April 3, 2009


I have a love/hate relationship with this holiday. I love the traditions that we follow during the preparation, the seder (more on that later on) and the foods. I love that there are certain things my mom cooks once a year, only for Passover. I love that I have recipes from my Bubbie that are specially labeled as "Kosher for Passover" in my recipe booklet. I love being a part of Alex's family and learning their Passover traditions. And I love that having our own house this year allows us to start our own Passover traditions.

However...all this love is seriously dampened by the extreme hatred I have for many aspects of this holiday. I hate having to change out all my dishes and silverware. I hate having to scrub every inch of my kitchen and worry that I'm not making it Kosher enough. I hate that I have to give up beans and grains for 8 days, especially since we cook with them quite often. I hate matzah. The only people I know that love matzah are non-Jews. Of course, because they don't have to eat it for 8 days straight!

Now that you know what I hate, let me explain what I mean by all that. Passover is a holiday that celebrates the Jews escaping slavery in the land of Egypt. If you've ever seen The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston, well...that's the whole story right there! We were slaves, Moses claimed his birthright and brought us out from under the evil reign of Pharaoh, and then we wandered in the desert for 40 years. When the Jews escaped from Egypt, they had to leave so quickly (lest Pharaoh change his mind) that there wasn't time for the bread to rise. They had to grab it as it was, and eat just that. So, for 8 days, we don't eat any leavened bread. No grains, no rice, no legumes, no corn, no flour...no nuthin'. We also celebrate by having the traditional seder meal for the first two nights. Seder means "order" in Hebrew, and this meal is conducted in a specific way, in a certain order, with a ton of symbolism. It's actually pretty cool! There are certain symbolic foods we eat, such as greens dipped in salt water, that symbolize the tears of the enslaved Jews. We eat a sweet paste made from apples, walnuts, cinnamon and wine called haroset that symbolizes the mortar the Jews had to use to build the pyramids. We also drink 4 cups of wine throughout the night as part of the seder, so there are quite a few tipsy people after the meal is over!

However, before we can even get to that night, we have to prepare our house for Passover. This means that we have to get rid of all chametz, or non-Kosher-for-Passover foods. Some people actually get rid of the food, or "sell" it for the time being, but we just move it off to the side and tape off the cabinet. It's basically like doing Atkins or South Beach for 8 days! Not as easy as you think.
This is a small tiny part of my to-do list for the next few days, so you can see the amount of cleaning that takes place:

Kitchen (All done Monday and Tuesday night)
o Clean out oven
o Change out dishes/silverware
o Wipe out cabinets before putting in Pesach dishes
o Wipe out drawers before changing silverware
o Put away non-KP dishes/silverware in box and set aside
o Move non KP food in pantry to far right side, tape off
o Clean off shelves
o Move non KP food to bottom of fridge
o Clean off shelves and drawers
o Vacuum floor
o Making sure to get under countertops and in corners
o Scrub floor with Swiffer
o Microwave
o Run platter through super hot (sani rinse) dishwasher cycle, along with all other items that we’ll re-use
§ Pyrex, drinking glasses, glass bowls, etc
§ Kitchen-aid mixer attachments and bowl
§ Toaster rack and tray
§ Both utensil crock items (but not crocks. Wash those by hand)
§ All tupperware
o Microwave a bowl of water and lemon juice inside for about 10 minutes to steam, and then scrub clean
o Clean the outside and underneath
o Toaster oven
o Empty the crumbs outside
o Clean toaster with damp cloth inside to get out all crumbs and stuck on pieces
o Wrap clean rack and tray in foil
o Counters
o Scrub clean with Green cleaner, making sure there are NO crumbs
§ Getting in all corners, under appliances, etc.
o Put away flour canister, far right side of pantry
o Clean off electric kettle
o Table
o Scrub clean
o Nothing left on it, no books, mags, boxes, etc.
o Clean off tile counter behind it, too
o Cover with tablecloth for the week

Yeah, so we have a busy few days ahead of us! Poor Alex, he hasn't seen this list yet. I will get to post some special K for P (kosher for passover) recipes in the near future, but for now...the baking will be on hold. No TWD for the next 2 weeks for sure, and maybe for the next 3 depending on how fast I can get my kitchen back together.

Now, if anyone can tell me the best way to scrub an oven without the harsh fumes, that would be great!


Sweet as Coco said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

oh my gosh you have your work cut out for you. I am not jewish, but I did just get a Bon Appetit mag for April that had some REALLY good looking recipes for passover I was looking to try? At least the dessert looked tasty :)

Ms. Aliza said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Good luck Beth! I know how hard this season can be especially for someone who loves their kitchen.

Matthew said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Man that is a lot. I think we are doing most of the stuff, but we don't change out dishes because we don't have any to change out with. We may just wind up eating on plastic. I like matzoh but not by itself (which would be weird anyways). Matzoh brie is good and so are some forms of lasagna. The thing here is it is hard to find whole kosher chicken and there aren't a lot of recipes that I have that deal with chicken breast. Also a lot of the recipes call for lots of ingredients here. Other than that Passover ain't too bad. You can use almond and potato flour and eggs to leaven things (like angelfood). By the by I'll be looking forward to your Passover Post. zoebakes.com has a few passover things on her site.