Benzo Withdrawal Humor Jewish Stuff Memoir

Oy Vey! The Matzah Balls!

Looks good, right?
Looks good, right?

A few years ago, I did a crap load of cooking. I was preparing for Passover, so I was doing what Jewish mothers do — cooking up a storm. I was Martha Stewart and Rachael Ray and Betty-freaking-Crocker — except the Jewish version.

So picture frizzier hair and a bigger nose.

That year, I made 3 times as many matzah balls as I usually would, to make sure that my family would have enough to eat for the entire week. It took hours, but no big whoop, right? These are the things we do for love.

After the brisket went in and the noodle kugel was finished, I realized I didn’t have enough room in my freezer. So, I asked my kind neighbor if I could use a little space in the freezer that she keeps in her garage. She said of course.

Passover comes and so do all the guests. I’m serving the soup, and I’m like where are all my matzah balls? I look in the freezer, in the refrigerator, in the garage. It’s cold enough. I’m thinking, maybe I stashed them in the trunk of my car. Sometimes I stick things there. I look everywhere. I only have 18 matzah balls. The thing is this: that year? We have 24 people at the house. Picturing, standing in the kitchen, confused and cutting matzah balls in half.

I believe it is written in the Torah.

Thou shalt not run out of matzah balls.

But I did.

I apologized to our guests.

Time went by.

Spring came and went.

Months after the holiday ended, I was sitting on my driveway in the sun when my neighbor asked if I would like to have my matzah balls.

“Because isn’t Passover coming up?” she asked.

You guys, I didn’t even remember giving them to her.

Suddenly I was like: Should I be worried? Should I call the doctor? Do I need to check about early dementia? Seriously, how did those balls get over there? Did they roll across the street on their own?

I followed my friend into her warm garage. She opened her freezer and next to the ICEEs, there was my long-lost Tupperware container filled with frozen balls. All 9 bazillion of them.

I obsessed about forgetting those matzah balls.

And then I got sick. For 15 months, I couldn’t cook or clean or even leave my house.

I couldn’t even think about making matzah balls.

It’s been a few years since I hosted a Passover meal.

At 32 months off Klonopin, I’m doing really well. I’m grateful to be alive, grateful to feel Spring in the air, hopeful that one day I will feel even better. I know all of this is part of G-d’s plan.

And this year, I plan to enjoy someone else’s balls.


tweet me @rasjacobson

11 thoughts on “Oy Vey! The Matzah Balls!

  1. Seriously, how did those balls get over there? Did they roll across the street on their own?

    Bwahahaha! It DOES say in the Torah (somewhere?) that your red street was parted and some white hairy-bearded man lead the Matzah Balling Exodus out of the lands of opioids safely to the Promised Frig! Right? 😛

    Renee, this was a hilarious story! Thank you. <3

    1. Hi Professor. You know, it’s strange. I never know what is going to make people laugh. I’m glad you found my story humorous. I was literally stressed out over the fact that I couldn’t find the dumb matzah-balls. I was actually convinced I was suffering from early dementia, etc. Thank you for being so wonderful about providing feedback.

      1. I did thoroughly enjoy your attitude about it. Of course, I empathize deeply about the opioid debacle, but now today it is so invigorating, so inspiring how you’ve come out of it and how you are now embracing the profound lessions! You ROCK Renee.

        My attitude about this delightful messy life we all live in is taking a moment, then a deep breath, and asking myself… “Self, how can learn to fail better!?” A laugh and/or chuckle follows. 😛

  2. I understand this on so very many levels. Loved your post! And I’m anxious to know how you handled the Great Matzo Ball Shortage. Did some go without? Did some people have to share? Oh, the drama of it all =))

    1. Hi Nina. Thanks for checking in. I’ve been loving all of your wonderful pieces. I can’t believe how much you’ve grown as a writer over the last few years. I’m so proud of you! I’m finally starting to come out of my shell and get back into the world. Thank you so much for your continued support!

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