Friday, March 30, 2018

Retired From Seder Making

I was suprised at the enthusuam this statement got on facebook.
I must admit that I am happy I'm not making the seder this year. Honestly, I hope that I never will have to again. I paid my dues.
And I was even more surprised that my husband said:
"Next year let's go away."
It's not in our budget, and I really do prefer my cooking and most other home cooking to hotels and restaurants. Hotel coffee is probably better than what I serve myself. My Passover perked coffee, made with Turkish isn't that awful. It's better than most instant coffee. And this year we got Tasters Choice for a nice discounted price.

In years past, when I was much younger and the kids very little, I'd do all of the cleaning before Passover. And I'd generally pull an all-nighter to switch our kitchen from regular aka chametz to Pesach mode.

To switch the dishes from upper to lower of the upper cabinets, I'd stand on the counters. Then when all was moved, I'd cover them with hard-to-remove Contac paper. Just to think about it today, a short few weeks since suffering terrible hip pains... And then I'd cook everything for the Seder and following day and days after...

My husband just had three jobs, other than a lot of the shopping. He would make the charoset, grind the chrain, horseradish in the coffee-grinder attachment that came with our Passover blender and cover the diningroom table.

When our daughters got older, they helped a lot with the cleaning. And when our sons got bigger, they not only cleaned, but they helped me move the dishes, pans, etc. That's when I discovered that not only did tall boys not need to stand on the counters, but their strong, large hands could hold more dishes than mine ever could. They did the "switching" in record time. After the army grabbed them, I hired teenage boys from the neighborhood, which was money well spent. And then when my husband's job switched him to part-time, I insisted that he learn my routine and help.

But covering counters is still my job. Now I use reusable "oilcloth," heavy plastic, cut to size. The hardest part is trying to remember how to fit it all.

Now, at my age, and with a very empty nest, after all this work, the last thing I have the interest or energy to do is to cook food for a Passover Seder. Every two years one of our daughters (plus her family) hosts us and the rest of the clan. On alternative years, we joyfully accept invitations. May all of our generous hosts be blessed with good health, gifts from GD and children willing and able to take on the role when they, too, are ready to retire from Seder making.


Netivotgirl said...

BRAVO for a superb blog post!!!! I have fibromyalgia and am over 60. My husband is older than I am yet for every year until now we've shlepped cartons of meat and shopped non-stop to host our many children one after the other. (My girls and d-i-loves all helped with cooking and baking.) But it just became too much and the stress was killing me. I am Moroccan (now!) and I like things 'just so' hence to do less is very difficult for me. We just returned from our first Pesach away from home in 38 years and it was such a relief. Like you, we paid our dues and pray we never have to go through all the strength consuming hours of preparation of hosting so many people. As one of my dear sons said, "Mom stop apologizing! You owe nobody anything! When we get to your age we'll want to go away as well!" Now THAT is a son who is a gantze mensch!

Batya said...

Enjoy! I can't believe that this year I even bought the gefilte fish. But today I had the entire clan over and even served on real plates etc. And then I washed and dried and put away all the dishes. But as much work as it was, peanuts compared to a seder.