Friday, March 22, 2013

The Core Issue

I opened the cabinet, and there it was, hiding behind the oatmeal and the Uncle Ben's.  I took it out and looked at it.  I checked for a date.  No date.  It had plenty left inside. It had been sitting there at least a year.  I could easily use it again.  No one would know.  And yet, the fifth Passover question remained:  Was it still kosher?  I went a-Googling, as I'm prone to do.  Chances are, I've Googled you already.  You should be ashamed.  But this was the first time I've ever Googled:  "How long does Manichewitz Passover wine keep?"  I've never paid much attention to the life cycle of Manichewitz.  I figured, you sip it at Passover, what choice do you have, it's right there on the table, and you forget about it till next year.  Except, I am the designated charoses maker.  I have a big responsibility.  While my mother-in-law busies herself with the easy stuff, the chicken soup, the matzoh balls, the tzimmes, the 14 other side dishes, the brisket and the chicken, the SJG has the far more difficult task.  First, I spend all year tending my apple trees.  What's that?  I never mentioned that I'm an apple farmer on the side?  Silly me.  It slipped my mind. But it's 100 percent true.  I would never lie to you.  Exaggerate slightly, maybe.  But lie?  That's beneath me.

If you need to find me, I'm probably outside, watching over the tree that gives green apples, and the one that gives red.  I'm probably pacing back and forth, obsessively, worrying myself sick.  Oh, my God.  You're right.  It's the perfect job for me. I stand watch at night, battling raccoons and squirrels and whatever wild beasts roam the backyards of Sherman Oaks.  Once my apples reach maturity, I perform my ritual apology dance, snatch them off their branches, the only home they've ever known, and pop them in the washing machine so they should be nice and clean.  Which takes us up to today, when the off-duty moil comes to bless my apples and help me chop the crap out of 'em.  Moil or not, I can't do anything till I verify whether the Manichewitz is still good after sitting on a shelf in a state of neglect... unlike all other wines we like to hoard.  A bottle lasts a day or two, if that.

The Google replies are harsh, yet helpful.  "Are you nuts?  You want to make your family sick with bad Manichewitz?  You want to give your 91-year-old father indigestion?  What's wrong with you, SJG?  Get over yourself and throw it out.  Don't even think of dumping it on the charoses. Go out and buy a new fresh bottle, immediately." Fine.  I'm going.  I hope I make it back home before the moil arrives.  It's not nice to keep important people waiting.

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