"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

Probably not a smart idea…

by Julie Tilsner on March 20, 2007

in Good Ideas Gone Bad

It’s that time of year again. Time again to make the nod toward a religion I adopted because it suits my questioning, snarky nature better than the one I was born into. It’s time for Pesach (that’s Passover to all you goyim out there).

It’s time for another seder.

A seder is a ritualistic meal served every year at Pesach, which involves the reading of certain texts and the eating of certain foods in a certain order. It can be a tedious affair lasting many hours, putting everyone in attendance into a miserable mood.

But unless you’re observant, which I’m not, there is a lot of room for creativity. And when I have a seder (I’ve had three or four of my own), I interpret the rituals broadly.

For example, five years ago I launched the much-truncated and hugely popular Seder For Those With Small Children.

I know. I have no business throwing a seder, since I can’t be relied upon to successfully steam asparagus much less prepare several large courses all at once. But I have done it in the past, mostly out of a desire to indoctrinate my children with a sort of basic Judaism that they can forget about as soon as they leave the nest. But also because, damnit, I really do like gathering my friends around a table. But it’s a lot of work, and the panic I live with in the days leading up to the event take five years off my life. And that’s really starting to add up, so it would be prudent of me to reconsider.

But I’ve ignored the holiday these last few years in lieu of emotional distress and am now feeling ready to face anything, even those four glasses of Manischewitz. Three additional facts compel me as well:

Kitchen Goddess Julia Regalado will be in town staying with me that week. With her at my back, what could go wrong?

If anything does go wrong, I will have Marsha and Terry in attendance with their traditional Passover
Cosmopolitans at the ready, and nobody will care if the lamb turns out as bad as it did that last time.

And even if everything goes wrong, think of the blog fodder.

I got two weeks. And G-d help me. Anyone got any good (and easy!) recipes for charoset?

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

AT March 20, 2007 at 3:37 pm

May I suggest radishes for bitterness of the (slaves)– hard-boiled eggs in salt water to depict the parting of the sea, chocolate matzoths, lamb shank for you know what, chopped apples in wine and honey; and if you invite me, open the door for the prophet Elijah and I’ll walk in with the lute. Happy Pesach!


Lydia March 21, 2007 at 6:17 pm

In my family we used to have “speed Seder” — with each of the kids trying to read their part of the Hagaddah faster than the kid who read before them. I think we had the whole thing down to 20 minutes, much to the chagrin of my parents!


Sam's Mom March 23, 2007 at 3:42 pm

This is my very easy charoset recipe, it’s mostly to taste.
2 apples, unpeeled (grated)
about 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons (usually more) sweet Passover wine
honey to taste
Grate apples, peel and all with your handy box grater or food processor if you have one.
Add everything else and adjust to taste.
Happy Passover


Mister J March 24, 2007 at 3:19 am

If you listen to Melinda Lee this weekend and next Saturday, I’m sure you will get some great ideas!
You can also get some recipes from her website http://www.MelindaLee.com


Mister J March 28, 2007 at 5:17 am

If you look at today’s L.A. Time’s Wednesday Food Section, there are great articles and recipe ideas for your task!
Can’t wait to read your recap of the event!


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