Matzoh, Peeps, Jelly Beans: Interfaith Passover and Easter Leftovers

Many of us who celebrate both Passover and Easter just spent the last few weeks explaining, again and again, how we do not mix the two holidays together, but instead give them each separate space and specific depth and traditional respect. Passover is Jewish. Easter is Christian. Historically, they are connected, but I do not advocate combining them, any more than I advocate celebrating Chrismukkah.

All of this is serious, weighty, ponderous even. And yet, both Passover and Easter should be joyous: spring flowers, liberation, renewal.  And we cannot, and perhaps should not, completely suppress the lightness and even humor of the reality of our intertwined interfaith lives, and the inevitable moments of comic overlap and cross-fertilization.

So now that  the season of solemn and authentic celebration of both holidays is coming to a close, I am letting my wacky, transgressive interfaith side show with some creative uses for leftover matzoh and Easter candy.

Peep S’mores. This original Peep and Matzoh S’more video (above), has inspired much commentary and even sequels.  The helium-addled rendition of “Dayeinu” on the soundtrack as the Peep inflates in the microwave provides a dark, campy twist, somewhere between terrifying and hilarious. Some people will actually eat Peep S’mores: the blandness of matzoh nicely balances the tooth-ache sweetness of chocolate and marshmallow. My favorite use for leftover Peeps (with no reference to Passover) is the equally bizarre Rice Krispies Treats with Floating Peep Heads. And hey, it’s gluten free!

Matzoh House. Meanwhile, thanks to my friend Geneva, a great cook and designer and interfaith parent, for sending this link to gingerbread-style houses made with matzoh and jelly beans. As with gingerbread houses, these are perfect for using up candy (and matzoh) without actually having to consume it. And check out some sillier uses for leftover matzoh (with no reference to Easter candy) in this youtube song. Enjoy!

Susan Katz Miller’s book, Being Both: Embracing Two Religions in One Interfaith Family is available now in hardcover, paperback and eBook from Beacon Press.

4 Replies to “Matzoh, Peeps, Jelly Beans: Interfaith Passover and Easter Leftovers”

  1. Although we’re a one-faith multicultural family, my kids are reasonably aware of how Easter is celebrated (from the viewpoint of my Catholic past). Over the recent Seders, my younger son – who’s never done Fish Fridays nor abstained from anything over a Lenten month – kept asking, “Why are the Christian festivals so much fun?” Much to be said for celebrating both and avoiding festival envy!
    Hope you had a beautiful Easter and Passover 🙂

  2. The (Easter) grass is always greener! Except when kids compare the “least-fun” holidays (Yom Kippur? Good Friday spent on your knees?). Eventually, kids grow up and figure out why Jewish adults cling to Yom Kippur, for instance, and appreciate the pleasure of giving things up shared by Ramadan, Lent, Yom Kippur (which is in part the pleasure of getting them back again)…

  3. Our peeps were melted and fairly well smashed in transcontinental air travel, but remain THE core spiritual dish (“Peepensmashen”) of our interfaith holiday.

    Our son, Billy, is now consumed with what specific percentage of his blood is Jewish. He proudly attended his Montessori post-holiday Easter service today with tales of beach-front Jewish Seder, lead by his grandfather, and Catholic Easter. Strange how children find it so easy to reconcile and celebrate what many adults would kill over.

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