Spring Holidays

March 26th, 2016 § 5 comments

Lent is ending. Easter Sunday just a day away. The Holy week is very special in northern New Mexico where HG/BSK live. The Pentitntes (Members of the religious brotherhood, Los Hermanos Penitentes) have started to appear trudging along Highway 285/84. They walk for many miles to El Santuario de Chimayo, the church in the little town of Chimayo. The taxing walk serves to link them with “the passion and pain of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” They believe El Santuario has curative powers (Some eat a bit of the earth upon which El Santuario stands). Los Hermanos was founded in Spain and Italy some 800 years ago. It has been active in New Mexico for 400 years. Many New Mexican restaurants like Pojoauque’s El Parasol and Sopaipilla Factory offer Lenten specialties. HG’s favorite is El Parasol’s crisp fried cod on a bun lined with shredded lettuce and mayonnaise. Though an atheist, HG celebrates the Passover Seder meal (Aprill 22 this year). HG/BSK’s Seder is a rather irreverent affair featuring plenty of drinking, laughter and song. After all, Passover is like most Jewish holidays: “They tried to kill us. They failed. So, let’s eat and drink a lot.” Traditionally, HG/BSK start the meal with jarred Manischewitz gefilte fish. HG is not fond of this product (It is a mere shadow of the savory, handcrafted gefilte fish–think of it as a Jewish Quenelle– made by HG’s late Mom.) HG is lobbying for Baba Ganoush, a wonderful Middle Eastern eggplant dish made from scratch by HG. (It’s nice scooped up by matzos). The Seder main dish will be brisket or lamb kefte (Garlicky cigar-shaped meatballs). Dessert: Passover cookies plus strong drink–Slivovitz, Vishniak, Grappa, Limoncello, Cognac. Hey, Pharoah. Gotcha!! If there was a Jewish order of Penitentes, HG would join. Might help atone for a sin of HG’s youth: When HG was ten, HG and his pals paid a visit to a large appetizing store in the Bronx. Besides traditional smoked fish, the store offered nuts, dried fruit, hard candies–all in big, open burlap bags. Maxwell House Coffee Company distributed free Hagadahs (the little book used for the story and songs of the Seder) to stores in Jewish neighborhoods (a PR gesture). Having the sunniest and most honest face, HG approached the owner (who worked behind the smoked fish counter) and asked for some free Maxwell House Hagadahs: “We all want to study them before the Seder.” The owner praised the pious lad and while he searched for the religious tomes, HG’s buddies filled their pockets with many goodies. HG believes HG’s diversionary chat with the store owner was the seed which later sprouted into HG’s successful career as a public relations counsel for New York’s mightiest landlords and real estate developers. All goniffs. Like HG’s childhood pals.

penitentes02Sarge

Tagged , , , , ,

§ 5 Responses to Spring Holidays"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *