The Passover Trifecta, or why I eat gefilte fish and pumpkin pie once each year.

We just had our Passover Seder. It was lovely. Great story. What’s not to love about the quest for freedom, aside from the ten plagues, that is? Although I have to give credit where credit is due. To show our empathy we do diminish our cup of wine by ten drops, a drop for each of the ten plagues.

The recitation of the ten plagues is my favorite part of the service. First, because I can say them in perfectly accented Hebrew and I know what I’m saying. Second, because our acknowledgment of the problems with the ten plagues illustrates our common humanity. Bad things happen to other people but that doesn’t mean we have to be happy about it. In other words, Passover is not about schadenfreude.

Twice a year I put on a two-day cooking intensive – Thanksgiving and Passover. This is why my kids never ever ever want to spend either holiday anywhere else. They live in fear and dread of the dry turkey and the hard matzoh ball. Mine are tender. Perfect every time. Of course my family gets matzoh ball soup once a year, because matzoh ball soup and gefilte fish are like pumpkin pie– once a year will do me.

I eat one piece of gefilte fish per year. I eat one tiny slice of pumpkin pie per year. I eat one matzoh ball per year.

The issue I have with Passover is that most of the food tastes like my gramma’s house. Not my book-ish gramma, my cook-ish gramma. Her apartment always smelled of this trifecta of chicken soup, chopped liver and moth balls. Or, in other words, her house tasted exactly like Passover brownies. Sorry. That’s what anything made specifically for Passover tastes like to me.

This year I tried a no-fail Passover brownie recipe. This recipe was billed as one that would change my mind about the mothball/chicken soup/chopped liver trifecta that is Passover brownies.

No. Just no. It tasted exactly like every other Passover brownie I’ve ever eaten. Awful. Inedible. Since I served a meat meal (Killer brisket!) I decided to break the brownies into pieces and mix them with Coconut Bliss. There was nothing else I could do. Made them edible at least. Usually I make a flourless cake. Next year I will for sure.

All of which is to say… I’m heading to Montana for calving, although the weather has been so good most of the calves have been born early. Be back after the 14th! But they just had some… snow!

Ah Montana!

Ah Montana!


8 thoughts on “The Passover Trifecta, or why I eat gefilte fish and pumpkin pie once each year.

  1. Marylin Warner

    I love the ten less drops of wine for the ten plagues, Julia. When our daughter was a teenager, we were invited to attend a Passover Seder in the home of her friend’s grandparents, including a Rabbi who was visiting. The entire experience was wonderful, and the family was a delight. The next year we included the grandparents and an aunt and uncle in our Thanksgiving, and the grandmother and I cooked together. We still look back on those two dinners as true “breaking bread together” meals.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Oh, it’s so true, Marylin! Supposedly Thanksgiving is the American Passover. Such similar holidays. I’m glad you could celebrate.


  2. Roberta

    Liked reading about your ceremonies, rites, and tradition. Traditions are important. They help us feel we are a part of history and they help us feel that we belong in the human race.
    Have a safe trip to Montana and enjoy the calves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Thanks, Roberta! We have traditions for a reason. Unfortunately most people have forgotten about them or consider them unimportant. Pity.



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