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Mega Mishteh

Rachel Bachrach

How many people attend your Purim seudah? 10? 20? 30? What’s it like to host a seudah with double or triple that number of guests? Four women from across the globe share the nuts and bolts of how to host a seudah that rivals Achashveirosh’s (or at least tries to) and still smile when telling the tale.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

illustration of purim seudaWhere do you have it?

We do it at my mother’s house by default because she lives in Monroe and has a big place — it’s not even a question if it should be elsewhere! We used to put the men in the dining room and the ladies in another room, and the kids would be anywhere we could make place for them. Then a few years ago, we realized the men can be anywhere because they’re not moving, so we put the ladies in the dining room, which is adjacent to an open living room. It’s better, because between keeping an eye on the kids and the serving, the ladies are constantly moving.


What do you serve?

There’s not really a set menu. It’s a Yom Tov seudah, so we always have fish, soup, and stuffed cabbage, that’s traditional. Other than that, anything goes — whatever we want to make. The kids have the same, but smaller portions. Or if we make potato knishes, maybe we’ll bring a tub of mashed potatoes for them.


Do you serve dessert, or is the assumption that it’s unnecessary on Purim?

Of course there’s dessert. What’s a little more sugar at that point?


Who takes care of making the food?

Everyone makes something. So let’s say I bring knishes, someone else brings soup, and so on. The soup you can make a few days in advance and freeze. But certain things need to be made fresh, so those we’ll split between two people, because how many potatoes can you grate between Megillah and the seudah? And we also all serve. So there are a few ladies in the kitchen, doling out the food onto plates constantly, and there’s always a rotation coming with plates, going with food. Some of the older grandsons serve the men. Everyone is in charge of serving and feeding their own kids, because who’s going to serve them, my mother?


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