Mar 22 2013
Photo by by Ben Husmann via Flickr
Coastal Georgia is not an ideal place for a novice to make gefilte fish. I realized this at the counter of City Market, Brunswick’s fish market. The display case was filled with fresh shrimp.
“Do you have any carp?” The man looked at me quizzically. “Um, what about pike?” He shook his head slowly. “What kind of fresh fish do you have?”
“We have grouper. How were you planning to cook it?”
“I’m going to – er, make fish meatballs out of it,” I said.
The shopkeeper looked at the meaty pink fillets sadly, then back at me with a raised eyebrow. “Fish meatballs?”
“Well, yeah it’s this tradition …” I trailed off. Passover in the South, I had learned, was a tradition unto itself.
John and I were newlyweds when we moved to Columbia, South Carolina in 2006. We embraced the south with all our might, and were soon eating grits, drinking tea and bourbon in rocking chairs on our front porch, and resting on Sundays – not because it was our Sabbath, but because nothing was open. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 18 2013
When it comes to Jewish holidays, family, and children, Passover is the Big Kahuna.
There’s no question that there’s something for the kids in almost every holiday: presents and gelt at Hanukkah, costumes at Purim, running around the yard at dinnertime during Sukkot. But when it’s time for the seder, the pressure is on. This is the most widely celebrated Jewish holiday, even among secular families. This is when we tell the Passover story, that iconic tale of oppression and enslavement, powerful leaders, bravery in the face of the unthinkable, and God’s redemption of the Israelites. Regardless of the details, this is the narrative of our people, and it’s one that we are compelled to pass along to our children. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 15 2013
From the outside, it might seem as if we set out to dismantle Passover seders one stalwart tradition at a time.
However, when I think back, Passover and seders have always had iconoclastic twists, although early on I wasn’t aware there was anything questionable about ours; we just had seder in this particular way, with this particular group of folks. For me, seder was always a woman-run affair; my mother and her good friend, Flora, did a second night seder together all through growing up and into adulthood (and often still). Around the time Flora lost her husband, my mother got divorced; both had young children and decided to team up for Passover. Infamously, Flora’s father-in-law (I think, I’m in apocryphal territory here) was an initial naysayer to the idea. Essentially, his objection went like this: girls cannot take the seder helm.
This was the 70s. Sisterhood was powerful (still is). Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 14 2013
Whether you weave in one, a few, or all 10 of these tips, consider honoring the matriarchal roots of Judaism this Passover with a little girl power fun at your seder this year.
1. Add an Orange & Coffee Bean to Your Seder Plate
The Orange: The orange represents both inclusion and solidarity with women and the LGBT community. The new tradition was started by Professor Susannah Heschel, who was inspired by women at Oberlin College in 1984 who made space on their seder plate to represent all who were not explicitly present in the Passover story. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 13 2013
Looking for another way to make the seder more interactive and fun for the kids this year? Treehouse Kids make handmade dolls and toys, and this year they’re debuting the Deluxe Passover Story Set and it’s one of the cutest Passover toys we’ve seen.
Complete with little wooden peg people representing each of the 10 plagues, special Moses and Pharaoh figurines, and a bracket to make your own matzah tent, you’ll be all set to retell the story of Passover in a truly fun way. The set is a $36 value, but we’re giving one away to a lucky Kveller reader. Bonus: If you don’t win, or can’t wait to get your own, Treehouse Kids is offering Kveller readers a 10% discount off any items in their Etsy Shop. Just enter the coupon code MATZAH at checkout. Read the rest of this entry →
Seder plate? Check. Matzah? Check. Actual text you need to read at the seder?
Oh yeah. If you’re looking for a great haggadah to guide your family through the Passover seder, here are our favorite picks.
1. A Happy Passover Haggadah ($29.94) This is definitely one of the most aesthetically pleasing haggadot we’ve seen, and it’s perfect for the whole family. With both Hebrew and English illustrated with bright bold colors, this hardcover book is a great addition to the seder. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 8 2013
Fun or frightening?
Sometimes the most thought-provoking questions aren’t posed by our writers, but rather, by our readers. And so it was that last week, after Kveller posted on Facebook about a free Passover giveaway of nail decals illustrated with pictures of the 10 plagues that one reader commented, “I was just wondering if I was the only one who thinks death and destruction aren’t cute…Which finger should we put the dead babies on?”
Yikes. And…touché. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 7 2013
Once you’ve got the seder plate covered, there’s still a few more things you might need for your seder table. Take a look through some of our favorite items available today, like multi-purpose kiddish cups and matzah-themed everything. Happy shopping!
1. Michael Aram Wisteria Kiddish Cup ($85) This beautiful stainless steel kiddish cup is a work of art for your Passover table.
Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 6 2013
If getting the kids through dinner on a regular night is hard, Passover dinner is a whole different beast. The seder is long, you can see and smell the food but you aren’t supposed to eat it yet, and all the adults are drinking too much wine. Enter these invaluable little items, all Passover-approved and ready to keep the kids occupied.
1. Inflatable Pharaoh Punching Bag Pack of 3 ($27.50) Help them get out all that ancient frustration (and give their siblings a break from torment).
Read the rest of this entry →
If you’re “making a seder” this year (translation: creating a hugely elaborate meal, educational and entertainment experience for family members, frenemies and friends), I’m here to help you through it.
This year will be my third seder hosting gig. Last year, my seder was 40 people. I was also pregnant and had a 9-month-old, plus two other kids. I am not someone who has “got it together” on the domestic front like Martha Stewart. I have even, on occasion, been called “disorganized” and “slovenly.” So if I can do it, so can you. Read the rest of this entry →