Thursday, April 16, 2009

Passover 2009

I’ve been eating a lot of good food recently. I can’t lie—there’s been a lot of really good food. And, yet, I’m actually a little indecisive about what to write about. Unlike last year, I decided that I definitely wanted to be with my family for Passover this year. So my sister and I did a whirlwind, 20-hours-total-in-the-car road trip to see several different members of the family. And there was so much good food! I didn’t take very good mental notes however—I was mostly distracted by my crazy and loveable family.

Our first stop was at my mother’s house in Virginia, where we played scrabble and ate pine-nut hummus (the Sabra brand) on pepper slices. Then we ate roasted asparagus, potatoes with fresh parsley and butter, and a take on chicken picatta that my mother came up with. She marinated the chicken in olive oil, lemon, and ginger, and then sautéed it with garlic. She also coated it in matzo meal, since it is Passover, to keep in the moisture like flour would. For dessert, she made an angel food cake, topped with fresh strawberries. I ate the strawberries and about a million chocolate macaroons.

Then we headed further south to North Carolina, where we participated in a 21-person seder, complete with aunts, uncles, new family, cousins, second cousins, and close beloved friends. There were three…THREE…legs of lamb and a turkey! You all know how I feel about turkey. And I love lamb. And my uncle made his own chicken broth for the matzo ball soup (with matzo balls that were definitely sinkers, the way I prefer them). We had lovely mashed potatoes and tsimmus, a sweet potato and prune dish that provides wonderful sweetness to the festive meal. There was asparagus, which I sighed over. For dessert, there was flan and triple chocolate macaroons.

But, as I said above, I didn’t take good food notes. I was deliriously happy to be surrounded by my loud, strange family. I spent inordinate amounts of time in the car with my sister, which is probably the longest time we’ve spent together in…years, maybe. I saw a lot of people that I haven’t seen since 2007’s Thanksgiving or my graduation from college. My uncle, the one who makes soups and freezes them for later lunches and guests and who roasts legs of lamb and makes puns, is especially dear to me.

I jokingly said, in my last post, that my next Passover will be in Kalamazoo. But that’s most likely true. Which is why, for this one weekend, I took my focus off of the taste and texture of the delicious food stuffs and meals (except when I downed that spoonful of homemade horseradish—THAT was hard to ignore). I sat back, smiled, and soaked in the loving closeness of family.

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