A Pesach’s Worth

The Passover holidays are upon us at the end of March and I’ve some urgent business to transact. Does anyone know how to get in touch with the Bureau of Weights and Measures of the Yiddish-speaking nation? Time is short ! Perhaps I’d best apply to the French Academy of Sciences for my particular need. Pesach calls out for special assistance, and I’ve no Talleyrand to help me promulgate a slight revision to the metric system…

Like so many of my fellow tribe-members, I buy matzoh once a year, one of those giant five-pound boxes. I feel so rich as I cart it home. Pesach brings such special pleasures; the absence of leavened bread is more than recompensed. Our forefathers wandered in the desert, delicious manna sustaining them, but in modern times we have better in store: Butter slathered on a sheet or two of Streit’s or Manischewitz is an out of body treat, even better when the lumpy sheets are strewn with a devilish measure of salt.

I’m feeling a bit cautious, though, now in my late 50s. I know that some margarines are far healthier than butter. Salt is a no-no. I’m in a box. This year it’s time to make a deal with the Almighty, start buying myself some extra time. I’ll procure a container of canola oil margarine and spread it on. But no salt, not a crystal, and eight days and it’s gotta be ALL gone, all crumbs removed and the tub licked clean. Being an olive oil fanatic for my morning toast, I can’t abide leftovers when the holiday is over. Here stands the problem with which I need help. Waste is a shandeh, and those Country Crocks look huge ! How do I garner the right size tub?

My proposal is simple, illustrated below: the first know photographic recording of a “Pesach’sworth.” The term is destined for universal application: defined by the exact quantity of margarine necessary to evenly spread on 24 sheets of matzoh (breakfast plus a snack, you know, all eight days of the holiday).

Once accepted by the authorities, I expect my new standard to far outlast other now obscure Biblical references: cubit, arshin, their memories long gone. Almost 6000 years of Jewish history and only the shekel is still around. Perhaps I’d better start buttering them up, greasing a few palms in the sanctum sanctorum where such matters are weighed. Help me out !! Talk it up and we’ll be victorious; no moldering tubs of oleo in our post-Passover fridges in years to come. Tell General Foods, Kraft, the FDA: there’s a new sheriff in town and all food industry giants better behave. A Pesach’s worth gets added to your grocer’s dairy shelf. Screw the bar code and UPC: we have a higher purpose. Eat and be merry. Mighty Pharaoh is long gone….

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