So last Friday night I'm sitting around minding my own business when my daughter calls to ask for the recipe for Passover Fudgies*. She's at college out in the middle of NoJewsVille, Pennsylvania, unable to find things like matzah, much less matzah meal or matzah cake meal, but she was planning a seder for two (non-Jewish) friends and really wanted to make Passover Fudgies. One conversational thing led to another, and I eventually went upstairs to cajole Darling Spouse into a spur-of-the-moment road trip.
The next morning we headed out to western PA, trunk loaded with pesadech (stuff that's kosher for Passover), dog in lap, last-minute hotel reservation made with difficulty. I could not for the life of me figure out why everyone in the world needed to be in this little corner of western PA this weekend, but nearly every place I tried was full.
As it happened, the Jock's Ultimate team was having their home tournament this weekend, so we looked forward to some time with him and his friends as well. He's living in an off-campus apartment that I'd never seen, so I wanted to check out his place. It was nice enough, given that it was the abode of three college males. Luckily he was willing to keep the doggie for us overnight, as she was forbidden in both the apartment where my daughter was making seder and the hotel. (He also tortured his girlfriend later while IMing with her: "I'm having a houseguest; she'll probably spend the night in my room with me; she was sitting on my lap earlier; she nuzzles as well as you do." The girl huffed offline for dinner, so it wasn't until later that he was able to add the piece that let her figure it out, "You've met her; she's like a member of the family." Her reaction: "You dick.")
The seder was lovely. Not overly traditional; not overly rigid; but we said prayers, drank wine, dipped parsley, told the stories, explained the symbols, and ate: matzah, charoset, eggs, matzah ball soup, gefilte fish, and Passover Fudgies for dessert. There was nothing missing; I was so proud of my daughter, I could burst. She made her first seder: today, she is a woman!
There were some unique moments, of course. Because the apartment wasn't occupied by Jews, it wasn't really scrubbed of all sources of leavening, grain and so on, as (an observant) Jewish home would be. After dinner, it was time to search for the afikomen. It was one of her friends who finally found it, but I found her selection of a hiding place somewhere between ingenious and pure evil: BEHIND THE BOX OF BISQUICK.
There was also the conversation about chocolate animals; bunnies, chickens, etc. in the context of Easter candy, which gave rise to the question about Kashrut (one of the tenets of which is the forbidden mixing of meat and dairy products): Can a chocolate cow be kosher if it's made of MILK chocolate?
And so a lovely weekend was had by all. Upon our arrival home, it turned out that the Nestling had also returned. Rather than attending college in NoJewsVille, the Nestling is instead attending a university that specifically schedules spring break to coincide with Passover. He was waiting for me when I got home from work today. I greeted him and then invited him to come along while I walked the dog; an invitation he agreed to. The moment I saw him in daylight, I did a double take:
Yes, his hair was blue. Ah well, I thought; as rebellions go, it could have been much worse.
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 lb melted butter
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 6 tbsp. cake meal
- Optional: 1 cup chopped nuts or coconut