Sunday, April 4, 2010

Holiday foods

Easter comes around every year and ham is everywhere. It's on sale in the grocery store and touted in radio ads. We don't eat ham because we keep kosher, but I always associate ham with the spring.

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I had three winter babies and the first one, my January girl, she was the skinniest. I loved her little chicken legs but my, were they scrawny. They were scrawny, so scrawny, until the day they weren't, which I didn't quite realize until a stranger pointed it out while I had her splayed in the most graceful of positions, mid-poop wipe on a drop-down changing table in a public restroom of a club warehouse store. "My, those are some ham hocks!!" exclaimed a woman's southern drawl over my shoulder. It took me a few moments just to comprehend that she was speaking to me, let alone about my baby.

"Um, what?" I said hesitantly, unsure I wanted to engage in the potential of any conversation whose opener involved pig parts as analogy.

"Your baby's legs! Those are some ham! hocks! So juicy you could just take a bite out of them! Well, I mean after you finish wiping her up. Ha ha! My kids all had ham hock thighs, too. Ain't she just delicious!" And then the woman disappeared into a stall.

She was right, though. My skinny baby had perfect ham hock thighs, I realized, immediately after wandering through the meat department to discover what a ham hock was.

That was my first Easter as a mother.

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We didn't think E would eat matzah at all this Passover, so contracted is her palate and her list of Acceptable Foods. But she has surprised us once again. She will eat matzah with cream cheese, and she will eat matzah with butter. But she wants it spread on both sides. Imagine a fragile 10" square cracker and the picky-eater preschooler who will agree to eat food, if only you get that cracker spread thickly on both sides. Without any breakage, of course. It has taken me all these years to understand the phrase "the bread of affliction" fully, I now believe.

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I diapered G a few days ago, just after we arrived to my parents' house, and I realized that Easter is here. For lo, my skinny February baby, he has entered the season of ham hock thighs. And the warehouse club bathroom lady was right: they are juicy. And they are delicious. (After they're all wiped clean.)

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Happy applicable holiday, friends. Pin It