Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Happy Passover, Oregon Style

So we're in Portland, and it's Passover time. I hit the local Whole Foods for my seder essentials. As I'm at the meat counter, I see a sign saying, "complimentary seder bones." Awesome. Back in Philly, this is pretty much par for the course in every supermarket, but I wasn't expecting to find a seder shank bone so easily in Portland. I mean, there are definitely Jews--and Jews love Whole Foods--but I just didn't expect to see that.

So I ask for my brisket, the chicken, and I'll take a free seder bone. The guy looks at me like I have two heads. I look back at him, also two-headedly, because he's standing right behind the sign that says "complimentary seder bones." He goes, "what bone now?" I repeat, "seder bone."

"What?"

"Seder bone."

Blank stare. I gesture to the sign. He reads it, and it clearly Does Not Compute.

He gets his manager, and the two of them profusely apologize because they suspect they're being rude to me (I assure them they're not--the confusion was mutual) but they have no idea what their own sign means and they're more than happy to oblige but need me to tell them what it is they are supposedly offering. I say, "am I correct in concluding I'm the first person to take advantage of the free seder bones?" They laugh and so confirm. I try to describe what it is I get every year at Safeway or Whole Foods back in Philly: a little bone from a lamb. In my head I can see it. A shank bone, scraped clean, and cut into pieces so you can get 4-5 seder plates out of one bone. Look, it's free. So I do my best to describe it and they say they can do it, absolutely, let them look around. I tell them I'll do my shopping and come back to the counter.

About 5 minutes later, the meat guy comes to find me, and hands me three brown paper-wrapped packages: the brisket, the chicken, and something....else. It's labeled "no charge." It's suspiciously large, but I'm way too afraid to reopen this issue. I thank him for all his help, take it home and open it up and....it's a whole lamb shank. Like, 4 pounds of lamb, on the bone.

God will be pleased. Or, "dinner is served."

1 comment:

Susanne said...

haha I have told this to everyone I have spoken with. Linda missed you all at the seder. The shank bone was much smaller!