It’s an often talked about thing that with the Internetz and 159 channels and time shifting and there’s no town square and we don’t all sit down to watch Uncle Walter at the same time on the CBS Evening News (“in an era when network news was central to many people’s lives.” as it says in his obit) that we are more and more fragmented. Too much going on and which is most important to pay attention to? Like next Saturday, Earth Day – there’s a National March for Science and there’s one in Chicago that I thought I’d go to – but, there’s one here in Madison that’s easier to get to, and now there’s a Madison Climate March too.
Plus we get too busy – I intended to go to this, but somehow thought I had time, and only realized that I’d missed it on Sunday morning when it had happened on Thursday. Not to mention that there were two other competing things that Thursday evening: an artist talk, and a forum on self-insurance. I chose to go to none of the above – I chose to go food shopping and do some cooking for Passover dinner which was to be on Friday. It just makes you constantly question your choices – at the same time as Passover, I could’ve gone to see Jackie Green or Teju Cole. A least Thursday was a nice night and after I shopped, I walked over to the neighbors who took care of the cats while we were visiting my brother, and gave them their smoked fish from Seattle. And the Friday dinner was a big crowd, too many to read the haggadah, even Jane’s guaranteed 45-minutes or less sedar, but it was a good night, everyone seemed to have fun. Did I make the right choice, to produce something as ephemeral as a meal, albeit for 17 people plus 3 little kids? Maybe I made memories, too (retch, barf).
Passover menu: I didn’t make any appetizer-y things. Heike brought really creamy hummus, plus some vegetables they’d sliced up with a mandolin they found when cleaning out an older relative’s house. David and Molly brought a big platter of deviled eggs decorated with chives and edible flowers, and a miniature Le Creuset pot of goose liver pate, and three heads of smoked garlic for me. I put some into the Sunday morning potatoes. I made salmon with a honey mustard sauce with lots of garlic in it, that turned greenish when cooked and contrasted strangely with the pink fish – but no one seemed to mind. Spinach and feta pie with matzoh instead of filo. Vegetarian matzoh ball soup – I thawed every container of veggie broth I had in the freezer and thought vaguely maybe I’d defrost the freezer, thus emptied, on Saturday or Sunday, but never got around to it. It seemed a little too cold in the basement, anyways. Date and apple and walnut and almond charoset. Matzoh crack and Meringue cookies that got kind of soggy – I see that I might’ve used too much sugar, since I followed a printed-out version of the recipe, instead of my own online that is updated, and less sugar. On Saturday I was working and getting frustrated and possibly a little hung over (3 glasses of wine does it to me nowadays, I’m so weak) and ate a bunch of the meringues – enough to make me feel like skipping supper. I proposed that we snack and then go see Beauty & the Beast, but of course Mark, who had virtuously gone to the gym, wanted real food, so I made some of the leftover salmon and some cream and some spinach from the first outdoor market into pasta, that we ate with salad and garlic toast before the movie.
Sunday morning the cat stomped all over us trying to get comfortable, starting about 5:30AM. She finally settled but I was restless and fretting by then, FOMO, and leftovers, and behind at work, so I got up way too early for Sunday. I threw away a bunch of food that was weighing on my consciousness – the last serving of the salmon cream pasta, a little bit of extra salmon that didn’t go into the pasta, the three wedges of chicken quesadillas that had been sitting in the fridge since last Wednesday that no one would eat, and the too-vinegar-y pickled beets that had been in there since Christmas. This actually made me feel better, instead of guilt about throwing away food – I pride myself on using up everything, so rarely have to do it.
I went for a walk and decided that our spring bloomy-ness is catching up to Seattle, but will probably be over sooner. Sunday brunch was potatoes with smoked garlic that we ate with toast and bacon and eggs and fruit salad, and a coffee cake with charoset masquerading as date filling. In the evening I biked to the east side for my photography book group and took the sticky meringues and chocolate matzoh. Our host had laid out a nice spread of cheese and bread and nuts and olives – so not much of the cookies got eaten. I threw them out, too, when I got back.
Spring cleaning. Those meringues were killer sweet.