Purim is over, and Passover is not only right around the corner, but truly almost upon us. This is the time of year when my anal retentive tendencies take over, and “planning-Shannon” (as my husband likes to call me) goes into full effect.
I know some people loathe Passover prep, and feel it’s completely overwhelming, but I actually enjoy the challenge! If you keep your menus simple, and take some steps ahead of time, Passover can be less of a chore than you might think.
Make your lists!
Are you hosting a seder and need to plan a menu? Visiting family and need to bring a dessert or side dish? Housing 4 of your son’s roommates from college? Make a list of items in the following categories to help you plan for the weeks leading up to the holiday.
- 1-3 months ahead: kitchen items such as extra pots and pans, gadgets, cutting boards and measuring cups. I love checking out TJ Maxx, Overstock or Crate and Barrel Outlet for great marked-down items.
- 2-3 weeks ahead: non-perishable and frozen items such as matzo meal, store-bought chicken broth, spices, shredded coconut, KP soda, gefilte fish rolls, potato starch and snacks.
- 1 week ahead: perishable items such as fruit, vegetables, fresh herbs, fish, eggs, milk and cheese.
Stock up on Staples
I tend to go through more cleaning supplies, more paper goods and just more stuff during the week of Passover when we are cooking and eating almost every meal in the house. Take a trip to Target or Amazing Savings to stock up on essential items you will need to make your Passover week more organized and bearable. I like to stokckpile paper goods, tupperware with lids, storage bags and cleaning supplies.
Visit the butcher EARLY
Ever notice how the weeks before Passover somehow meat prices surge? It’s the same as gas prices before the Christmas or Fourth of July holidays. If you have an extra freezer now is the time to stock up on extra chicken, beef, ground turkey and whatever other meat staples you will need to last the week before the butcher or supermarket is teeming with other Jews and higher prices.
Tackle little by little
Start cleaning out the pantry, freezer and fridge in the coming weeks so you don’t have to do it all at once. Start using up your bread products by making fresh bread crumbs, croutons or other chametz-heavy recipes – it will lighten your workload when its time to finish your Passover cleaning.
Pronounced: SAY-der, Origin: Hebrew, literally “order”; usually used to describe the ceremonial meal and telling of the Passover story on the first two nights of Passover. (In Israel, Jews have a seder only on the first night of Passover.)