House Showings and Passover Cooking

I had just put a huge brisket for Passover in the oven, the kind that you have to cut just to fit in the pans.  Two glorious full sheet pans where covered and ready to go and the oven was heated.  My cell phone announced a text.  It was from our realtor.

“Can you do a showing at 2pm?”

I looked around my kitchen, the counters covered for Passover, potato starch seemingly everywhere and a pile of dirty dishes in the sink.  We had only hours to prepare for a showing and this was just the kitchen.

“Of course,” I texted back.  Because, this is what you do when you really want to sell a house in a tough market.

My husband, who works from home, pitched in and together we put the house back to show-ready condition from top to bottom.  Carpets were vacuumed, produce put away, counters uncovered that would just be covered again after the showing.  The one thing that I couldn’t do, though, was hide the brisket.  It would have to just keep cooking.  Soon, the entire house was clean and ready…and smelling completely of brisket and onions!

We packed up Sam the beastdog and left, the brisket in progress.  I hoped that the buyers weren’t vegetarians or vegans.

These are just the kinds of decisions that anyone taking on observance has to make, Jewish or conversion candidate.  There are times we have had to go on a walk on Shabbos while our house was shown, hoping that they didn’t turn off or on too many lights.  Others have spent a Shabbos in an airport when their flight was delayed.  Still others have had to use the ocean as a mikvah in remote areas.  Observance challenges us all in different ways, but sometimes it’s those stories that are the best ones to remember when things seem difficult or too much to handle.

I have a few Jewish friends who are down this week.  It’s a tough week for everyone, with all the cleaning and cooking and preparations.  I’m reminded just how fortunate I am that I have supportive family around me.  My kids are helping me when they can and are enthusiastic about our upcoming Seders.  How much harder would this be if they were sullen and sarcastic?  My husband is brushing up on all the laws to lead the Seder and is handling all the preparations for the Seder plate even as he works this week.  How much harder would this all be if he wasn’t engaged and looking forward to it?  My dear Mother in Law in Arizona even overnighted me 3 containers of potato starch when we couldn’t find it locally.  That’s a lot of love from a woman who is busy with her own Seder prep!

Yes, I may have periodic interruptions this year, but I also have so much love and support that it seems silly to complain about them.  I’m sure they’ll make for great stories in the years to come, too.

And the brisket turned out amazing, even if the people looking at our house didn’t make an offer.  At least they didn’t take the brisket!

May everyone have the freedom to see their blessings this Passover!

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