It's interesting how much our Passover table has changed... It's the one Jewish holiday that I seem to notice the empty chairs the most. I remember setting the table each year after we have lost someone... How final it seems when someone's seat at the seder table is in what feels like seconds... Gone.
I grew up always being the youngest at the table... Sitting on what was a kitchen step stool instead of a chair because that was the last seat left and somehow everyone had convinced me that it was in fact the best seat.... Hmmmm. Anyways I remember how special the table looked, all of the symbolic things on individual Seder plates at each place setting. The sterling silver and fine china were all laid out on the beautiful embroidered tablecloths that my grandmother had made. It always felt like a royal party and I, of course, was the misunderstood princess always chasing after the big kids!
After my grandfather died things changed a bit... My aunt started hosting, there were a lot more guests, and I no longer held the place of the youngest... And just like life our table has evolved... The little kids have all grown up and now we have little kids of our own. In what seems like minutes our Seder table is now filled with little voices again... Actually a cool dozen kids under 13, 9 of them 4 and under and 5 in highchairs. It's bittersweet to realize that the chairs are being filled again...
This is a pretty exciting Passover for me. Levi truly understands what we are celebrating and he is thrilled to share his new knowledge with all of the younger kids. It's amazing to see him so confident in knowing the story. I have been very busy cooking for all of my clients and although it is a crazy amount of work that includes a couple of sleepless nights it is a honor for me to make their Seder. To know that the food I am making is part of an experience for families all over this city makes my heart full. I've also been busy this year working on some new recipes from wonderful friends that have now forever changed the landscape of our celebration.
So although some of the seats at our Seder table will always feel a bit empty... The new seats we have added are pretty incredible. So as another year rolls in I just want to take a minute to be grateful...
I am so grateful for work... For the opportunity to do what I love to do which is really so much more than just cooking food, it is truly creating a memorable culinary experience for generations of families near and dear to my heart. I am so lucky to have these amazing friends and family who fill up the seats in my life. I am very grateful for all of you, especially the ones who have listened to all of my rants this last week!
I wish those who celebrate Passover and Easter this weekend a joyous and memorable holiday. And I hope that by reading this little blog that has somehow managed to reach almost 30,000 hits in the last week. I have made myself a little seat in your life.
xoxo chef a