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Kosher for Pesach

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04/07/2009

Oy52LJ

Linda thanks Martha Stewart for making this Passover a little bit sweeter 

I must begin with a confession: Like a moth to a flame, I am drawn to All Things Goyish. I have an unnatural affection for English country gardens, high tea and Shakespeare. I shop at Talbot’s. I love the mansions in Lake Forest. And I subscribe to Martha Stewart Living magazine.

My husband, who hails from gritty South Shore, finds my secret passion hilarious, and whoops aloud as he pages through the monthly publication. For every luscious new cake recipe I discover, he zeroes in on a more esoteric tidbit. His favorite is Martha’s palette of house paints based on the hues of bird’s’ eggs, sold by the quart.

So imagine my glee when I settled in with April issue and found feature after feature on the not very WASP-friendly holiday of Passover.

Watch Martha make Kosher s’mores with matzah!

Let Martha show you how to personalize individual wine carafes to create enchanting place cards for your Seder table!

Try Martha’s recipe for Sephardic chicken stuffed with charoset!

I realize that, in their own way, some Christians observe Passover, too, seeking to honor their Jewish roots or commemorate Jesus’ Last Supper. Not Martha. It was clear that this was, quite simply, a Jewish holiday. And that it was a Good Thing.

What’s next? A Sukkah at the Winnetka Women’s Club?

It’s not just Martha. Everywhere I look, I see reminders of the upcoming holiday, a holiday that commemorates the quintessential Jewish experience. There are Passover greeting cards in mainstream drug stores, Passover foods in mainstream supermarkets and Passover aprons in mainstream department stores.

The cynic in me is wary of the commercialization of this sacred festival. I know that new products could represent nothing more than savvy retailers looking to break into a lucrative new market. Yet a friend told me that the Red Sox home opener was re-scheduled to avoid a conflict with the First Seder. And I have heard that President Obama and his family will be attending a Seder at the home of the First Lady’s cousin...who happens to be a Chicago rabbi.

So I am going to savor it, and consider this Elijah’s Cup to be half-full rather than half-empty. Thanks, Martha, for the recipes. Liberation has never been sweeter.

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