This time of year when someone says “apples,” we start thinking about chopping up piles of ’em with walnuts and cinnamon for a little charoset action, right? (Eeeps, that’s very Ashkenazi-centric of me. Lots of recipes for the Passover seder’s symbolic mortar don’t include apples, such as these delectable-sounding Moroccan Charoset Balls, but I’m going somewhere with this. Forgive me, Sephardic friends.)
So anyway, for us Jews of Eastern European descent, it’s apples, apples everywhere (and plenty of wine to drink), but you can really spice up any Pesach afterparty (if anyone’s still awake) with a few more: Out of the Box has just released Apples to Apples: The Jewish Edition, a superfun family board game that even the drunkest uncle can figure out.
The rules are as simple as the original Apples to Apples game, where players make comparisons using one set of cards with descriptive words like “brilliant” or “inspiring,” and one set of cards with people or things. Only in the J-version, the cards hold references to “My Rabbi,” “Gefilte Fish,” and yes, even “Paula Abdul.” Someone gets to judge which thing or person best fits the adjective on the table, mixing up subjectivity, hilarity and Jewish trivia all at once. Good times. And it’s shomer Shabbos, too, since there’s no writing or creating involved. A much nicer reward for finding the afikomen that the same ol’, tired five-dollar bill, nu?
This Jewish version of Apples to Apples (and you will never, ever refer to it as “Japples to Japples,” understand?) sprung from the fertile mind of Cleveland Jewish mama Alice Langholt, who compiled the game in the oodles of spare time she has in between raising four (four!) children, working at her synagogue’s religious school full-time, writing a midrashic novel, and publishing greeting cards. Oh, and baking her own challah every Friday. She developed the game after the kids were asleep, in the hours when her husband should have been rubbing her feet while she watched Grey’s Anatomy. Obviously, Alice is trying to make the rest of us slacker Jewish mothers look bad.
Since even the smartest kids under 12 probably can’t keep up with the Bette Midler and Woody Allen references, Alice is currently at work on a junior version of the game, which will surely become a staple in Sunday schools everywhere. After that, hopefully Alice will reveal where she’s hiding those six or seven extra hours a day the rest of us don’t know about.