Easter/Passover Season: No Pink Cloud Salad or Ham, Please

Though the history between Christians & Jews is muddy, at best, it is now possible, in America, for beautiful relationships to exist between the two. My own personal Jewish friends fall into several categories: those born & raised Jewish who are now practicing Jews, those born & raised Jewish but are really not religious now, those born & raised Christian who have converted to Judaism, and those born & raised Jewish who now follow Christ as Messiah.

painting by Mollie Walker Freeman

I am not Jewish, & do not plan to become so; however, this weekend I will be painting in a church on Saturday, my husband will be painting in a church on Sunday, and we will be with Jewish friends on Sunday evening, celebrating Passover, & in a sense, Easter, as well. So what will we eat???

The Humble Pig
The Humble Pig

When I was younger, I was ignorant of any dietary distinctions between Christians & Jews. Indeed, Christians have long been unaware of many aspects of the Jewish faith & their history. We ate ham at Easter, nearly always. We knew on some level, of course, that Jesus himself was Jewish. And we had read the Bible, so there was some degree of understanding that Jews did not eat pork. In fact, pigs were somewhat of a symbol, often used historically to persecute Jews. In Berlin, at the Jewish Museum, I saw artwork depicting such scenes, from long before the Holocaust. With that in mind, it is baffling to me that we would eat pig meat at Easter.

Pork, in general, does not appeal to me. My parents, without a nod to the Bible, taught me that “pigs are dirty.” The main concern, they said, was a serious infection called trichinosis, which could be acquired from under-cooked pork. But there are many more reasons I consider pork unclean. Pigs eat such delicacies as their own feces & their own young, dead from sickness. Also, because they digest so quickly & do not have sweat glands, many toxins which pigs consume remain in their flesh to be passed along to the humans who eat them. Dr. Axe backs me up in this article on avoiding pork.

Pink Cloud Salad, anyone?

Okay, so what about Pink (or Yellow) Cloud Salad? What! Never heard of it? A tradition in my husband’s family, this concoction contains canned fruit, Jello powder, Cool Whip, marshmallows, & I don’t really know what else. Need I elaborate? This will not be on the menu for us this weekend.

We plan to dine on lamb, a traditional Passover food, accompanied by lots of vegetables, some really nice bread & wine, and a dessert of some sort. It will probably contain berries & honey or maple syrup, but no chemicals or ingredients I cannot pronounce. Neither will the dessert, or bread, or anything else, contain gluten.

DSCN4756

So, wherever you are & whatever you eat this weekend, I hope you enjoy those who share your table. Celebrate life & appreciate the opportunity to eat good food together. People are more important than what’s on the menu.

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