Getting Rid of the Khomets

There was a time for everything.  Mama had a “tsayt far dos” (a time for it).  When Nodgy our large Swiss milker was ready to calve, Mama was there speaking in a calming voice and gently stroking Nodgy. 

Ultimately, the calf came out and all was well.  That is until the following year when the ritual was repeated.

When peysakh tsayt (Passover time) came, everything changed.  Mainly, it was the large country kitchen that was rearranged.  There was excitement, food and of course, we boys always were a part of it.

Peysakh meant that all the dishes, silverware, pots and pans from the attic came down in the large brown boxes and were unwrapped from the newspaper binding.  All the khomets (regular, non-Passover food) items were wrapped and taken upstairs, as they were being replaced for Passover.

With all the khomets removed, we were ready for new dining pleasures.  Everything revolved around eggs.  Our chicken farm had plenty of cracked eggs. 

Mama always had a jar filled with the eggs that she had filled with the eggs that she cracked open and slipped into Mason jars. 

Mama could separate the yolk from the albumen with the bat of an eye—and never ever broke the yolk.

Matse (matzoh) was the staple.  We had matse bray (omelet with matzoh), matse latkes (small pancakes made from matzoh meal), a faynkukhn (omelet), and eyer in zalts vaser (chopped hard-boiled eggs and onions in salt water).  Mama even used them in making the kneydlekh (“alkes” or matzoh balls).  She said the difference between the floaters and sinkers was the amount of fat in them. 

The fat is the binder and the more shmalts the HEAVIER they were.