This year is special.
Nana & Zady make gefilte fish the Old Country way.
G-d forbid we eat grocery store drek.
Chunks jammed in gelatin. Sealed jars.
Zady fills the bathtub with cold water,
adds chemical ice to adjust the pH:
perfect environment for carp
now swimming ovals in porcelain.
The sole bathroom in the house has a new aroma,
puddles on the green and white tile floor.
The line to use the toilet,
wash hands in sink,
fix faces in the giant mirror:
no longer there.
Someone goes in, does their business, races out.
Two days before the Lit. Order. The festive meal conducted on Passover night, in a specific order with specific rituals to symbolize aspects of the Exodus from Egypt. It is conducted following the haggadah, a book for this purpose. The mystics of Sefat also created a seder for Tu B'shvat, the new year of the trees., Zady harvests the fish.
Guts them, cuts off heads and tails, debones,
passes each to me for filleting and skinning.
I put them in the grinder for Nana.
She adds The unleavened bread eaten on Passover that recalls the Israelite's hasty escape from Egypt when there was no time for the dough to rise. Matzah is also considered the "bread of our affliction," eaten while we were slaves. meal, herbs, spices, carrots.
There is no recipe.
Her hands are magic.
Nana & I form egg-shaped cakes.
Let them simmer.
Remove to cool.
Cover with broth.
We sit, nosh macaroons.
My great-aunts are still scrubbing the tub.