Today Jewish people all over the world celebrate Passover.
Check out this story called, Horseradish, by A. B. Sisson.
One Passover food is stronger than all the rest.
Today I get to help Dad grind it. Every year we prepare special foods for our Seder dinners. The foods help tell the story of Moses leading the Jewish people out of slavery in Egypt. Horseradish reminds us of the bitterness of slavery under Pharaoh.
Dad hands me a sweater. “It’s a chilly day, but we need as much fresh air as we can get.”
Together we open all the kitchen windows.
“Bottled horseradish is wimpy,” says Dad. “The fresh will knock your socks off.”
The refrigerator is stuffed with ingredients for tomorrow. I hunt through bunches of parsley, cartons of eggs, and jars of gefilte fish, until I find the gnarly root. It looks like a muddy brown carrot.
We scrape off the skin with a vegetable peeler to expose the white flesh. Next, we chop it into little pieces. The food processor grinds it into a white paste.
My nose scrunches up as we work.
Dad looks at me and winks before he takes off the lid, “Remember, DON’T breathe it in. You don’t want your head to explode.”
He isn’t kidding!
He leans his face over the bowl, and it turns glow-in-the-dark red. Sweat beads pop out all over his bald head.
“Wow,” he says, shaking like our dog after bath time.
“When we grind the horseradish, it releases an enzyme that sets off a chain reaction inside the nose. That sends an ‘ouch’ signal to the brain.
Bam! Head explosion!
Luckily, the reaction doesn’t last long,” Dad explains.
Dad must secretly enjoy making his head blow up because he does this every year!
We mix vinegar with the paste and put it into the fridge where it will mellow out a bit. I’m careful to keep my nose away. I don’t want my face to turn glow-in-the-dark red!
At tomorrow’s Seder, we will eat our horseradish with other special foods and we will taste the story of our freedom.
About the Author
A. B. Sisson loves to write for people of all ages because it gives her a reason to be interested in everything. She is passionate about sharing big ideas with young people and is a proud member of SCBWI. Check out her Twitter: @sissonab.