Passover

 

Passover Prep – Errands

 

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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.


 

Go Mexican on Pesach

 
 

Before you turn around seders will have come and gone and Chol Hamoed will be here. You’ve survived the Pesach cleaning, you’ve left Egypt through the Seder. Now what to do with your new found freedom? Why eat Mexican, of course. If you’re like me and didn’t opt for Pesach in Cancun, then don’t let yourself feel short-changed. Bring Mexico and all it’s wonderfully fresh colors and flavors of cinnamon, oranges, lemons, limes, chilies, cilantro (if you don’t love it, well, try it again or leave it out), green and red onions home to your table.


 

Passover Prep – Weekend Tasks

 

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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.


 

How to Eat Healthy At an All Inclusive Resort

 

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I’ve never experienced it, but I have heard the stories.  All inclusive Passover vacations are a great way to have all the fun without all the stress of Passover.  Sitting by the sun and enjoying yourself, while someone else does all the cooking and cleaning.  Sounds like a dream come true!  But if you take “all you can eat” to an extreme, you might come home with more than a sunburn.  And a sunburn fades a lot quicker than those extra 10 pounds.

You can still enjoy your resort vacation while maintaining a healthy diet, and it’s not as hard as you think.  Here are my tips on resisting the temptation to overeat when you are spending so much money to eat everything you want.


 

Saturday Night Seder Menu

 

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This year the second seder falls on Motzei Shabbat.  That means we really have to get everything ready early.  Usually we can cook on yom tov to prepare for the second night, but this year, we do not have that luxury.  I have been asked by a few people for good recipes to serve for the second seder considering the limiations.  My first thought is brisket, the classic seder recipe that is even better the next day, but you can really do any braised meat, short ribs, osso bucco, beef stew, even the ones with flour should work well with out it or you can use matzo meal to coat the meat when necessary.  After that comes a saucy chicken that won’t dry out when reheated.  Kugels are always good and so are the soups.  Here is a new menu that won’t take too much time to prepare.


 

The Meaning of Charoset for Passover

 

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Did anyone else ever have a laugh when looking at the English translation of the Hagadah (the book we read at the Passover Seder to tell the story of the Exodus) and reading the word “haroseth” instead of the Hebrew “charoset?” Maybe I’m a Modern Orthodox Ashkenazic snob, but it tickled me to conclude this particular word with a “th.”

This is no longer a laughing matter to me, as it is this transliteration of the fruity concoction we eat at the Passover Seder that brought me to a fascinating article on charoset from the Jewish Quarterly Review. In the spirit of an article I wrote shortly after Tu B’shvat, “Mindful Eating”, I would like to briefly touch upon some of the symbolism behind charoset–the sweet climax of the Seder that closes the chapter of story-telling, and segues from past to present by opening up the meal with an edible, chunky aperitif.


 

Parve Passover Dessert Recipes

 

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With all of the packaged Passover cakes and cookies sitting in the grocery store aisles weeks before the holiday starts it is no surprise that many a store-bought Passover cake tastes more like the cardboard it is packaged in than like a delicious dessert.  Sure, they are convenient, but as someone who strongly believes that dessert is not worth eating unless it is truly delicious, to me they are just not an option. Instead I use Pesach as the perfect opportunity to make homemade desserts that would be welcome on the table anytime of year. It isn’t enough for them to be “good for Pesach”. They have to be good period. The key is using quality ingredients and finding appropriate substitutions for ingredients like flour that can’t be used on Pesach.


 

Passover Prep – Restocking Passover Kitchen

 

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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.


 

Do It Yourself Crafts for Your Seder

 

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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

 

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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).


 

A Chinese Seder

 

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Last year was my first year hosting a Passover Seder.  We finally live walking distance to my brother and his family and it allowed us the opportunity to be together and trade nights.  They hosted the first night and we hosted the second.  In the past, when we all went to my Abba’s house, we would complain about the turkey and brisket he made every year, even when it was delicious (which it usually was).  “Try something new,” we would whine.  He replied, “you will see how hard it is to try something new when you have 6 house guests for a 3 day Yom Tov including two Seders and no one living in town to help with the cooking.”  Okay, point taken.

I don’t have house guests and only have to host one Seder, so that means I can get creative.  Especially since I had the second night, I wanted to make sure I made something different from my sister-in-law, who is a very hard act to follow anytime of year.   Instead of negotiating, I created this amazing Chinese feast that I knew would be one of a kind.  (note – they now make kosher for passover no-soy soy sauce)


 

Passover Prep – New Clothes

 

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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

 

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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

 

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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

 

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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.