Last night was my first full seder.
Not only did I attend and participate fully but I also hosted the entire thing. My in-laws were wonderful and did all of the repetitive chopping that was necessary.
My matzo balls were light and fluffy and perfect on the first try. I used this recipe and Jacob made the stock a couple of days ago. It was also perfect. My mother-in-law talked for a little while about how there are two kinds of families: those that like dense, heavy matzo balls and those who like them light and fluffy. She said her children were in the first since that was how she made them.
I have heard otherwise.
But I asked her opinion throughout about consistency and size. I think this successfully distracted her from noticing that I was ignoring her every time she suggested that it would be fine if I skipped one of the steps. Oh, you don't need to use seltzer water. Oh, you don't need to refrigerate the batter. Oh, you don't need to boil them in water; just put them directly in the soup.
Mine were good.
Here are some pictures of the evening:
I really liked the haggadah that Jacob's parents brought for us to use. It started by making this remembrance of the exodus from Egypt universal. It reminded us that many people in this world still need freedom from the tyranny of poverty and the tyranny of loneliness and that this need for freedom unites us all. It actually made me tear up a little bit. Possibly because my experience with Judaism thus far has not indicated that it was very welcoming to people who are not Jewish. I'll print the entire poem if I remember to make a copy tonight.
The recent events in Iowa and Vermont which make it legal for homosexual people to marry in those states (especially the legislative victory in Vermont!) excite me. They combine in my head with this unexpected appeal to free those people who are still bound and unable to fulfill the same basic dreams that other people are allowed to fulfill. I remember that Jacob and I have talked about the possibility of designating a portion of our wedding gifts to a gay marriage advocacy group. Then, I wake up to find this post on my blogreader. We would also want to suggest donations in our name in lieu of gifts.
Do you have any suggestions for which groups are most effective?
pick your own - It has been nonstop apple-making around here this week since our trip to the orchard a little over a week ago. Apple pie, apple custard, applesauce and apple...