Another long, yet enjoyable day. As fun as my weekend of traveling, running, and visiting with friends and family was, I am happy to be blogging from my bed in Va Beach now.
After lunch and a stint at the coffee shop, Harris and I ran some errands and shopped a bit. Then we headed to his grandfather’s house to chill until Passover Seder. I mostly caught up on the Internet and watched a show on Hulu via stolen wireless from the neighbors.
Then snack time
Finally we got dressed and headed over to Jeff’s cousins’ house in Richmond where I’ve attended a Seder dinner before. I’ve also met a lot of the family via a Bar Mitzvah and Thanksgiving.
Note: I am not actually Jewish so I apologize sincerely if I incorrectly explain some things. But I figure since Passover seems to be largely absent in the blog world, I’ll fill the void.
Passover Seder is a service and meal that has to do with Moses leading the Jews out of Egypt, where they were enslaved by the Pharoah (the song “Let my people go” ring a bell?). The first time I attended I was surprised to learn it had nothing to do with Easter/Jesus but then remembered from my days of Sunday School that the Last Supper was actually a Passover Seder. The service deals with remembering the enslaved ancestors of the Jewish people, their struggles, and their journey out of Egypt after the plagues.
There were about 30 of us at the house and it was so fun to see some of the family who I’ve met before and meet some new ones.
I followed along with the service, and the only thing I couldn’t do was sing the Hebrew songs everyone else knew. There was an English pronunciation guide to the songs (written out phonetically) but that was still hard for me. During the service, there is a leader and several responses that 1 person or the group reads. The leader called on various family members to read, and the first time I did Seder I was so nervous because I didn’t know how to pronounce words like “Moror” “Charoset”, etc. But this time, I was called on to read a passage that I COULD pronounce! Victory!
Each of the elements had a symbolic connection to passover. For instance, the matzo is the unleavened bread the Jews had to eat as they fled Egypt after the plagues and the Moror (horseradish) represents the mortar the slaves (Jews) used to build the buildings in Egypt. I forget the meaning of the other things.
During the service, I didn’t take pictures of my eats, but I had a hard boiled egg and a stalk of celery dipped in salt water (to represent the salty tears of the Jewish slaves).
Once the official part of the service was over, I was pretty hungry so I munched on some matzo with Charoset (an apple type chutney that Harris calls “Jewish crack”), some Sephardic Charoset (made into little balls and with figs), and a bit of random coleslaw that was probably meant for dinner but was placed on our table for the service.
There were also fish balls made by Mona and some gefilte fish that others partook of. Harris tried to convince me to take one bite of it just to experience it, claiming that “You haven’t been a vegetarian long enough to matter, you can have 1 bite.” I passed, though!
There were also bowls of matzo ball soup, but I passed seeing as it had been made with beef stock and I was trying to eat as best as I could.
Wait, more food??
“Actual dinner” was then served. There was beef brisket and a chicken dish I obviously ignored, so my options were green beans, sweet potato, and rice. I was informed that the rice casserole had been made with chicken stock, but I took a small bit so I wouldn’t just eat green beans and sweet potato. I needed something else, you know?
When I was stuffed, dessert was brought out. WHY? WHY?
I stuck to mostly fruit, clearly. But I love a good Heath cookie! Obviously Passover (to me at least) is the Jewish equivalent of a big holiday like Easter so the service and the meal are something special. Since I have Easter at my gourmet chef/aunt’s house this weekend, I need to make sure I eat balanced this week to make up for all face-stuffing that will surely occur.
Oh and as some of you may know, I am OBSESSED with babies and children. I used to be a nanny and have been told I’m really good with kids, especially babies. Well guess who couldn’t pull herself away from the baby tonight? I leave you with blurry, but cute, picture…
I got back to VB at 10:30pm and did the world’s fastest unpacking job, AND started a load of laundry. I’m going to CRASH now. Night everyone