a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

Pesach, what else?

Posted on: March 23, 2011

M-M-M-Matzoh!

At Whole Foods yesterday I saw my first box of Matzoh that was labeled, “Kosher for Passover” and had this wicked idea to make my own matzoh.  I mean, I have this new large kitchen with ample counter top space.  Why not?  It can’t be that hard, just meticulous.  For example, when mixing the flour with the water (or milk) it has to be put into the oven in under 18 minutes to prevent leavening.  I’m sure there are other specifics I’m forgetting but the idea of making my matzoh from scratch, the possibility of it being warm from the oven, or having a wee bit more taste (even though I know it’s not supposed to taste good) is appealing.

The Matzoh, unfortunately, is the only thing I’ve nailed down for my Pesach Seder.  I don’t even have an accurate guest list because Passover, like Yom Kippur, is one of those holidays that nearly every Jew celebrates.  Unlike Yom Kippur, though, Passover takes place in the home and not the synagogue.  Because of that fact, most of my Jewish friends are going to be with their family at Passover.  Mirs and I are still planning on having a Seder at one of our homes but the question of where to sit everyone on this holiday where sitting, relaxing, and lounging is encouraged is still very much up in the air and we have 27 days until the big day.

The issue of furniture is weighing heavy on my mind.  I have this beautiful space that would be perfect for a Seder but it lacks, well, places to sit.  So last night I had the idea that it would be fun (maybe) to find a large piece of plywood paired with milk crates and a table cloth and lush pillows to play up the Exodus in a more traditional, pseudo Middle Eastern way by putting folks on the floor.  I worry that it won’t be comfortable, though, after a while.  Then again, Mirs and I got to an Afghan restaurant we love and purposefully eat on the floor.  It could be a super Sephardic way of going about it, especially because the menu I’m planning is very Israeli.

Another “thought” was to have a Diane Lange Under the Tuscan Sun dinner table.  You know the part where she starts cooking and her Polish laborers throw together (beautifully aged) planks of wood over two wooden horses for a make shift table.  I could do that, except of course my planks of wood would be plywood from Home Depot.  I’d have to ask the guests to BYOC (Chairs) for this idea to work.  And find wood horses.

I could do a buy and return (which I hate doing) and get one of those folding tables at BBB or Home Depot and then return it the following week.  That idea requires a lot of lugging furniture back and forth through boroughs and still would require a BYOC.

I’m leaning strongly for option 1-Middle  Eastern Style low table with ample cushions and leg room for stretching…Is anyone else in a Pesach panic?

11 Responses to "Pesach, what else?"

If you don’t kasher your oven and kitchen then I don’t think your matzah will be “kosher for passover” but I may be wrong? I need gluten free. I hope I can find it once I get the time to go shopping.

damnit, you’re right…how do you “Kosherize” an oven??

Hey how are you? You’re not the only one in a Passover panic. I’m not even sure if I’m going to celebrate it this for year lack of Jewish family(obviously) and very non observant friends. :-/

I think the floor cushy pillow things is a good idea.

the beauty of passover is the hundreds of seders…or so I hear! Mirs and I are going to one in LI. I’ll keep you posted for when ours is…if all else fails you can come over!

:-* I’ll take you up on that :)

send me an e-mail and I’ll send you the details

It involves a blow torch I think. Maybe just a cleaning cycle instead.

For non-self-cleaning ovens: Thoroughly clean the interior and exterior surfaces of the oven and do not use it for a full 24-hour period. Then, it must be burned at maximum temperature for at least one hour. Once this process is complete, cover the racks and grates on both sides with aluminum foil (with perforations for air circulation).

For self-cleaning ovens: When kashering a self-cleaning oven, running a complete self-cleaning cycle — with the racks inside the oven — is sufficient without waiting 24 hours from the time it is manually cleaned to the time it is kashered. For ovens kashered in this fashion, racks need not be covered.

Great care should be taken not to permit any food to touch the sides, top, or bottom of the oven. During Passover, range-top surfaces should be covered to prevent contact with Passover foods or utensils.

One of the 100 reasons I love you so, my cyber friend!!! Thanks! I’m going to self-clean my machine and make some matzoh that’s kosher for passover

I vote for the Middle-Eastern recline. We used to do that a lot when we didn’t have a dining table, and I’ve always wanted to have a Seder that way. You can always let people retreat to the couch if their knees give out.

And matzah making is also on my list of Things I Really Want To Do One of These Days. Please let us know how it goes!

I don’t even have a couch, Benk! I had one but it, unfortunately, did not fit up my stairs. I’m workin’ with a completely bare place which makes the search for chomez so much easier! I’ll keep you posted on the recipe. I’m planning on trying it first.

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