Thursday, April 10, 2008

Meat or Not

One of the major dilemmas during years like this one, when Passover starts on Saturday night, is what to eat on the Shabbat immediately preceding Passover.

There are those who take the Shabbat song lyrics very seriously and always eat "bassar v'daggim," "meat and fish" on Shabbat. I take those words with a grain of salt, especially since I was an ova-lacto vegetarian for over twenty-five years.

There are a few things to take into consideration. One is that the morning meal with the last of the chametz (bread, challah, rolls, pita, bagels) must be eaten very early in the morning, and another is that there will be a festive meal with meat at night during the seder.

How much meat/poultry does one need to eat within 24 hours? How well can you digest it all early in the morning?

That early morning meal can be dairy on rolls, bagels, pittot, with lox, or spreads, served as a festive picnic. Then later in the day another festive meal on Pesach plates, either meat or fish but without any grain product can be eaten. Those who eat kitniyot can have kitniyot during that meal.

Before Shabbat is out, when one can still eat, then have some coffee and non-matzah meal cake or some macaroons. If you can have dairy, a nice fruit-yogurt "soup" would be a nourishing treat. Of course, that's after the nap, a luxury one doesn't always have when Passover is preceded by a weekday.

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