Sunday, April 9, 2017

A different kind of Holiday Dinner planning

Recently slave was asked if he was planning to cook any thing for the holiday to share with my neighbors. This got me to thinking about what would have been served back in those days. The idea took on a life of its own. Days turned into weeks researching on the internet.

Slave figured it would be fairly easy to find out about the Last Supper. Such a central part of so many religions and denominations would have been well written about. Written, but no agreements! Then more research: the meal would have been kosher, what would that entail? What could I find today that would be sensitive to both Jewish and Christian faiths. What would my senior, Christian neighbors enjoy? Even more important how to make the evening interesting, tasty and fun! It has been a long time since putting together a meal for 15 people!

Planning makes everything work! First to set out a goal for the evening. An introduction was written & finalized. A couple of good friends: Ellen, Donna, and Rodney were talked into helping. Without them, this evening never could have happened.

A menu was decided on. Then the elements had to be tracked down. For example the local supermarkets don't stock lamb! There is no large Jewish community locally. The internet became my Jewish grandmother for recipes and guidance.

Then the guests had to be chosen! As much as slave would have enjoyed feeding everyone in the building, that is just not practical. I have neither the money nor the equipment for such an undertaking. The group of card players became the majority of invitees along with a few others known for excellent laughs and conversations! Soon they began to offer aid in support of this event, some donated money, some offered to cook!

The room had to be reserved, invites written up & printed then taken around.
More meeting with my core group of helpers. What plates would be used? A quick search of Amazon found some beautiful disposable plates designed for the Seder, along with napkins and plastic flatware. Wet-naps were ordered for ritual hand washing.

Angie & Jim offered to make deviled eggs, Joe & Peggy will roast potatoes & carrots, Ellen will provide the bread, Rodney will make his signature New York Style Hazelnut cheesecake (– to die for!) That leaves slave to make the charoset and slow roast the lamb with a gravy.

As the night approaches, there are senior health issues, hurt feelings for not being invited, every day some other hurdle to overcome. Yet in the organized chaos excitement builds. This event has the whole building talking! Nothing like this has been done here!

While sensitive to both religions, this is intended just to be a fun meal, not a religious ceremony! Hurt feelings, sacred cows, and bad tasting food had to be avoided! How do you cover all bases? Talk with co-workers! How to plan seating? There will be about 15 people, our tables comfortably hold six each. Then remember that includes three big power-chairs! Where to put 6 to 8 walkers? A Seder calls for 4 cups of wine each, no alcohol allowed in dinning room, what are they going to drink? Who walks around pouring? Anyone bringing butter? How about salt & pepper?

Then the meal. What can be prepared ahead of time and when? Time lines have to be established. When to remind and check on promises of help preparing food?

Does this sound impossible? NO, it is not. It does take effort, but then again what doesn't? Above all keep laughing! A silly meal is not worth hurt feelings.

Our event is planned for Wednesday April 12th Check back for updates, recipes and pictures!

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