For almost every year I can remember, this meal has tasted like brisket cooked with carrots, onions, and potatoes. The recipe handed down from a great grandmother, tweaked by each generation and smothered in gravy served in both fine china from my parents’ wedding and Tupperware older than I am. This meal has tasted like hot, soothing and simple matzah ball soup, simmered over the stove for long hours, each ball shaped lovingly by my mother’s Catholic hands. For my interfaith family, the Passover Seder has always been a joyous meeting of multiple worlds, a woven tapestry or shawl in a familiar and comforting pattern. A table full of family and friends of multiple faiths and backgrounds, laughing, singing, eating, and drinking together. For many years I took the same picture of my parents smiling over the candles, glasses of blackberry Manischewitz in their hands. I look at these pictures and see my dad’s mustache come and go; my mom’s hair change from long and blonde to bald and covered, to short and gray. The other faces around the table have changed as well. Three of my beloved grandparents have stopped appearing in the photos, and the fourth I’ve only seen over Zoom for the past year. Last year this meal tasted like tacos delivered from a local restaurant, and my picture of my parents is a Zoom screenshot. But we did our best. And this year, we will do the same. I am determined to be present and appreciative of family, food, wine and tradition. May we all strive to be present and appreciative together, regardless of what life brings and how our meals taste.
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