April 20, 2024
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April 20, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Give Me Back My Pesach

So many women have told me how much they wish that they did not have to make Pesach, but I have to say that making Pesach was one of the joys of my life. I very much regret that by moving to this community I have given up my ownership of the chag.

My friends in Montreal laughed at me. Our garage looked like a warehouse. I would go to the large outdoor farmer’s market (not like the type on Newbridge) and I would buy at least 50 pounds of potatoes, 35 dozen eggs, 25 pounds of carrots, onions, etc. I anxiously awaited the arrival of 18-minute matzoh and matzoh meal in our supermarket and couldn’t wait to change things around so that I could begin cooking. Admittedly it was relatively easier for me because we no longer had any children at home in the last few years. I could be ready and start my Pesach project just a few days after Purim. I needed to know that just about everything that could possibly be made in advance would be made and frozen.

Even matzoh brei, which my parents called khremslach, were frozen and ready for the eager anticipation of our grandchildren. Every drop of food that I made was done with so much love, keeping in mind what each member of the family liked. Yes, often all of us were together for the week. That meant that we could be as many as 25—three meals a day for a week. They weren’t just plain old meals—there were omelets for breakfast with a choice of cheese, onion, mushrooms—each one was created with the intention to please. After all this was the Glick Hotel. Upon arriving each member of the family took turns grating the horseradish on our back deck. We have pictures of them sitting there with snow surrounding them as they grated away. Chrein is a specialty of our family—we eat it with everything once the regular meals begin. We make enough so that it usually lasts until Rosh Hashanah. Imagine how much chrein that is—keeping in mind that our kids eat it with chulent as well as on their matzoh with a dairy meal. The secret Glick recipe has been passed on and I now take pride in seeing our Hagler and Eisenberg grandchildren grating away in their own homes. Their tears and torn flesh add to the flavor.

Primarily the reason that I wanted everything to be done in advance is so that I could enjoy the luxury of the company of being together with our children and grandchildren without too many interruptions. Watching cousins play together, laugh together, little ones and older ones, all blending together as one amazing family. Our oldest grandson Yoel and our youngest grandson Eyal are born exactly twenty years apart.

During Chol Hamoed we tried to anticipate special trips that everyone would enjoy. This is not really an easy feat considering the differences in the ages, I remember when we went ice skating together and I watched with such pride as Yoel skated holding his youngest cousin in his arms. What more could I ask for? One year we drove to Ottawa for an overnight stay. I was the director of logistics. Hotel reservations and food were my domains. We actually schlepped every drop of food with us for two full days. Our daughter, Chavie, was the director of leisure time activities. She arranged a private tour of the Parliament since we were a large enough group to warrant such a tour as well as a visit to the Museum of Civilization. We took over a deserted shopping mall food court for supper which was attached to the hotel we were staying at and covered all of the tables with plastic table cloths. The kids loved it—our buffet was a hit and they could run around as much as they wished.

Another great activity that proved to be one that everyone from young to old really enjoyed was zip lining. They returned totally exhilarated as they did when we went rock climbing. It became a family joke that when there was a down day and no real activities could be thought of there was always the Biodome in Montreal. The Biodome is an ecological hands-on museum. I think that our kids could repeat all of the exhibits there in their sleep.

On Pesach almost three years ago our family experienced a scare as their Zaidie became ill. It was at that moment that our daughters decided that Pesach was no longer in my hands. They felt that it was time to take over the reins. All of our Pesach utensils, dishes, cookbooks, recipes were divvied up and I was left with a numb feeling. I know that it was done with much love but honestly and truly I long for those moments of anticipation when all of us would be together for those special moments. The excitement when everyone walked into the house, the signs of welcome on the door, the special gifts for each person I hope will remain embalmed in their memories. I will never forget them.

By Nina Glick

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