In this crazy, sad, unpredictable time we are going through, my job is to make you forget about that stuff for a few moments and chuckle. Or I can give you the advice that I have been giving myself and anyone else who will listen to me — it’s that the only place we need to be is present. In this moment. That is it. Five minutes from now — don’t worry about. Just this moment. Okay. That is my advice. So here is my weekly attempt to make you laugh….
By the time you read this, the holiday of Passover will be over. Weeks of preparing for eight days. And even though you have weeks to prepare, you only have about an hour to put everything back before someone is asking you for noodles or grilled cheese — come on people, give me some time!!! As we all know, how was this Passover different from all other Passovers? (See what I did there?) Some people were supposed to go away and couldn’t. Some people wanted to grocery shop at their leisure and couldn’t…. And the reasons go on and on. Thank God, I was one of the lucky ones. I had everyone home AND I have made this holiday before so I had everything that I needed. And because I had a full house, I did more baking and cooking than I normally do. Was it to impress dil #1? Perhaps, but those reasons don’t matter. My new across the street neighbor (again, not directly across the street, but I did mention her in a previous column for her mad baking skills) gave me a cookbook with some incredible recipes.
We will start with the egg bagel. Mine did not come out like the one in the picture. Mine came out looking like they had a bad skin condition, but they were delicious! I also tried making something called “matzaroni and cheese.” I was wondering how the ingredients would come together (cottage cheese, sour cream, and mozzarella cheese) but they did and it really tasted like macaroni and cheese! Woohoo! Five more pounds on for me!
And then there was the chocolate chip cookie. They made the house smell incredible and son #3 said they were amazing. But then son #1 brought up a good point. Everything he has eaten has been like eating “mun,” the mystical food the Jewish people ate in the dessert. It is like you take a matzah ball — in soup it tastes like a matzah ball. Poke a hole in the matzah ball and it becomes a bagel. Add some sugar and chocolate chips to the matzah ball and it becomes a cookie. Microwave the cookie and it becomes a chocolate chip pancake. Add some cocoa powder and it becomes a chocolate cookie. You see where I am going with this? Did anyone else have this experience?
Though I must pat myself on the back because the first time I made Passover, many, many years ago, I made a bunch of recipes that came out so horrific that even I couldn’t eat them. Now that is bad. This year, there was only one streusel apple disaster that went right into the garbage, followed by the actual piece of paper that had the recipe on it. I won’t make that mistake twice! (And even son #2, who is the king of eating all my leftovers to make a point — don’t ask me what that point is, with him, you never really know — couldn’t eat the apple thing. Now that is really, really bad.)
So, thank God, the food was plentiful and pretty yummy. Husband #1 had enough coffee cake mix and Mayim Chayim orange soda to get him through the holiday. Our first seder ended at 3 a.m. and the second one ended at 3:20 a.m., further proving that I am the best mother in the whole world (because the kitchen staff of our Passover program didn’t go to sleep until after 4 a.m. both nights… I should really join a union). We all got along, I didn’t lose my temper, mainly because dil #1 was there and I feel she and son #1 should be married for at least a year before she sees how totally nuts I am — and all was really, really nice.
I hope you all survived, in good health. And even though I still believe we should stay in the present, I wish you that next Passover, in good health, you should all be exactly where you want to be.
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck has a sneaking suspicion that son #3 has been hoarding tissue boxes in his room for fear of running out. He actually hasn’t been doing that, but he said he would start and it sounded so funny that we decided to put it in the column bio this week….