The Kosher Home

 

Passover Prep – Kids’ Toys

 

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

My children are bigger now, but when they were small and we would be sorting through the toys I would find chametz everywhere. Cheerios and crushed up crackers all mixed in with the lego blocks. I felt it wasn’t enough to just sort through their toys, I wanted to make sure the chametz was totally gone.

Put away many of the toys for Pesach – sell them with the rest of the chametz – but keep out some of the favorites. Fill up the bathtub with lukewarm water and Johnson’s baby shampoo. Let the kids help you with soaking all the washable toys in the tub. Give them each a washcloth and have them scrub each toy. If you have a toy chest, take advantage of its current emptiness to clean it inside and out. Lay the toys on bath towels to dry, or have the kids dry them individually.


 

Passover Prep – Set Up a Mini Kitchen

 

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

Most of us are not fortunate enough to have a Passover kitchen. I dream of having one some day, but until then I have two choices. I can turn my kitchen over for Pesach five days before and start cooking like a madwoman OR I can prepare an area away from the chametz where I can slowly get certain foods done before the sprint to the finish line.

Run out to the grocery store and just buy a few basics so that you can get your cooking started. Some chicken and some vegetables, some frozen rolls of gefilte fish.


 

Passover Prep – Tackle the Breakfront

 

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

It’s time to roll up the sleeves and get working on the chametz removal. We are not in the kitchen yet – we gave it a once over last week, remember? Next week we will give it the final clean. I am talking about that breakfront that houses your fancy dishes and silver items. Those drawers in your buffet that cradle your fancy cutlery.

Cover your dining room table with a cloth or newspaper. Collect up your rags and your silver polish. Empty out the breakfront, the buffet and the drawers therein. Nothing goes back in unless it’s been polished to a shine. This is a great thing for the kids to help with if they are around. Give them a bunch of old socks to get to work with.


 

Passover Prep – Errands

 

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

Today we talk about getting the small things done and out of the way and off your list, so you can concentrate soon enough on getting the big things done – like shopping / cooking / cleaning and making Pesach.

  1. Shoes need to be resoled? Take them to the shoemaker.
  2. Shirts and clothes in the dry cleaning pile? Drop them off to the dry cleaner’s on the way to work. No one will be scrambling for a clean suit / dress / shirt 5 minutes before Yomtov.
  3. Get the carpet cleaner booked for next week.
  4. See if you can get a dentist appointment to sort out that bothersome tooth – deal with it before it bothers you to eat all that crunchy matza over Passover.
  5. Any minor medical issues – make an appointment with the doctor for this week.
  6. Schedule yourself a massage / hair cut / manicure for next week – all this preparation that you are doing, you must take time for yourself.
  7. Going out for the seder or a yomtov meal? Pick up gifts this week, wrap them and include a card, so that they are ready to be dropped off just before the holiday.

ACTION: Make a list of everything that needs to be done between now and Passover, and then prioritize. Farm out some tasks to the spouse / older children if possible.


 

Passover Prep – Weekend Tasks

 

Contributed by:

 

1 comment | Leave Comment

 

Ok, So you planned to get stuff done for Passover this week, it was on your calendar and everything, but that late night at the office on Monday just ruined your week. Do not fear – You have a whole Sunday to get plenty stuff accomplished.

Four easy things to take care of, and dinner will be ready when you are done.


 

Passover Prep – Restocking Passover Kitchen

 

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

Every year, when I am unpacking the Pesach dishes after my husband and boys have shlepped all seventeen boxes down from the attic, I have a moment when I realize that I kept *something* out to use for around the year, and need to replace it for Passover. Exactly what item that is, well, that would be anyone’s guess. One year it was the immersion blender, one year it was the potato peeler.

I have learned to combat these moments. Used to be that in the box marked Pesach #1 (which is the first box that gets opened) I had a paper on the top – on which I listed all kitchen utensils that I had kept out for regular use throughout the year, or broken over the last Pesach and need to be replaced. Ideally, if you did what I recommended yesterday, you have this document filed on your computer so that you don’t need to wait till you are unpacking the dishes to discover this list. This list should also have a list of *wants* that you had last year, but were not able to find / purchase.


 

DIY – Coconut Milk with Step by Step Photos

 

Contributed by:

 

5 comments | Leave Comment

 

I don’t believe there is any kosher for passover coconut milk on the market yet, at least I haven’t found it.  I remember last year there was a big deal over Almond milk that was certified.  It is so nice to be able to make non dairy desserts without using chemical filled artificial creamers.  Almond milk is a great option, but it can get pricey and sometimes the flavor is not ideal or you might need something with a little more fat.  That is when I turn to coconut milk.   On passover coconut is a big part of many desserts, think macaroons, how could there not be kosher for passover coconut milk.

Then I happen to be talking to a woman from Ghiana who told me she always makes her own coconut milk and it is not a big deal.  Especially if you start with already grated, which of course she doesn’t.  Then I remembered that our food blogger friend, Shoshana gave us a recipe last year for Passover pudding where she tells us how it is done.  Shoshana says to pour boiling water over the coconut and then puree in a blender and strain it in cheesecloth.  However, many recipes on line suggest soaking it in warm water and then straining it and that you can even go through the process twice with the second batch being thinner.  I thought that would be even easier, not to have to puree it, but I was not happy with the results. I think if you can get fresh coconut and grate it yourself you would not have to puree it.  But if you want to go the easy way we will still with Shoshana and here is how it is done.


 

Do It Yourself Crafts for Your Seder

 

Contributed by:

 

3 comments | Leave Comment

 

For every Jewish holiday there are loads of crafts we can make with our kids or even on our own as adults.  It is fun to have our personalized items to use and our friend, Sarah Dahan, from CreativeJewishMom.com always has a amazing ideas.  Look through your collection and see what might be missing or which item has seen a better year.  You will find links to all of these crafts at the bottom of this page.  And don’t miss our Makot Matching Game.

Maybe it is time to make a gorgeous Bejeweled Wine Glass for Eilayu you can even dress up your regular wine glasses this way.


 

Passover Prep – Start Your Grocery Shopping

 

Contributed by:

 

1 comment | Leave Comment

 

By now you should have a room that is totally chametz-free where you can start to store your Passover groceries as you buy them. Matzah is something that needs to be bought as far in advance as possible, especially if you have a particular brand that you are partial to.  The later you leave it the more of chance there will be that the store will be sold out.

When I shop for Passover, I try to get all the goods that I will need for the whole 8 days. I would rather not have to go back to the store to buy anything else if I don’t have to. (One year I thought 144 eggs would be enough, and I ran out half way through the holiday, but that’s a story for a different time).


 

Passover Prep – New Clothes

 

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

I don’t know what it’s like in your house, but my boys seems to all outgrow their dress clothes at the same time. We made a Barmitzvah a year ago and everyone got new suits and shirts and ties and shoes and everything in between. Within the last week I have noticed that they all need new stuff.

I am thrilled these boys are growing. But they are all different body types from each other and hand me downs just are not working any more. I have been looking online and taking suggestions from other moms on the best places to outfit the boys for Passover.


 

Seder Tablescape

 

Contributed by:

 

1 comment | Leave Comment

 

Dear Joy of Kosher readers,

On Passover, we strive to whip up the perfect hametz-free gourmet menu which a huge feat right after we survive meticulously scrubbing of every inch of our homes. With just a little bit of planning and imagination, we can save some energy to create our own unique Passover seder tablescapes which serves as an elegant backdrop for our delicious Passover meals.


 

Passover Prep – Order Your Meat

 

Contributed by:

 

1 comment | Leave Comment

 

Week one of preparation for this epic holiday wasn’t so bad, was it?

Now that we are organized we can move on to taking on tasks for Passover. It’s time to order the meat. Now, you don’t have to have your menus prepared to know exactly what you need – sometimes you need to buy the meat and poultry that’s available, and work your menu around that. But buy now – by next week EVERYONE else will be stocking up and the selection will be much smaller. If you plan on using Gefilte Fish frozen loaves – get those now too. You don’t want to be scrambling at the last minute.


 

Passover Prep – Weekend Chores

 

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

This week we brought you many tips and tricks with a good dollop of advice on how to start your pre Pesach clean up. The idea has been to start early, be organized and not panic. We want you to get to the seder ready to enjoy it, not be so exhausted by overwork that you resemble a leaf of limp lettuce.

If you haven’t had the time this week to take care of any of the cleaning, set aside some time on Sunday – you can manage to do it all. Rope in the spouse and the children – assign chores. Every one can and should help.


 

Ingredient Spotlight: Horseradish

 

Contributed by:

 

1 comment | Leave Comment

 

Whenever we approach “Maror” at the Passover Seder, I see my little cousins cringe at the prospect of having to eat the bitter herb to remind us of the bitter work the Egyptians forced on the enslaved Hebrews. The horseradish we consume can even bring tears to your eyes if you have too much. By the end of the two Seders, there is usually enough horseradish to last for 3 or 4 more Passovers or preserved to be used with gefilte fish for the whole year.  The sale of bottled horseradish began in the 1860′s, but there is nothing like making your own.  Here are 2 different methods for preserving.

Drying: 1. Set oven to the lowest possible temperature. 2. Either slice the horseradish into uniform thickness, or grate using a box grater (this is how my leftover horseradish usually is anyway) 3. Lay out the horseradish in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in oven to dry. Check occasionally, until they are brittle to the touch. (**note–I don’t know how long this actually is) 4. Once fully dried, store in a dark airtight container on a dark shelf. If you have a vacuum sealer, you can vacuum seal the horseradish and store in the freezer. Mark with the date and discard after 6 months. Grated: 1. Grate the horseradish with a box grater. Be careful not to put your head too close or you will feel a rush of the released horseradish oils that will make your eyes tear. 2. Take a small clean jar that can hold 1/2-1 cup. Fill halfway with quality red, white, or light balsamic vinegar (1/4-1/2 cup). 3. Spoon the grated horseradish into the jar. Gently swirl with a bamboo skewer to make sure all pieces have been coated with vinegar. 4. Seal and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks. Note: Homemade horseradish is usually stronger than store bought especially if you make it when it is very fresh and pungent. Here are some more ideas for how to use horseradish: -Sniff it when you have a cold–it will clear your sinuses right up! -Slice thinly using a mandolin and serve in salads. There are many varieties of horseradish, including a watermelon horseradish, which look beautiful when sliced and served this way. -Boil or steam the horseradish and eat it like you would a turnip or steamed carrots. The cooking process eliminates the pungent flavor of the horseradish, so for those who don’t like the flavor, this can be a great way to still benefit from the nutrition of the root vegetable, which is a great source of fiber.

Gefilte Fish Cakes with Horseradish Sauce


 

Passover Prep – Clean The Kitchen

 

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

OK, now, it is still three weeks till Pesach and there is still a lot of chametz cooking to be done between now and then, so cleaning your kitchen NOW for Pesach is not going to happen. However, if you give it a good going over now – in a methodical manner – then when you are doing your final pre-Passover-Get-Rid-Of-Chametz-Scrub, it will go faster and easier.

Instead of waiting till the day before to self-clean the oven of a year’s worth of grime, set the self timer to go tonight, or while you are at work tomorrow. By the time you wake up / come home from work, the oven will have cooled down and you can get to work wiping it down. Don’t have a self cleaning oven? Easy Off is your friend. Do the same with the stovetop – clean it well now. Submerge the grates or the drip pans in hot soapy water and use the cleaning products that are right for your stove. If you get off the majority of the yucky stuff now, cleaning* and changing over the kitchen will be a breeze.