As you may or may not know by now, our family is an interfaith one. My husband is Jewish and I am a Christian. As such, we celebrate all of the holidays surrounding both religions (which basically means Christmas and Easter and then all of the Jewish holidays that I am still learning about).
I did know a thing or two about Passover prior to meeting my husband, however, as it goes hand in hand with Easter each year. As such, I came up with a tradition for our kids that incorporates a bit of fun representing both Passover and Easter. Instead of decorating eggs (which we would totally do if any of my kids would actually eat them instead of leaving them to rot, thus making my husband feel like he needs to get his year’s worth of cholesterol at one sitting), we decorate Matzo.
Now, as a shiksa, I am not a fan of the matzo. It reminds me of the paper-eque wafers we used to eat during communion at my Episcopalian Day School when I was little – in a word, BLECH (that’s a word, right?). But, I realize the significance of the matzo, and I realize that my husband actually enjoys the taste somehow, so we make it work. We get chocolate from the store and then the kids go and pick out a few colors of candy melts from Michael’s and we make chocolate matzo covered with “pretty” candy melt decorations. Then we let it set in the fridge for a few minutes and it is a cold and tasty treat that tastes nothing like cardboard.
I’m the first to admit that it is kind of a pain to cover the plain matzo in chocolate, especially with lots of little “helping” hands, so when I found pre-dipped chocolate matzo at our grocery store last week, I BOUGHT IT! It didn’t matter that it was twice the amount of the regular box and only contained 3 pieces (actually, it would have mattered if I had realized that there were only 3 pieces inside before I bought it, but since I was clueless, it seemed to be the perfect purchase).
It just so happened that my mom was coming into town for the day because she had to miss my daughter’s birthday party due to my grandma going into the hospital the night before and she wanted to make it up to her. So, while Big Trouble headed up to take his nap, I busted out our craft table and got out the goods so that my mom could help the kids this year. Sucker. (just kidding, mom, love you)
It started out great. I melted the candy melts (this year’s colors were purple and blue) and poured them into little decorating bags; I then found some hot pink sprinkles, and handed over the reigns to Gigi.
Approximately 2.5 seconds into the project, Big Trouble decided that he was not going to go down that easily for his nap. We heard his big old feet on our stairs and my daughter, who spooks easily, tried to grab hers so that her little brother wouldn’t get it and in the process, dropped it all over the floor. This resulted in a broken plate, her creation all over the ground and many tears. Of course this is how things would go down. Meanwhile, the candy melts have immediately hardened onto our tile floor and Big Trouble is trying his best to play the role of family dog by picking up stray pieces of chocolate matzo and putting them into his mouth. Luckily, he is the 3rd child and I am beyond my fear of germs. It’s still gross though.
After we stopped decorating and started scraping the floor (literally scraping because using a knife was the only way to get that junk off), we managed to convince my daughter that the 3rd piece of matzo from the box could be hers, even though it was just a bunch of broken pieces. She seemed to be ok with this and got back to decorating, while I kept Big Trouble out of, well, big trouble.
My son finished his and he could tell me what each one was even though my unenlightened eyes couldn’t quite see it. Apparently the holes in my decorating bags were too big so it’s my fault the things came out blobby. We’ll just agree that Moses and Jesus had a great time playing ball together on the matzo court.
When all was said and done, this project was actually VERY tasty and it’s all about the memories, right? We’ll stick with our homemade chocolate matzo in the future (so that we have lots of extra pieces for the next time disaster strikes – because you know it will). Lesson learned. Happy Passover from our crazy house to yours! 🙂