Updating our family's gefilte fish recipe meant navigating delicate terrain. Our Aunt Beth first learned it from her Grandma Mary back in 1986. Although by all accounts Mary Avadenka was a terrible cook and no one in the family even liked gefilte fish, as with everything related to Judaism, the neurotic fear of lost tradition compelled action, so Aunt Beth found herself in her grandmother's kitchen overwhelmed by the potent smell of boiling fish stock. Ever since, Aunt Beth and her sisters Eve and Lynne (our mother) have gotten together in Huntington Woods, Michigan—wearing clothes they don't mind burning after the activity—for the annual argument of "more matzo meal, less salt, more pike, less perch" that lovingly never ends. As kids, we became accustomed to a "no friends entering the house" window during Passover, for fear of being deemed the guys with the house that smells like Tsukiji fish market. A fish stock-scented home makes it difficult to get girls.