The holidays are coming. In fact, for you religious and, you know, Jesus believers, today is Good Friday. Miss T, Miss S and Miss K give you their take on the Holidays. It’s not pretty, but it’s a good guess we’ll all have a liquor option in our advice.
Easter with the Protestants (Miss K):
Dinner with the WASPs. It’s a huge treat. My memories of Easter? A basket full of candy – we didn’t get PRESENTS – when did Easter become about presents? It was about chocolate eggs, jelly beans and those pretty sugar eggs with the scene inside you can’t eat but want anyway. Easter was a day your Dad had to go to church and the “I need to do yard work” excuse wouldn’t cut it with Mom. It was a day you wanted to wear the cute spring dress but in reality you had tights three sizes too small with the crotch down to your knees. The pretty dress? A recipe for pneumonia because it was spring in Massachusetts so the likelihood of snowstorm was still high.
WASP Easter is a time our family gets together. It’s a day to visit with the cousins you don’t usually see, because you spend time with the cool cousins at Christmas. It’s obvious a deal had been brokered and this was the compromise your family struck to keep the peace. So yes, Easter was the 2nd tier family squad, dressed in their best, pretending to all like one another. Now my family for some reason did not drink. As a married woman with a family, liquor is now an integral part of our holiday (Catholic Husband influence? Maybe). All I know is after decades of boring talk around the table, my Mother and a glass of wine could have really livened up this party.
Easter with the WASPs, it’s like a dinner party in a tight pair of Spanx and they have run out of of wine. Jesus Christ is on everyone’s mind. “Jesus Christ Aunt Bridget is crazy”. “Jesus Christ, I think Cousin Kenny is stoned”. “Jesus Christ I promise to stop swearing, just please let this day be over”. Amen.
Passover (Miss T):
Passover is more than the best time of year to go carb free. It’s when we celebrate the fact that G-d rained a shit storm down upon the Egyptian pricks who had enslaved the Jews.
We remove all the chametz (basically carbs) from our homes and send them to the Kardashians.
Then we have a sedar, which is a dinner with a lot of structure where we read from a special book called the Haggadah (sadly, not 50 Shades of Grey) and drink a ton of kosher wine. At my parent’s house, passages from said book are pre-assigned to a specific reader. Because my Dad is a dick, I am the ‘wicked son’ every single year.
There’s ritual hand washing, hazing the youngest at the table by making them ask questions in Hebrew and a sampling of edible artifacts.
Matzoh – Best known of the bunch as your boss probably buys a box to serve with the fluffy delicious bagels at morning meetings during Passover. It’s the bread of affliction. Our forefathers fled from Egypt and didn’t have time to let the bread rise. So we honor them by eating cardboard that constipates us.
Maror – Bitter Herbs. Represents harshness and bitterness of slave life. This is when we make fun of bitter family members, like my Great-Aunt who cannot accept we don’t like her boyfriend with the parrot.
Charoset – The proverbial mortar between the bricks of the pyramids. Made of apples, walnuts, cinnamon, wine and skin from my Mom’s knuckles.
Karpas – Parsley we dip in salt water to mirror the pain felt by our ancestors. There is nothing funny about this.
The Hard Boiled Egg – Symbolizes both mourning and rebirth. At my house, we bash the shit out of each other’s eggs in a round robin tournament. My brother and I generally meet in the championship. The winner gets to mock the loser for the rest of the meal. Or the rest of our lives.
Lamb Shank – It has something to do with sacrifice, which creeps me out so I normally print a color picture of a lamb shank and call it a day.
At the end of the night, the kids (or those of us who are highly competitive) tear the entire house apart looking for a piece of hidden matzoh called the Afikomen. Whoever finds it, wins a prize. G-d willing it’s a bottle of unkosher wine because Miss T needs a buzz to make it through the night.
We continue the Jewish version of the South Beach Diet for a whole bunch of days and then we binge on pasta and pizza and bread of non-affliction.
Easter with the Italian Catholics. (Miss S):
Easter with my in laws, the Italian Catholics, is an entirely different story. It’s not so much about going to church on Easter because most of them spent the first 18 years of their life chained to a pew in church, so as a ballsy move, they taunt the faithful church goers by waving to them from their front porch with a hunk of parmesan cheese in one hand and a glass of wine in the other. (Body of Christ, blood of Christ substitutions?)
Now about that wine in hand. There is usually a JUG of it on the table. You won’t recognize the label on the jug because it is probably just marked “January” because it was made in someone’s basement. It doesn’t taste that good, but a half a glass in and you don’t care how loud your mother in law yells “Jesus Christ!” Side note: They sometimes add Coca Cola to red wine. Thirteen years in and no one has ever explained why, but my guess is it is to cover the musty basement undertones in the wine.
Italian Catholics are all about the food on Easter. They start with the anti pasta plate. Full of cheeses and meats and olives and sodium. Then on to the lasagna or baked ziti. Then the ham. Then the turkey. Then the cannoli cake. If you have never had cannoli cake, you haven’t lived. Imagine a nice yellow cake and instead of frosting between layers, it’s cannoli filling. One bite and I swear I actually saw Jesus Christ himself. So good. Then after the cake comes the pastries to nibble on with a cup of coffee or a little “Buca” (Sambuca).
Then, when everyone has finished eating, we talk about what we had to eat last Easter or last Christmas or what we will make with the leftovers or how we should have made so and so’s recipe this year and then, when we have talked for about thirty minutes, the non sinning neighbors and friends who did go to church, walk through the door and they are ready to eat. So we get out paper plates and go at it for round two on the food. You wouldn’t want them to feel like they were imposing. You HAVE to eat with them. It’s Easter. It’s the rule. It’s a good day. And I thank Jesus for the food…and Al for the wine.
We hope you all have a wonderful Holiday and if not, be sure to send in your questions about your horrible relatives!