Friday, April 25, 2008

Partying Pesach Style

Passover as a Jewish holiday is more marathon than sprint. It starts with a bang, the Seders - family, food, and tradition. Then the full implications of the Passover dietary restrictions (no flour, bread, or corn) set in and it becomes a very long week of eating potatoes, matzah, and the attendant digestive complaints.

To top it off, the last two days of Pesach are also a holiday and observant Jews don't work or watch TV, use computers, travel etc. So basically after a week of getting progressively grumpier about the food - you get two days of cabin fever holed up with your family (not that you don't love them...)

The solution is lubrication by libation (it may be politically incorrect - but many situations are vastly improved by a drink or so). Unfortunately, while Passover is deeply spiritual, it is not a holiday big on spirits. There is wine (actually required for the Seder) but beer and hard stuff is out. Man cannot live by wine alone (at least I can't.)

There is a liquor that is kosher for Passover. It is called Slivovitz. It is Hungarian plum brandy - it is potent. In the annals of drinks it holds its own with grapa (which I've been told tastes like gunpowder) and the "smokestack lightning" distilled in rural communities that inspires so many UFO sightings. Drunks in the gutter will turn down Slivovitz. Hardened drinkers who use astringents to mix "Witch Hazeltinis" will pass. Looking closely at a class full of Slivovitz hurts your eyes.

It is the alcohol equivalent to fruitcake. I've never known anyone to buy a bottle. I am working with several bottles (virtually untouched) that I inherited from my grandparents, who I believe received it from relatives in the old country.

But, still when you need I drink, you need a drink. After years of experimentation I learned a secret. Pineapple juice and lots of it! Somehow the sweetness and flavor counter-act the tremendous punch of plum brandy. I can't give an exact formula, something like five parts juice, one part Slivovitz. This reduces the Slivovitz punch down to a manageable tang. And that, of course, is the point.

Party On. Chag Sameach.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sorry to be gone so long...

Someone forgot lost the password to his own blog.

They don't call me Father Goof for nothing.