Tuesday, April 29, 2008
PESACH HAS COME AND GONE - I'M STILL HERE
Before you even ask - the Seder was wonderful. In addition to my old friends we also had a German journalist as a guest. So she didn't like it so much - what can we do? I think we were all aliens to her - despite the thumbnail sketches I gave her of all my guests - who are a pretty terrific lot I might tell you - the article she wrote about us made us look like a bunch of superficial idiots. That despite the fact that among us were three PhDs, one MD, several professionals, one artist, and two business people.When I took exception to the tone of the article she actually apologized - and journalists don't do that sort of thing. Yossi disinvited her to his kibbutz - and it takes a lot to make him angry. So we'll just forget about her and I'll tell you about the Seder.
There were twelve of us. Yossi conducted the Seder using my Haggada and one from his kibbutz. It was obvious he put a lot of work and thought into it - and it turned out beautifully. The evening was everything I could have wished for. Do you want to hear my menu? After the hard-boiled eggs and charoset (the mixture of apples, walnuts, cinnamon and sweet wine signifying mortar) and bitter herbs during the reading of the Haggada we ate: gefilte fish, chopped liver, chicken soup and knaidlach (matza balls), pickled tongue, pot roast, sweet and sour red cabbage, broccomini (sort of like broccoli rabe but not bitter), mashed potatoes with fried onions, dried fruit compote and meringue cookies - every bit of it made by me. And matza and more matza and more matza. And wine - lots of it.
Everyone left by 1:30 AM but I was so up from the evening that I didn't get to bed until 4:00 AM.
And then it was chol ha moed (the intervening days of the holiday - until the last night on the following Friday). And every day there was something else. Out to lunches and dinners - all with my friends - and trying to get aroud in Jerusalem by car which was almost impossible. I think every Israeli not from Jerusalem came to visit. The police arbitrarily closed streets - one never knew from one minute to the next which street was going to be closed off - for whatever reason. We were never told. We arrived late to each and every appointment. But what fun we had.
Then it was Friday - the last night of chag (holiday) for Israelis. So, of course, it was time for me to do another dinner. This one was very simple. Menu? OK. An orange soup - carrots, sweet potatoes and dalorit (a kind of squash) with coconut cream, rolled turkey roast, fresh asparagus, roasted potatoes, apple cake and tea with nana (mint). And more matza. And more wine.
Now it's acharay ha chag (after the holiday). Remember I once told you that in Israel everything is either acharay ha chag or lifnay ha chag (before the holiday) - either way nothing ever gets done. Anyway - it's acharay and time for my diet to begin. However - Ros and I went out to lunch yesterday and ate all the things we didn't get to eat during Pesach - and tomorrow night Yoav and Ernesto are having a dinner party. There goes the diet again. It will have to be acharay acharay.