Sunday, April 09, 2006

Making a House a Passover Home

This year will be the first time in my life that I'll be spending several days of Pesach in my own apartment. In the past, I've always been either at my parents' home for chol hamoed (the middle days of the holiday), or at the very least in a home that I shared with roommates.

So suddenly I had to face the fact that when it comes to Passover dishes, I'm completely, totally unequipped. Yeah, there was the box of Passover dishes my mother gave me before my aliyah, which I haven't looked at for three years . . . but I wasn't even sure which of the dishes I could use until I reached my mom today to ask her which of the dishes were Dairy and which were Meat. Besides, there wasn't much there to begin with.

So today I went to Jerusalem's famous open-air market, the "shuk," where prices are good, and spent about $200 worth on new Passover gear. Paper for lining shelves, a pot, a frying pan, a mixing bowl, silverware, a measuring cup, a potato masher, potholders, a drying rack, baking pans, a sharp knife, a cutting board, a bin for lining the sink, a can-opener, etc etc . . . all the things that are really essential, but I don't think about needing the rest of the year, because in the 15 years since I moved out of my parents' home, I've picked up all those items one way or another. I only got the bare minimum -- for example, I left getting a proper set of plates and bowls for next year, and this year will use plastic -- but still, it's a lot of stuff!

When I got home, I put it all into the big new plastic bin I'd bought for storing Passover dishes from now on, and you know, I was proud.

My own Passover dishes . . . it made me feel so grown up, and self-sufficient, and like I'm on my way to becoming a proper "balabusta." It's hard to feel like you are building a home when you are single and living in a studio, but that box of Passover stuff, which I can use from year to year from now on, feels to me like a gateway into the rest of my life.

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