Oops! It looks like I fell off the blagon (that’s blog-wagon. I tried to make a new word. Yeah, anyway…) I’m kind of notorious for that, by the way. Dropping off the page for a bit and then trying to cram in updates later on.
March is over and we’re in to the middle of April already. Yowza! The last week was occupied with Passover, or as I like to call it: my Annual Gluten Detox since I do my best to avoid as much matzo as I can. This year we made a good faith effort to actually be more observant where our son was concerned. He’s four and starting to understand more of why some of the things we do as Jews are different than his classmates (who are pretty much not Jewish) in preschool do things.
This presents a particular challenge for school lunches. Snacks are provided by the preschool and we have a wonderful staff member who is very conscious of Passover and won’t serve chametz for snacks. It’s nothing we ever asked for, but it’s nice to be considered. He’s pretty accustomed to one kind of lunch: PB&J, cheese cubes, fruit, and maybe some Pirate’s Booty. Observing Passover makes it hard to have sandwiches and PB&J on matzo is pretty unappealing.
Luckily, in my opinion, we observe Sephardic food traditions during Passover which means we’ll eat certain foods during the week that are forbidden to Ashkenazi Jews (the predominant Jewish ethnic group in the U.S. and who most of the non-Jewish public thinks of when they think about being Jewish in America). We’ll eat corn and rice and legumes. A bean and cheese quesadilla on corn tortillas is usually a winner in Ben’s lunchbox. However, these foods are in a class called kitnyot and Ashkenazi Jews are forbidden to consume them during the week. I have to say that being a Sephardic Jew lends itself well to enjoying a wider range of culinary variety during Passover. My Ashkenazi husband has been all too happy to take on the ethnic observances of his wife!
I’ve also found that the Easter/Passover crossover is harder to explain than the Christmas/Hannukah dilemma. In an effort to help my son understand the similarities and differences between being a Jew during Passover and his friends celebrating Easter, I decided to focus on the similarities. The thing he notices most are Easter eggs. We did participate in some egg hunts this year but they got me thinking about lesser known Jewish traditions and how eggs my feature in those customs. It seems we have a Ladino custom of something called huevos haminados (pictured above).
I didn’t discover these until late in the week when a rabbi friend of mine had mentioned them, but I think they’ll be a great, fun activity (and delicious treat) for next year!