Today Mira and I visited her mom, Rebecca, for a mini Seder. Rebecca was to make a pronouncement on our charosets, but that never quite occurred. Rebecca ruled my Yemeni charoset out as a “warrior’s charoset,” far too spicy for her. She considered Mira’s traditional, minimalist charoset to be “authentic enough,” but with a sniff. I don’t think she got around to tasting my hybrid Ashkenaz-Sephardi recipe.
I think Mira won, but it wasn’t clear.
Fortunately, she loved my matzoh ball chicken soup, remarking that my including chicken meat was “very original!” but that it needed lemon juice. She was right. I’m okay with that.
And Rebecca gave me her recipe for charoset: a combination of medjool dates (“too expensive,” for the meaty texture) and deglet dates (“for their lustre”), walnuts, comb honey, and two or three days maceration in Kijafa, the Danish fortified cherry wine.
After our mini Seder, we moved into the great room, where it was my great privilege to play Kaddish for Rebecca, Mira, and Rebecca’s neighbor Beth, who remarked upon arrival that she played horn in high school.
I’m better with an audience, that’s all there is to it. All three women were rapt. Their attention helped me find the way the music wants to go.
And wow—the acoustics in Rebecca’s house were remarkable. That house was built for a horn player. What a treat to play there.