Last year, I talked my husband Jason into hosting a Seder at our apartment. Many of our friends, like us, are in what we call "pizza-matzoh" marriages (Christian-Jewish unions, with the Christian partner almost always part Italian.) I thought this would be a great way for all of us to celebrate. Little did I know what I had just volunteered for.
The instructions for the Seder plate, which we'd received as a wedding gift from my aunt, were easily enough found online, but what to have for the meal? The first menu I drew up was a gourmet affair out of the pages of a fancy magazine, largely based on Sephardic cooking. This my husband roundly rejected. "THAT is not a Passover meal. Where are the chicken livers?" he demanded. I quickly came to the conclusion that there was but one acceptable source of recipes: his grandmother. A phone call later, and I was in possession of her recipes for chopped chicken livers, horeset, chicken soup with matzoh balls and potato kugel -- not to mention her good graces for actually holding a Seder. The conversation also netted mention of an "edited" version of the Haggadah, one that Jason's grandfather had used, in which all the parts you could technically skip were highlighted. Only no one knew where it had gone to. Jason began insisting that he had no idea how to actually lead a Seder, and if he didn't have THAT particular Haggadah, we weren't doing this. A few more phone calls, and we discovered my father-in-law was in possession of the book, and thanks to the miracles of FedEx, within 24 hours it was in our hands.