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How to survive Passover at a college in Kansas

March 28, 2013

I’m nearly halfway through Passover 2013, and let me tell you, staying away from those forbidden grains is difficult, especially when your main source of food is the campus dining facilities. So, I have compiled a list of ways to survive a Passover completely surrounded by Gentiles:

Recruit Gentiles to join you for your first Seder: it’s very nice when you find non-Jews who are willing to sit down with you for a two-and-a-half-hour meal that they know nothing about and have never before experienced. It’s even nicer when the Gentiles actively participate in the Seder and respond well to you singing Hebrew songs. But seriously, this is important, especially if it’s your first Seder away from home and you don’t want to be sitting alone in your dorm room reading aloud from the Haggadah. It’s nice to have company, so sucker some of those Gentiles into it.

Have a schedule that doesn’t allot time for meals: it’s easy to avoid those forbidden grains when you don’t even have time to eat a matzo sandwich for lunch and instead have to sit there with a slab of plain matzo and eat that as a meal. So pack that schedule with class and work, and you’re golden. However, if time is available for meals, make sure it’s at a restaurant as opposed to the dining hall (even better if you’re not paying). But not a restaurant like Olive Garden because pretty sure everything is forbidden there.

Order Kosher-for-Passover food from the Internet: because even if it doesn’t come until a few days into the holiday, when you see that Kosher-for-Passover food label on the box, you will be filled with joy. And the cake smells so, so, so good.

Come up with new and innovative ways to spice up matzo (not with spices though; those will fall through the little holes in the matzo): yesterday, I was told how to make matzo pizza. I’m not sure how good tomato sauce and melted cheese on matzo would taste on a regular day, but during Passover, I’m sure it’s delectable.

Get Passover food that did NOT expire the previous year: from personal experience, let me tell you that stale matzo crackers taste like the box and are not going to help you make it through this holiday. They’re gross, they smell, and you should probably realize they’re stale before eating an entire bag full.

Don’t spill grape juice all over the refrigerator: because then it will break, and your grape juice will be warm.

Visit Kosher Island at Hen House: only very special Hen Houses have a Kosher Island (namely, one in Leawood, Kansas), but even so, all kinds of goodies can be found at this magical place, including chocolate-coated matzo and those weird fruit slices. Don’t forget the weird fruit slices! (I did; I regret it. It’s OK though; as long as I follow these other tips, I’ll make it).

Don’t go to the dining hall: even though they have matzo, that’s about all they have that you can eat, and you will feel incredibly awkward when the sandwich-maker tries to make a turkey sandwich using two slabs of matzo. Oh, and the sandwich-maker will feel awkward about having to change gloves (which is nice of the dining hall to insist upon), which will make you feel more awkward. But not as awkward as having that matzo sandwich take up the entire plate.

Remind yourself that it’s one week out of the year, and it’s good for you to be connected to your ancestors in this way: and whatever other jargon you need to tell yourself to make it through.

Remind yourself that at least you’re not in jail: because keeping things in perspective is a sure-fire way to realize that you can do without the forbidden grains for eight days.

There you have it. All in all though, Passover goes by in a flash, and even though the smell of pizza in the lobby of your building will create cravings, you can just order pizza when Passover is over. For Moses’ sake, just deal with it.

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From → Sophomore

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