Yesterday (at the behest of my friend Sian) I hosted a Passover Seder at my house for a few friends. Half the table was Jewish or of Jewish origin, and half was not. We made the ceremony part (which can last literally hours and hours) of the Seder mercifully short at about 10 minutes, and set about enjoying some traditional foods that we had all prepared. Josh’s boyfriend Michael made a fantastic brisket, my friend Sian made a matzo kugel and a cake (kosher for Passover with almonds and egg whites), and I made charoset (my own recipe with pears, dates, walnuts, pecans, cinnamon and wine) and salad. Josh prepared an impromptu seder plate with fresh horseradish and parsley and eggs, and believe it or not we had no matzo, so we substituted rice cakes. Also in attendance were Sian’s friend Ian, and my friend Dimitri who is visiting from LA and staying with me at the moment.

Although I am nobody’s definition of religious, I was raised Jewish and orthodox (until I was 13 anyway) and it was kind of fun to be reminded of the culture of Passover and enjoy the food and drink with some friends. Many of these foods I hadn’t eaten in many years, and I don’t remember them ever tasting as good as they did last night. It probably didn’t hurt that we spared the ghastly Manischewitz wine of my childhood in favor of several bottles of nice Malbec.


  1. Blake says:

    What a nice evening. Thanks for sharing.

  2. David says:

    We, too, celebrated Passover back home in Indiana. Jackie and the other non-Jews of our family insisted we do so — as they do every year. Eileen & Irwin (Josh’s parents, for those who don’t know) were there this year, along with about 10 others from the family. We have mercifully shortened the ritual portion of the Seder to 30-minutes or so – and that is mostly so our kids understand “the story.” It was fun; and it did bring back lots of memories from our childhood – albeit in a less punishing form than the Seders of our youth. Glad you enjoyed yours.

    As an aside, I was talking to Max about the upcoming seder and passover story yesterday afternoon. At the point where I explained that it was only after the 10th Plague — the killing of all first born — that the Hebrews were freed, Max recoils in horror and says: “why would God kill the kids?? What did they do to deserve that?”… great question; and one that suggests that Max is going down pretty much the same path I/we did…

  3. Stephen says:

    That is really funny, it was a topic at our dinner conversation too. I asked what sort of sick, vengeful god would kill the first born of every Egyptian family, and how screwed up that was.