25 March 2007

A yekke Pesach, and a Persian endnote

This light-hearted look at the yekke kitchen on erev Pesach is subtitled "The secret - and efficient - culinary lives of German Jews. Especially come Pesach time."

Despite nine generations of living in the Holy Land, it is still very German blood that runs through the veins of Noshing and family. ...

Come mid-February, Frau Noshing and her own mother, Noshing’s grandmother, would meet to commence planning. Like Allied generals discussing an imminent attack on the beaches of Europe they would divide up responsibilities, sketch out timelines and part with a mutual commitment to attack the problem at hand mercilessly and effectively.

The recipe in the article is a great Vietnamese chicken soup called Pho Ga, or "in its Hebraized, special-for-Passover name — Pharoah Ga."

And in a nod to another regional Passover tradition, don't forget to buy a bushel - at least - of long scallions (piaz-che in Farsi) which Persians use to joyfully whip each other at the seder during Dayenu, in memory of the Egyptian taskmasters. Ask any Persian about their favorite holiday tradition, and he or she will certainly reply with this one. In all my years of Dardashti Persian seders, we've never sung Dayenu all the way through. The first syllable of that one word is the key to a free-for-all. When you consider that most Persians are at seders with 40-60 or more guests, the chaos can be very interesting!

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