Thursday, April 17, 2014

Belated Weekend Adventures

Let me begin with a warning: it currently feels like someone stacked a pile of bricks on my face. Yes, that's right. I have succumbed to the common head cold. Both Nathan and Erica were sick last week, so it was only a matter of time. Luckily I'm on Easter break and all the work I have to do can be completed from the comfort of my bed, plus I finally have time to tell you about this past weekend.

On Saturday night, I attended my first Seder, the ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday Passover. I am not Jewish (I was actually raised Catholic) but I've always had a lot of Jewish friends - not surprising on Long Island, where I grew up, but a bit more rare here in the south. At any rate, I was grateful to share dinner + culture with my friends. I learned so much about Passover, and loved the themes of freedom that underlie every aspect of the night. (For those of you unaware - as was I - Passover is the retelling of the story of liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt.) It's a night to remember the stories that came before us, and to hold the past in our hearts as we move forward. And also to eat delicious food with loved ones and drink lots of wine.

My friends Katie and Wes hosted. They have a beautiful home with a huge dinner table, and I love feasts at their house. (We celebrated New Year's Eve there, and it was the best NYE party of my life.) Wes is also an amazing cook, and everyone contributed all kinds of traditional Jewish food, which I will not even attempt to spell here.

I asked if any of the dishes required eggs and offered up my ladies' services. It turns out hard-boiled eggs are an important part of the ceremony. So I hard-boiled 14 of my best eggs, following the directions on Garden Betty. (The fresher the egg, the harder it is to peel. Garden Betty has a great trick that I am still working on mastering.)

The Seder plate has a little of everything and is set in the middle of the table. I posted a similar photo to Instagram and a bunch of my friends were confused, thinking I'd started eating meat again. Nope, still a hardcore vegetarian. Sorry to disappoint and/or worry you!

And finally, our dessert: macarons (not pictured) and this delicious flourless chocolate cake. It was so rich and decadent, and a perfect way to end a wonderful night with friends. I'm already looking forward to next year's Seder.

And how does one work off all that delicious food? By waking up early the next morning and kayaking out to a secluded island, of course. Nathan and I had plans to meet up with some friends around noon for our first kayak outing of the year, and it was a perfect day - bright and sunny, around 80F. The water was cold, and some of my friends went for a dip, but I'm going to wait until June, at least. For now, lounging in the sun and sand is enough excitement for me. 

Overall, an excellent weekend. I guess I shouldn't complain about being sick , considering all the fun I've been having, but I'm probably going to keep doing it anyway. You've been warned.