15 April 2006

Seder 3, Informal, and Various Holiday Miscellany

Welcome to readers stopping by from Blogging for Books!

A few more bullets to round out this holiday weekend.
  • Our toddler seder turned out quite nicely, although two (of the planned four) families couldn't make it--one overbooked and the other had stomach flu. We had some more elaborate plans (pre-dinner craft, for example) but when it got down to the two host families, we decided just to skip the craft and get into dinner, and it was a relaxed experience. Curious Girl and the 19 month old son-of-hosts were just as happy to play with the available toys as to do a Passover craft, so we decided to save the edible craft concept for another year. Curious Girl ran to get our bag of musical instruments after Miriam's cup, so that everyone had an instrument to play while we were singing "Miriam's Song." We'd planned to do something with various props for plagues, but opted to read the play in "A Night of Questions" instead. It was a great afternoon/early evening meal, with lots of singing, and good conversation, and good food.
  • Homemade gefilte fish is really, really, really good. As is dark chocolate from Brussels. And Sephardic haroset. We enjoyed our friends' cooking. And they seemed to like ours (we made matzoh ball soup and a matzoh/potato/spinach/ricotta casserole).
  • Politica is developing an argument that Passover dietary restrictions would make a lot more sense if foods that took a long time to make were prohibited. No roasts, for instance.
  • The edible craft was going to be a personalized seder plate with a duck made from a hardboiled egg and various trimmings: a radish head, pepper wings and tail, parsley bed, etc. When I was getting the hardboiled eggs ready in the morning, I wondered how long to boil the eggs for. I don't like hardboiled eggs, and I never cook them, but I had a vague sense that boiling too long can make eggs rubbery, or something. So I googled a recipe for hardboiled eggs, feeling really lame as I did so. I mean, I think of myself as a good cook, and there I was, googling "hard boiled egg recipe." However, I felt less lame when I discovered that Julia Child's approach to hard boiled eggs involves several steps and movement between hot and cold water. And then I practically puffed with pride--although I blushed, at the same time--when our friends said, "how long do you boil your eggs? These are really good!" So maybe I"m not so lame.
  • When we got to Elijah's cup, Curious Girl said, "We looked for Elijah at the other seders but he didn't come. I think maybe he'll come this time." Then at the door, she said "No Elijah."
  • We went to a garage sale on Saturday and found a CG-sized basket, which got a good workout at not one but two Easter egg hunts. Any excuse for chocolate is a good one in CG's book, and while many other parents were worrying that their kids were eating too much candy, Politica and I were reveling in the fact that we now have a daughter who voluntarily eats.
  • A Night of Questions is a very nice hagaddah--with great accompanying CD, which we played so that people whose child have not been obsessed with this CD for the past 6 months could still sing along OK--but its "less is more" seder plan is a little short on the actual story. Our friends had attended a seder earlier in the week that used another hagaddah containing a play which gave some good attention to Yocheved. When they get the name of it I'll post more about it.
  • Last year, our friends' seder included a third blessing for the matzah: Blessed are you, source of life, who gives us cheerios when we are too young to eat matzah (appropriate for those who haven't yet started to eat wheat, as was the case for son-of-hosts last year).
  • The World's Best (Former) Babysitter came to town for the weekend. Today we all went to the art museum to walk in the woods (and CG and I ran barefoot on the grass, and did forward rolls, and then we all played hide and seek. CG gets so excited about hiding that she yells "hello!" so that whoever's finding will see what a great place she found to hide). At a fountain on the grounds, a nice butch/femme couple asked CG if she wanted a coin to make a wish, and she took their quarter, closed her eyes, tossed it into the fountain, and said "I wished that The World's Best (Former) Babysitter could stay forever." We all melted. It's been wonderful to see just how very, very happy CG is to see her again.
And, in an unrelated-to-the-weekend matter, I just have to brag on my sister, who is running in her third Boston Marathon to benefit a children's cancer charity. There are so many children in so much need, and I'm so proud of my sister for her running, and for her decision to learn to run a marathon in order to be able to run for charity. There are more kids in need in the world--see Annika's Internet Insurance Policy for another wonderful display of people
coming together to help a wonderful girl, or Mieke's posts about her participation in the Great Strides walk for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation on behalf of her friend Elise's daughter Adelaide. Curious Girl and I donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation this weekend at a garage sale run by a friend who's also doing the Great Strides walk on behalf of one of her sons.


Carlotti said...

I'm relieved to hear that someone else needed instructions on how to boil eggs! I asked a chef friend for instructions years ago, and he just laughed uproariously, assuming I was joking. I was too embarrassed to admit I was telling the truth!

Dancinfairy said...

Good luck to your sister.

I'd like to know how to make the perfect boiled egg too!

susan said...

Well, follow that link in the post and you, too, can make the perfect egg. Welcome to each of you!! I'm always interested in what little details will draw out new commenters. Thanks for stopping in (or delurking, as the case may be). Let me know how your eggs turn out :).

Genevieve said...

Sounds like a very fun toddler seder!
Hmm, I've made edible dreidels and sukkahs, but never a seder plate . . . cool idea!

I'll have to try Julia's egg method. Ours is similar but not as complicated (therefore the eggs are not as perfect, but are good): bring to boil, turn off heat and leave covered for 20 minutes, put into empty bowl and cover with cold running water.

liz said...

We've been steaming ours. They turn out rather well. Alton Brown swears by baking them.

I love hearing about your seders.

halloweenlover said...

I'm so bummed that I didn't know about your sister! I watched a part of the Boston Marathon, I could have brought a sign for her!!!

Anonymous said...

I found your wonderful blog because I needed instructions on how to make hard boiled eggs! There are many of us! Thanks!