Sunday, April 5, 2015

Festive Learning

After four solid days of festive meals, we are feeling joyful and lethargic all at the same time.  Last Thursday was Maundy, with a “light supper” and communion at church.  “Light supper” means a hearty chicken soup with really thick noodles, and breads from around the world.  Since that was my last chance to eat bread for a while, I really loaded up.  Yeast bread with butter is as good as candy, especially when you know you have to switch to unleavened for the next seven days.

Friday during the day I attempted to fast in recognition of Good Friday, since I could not go to Tenebrae that evening.  I learned that it is not advisable to prepare tax returns while fasting.  One should not be rendering unto Caesar while fasting unto God.  I was actually doing Older Daughter’s tax return, and ran into snafus that frustrated me enough that I decided to end my fast around two o’clock.

Seder plate
Friday evening for the first time in forever we went to someone else’s house for the first night Seder.   It was lovely, and we learned about some different traditions.  I had never heard of Miriam’s Cup, which is a ritual to honor women.

Saturday evening we went to the second-night seder at our synagogue.   It was lovely, and I learned even more.  I learned that “Chad Gadya” is a very violent song with animals slaughtering each other, and fire, and the Angel of Death.  I figured it is a children’s song, but a friend just mentioned that it is a political commentary.  I will need to investigate and learn more!
CHM avec Easter bonnet and hyacinth, which I
will NOT put outside where the attack
rabbits can get at it.
Today in the morning we praised God for the Resurrection Miracle.  I wore my Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it.  Then home for more cooking.   Jesus was a good Jewish boy so I think he would approve of yet another celebration with food.  No Passover ham this time, but roast beast.

Easter Dinner menu

Pot roast with carrots and celery
Oven-broasted Brussels sprouts
Roasted beets
Potato kugel
Apple-raisin matzo kugel
Passover bagels
Passover Lemon Squares

I asked Youngest Daughter to help me with the cooking, but she would not cook the Brussels sprouts or the beets.  I learned that I should NOT put Brussels sprouts in the oven and then go read my book.  I like to cook the loose Brussels sprout leaves separately because they make a delicious snack, but I forgot that they only take a few minutes to cook.  After a few chapters of reading my book* in the bedroom, I detected a certain smell coming from downstairs.  The leaves were completely charred.  The Brussels sprouts themselves were okay, if a bit black. 

YD made Passover bagels and Passover lemon squares all by herself (she was hungry, I guess). AND she did the dishes.  We had a wonderful quiet low-key meal, just the three of us. 

YD, experiencing celebration exhaustion.  And this
was only on Friday!


Did you celebrate anything in the past few days?

*Barbara Pym!


The Crislers said...

We celebrated Holy Week and its assorted celebrations last week, then Easter over the weekend. It was a pretty busy time, but nothing like your week, good grief?

Did you see that Jon Stewart bit where he talks about Easter vs Passover? Because I laughed my pants off. You actually might not want to watch it, as he suggests one more tradition to inject into the holidays, and I don't want you running for any cliffs.

The Crislers said...

Why did I make that first paragraph end in a question? I sound like those teenage girls? Who say everything? Like it's a question?

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

That is a gorgeously plated meal! I have to look up this Miriam thing. You have the most wonderful mash-up of holidays at your place. Happy Everything to you!

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

The filled seder plate is lovely!
At my church it was Tenebrae and then we went to Easter sunrise service with my in-laws before heading out on our annual epic road trip to see my dad. Easter dinner consisted of beef jerky, dried apricots, and whatever else was in the car on a 14-hour drive for that first day.
I hope chocolate was involved when taxes caused you to break your fast.