answer: 14. That leaves one for Elijah and a backup in case there’s breakage. Living on the edge.)
In any event, the seasons wait for no one. My decision each year about whether to host a seder is based on how much work responsibility I have, what day of the week it falls on, whether Bob might be in the same country, and how many good recipes my Bon Appetit offers.
This year, of course, the first night falls on a Friday. So what if we’re living in the land of pork? So what if Bob’s quest to find the kosher-for-Passover aisle in the local supermarkets was futile? “Not even one box of matzoh?” he kept asking. But the local Chabad people sold us five monster boxes of matzoh, which should keep us in dry crackers and crumb-sweeping for the ayi for quite some time, horseradish, gefilte fish, macaroons, and matzoh meal for baking and soup.
Ready to roll. Shank bone? I’m baking a chicken leg, which is good enough. Parsley? Done. I couldn’t find beef brisket but I did find flank steak. None of the local stores had a decent fillet of salmon so I’ll be piecing together smaller portions and hoping nobody notices.
Also on the menu: matzoh ball soup, potato kugel, tzimmes, haroset, a chocolate-walnut cake, coconut macaroons, along with a green vegetable brought by Jamie, fruit salad supplied by Rachel.
I don’t want to count my brisket before it’s sliced, but so far so good. The brisket is cooling in the frig, the chocolate cake promises to be not too dry, and the stock for the soup is simmering away. Other than the difficulty of finding ingredients, the Passover work-around is much like the Thanksgiving work-around. I can use my food processor and my hand mixer, for instance, but not at the same time. I plug one into the transformer, use it, then unplug it and plug the other devise into the transformer. That and having about 6 inches of counter space to manage everything, and there are a few challenges that slow down the process.
Bob, meanwhile, decides that my cooking day is a good day to get all chatty by email. So far today I’ve received 16 emails from him. I consider it part of the challenge and a testament to the strength of our marriage that I don’t actually respond to the one where he asks what our anniversary date is.
I’ll report in after the seder, when we might open the door for Elijah and find those real estate agents hoping to show our apartment one more time. I’ve had stranger things happen on Passover.