Monday, March 29, 2010
Shopping Like an Eastern European
Then Passover comes along and any normalcy is ripped away to reveal my true nature: I'm an Eastern European Jew with a penchant for fatty food.
How did I become my mother, or, rather, my grandmother? How did I get so fascinated with the butchers at all the grocery stores in town, interrogating the staff about their briskets, the weights, when they're expected, and, by the way, they wouldn't happen to have a shank bone just laying around, would they?
Shopping for Passover is like being on the worst scavenger hunt you will ever be on in your whole life. I have a shopping list that looks like it was compiled in medieval Poland: fatty beef, liver, gefilte fish, eggs, potatoes, matzah, Kosher-for-Passover wine, horseradish, and, yes, shank bones. Then I take that list and try to find those items so I can spend days peering into large cauldrons skimming fat globules off the food I'll be excited to eat the night of our seder.
While I'm out on this quest, I run into the rest of the world. They're having somewhat more fun than I am. They are playing. I mean, I know they'll go to church on Easter Sunday, but before that happens, there's a good time to be had. They're dyeing Easter eggs, buying Easter baskets, eating chocolate bunnies, having Easter egg hunts, and buying their daughters lovely, pastel Easter dresses.
I find the last thing on my list, horseradish root - a gnarled mess in my medieval grip- and head for home.
Do you ever have to shop for things that seem a little, um, medieval? Scavenger Hunts at grocery stores? How are your Passover or Easter preparations going?