Our lovely Passover dinner was a challenge

We are a multi-generational interfaith Jewish-Christian family. I am, as many of you know, an ordained Christian minister, but like many American families, it’s complicated.

My wife’s German Jewish grandfather was persecuted by the Nazi’s and was interred for a time at Dachau. My son’s wife’s Jewish grandfather escaped Poland and was an intelligence officer for the U.S Army during World War II. My father was the photo editor for the old National Conference of Christians and Jews. Interfaith is part of our family’s DNA. We don’t conflate the two faiths, but we have respect for them both, and for so much of what they share.

As Mary Luti has wisely advised, we avoid the problematic practice of Christian seders. But we do participate with our Jewish kin in their seders. Last year I made the brisket for our Virginia kin’s Passover dinner. I thought it was pretty good for a gentile boy from North Jersey.

Tonight, we experienced our first virtual seder with kin from Virginia and New Mexico on Zoom. My Virginia kids and grandkids have been quarantined with us since March 14. We take care of the grandkids while Mom and Dad telecommute from our downstairs.

Tonight’s seder meal was a challenge. We couldn’t come up with a brisket, but some nice short ribs from Cricket Creek Farm in Williamstown made a noble substitute. We also could not find matzoh, so my daughter-in-law made it (thank you, Mark Bittman!) This was the best matzoh I have ever had. Check out the picture above.

I used my regular short rib recipe and added a half a cup of brown sugar and a half a cup of red wine vinegar to give it a briskety tweak. Our food processor died this week, so I had to cut up all the onions, carrots, and celery the old-fashioned way. On a positive note, I had nothing else to do. My daughter-in-law also had to chop all the ingredients for the charoset.

My daughter-in-law found a kid-friendly haggadah on the web. We had horseradish, we had eggs, we had salted water.

We had a lovely and inspiring time. The ten plagues seemed less hypothetical than usual.

“Chag Pesach samech!” I wish you all blessings in this holy and challenging season. Be well. Stay safe. Wash your hands. (Photos by R.L. and A.T. Floyd, 2020)

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