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Plan for Pesach

 

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As we celebrate Passover, we are immersed in many time-honored customs. Special holiday traditions are reserved just for this time of year, such as the seder plate, the four glasses of wine, the many different foods, and the reading from the hagaddah. The four questions echo the beautiful sound of Pesach around the table while bringing family, friends and often strangers to a spiritually closer place.

The serene vision of a family table really makes for a beautiful picture. However, behind the scenes and before everyone sits down to the seder, reality produces a different picture altogether. To the shopper and the homemaker, I have one thing to say to you: You know what I’m talking about! The chaos, the cost, and the craziness in the kitchen associated with Passover can be overwhelming.

With only days away, there’s still time to minimize both the chaos and the cost of the holiday. Figure out your menus before hand. You will be much better off following a grocery list. Without it, there is the chance that you will buy, buy, and buy until you end up with so many groceries, that you’ll be stepping over bags; never having enough of what you need, but at the same time, having so many macaroons that you won’t even eat them all by next Passover! And if you’ve already done the bulk of your shopping, step back, take a breath as unload your bags. Take stock of what you have and write down the meals, even full menus of what to serve each day.

Plan your two seders; but also plan the other six days of chol hamoed meals. If you’re lucky, you’ll be invited to a friend’s house for at least one meal and out to dinner at Abigael’s on one of the other nights. For stay at home meals, plan thoroughly enough to ease up the stress and last minute hustling. Arrange your shopping lists well enough so that filling your shopping cart is just a matter of following your list down the aisles. Having to run to the store for a last minute ingredient is time consuming and disruptive. So plan to the power of eight. Plan for each of the eight days, and nights to make your holiday easier. More time for relaxing with the family and friends that have come around for holiday visits.

Another ease in preparation is to order in. Yeah, that’s right… you can have some, or all of your Passover meals ready to go. Abigael’s provides this service for the seders, as well as Passover week, as do some of your local shops.

I hope you enjoy my Passover recipe for Smoked Trout Salad. It’s one of my family’s favorites.

Chag Sameach!

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About Alison and Jeff Nathan

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Chef Jeff Nathan is the executive chef of The Abigael’s Group, which includes Abigael’s on Broadway and the Green Tea Lounge. He is also the author of two popular cookbooks, Adventures in Jewish Cooking and Jeff Nathan’s Family Suppers. At his restaurants, and on his acclaimed public television series, New Jewish Cuisine, Chef Nathan emphasizes the flavors of modern America while strictly observing the laws of kashrut. Along with his wife Alison, Chef Nathan is setting a new standard for kosher cooking with his innovative dishes and creative presentations. Find out more at Abigaels.com

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