For the second year in a row, Seder was virtual, with Dr. Mrs. Q’s family the first night and mine the second, so for the second year in a row I cooked our own Passover meal. After a whole cycle of chagim I’m pretty OK at making brisket by now. I like matzah balls, really like them, and so does everybody else in the house, so I went nuts and tripled the matzah ball recipe. What I envisioned: matzah ball soup absolutely brimming with matzah balls cheek by unleavened jowl. What I did not take into account: the matzah balls absorb soup as they cook, which meant that what was left in the pot when they were done was a kind of matzah ball slurry with no soup at all (pictured, top right). The matzah balls themselves were moist and delicious! But it didn’t really feel right. The next night I made a whole new soup and plopped the leftover matzah balls in there (you make triple, you have leftovers) and that was much more like it.
What we usually do on Passover is visit Dr. Mrs. Q’s mom in Columbus, and get a big helping of deli from Katzinger’s ; missing that, I put in a mail order to Katz’s, which arrived today. So now, the brisket leftovers all gone, I am happily eating pastrami and tongue and matzah-chopped liver sandwiches.
(photo by CJ who never ceases to clown me about how much better his phone’s camera is than my phone’s camera.)
Already discussed: the fracas over the April 7 spring election, which should have been postponed, or held by mail if it was held at all. To my great surprise, Jill Karofsky, the liberal running to unseat Scott Walker appointee Daniel Kelly from the Supreme Court, did so, with a bang, winning by about 11 points. Incumbents usually don’t lose Supreme Court races here and I thought Democrats’ political attention was taken up by the Presidential primary, by now all but over. Since Trump’s election, conservative candidates have won only one out of seven statewide elections here, and that one (Brian Hagedorn for Supreme Court) was by half a percent.
Why did Karofsky win by so much? One natural theory is that the election being the same day as the Democratic primary helped bring Democrats to the polls. Boosting this: Bernie Sanders made the apparently strange decision to campaign in Wisconsin, stay in the race until election day, and then immediately drop out before the results were reported. It all makes sense if you understand his motive to be getting his voters to the polls to vote for Karofsky as well as him.
But did it work? This chart from Charles Franklin, who knows Wisconsin politics like nobody else, says otherwise:
If it was the Democratic primary driving Democratic voters to the polls, there’d be a bigger turnout boost in more Democratic counties. There wasn’t. So either the primary didn’t really boost turnout at all, or Republicans were equally motivated to go to the polls and vote for Trump against — well, the state GOP didn’t allow Trump’s Republican primary challengers on the ballot, so against nobody.
Was turnout actually higher because of the pandemic? Maybe people are more likely to vote when they’ve actually got a ballot to mail than they are to find time on Election Day.
Our first Seder without family since 2006, when I broke my arm so badly a week before Pesach that I couldn’t travel: Dr. Mrs. Q, baby CJ and I did it alone. This year we had grandparents in by Zoom both nights. But I had to cook Seder dinner, which I’ve never done. We all have things we don’t do in the kitchen for no reason except it’s not our habit. For me it’s giant pieces of meat. Just not what I cook. Don’t know how to roast a chicken or a turkey, don’t ever make leg of lamb (butterfly? spatchcock?) and I have never, before this week, made a brisket. But it’s easy, it turns out!
I was extremely successful, to my surprise, in hiding the afikoman. Both nights I thought it was in too easy a place and both nights my kids required multiple hints and were very satisfied with the search. Either I’m more cunning than I thought or my kids are not born hunters.
We did a gefilte taste test this year; traditional vs. tilapia. Tilapia is better!
With two days left to go we have eaten just about all the eggs.
We have been playing 4-person Ultimate in the backyard, AB and I vs CJ and Dr. Mrs. Q. They always win. The team of AB and me is called “Violent Frisbee” and AB has made us a flag: