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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]
General whinging


I just had a discussion with my mother-in-law about seder menus. Most of it is fine. She's even going to at least leave her oven on so she doesn't have to start a new flame when she cooks for the second night.

But. She's going to use the microwave to make asparagus the second night. I *love* asparagus, even the thick stalks she prefers. And I don't think we can eat it. I'm not sure, and we'll have to figure it out, but I don't think we can eat it. And she'll notice. It's not like, say, the cheese dishes at a family potluck when we're the only ones who care about kosher cheese. Those are buffets and there are usually plenty of other dishes and no one notices what we don't eat. This will be the only vegetable with the entree that night. (There will also be salad and vegetable soup.)

I'd suggested serving it cold in a marinade. I'd suggested steaming it on top of the stove.

"No. I use the microwave on yom tov, and I don't see any need to change that at this point."

She doesn't understand that if she cooks food in an improper way, it makes the food inedible. That just because she does it this way doesn't make it correct, and that it's NOT just a difference in customs. And I don't want to make her upset. There's such a thing as shalom bayit, peace in the home, and I'm trying to use that as a watchword - not shuddering when they turn lights on and off, or retire to watch television. It's their house and what they do, they do. Which is why I find it uncomfortable spending a yom tov or a Shabbat there, but they're expecting us this year because it's a two-day yom tov and my husband likes to be there.

Personally, I love my own s'dorim. Next year...


Why is asparagus not kosher-lo-pesach?

I was just going to ask the same thing.

Asparagus is kosher l'pesach. My mother-in-law is good about things like that.

Cooking with a microwave on a holiday is...extremly questionable at best, given that it runs on electricity and all. WE may be able to rationalize it. Or not.

She also wants to start them too early and prepare for the second day on the first - setting the table and so on. This is also forbidden. Yes, even setting the table.

Ah, I see now. Just checking, because we *always* have asparagus for Seder, which we do as a non-observant observance. That is, we eat nothing leavened or dairy and we drink kosher wine, but we don't follow the what-counts-as-work rules.

Just FYI, our traditional menu:

- cold poached salmon w/assortment of homemade herb mayonaises (tastes great w/ horseradish)
- chicken broth w/matzoh balls if one of the cooks yearns for it
- Sephardic lamb loaf: spiced ground lamb rolled around nuts&fruit
- roasted new potatoes
- roasted asparagus
- flourless death-by-chocolate torte and/or the world's *best* meringues, some pecan and some pistachio
- fresh fruit

We avoid lamb and roast mammals the first days - too much like the sacrifice we're not doing - Ashkenazi custom.

Otherwise, it sounds delicious. I was trying to convince mom to roast the asparagus, too. :)

I'm so sorry. And I know how you feel. I don't say anything when my mother in law puts a pot of milk on the hot spot on the blech on Shabbos because it isn't there long enough to boil so it's ok. Or just don't eat whatever she warmed up forlunch because it is dripping with sauce. And I just give the baby something else when my mother in law suggests warming up chicken soup for the baby Shabbos afternoon. The clincher comes when she told me to feed the baby her regular food in the hotel room over Pesach....um, hi, I can't own the stuff. "It's for the baby is NOT a valid excuse for doing something assur if there is another option..."

I never eat at sedarim. My father gives me so much matza that for Shulchan Orech I have a bowl of soup and maybe a piece of kugel. Of course, when we are by my inlaws for the sedarim I have to ask for more matza because he doesn't give out anything resembling a kezayit, but he's used to my eccentricities already.

I hope that everything works out. And maybe you should just eat extra soup the second night to make up for the lack of asparagus (or keep some out of the microwave and eat them cold?)

She'll notice if all we have on our plates is salmon (she's going to the trouble of getting non-farm raised salmon for my kosher-veggie brother-in-law who won't eat farm raised fish) and whatever starch she's making.

And then we'll have an unpleasant arguement.

We don't worry so much about shiurim at our s'dorim, so we don't get filled up with matzah.

I'm sorry. If only we didn't have issues like this, but I have problems foregoing my personal standards to uphold shalom bayis. While I think that some of my father's minhagim and standards are narishkeit, I have a feeling that due to the fact that I grew up with those standards as the norm, anything less seems problematic to me. So when something is actually problematic, I have big issues being ok with it. I guess I am too strict and closeminded about these things.

I also have the urge to compromise, to not make waves. I would like them to be more observant, but they're not and they're not going to be, and I need to accept that and make what compromises are necessary.

She keeps bringing up a guest who was *so* accomodating about lights and things. And she doesn't realize...*sigh*.

I'm not looking forward to taping the fridge light.

(no subject) - (Anonymous)

It's also that asparagus is yummy.

It's good that her father can be so diplomatic. I'm not sure I could be.

Ouch. I sympathize. (And am reminded of how blessed I am that my less-observant inlaws go out of their way to accommodate me, rather than going out of their way to hassle me. I wish I could lend 'em out to you.)

Does she insist on doing all the food prep herself, or would you be permitted to contribute a dish in the guise of helping her by taking some of the load? Can you wrest control of the asparagus away from her that way?

It sounds like, in the end, this is a question for your rabbi: how far are you required to go in pursuit of shalom bayit if it means violating other halacha?

I'm helping with the food prep, but taht won't mean a thing for the asparagus. She wants a *hot* vegetable with the salmon. She said that when I suggested having it in a cold marinade. And I could tell that she was getting upset with what I was saying.

We want her to have a talk with her rabbi. She won't.

We want her to have a talk with her rabbi. She won't.

It sounds like pushing her in that direction would make things worse. No, what I meant was that you might consult your rabbi, with the question of whether, given the circumstances, you are permitted, required, or forbidden to eat the asparagus. He might give you a heter, after all.

Vaguely related case: My local rav told me that when I go to a bar mitzvah held on Shabbat with non-frum relatives, I don't need to ask them not to take pictures of me on Shabbat. Since I didn't ask for the pictures to be taken and they're for the benefit of my relatives, not me, I don't bear any responsibility for the chillul Shabbat that they do by taking my picture.

Since you never asked for the asparagus to be microwaved, could you make a similar argument regarding it? OK, you're eating it, so you're obviously deriving some benefit, but under the circumstances, you'd be just as happy eating cold asparagus and the main reason you're eating it is for shalom bayit, not nutrition.

That's what we think we're going to do, since cooking itself is permitted. However, it's not a question of hot vs. cold but cooked vs. raw.

Not a fan of raw asparagus. :)

Have you asked your rabbi for an opinion? Don't know if you want to, but I thought I'd suggest it.

you might be able to eat it...you're allowed to make all sorts of leniences for family...