Admittedly, Passover is my least favorite of the Jewish holidays.
(Quick parenthetical to appease my family and others who are horrified by the above statement: I am SO kidding. I heart all of the Jewish holidays, especially Passover. I love spending time with you at the Seder and eating all of that matzoh that does such amazing things to our digestive systems. I merely need fodder for this week’s column. Up top for my boy Elijah!)
I’ve always said that I would take 10 Yom Kippurs to one Passover because, apparently, I would rather atone for all of my sins and starve than break up with my precious carbs for a week. I distinctly remember one time in high school asking my non-Jewish friends to come pick me up and to bring whatever carbs they could get their hands on. It was like a Passover prison break. They screeched up to the curb with the huge jug of Utz Pretzels (the one that remained cool inside no matter how hot it was outside; mind-boggling) and we were out of there before my parents were any the wiser. It was genius … and completely ridiculous. Is it really that difficult to go without carbs for one week?
Yes. Yes it is.
I LOVE carbs. Want to romance me? Take me to a noodle bar (although I told my husband that to really romance me he should take me to a water park sans kids. I wasn’t even being a little bit ironic. To me, nothing says romance like Wildwater Kingdom, a $20 hot dog, and some Dip n’ Dots. Who’s with me?) and order me one of everything on the menu. If I have a cold, bring me some matzoh ball soup, chock full of noodles, with about ten packs of saltines on the side. If my stomach is upset, make me a vat of rice and watch me go to town. If you happen to be in Wawa and are thinking about me (why wouldn’t you be?) you can pick me up a soft pretzel and I won’t even complain that it’s soggy.
I’m thinking that perhaps Passover is to blame for my current weight predicament. Maybe if carbs hadn’t been a forbidden fruit for one week each year I wouldn’t yearn for them like I do. Why couldn’t my ancestors have been trying to make roasted veggies before they had to leave Egypt? Wouldn’t be the worst thing if I was forced to give up vegetables for eight days.
What I Did This Week
Sticking with this week’s Jewish theme, on Friday night (good Shabbos) three friends and I had the pleasure of Dishing With the Yenta. Professional chef and yenta Laura Lyons came to my house carting a huge cooler full of goodness and was ready to teach us amateurs how to cook a healthy meal. We each got a cookbook and she set us each up with a professional-grade knife and cutting mat. After pouring a bit of vino, we got right into preparing her bistro menu.
While taking us through all of the steps, Laura didn’t mind us stopping her along the way to ask questions. And we asked a lot. She taught us how to chop veggies and herbs without losing a finger; how to stuff, truss and carve a chicken; how to make the sickest apple tart ever; and so many other valuable lessons. We laughed, we cried, we ate amazing food, and I can’t wait to dish with Laura again soon. Next year I will definitely be taking her Passover class in an attempt to perhaps get over my dislike of said holiday. What’s that you say? Chocolate-covered matzoh? That’ll do it.
With that, I wish you all a Zissen Pesach (a Sweet Passover) and a happy Easter!
Robin Raskin blogs about her weight loss journey every Thursday on Be Well Philly. Catch up on the series here, and follow her on Twitter at @RobinRaskin. Join Robin’s Healthy Recipe Swap Facebook group here.