Fresh Gefilte Fish

clawfoot bathtub

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,
splashing sounds,
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 Seder, 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 matzah 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.
Refrigerate.
We sit, nosh macaroons.

My great-aunts are still scrubbing the tub. 

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on email
Email

Ritualwell content is available for free thanks to the generous support of readers like you! Please help us continue to offer meaningful content with a donation today. 

Related Rituals

Shop Ritualwell - Discover unique Judaica products

The Reconstructionist Network

Get the latest from Ritualwell

Subscribe for the latest rituals, online learning opportunities, and unique Judaica finds from our store.