Last night was the first seder meal of Passover. It’s possible that I work harder on Passover preparations than I did studying for the bar exam. And this is my stripped-down, older-and-wiser, crock-pot-brisket version of the festive meal. I always convince myself beforehand that it’s going to be a piece of (flourless) cake, and then on the Day Of, I freak out and realize how much time is needed to pull it all together. Nothing is hard, there’s just a lot of it.
Sometimes I ask myself, whom am I trying to impress? Am I trying to communicate an obligation to the next generation: you Must Knock Yourself Out Like This Or Our People Will Disappear? Am I still trying to convince my late mother-in-law of my worthiness? Nah. I just really like a Big To-Do, and I like it to be my to-do. And I do want the kids to remember it fondly enough to create some version of these gatherings in their lives, when it’s their to-do.
Here’s the before: you wouldn’t know it, but a lot of steaming and polishing went into these photos.
Here’s the during:
Here’s the after.
My first, enormous, pavlova. I started with a Nigella Lawson recipe, subbed in homemade lemon curd for passion fruit and peaches, added raspberry sauce. Kind of a lifetime-achievement dessert. And totally kosher-for-Passover! Come at me, balabustas!
Back in the day, I used to also do Easter after Passover, just so I could make cheese potatoes and my grandma’s lime Jello salad (which tastes like springtime, I swear). But once this mess gets cleaned up, I’m not going in the kitchen on Sunday except to make coffee.
The second seder is tonight–but I’m not hosting. I’ll be leaning back on my cushion and enjoying the four cups of wine. I’ll also be knitting on the trip there and back.