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Posts tagged ‘Chicken soup’

Passover Pizza

Pizza for Pesach

Passover Pizza and Pizza for Pesach © JustHavingFun

Maybe it’s a symptom of me getting old, but I experience a moment of cognitive dissonance when I see “Passover Pizza” on the market shelves. You mean you can’t go 8 days without pizza? Is this a generational thing?

My Mother tells me about what Passover in Philadelphia was like growing up in the waning years of the Depression. They had eggs, fish, matzah, beets, meat, potatoes, nuts, fruit… and more eggs and potatoes. Kosher for Passover milk and dairy products weren’t readily available, and they didn’t have the wealth of prepared foods that we kosher consumers enjoy today whether for year-round or Passover use. Mrs. Hindy Krohn, also a Philadelphia native (and mother of Rabbi Pesach Krohn), describes the situation well in her 1989 memoir The Way It Was: Touching Vignettes About Growing Up Jewish in the Philadelphia of Long Ago.

Passover Pizza

Freezer case with kosher for Passover products. © JustHavingFun

I’m not quite that old but I remember my Bubba Goldie shaping gefilte fish loaves by hand, sliding them out of the oven, and serving them with a perfect circle of cooked carrot. I don’t know where the fish came from. She probably went to a fish man and asked him to grind it. She also had a special basin for the chicken to soak in. She sat in a chair in the breakfast room pulling the pin feathers from the skin before cooking it.

Passover wasn’t a big deal in our family. We were secularized; it was a time for family to gather. I don’t remember the family having Seder dinners, but I sure remember sitting at the big mahogany dining room table with the matching chairs and claw-footed legs.

Bubba Goldie’s chicken soup was the clearest golden broth with little “eyes” of fat on the top, and the matzah balls were light and fluffy. Well, really I can’t remember the matzah balls, but I like to think they were “floaters” because it fits well with the imagery of the golden soup. She’d serve it with a small portion of chicken breast meat. My other grandmother, Bubba Lena, cooked her chicken soup with lots of “junk,” as she called it. Vegetables peeked from a cloudy broth, and chicken chunks were liberally strewn through the bowl. Did she make matzah balls? I can’t remember, but if she did, I bet they were “sinkers.” I inherited her skills in making a fragrant, filling cauldron of soup and I don’t get complaints about my matzah balls.

Welch’s Manischewitz Kosher Concord Grape Juice is kosher for Passover. © Manischewitz

In the 1990s I saw Manischewitz kosher for Passover Quiche Mix (a product fad that didn’t survive); that was when the world changed for me. Now there is Welch’s kosher Grape Juice, too, another world changer. The products keep coming: marshmallows, chocolate chip cookies, mayonnaise, pizza sauce, macaroons (of course), and the list goes on.

I’ll forgo the Passover pizza. I’ll stick with unsalted whipped butter on matzah as the most exotic food choice.  Hooray for eight days of  limited choices!

What Mess? What Noise?

 

Whatta lotta matzah!

Whatta lotta matzah!

Passover is done for another year.

I loved it. I loved having five of our children around and various guests. I loved the planning, cooking, and serving. Even the cleanup after meals didn’t faze me. I was “in the zone.” I felt connected and fulfilled. My shopping list on Google Drive made me ecstatic in the stores. I felt efficient and prepared. I loved the crumbs on the table, the potatoes, and having to reach into a different cupboard than usual for a plate. I loved the seeming mess, having things displaced, needing to walk new paths, searching for equipment. A change, a shake-up. Spring-cleaning for the mind. Last year we were slaves; this year we are free.

And oh my–the second batch of chicken soup was one of the best I’ve ever made! With matzah balls! (The first batch was great, but this second batch… ummm yummm!)

Single-Bottle Wine Caddy
Last Sunday I “turned my kitchen over,” i.e., boxed up and sequestered all of the Passover plates, cookware, and equipment so I could bring out the year-round items. I discarded unused equipment: the wine bottle caddy my husband received with a Purim package ages ago but is not useful at the Seder; his Chinese-patterned melamine plates from before we were married that we used before we bought the new purple ones; and the decorative metal and glass serving box for machine-made square matzah because we predominantly eat handmade, round matzahs. I climbed up the stepladder to the cupboard above the refrigerator–which is closed year-round–and lovingly tucked the Passover supplies to sleep for another year.

I wish there had been more noise. Crazy? I wish there had been more visitors. I wish the apartment had been full of our children and their friends laughing, playing games, and squabbling. Although we played Settlers of Catan one afternoon, people drifted away for naps instead of digging in for the noisy, competitive, seemingly endless tournaments we’d played in younger years. The friends live elsewhere and a small New York City apartment gets crowded quickly.

I have memories of family meals from my childhood. Adults babbled in important adult tones; children laughed and shrieked while spilling drinks and tracking crumbs. Blotchy with wine stains, the tablecloth reminded us of years past. There’s a photo of my sister and our cousin, both about 5 years old, pouring soda and laughing. That’s what I remember.

Don't open! חמץ (Chometz; leavened items) may be lurking there!

Don’t open! חמץ (Chometz; leavened items) may be lurking there!

That’s what I hope to recreate.

The noise, the mess, the planning, the excitement. The expectation of the Seder meal, retelling our exodus from slavery in Egypt. The drama of one whole week of the year dominating our minds so thoroughly. That is Passover of the past, present, and of the future. I hope our children will retain happy memories of this year’s holiday. Doesn’t every parent wish this to be so?

We pray: Let us all be reunited in Jerusalem as One People, celebrating the Passover together, giving thanks to the One Who freed us and continues to sustain us throughout all time.

לשנה הבאה בירשלים

Next year in Jerusalem!

Spreading Love challenge

Ahavah (Love) in Jerusalem, Feb 2013

Ahavah (Love) in Jerusalem, Feb 2013

I’ve been tagged by Meg Evans to write a post for the Spread the Love Challenge, which started on Valentine’s Day. The rules are: Write 10 four-word sentences about love, share your favorite quote or poem about love from a movie or book, and then nominate 10 more bloggers to spread more love. So, here goes:

1. Love gives and gives.
2. Love others as yourself.
3. We thrive with love.
4. Without love we wither.
5. Chicken soup spreads love.
6. Coffee pretends it’s love.
7. Loving can mean leaving.
8. If love hurts, leave.
9. Love makes us happier.
10. Love is not everything.

My favorite “love quote” is from Robert A. Heinlein‘s seminal science-fiction masterwork, Stranger in a Strange Land, 1961 (original) version.

Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.

Dr. Jubal E. Harshaw

I’m passing on the love to the following blogs:

  1. Glory Begin
  2. My Two Sentences
  3. Unorthodox Orthodoxy
  4. Better Not Broken
  5. Mindset
  6. L to the Aura
  7. Ellis Nelson
  8. almostfreeNYC
  9. GratuitousRex
  10. Live with a Positive Outlook

It will be interesting to see what these talented people come up with!

Cold Games

I've got a stuffy nose” by William Brawley, used under CC BY 2.0

“I’ve got a stuffy nose”
Day 59, Project 365 – 12.18.09” by William Brawley, used under CC BY 2.0 

Poor me. I have a cold. Sneezing. Coughing. Achy. Runny eyes and nose. It’s the season. Tea with honey, tea with lemon. No dairy. Well, maybe ice cream….

Chicken soup! (Not at the same time as the ice cream, though.)

I thought of a way to get through the experience. Make it fun The Price Is Right-style, 1 with games and prize levels! Here are some of the games I’m dreaming up.

  • Tissue toss. Aim for the wastebasket across the room without missing it.
  • Tissue pile. Variation on Tissue toss. How high can you pile them before they scatter everywhere?
  • Tea consumption test. See how long you can go without visiting the toilet after drinking numerous cups of tea.
  • Where’s my Chapstick™? Locate the missing cylinder before your lips crack completely.
  • Hold that cough! Amaze your family with creative grimaces while stifling coughs.
  • Kleenex™ Countdown. Find creative ways to conserve the last 5 tissues in the last box in the house.
  • Chicken soup round-up. Compare your grandmother’s chicken soup with your own recipe, the local deli’s, and that of your nice neighbor.Matzah balls get extra points.

  • Rate that ache. Aching head, sore chest from coughing. Rank the pains and chart them over the day.
  • Startled situps. Count how many times you wake suddenly from a need to cough and sit up abruptly. Extra points for waking your spouse.
  • Chloraseptic™ croak. Record your singing with your sore throat. Spray Chloraseptic™. Record singing again. Which is better?
  • What color is my…? This can be played using various bodily effluvia.
  • Sick days giveaway. Count how many sick days you are wasting while keeping everyone in your office safe from your germs.
  • Sleep marathon. Try to sleep. How long can you sleep when all you want to do is sleep but you need to rise for the bathroom, another cup of tea, or from coughing spasms?
  • Cough syrup countdown. Will you go without coughing for 6 hours before taking another dose?
  • Painkiller pursuit. Find that Tylenol™ tablet that rolled out of your hand and under the bathroom sink.
  • Lung lifts. Breathe. Don’t inhale deeply. Breathe again.
  • Why me? Venture into the philosophical when you ponder the age-old question “why me” when you’re the only one who gets sick and your spouse is never sick. (“Vengeance from a Higher Power” may not be used as an answer. It’s a virus.)

And there you have it. The Cold Games™. (I am so clever I crack myself up.)

What can you come up with?


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1. The Price Is Right (TPIR) seems to inspire a lot of my imagination.  “I want to go to California and be a contestant on TPIR.” https://batya7.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/a-n-e-w-car/ (“A N-E-W Car!”)

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