Thursday, April 5, 2012

I can't even begin to tell you how much I love Passover.  It is just the very best holiday in my mind.  I look forward to it every year.  I start counting down the day after it ends.  It is better than New Year's Eve.  Better than Christmas (I think?).  Better than Hanukkah for sure!  For over ten years now, my friend Greg and I have been hosting a Passover dinner with 20+ people.  To be honest, this tradition started before me.  Greg and Robyn hosted it for several years in San Francisco, before it (and Greg) moved down to LA.  We started off in my Rexford apartment and then moved it over to my mom's house when I moved to San Francisco. I came home for this event during the years that I was away from LA.  It was THAT good.  We've had to make some cuts through the years as people got significant others and stuff just because we don't have the space.  If you've been cut, it isn't because we love you any less.  It was because the actual Jewish people at the table started hooking up and we had to make room for their better halves.  Please forgive us.  Passover 2010, I was eight weeks pregnant.  I knew that there was no way I would get away with not drinking for the night without everyone knowing so I just decided to tell.  2010 Passover gave new meaning to barefoot and pregnant.  I was on my feet so much that night that I finally just ended up in the kitchen, doing dishes, barefoot.

Every year, Greg makes his much talked about and salivated over brisket, I make the matzo ball soup and the random other stuff, Kate brings charosets (sometimes Suzy brings it.....Suzy is part Jewish in case you didn't know,, not so much), Bonnie makes macaroons (or at least she did once or twice and I can still taste good!), Tamar used to bring chocolate dipped matzo (before she went vegan), Carmen does all sorts of extra stuff, Maggie always brings a delicious dessert, everyone brings wine.  My mom has been kind enough to host us for many years now.  It is a production.  We bring out fold out tables, tons of folding chairs, linens, china, seder plates, wine goblets.  The highlights of the evening are 1) the line in Greg's grandfather's Haggadah : "Moses was such a man!" 2) Passover tunes to the melodies of songs you'd rather forget (courtesy of my dad's annual Passover seder) 3) The "drinking game" where you have to say as much of Hag Gad Ya in one breath as possible.  If you mess it up, you drink!  4) The afikomen hunt.  Everyone puts in a dollar and the hunt gets competitive.  5) Sometimes we do another dollar each bet on how many bottles of wine get consumed.  I know it sounds nerdy.  I guess it kind of is.  Especially because most years, it turns into a jacuzzi/dance party for the late nighters.

2011 Passover was the first one with children.  The first and only one with Maxie.  He was so good!  He hung out for the first part of the evening and then we put him upstairs with a white noise machine (to drown out the downstairs revelry) and a video monitor.  What a pumpkin!  We won't be celebrating Passover this year (not with my dad's family, not with my friends).  Same way we aren't celebrating any holidays this year.  It's a tradition that I hope we can bring back again sometime in the future but the thought of it makes me so sad.  I don't remember what it was like to be this happy.  Ted and I have aged 20 years since this time last year.

Here are some photos from last year and a video from 2010 - not sure this really captures the flavor of the evening but it is a taste.


Daphnazina said...

Thank you so much for sharing this...

greg said...

I'll be thinking of you guys tonite. Thanks for the pics. Next year in Jerusalem.

Kate said...

Oh such happy memories and beautiful pictures of Max. Perhaps going forward we should leave 2 empty chairs at the table every year instead of just the one for Elijah. That way we honor Maxie's memory and make him a part of this beautiful tradition.

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