Jeff Pearlman

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Passing Over

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I don’t care much for Chanukah.

My birthday is nice, but not such a big deal.

I very much dig New Year’s Ever, but am generally ready for bed by 10:30.

Christmas and Easter always leave me feeling left out.

But Passover—I friggin’ love Passover.

We had a Seder at our house last night. Eleven people in total. Some Jewish, some not Jewish. Doesn’t matter.

For me, it’s all about the ritual. Or, as my dad used to say when he’d lead our home Seder, Jews everywhere are doing the same thing at the same time—and that’s really neat. Which I 100 percent agree with. There’s something about Passover that feels … warm. And embracing. I’m as religious as a stump, but I still love being Jewish in the way (I imagine) it feels like being African-American or Italian or Polish. It’s cultural. You know what Jews have been through, and what they continue to experience, and that serves as a connector. I feel like, 99 of 100 times, I can tell when someone I’m with is Jewish, just because, like dogs, we can sniff it out. Identity. Home.

I happened to marry an amazing chef, which makes Passover all the better. But even though—in the kitchen—she’s Julia Child and I’m Greg Childs, I always try and make Carrot Moosh, the recipe passed down from Marta Herz, my late grandmother. I’m usually the only person who wants it, but—again—bringing forth the dish feels like a righteous connection to Judaism and the family.

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Ah, Passover.

I really do love it.

  • Paul C

    Not to be too much of a schmuck here, but if you are serving it at a Passover seder, is it too much to ask you to use matzo meal instead of flour, you know, because of that whole chametz thing? If you’re going to use flour on Passover, why not go whole hog and have a nice ham or some lovely shrimp?

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Once again, Jeff Pearlman has produced an exhaustively researched, elegantly written book that re-creates one of the most colorful and memorable teams of the modern era. No basketball fan's bookshelf will be complete without it.

— Seth Davis, author of Wooden: A Coach's Life