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Bye Bye Beer, Bread, and Breakfast

April 20, 2016

Passover begins Friday at Sundown. That means I have three full days left, dammit: Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

In traditional households at this time of year, there is a mad dash of spring cleaning, which involves getting all traces of the forbidden grains out of the house. Technically, the forbidden grains are wheat, barley, spelt/farro, oats, and rye. They are hametz. Hametz is bad.

As a kid, Passover was much harder because my people, the Jews of Eastern Europe, also stayed away from rice, millet, legumes, peas, caraway, fennel seed, mustard, garlic, corn, soybeans, and peanuts during the holiday. These seeds, grains, pulses, and legumes are known as kitniyot. While kitniyot were widely avoided on Passover for generations, a growing number of people are now eating these foods during the holiday.

Obviously, ours is not a traditional household. So instead of cleaning, I’m entering a final stage of eating and drinking. It’s fitting that this final stretch happens on April 20.

Yep, smoke ‘em if you got ‘em. I don’t have ‘em. And I’ve got work to do anyway. But I do have a special beer lined up just for the unofficial national day of slack. It’s The Waldo’s Special Ale which is part of Lagunitas OneHitter Series. I have no idea who Waldo is or why the beer is associated with weed, besides the fact that it has historically been released on this date in the past.

But beer is one of those things that I’m going to have to give up next week. Beer is full of hametz. And hametz is bad. So next week will be wine only. Well, wine and tequila. And rum. And cider. Really, anything that’s brewed or distilled from hametz-free ingredients.

Still, I’m going to miss the beers. I’ve been enjoying this process of discovery, and sitting down at the end of the night with a contemplative beer. Last night it was Lucky 13. Sometimes I post these on Untapped, if you’re curious.

Pizza. No pizza? For a week! Granted, this used to be a much bigger deal before the days of the diet. But still, there’s nothing like knowing you’re giving it up for a week to make you crave it even more.

So tonight I’ll take the kids to Blaze. Go ahead and judge me. I can take it. No, it’s not great pizza. But my pizza-hating kid will eat it. Parenthood is full of sacrifices. Don’t even get me started.

And tomorrow is Third Thursday Tavern Time, where I’ll be going to Kay’s for the first time ever. By the way, you all are totally invited. Just pop on Yelp and let me know if you want to come. You can even bring a friend if you want to have safety in numbers. I’m going in thinking that I’ll hate this pizza, but I’m also trying to keep an open mind. I think that’s a potentially winning combination of low expectations and a flexible definition of pizza.

There’s another thing I’m going to give up for passover that’s going to be even more devastating: granola. I know. What’s become of me? But it has become a daily staple. I’ll have some low fat organic yogurt with a sprinkle of granola. For good measure, I’ll add some extra crushed walnuts and flax seeds.

I’ve found this to be a great way to start the day with black cold-brewed coffee, or sometimes as a satisfying and wholesome snack. But I really do have a small bowl of it every single day. Maybe I can try just putting some dried fruit and nuts on top of the yogurt? Hey, it could work. You never know.

My beloved Ak-maks aren’t all that different from matzoh anyhow, so it won’t be too hard to spread babaganouj on the bread of affliction. And while peanut butter and banana boats are a lot easier to eat when folded up taco-style in a heel of crappy sandwich bread, I can live with PB&B “sandwiches” on those giant kosher for Passover crackers.

But there will be no cake from Crisan. No avocado toast. No whole wheat spaghetti. No soup dumplings. No beer. And eating out will become a challenge. Not impossible, mind you. But definitely a challenge.

In years past BBQ joints have been a saving grace, because I could sit down to a big plate of meat with vegetables and walk away satisfied.

It’s harder than you think. For some reason, we end up eating a lot of eggs. Mostly that’s because matzoh brie is so damn good. But I’ll write more about that next week when we’re in the thick of it all.

Seriously though, think about joining me and a few of the Yelp gang on Thursday. It would be fun to see you there, and have you help me say goodbye to bread.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 21, 2016 12:53 pm

    The Waldo’s(stoners who stood again the wall) came up with the term 420.

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