Spring has sprung, and with it: Passover! It’s most people’s favorite Jewish holiday and I can’t say our family is an exception. My boys love it; they love the added responsibility that comes each year from learning more of the Four Questions to opening the door for Elijah with as little trepidation as possible.
As a divorced mama, I am grateful to my wonderful ex and our wonderful way we co-parent.
We will be at his house this year since my kitchen has been demolished for a remodel. This is frustrating because I love cooking and preparing, and I will have to limit that to whatever cooking and preparing I do at the ex’s. Silver lining: there’s barely anything to kasher (make kosher) because I have no kitchen! The ex gets to do all of the kashering at his house!
What do vegans who don’t eat kitniyot do for protein? Well, we first of all get educated about how much protein you actually need, and we don’t flip out and feel like we are missing out on nutrition if we don’t eat a hunk of animal protein at every meal. (Even developed countries that have meat as a part of their diet don’t get the same enormous amount of protein we get in our diets, and they generally speaking do not have the rates of cancer, heart disease, and obesity that we have…just sayin’…Read Dr. Ornish’s recent New York Times editorial to find out more about protein!)
We eat a lot of quinoa. We eat it with mango, cashews, basil, and lime juice (the recipe is in just about every kosher cookbook!). We eat it with “trashy” (i.e. there’s corn syrup in it) Passover salad dressing. We eat it with ketchup. We basically eat it any way we can. We eat quinoa for breakfast, or lunch, or dinner, or a snack at least once a day during Passover.
We also eat avocados: a fantastic source of protein and healthy fats. Yum. We mash it for guacamole, put it on a piece of matzah, eat it plain with olive oil and sea salt. Anyway, anyhow, the answer is always avocado.
We eat nuts. Almonds and walnuts are good. Almond butter is delicious. We eat trail mix, handfuls as a snack. We eat nuts and it’s good protein and no one is hungry, I promise.
Life is so hectic right now. I literally can’t even go into what my month has been like; what my week has been like. It’s been out of this world hectic. But Pesach is time to slow it down. Celebrating freedom, and acknowledging how all over the world, freedom is threatened. For women and people of color, freedom is still threatened. For Americans, freedom is threatened. As Jews, freedom is threatened.
Pesach is the acknowledgment that we were slaves, and now we are free. But it is our task to carry that freedom to others, for others. We can not forget that we were strangers once, and we can’t ever be satisfied until all people are free.
It’s a fantasy, you may say. But the immersion of ourselves in this festive holiday, and the rituals from thousands of years, and the traditions of thousands of years, and the memories we all have collectively will make this Pesach amazing. It will be wondrous, no matter what. It will be complicated, no matter what. Because freedom is complicated.
This is our holiday. It is our celebration of Spring. And it is our love for our people and our love for Freedom that makes it so beautiful.
Chag Pesach Kasher v’Sameach!