We had a fantastic Passover seder last Thursday night. (At least Rik and I thought it was fantastic. We'll have to ask our guests for their feedback.)
We started with music. H brought his accordion and B a guitar. While waiting for the last couple to arrive, I gave R an impromptu waltz lesson.
Once we had all settled down at the table, there was much hoopla during the first part of the seder. We told jokes, sang parody songs, leaned on each other to drink. For karpas we added potatoes, carrots and guacamole and lemon juice to the standard parsley and salt water. I find this staves off growling stomachs so that we can go into greater depth in the haggadah (or at least sing more songs). B told the real story of the orange on the seder plate, as written by Susannah Heschel.
When we got to the ten plagues H took out the ginormous plastic grasshopper (the grossest plastic insect EVER) and I threw plastic and stuffed frogs everywhere. They landed in the water pitcher, in the charoses... The dogs got hold of a few and chewed them up.
Our menu, in case you were wondering:
Romaine lettuce and parsley
Carrots and guacamole
Salt water and lemon juice
Yemenite and Ashkenazi charoses (dried fruit and cardamom AND apples and walnuts)
Freshly grated horseradish and the bottled stuff with beets
Wine and grape juice (including B's homemade dry rose)
Homemade gefilte fish, baked eggs, chopped liver
Matza balls and vegetable soup (with vegan matza balls for the vegan)
Potatoes and celeriac
And of course, dessert --
Chocolate almond mini cupcakes
Saffron almond brittle
Chocolate covered dried fruit
H hid the afikomen under a piece of framed art hanging on a wall and A redeemed it for a bar of Pesadik chocolate (what else?). We concluded the seder with a Ladino grace after meals, counted the Omer, and sang even more songs, ending with Hatikvah, Israel's national anthem.
All in all, a most satisfying seder experience.