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Tag Archives: Passover

Goodbye Pesach 2015, but thinking about next year…

pesach closetPesach may be over, but there is always a lot to do to put it all away and go back to our usual routines. My husband and I spent most of the morning finishing the dishes, bringing our Pesach stuff downstairs, packing the leftover food away, and taking off all the odds and ends from Pesach (the signs, counter coverings, etc.). We still haven’t repacked the bins and put them away, but at least we are farther than most years! I will have to be sure to check my list to make sure we haven’t forgotten anything! See my post, “Putting away Pesach” on doing this.

But the most important part of ending Pesach is thinking about next year! I always like to think about a few things before wrapping up the current year:

1) Any things I want to change or do differently next year (see below for details).

2) Wish list for next year

– For us it was things that had broken (like our cutting mats) or more plastic containers, which always seem to disappear.

– We also plan to remember to buy more margarine. We got only one pack and it was not enough! We had to borrow from friends!

3) Inventory of what food we have leftover and plan to save for next year.

This list is very important so you don’t overbuy the next year. We have so many boxes of cake meal and matza meal left, that we won’t need it for several years! I also take the time to adjust my shopping list based on what we used. For example, we used 8-9 dozen eggs this year. That was a bit more than past years.

I will share with you the lessons I learned from this year.

∞ Changing your cleaning order is okay! I ended up cleaning in a backward order this year. When the week of Pesach came, I had only cleaned the two kids’ bedrooms. We normally would not turn over the kitchen until all the rooms were done (except maybe the living room and dining room). However, I knew with my husband’s and my work schedule, we had to take advantage of that Sunday to turn over the kitchen no matter what.

So I just ended up cleaning our bedroom and the basement (which were only an hour and a half or so total) and then the living-dining room last. It is funny how no matter how long you have been keeping Pesach, each year is so different. You might think that things will get easier as your children get older, or you are not working, or… But what I found in talking with my coworkers, every year brings something new. One friend had lost her father and was helping her mother move, another had a few-month-old baby, and another had a sick mother she was caring for. We never know what life will throw us. I think being organized, but willing to be flexible to get it all done, really helps!

∞ This year I also had to really resist the urge to spring clean to get it all done. With working three jobs and taking care of my family, I did not get as much cleaning done the month before as I had hoped. So with encouragement from friends that “dust is not chometz,” I forged on and lightened my standards, My house did get clean, but we do have some things to continue cleaning (and that is okay!), i.e. dusting, mopping a few areas of the house, and decluttering!

∞ Order paper goods early. In years past, I have compared prices on paper goods from websites and placed a large order with friends. However, I just never got around to it this year. I just couldn’t bare to buy from anywhere else (like a brick and mortar store) because you pay so much more! Thankfully, I was able to get within $.02 an item for most of the paper goods I needed from Amazon Prime. I ordered on Tuesday and my stuff was here Thursday, just in time for Pesach. Next year, I plan to remember that even if I don’t have the time to do the research and do a big order, Amazon has great prices and I should just order right after Purim so I will have some for that week before Pesach!

∞ Planning the week before Pesach is just as important as the cleaning and menu planning for Pesach. This year, I used some tips from a friend of mine, and planned some easy, but not necessarily chometz-free meals the week before (shul dinner, pizza bagels, soup and salad, salmon hash, hamburgers and chips). What helped make it a success was that we:

  • ate outside every night
  • only let the kids eat chometz outside
  • had kitnios snacks and cereal that week
  • used appliances outside the kitchen for meals (like we moved the toaster into the dining room for one night’s meal, grilled for another and heated a frozen soup in the crockpot for one)

∞ Don’t wait to do your Passover shopping! We kept waiting until closer to Pesach to get our groceries, but by the time we did our shopping, some popular items were already gone (like margarine, salad dressing, and pickles). So I will remember to at least get those few things early, even if I am not ready or do not have the money to do my full shopping trip yet.

Do you have any tips you learned this Pesach to share with the rest of us? Please share in the Comments!

Related posts:

 
 

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Kids’ Mitzvah Checklist for Passover

nissan_simaneihaseder_magidI am taking a break from my regular Passover (Pesach) preparations to think of my kids. One of my favorite new traditions is involving the kids by helping them get excited about doing the mitzvos for that holiday. I already had a reader/friend ask where my next holiday checklist for the kids was! So here is this holiday’s mitzvah checklist for your children.

Kids’ Mitzvah Checklist for Passover

I like to print these out in color for my kids and post them on the door of their room. They love adding stickers for each mitzvah they complete and then we go for a family reward after the holiday. Thanks again to Chinuch.org for the great clip art!

If you are still in the middle of your holiday preparations and need some tips, here are my past related posts on Passover (Pesach):

For other related posts, check out:

Have a wonderful and meaningful Passover!

 
 

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Lessons learned from Pesach 2012

note

Every year I reflect on what went well and what didn’t go well with before, during, and after Pesach. I, of course, make notes for next year on my prep file, as I mentioned in my post “Putting away Pesach” and “Pesach is coming!” Here are my notes for this year that I thought I would share with you. Maybe they will make you think about something you would do differently next year!

We need to save (or get) some empty boxes for moving non-Pesach stuff down to basement.

We always use some plastic milk crates to take down the pantry stuff, but the utensils, mitts, paper towel holder, and all the other stuff on the counters, needs somewhere to go, too! We ended up using lots of reusable Whole Foods bags, but they didn’t stack so well and the laundry room looked a mess!

Be sure to read all of the alerts and shopping guides before you go shopping for your groceries!

I had four kids in tow and was looking for the kosher for Passover Dannon Yogurt. After searching for the marked labels to no avail and making several calls, I had to pay $1.19 a container for several small KLP yogurts! I could have gotten them for much cheaper at our local deli if it wasn’t Friday Erev Pesach! Next time I won’t just print the alerts and read them as needed. I will read them all before shopping! You definitely can’t assume that the rules will be the same from year to year. Products change and unfortunately you have to read the alerts and guides carefully to find those changes!

Read recipes carefully before putting them on the menu.

We have put a cauliflower popcorn recipe on our menu two years in a row. However, when it comes to making it, it never happens because it takes too much work! It looked great, but was not in our “time budget.” Maybe someday when our kids are grown we can undertake a recipe that takes more time!

When you buy things during the year, add them to your “Pesach Prep” box so you will be sure to tovul it before the next Pesach.

We had a cheese board and knife we received as a gift several years back. We had never used it and decided to make it Pesadik. However, it was forgotten in the bottom of the parve tub and we never got to tovul or use it this year! My husband decided yesterday to put it in our Pesach Prep tub, so it will be one of the first things we see next year when we are starting to get ready for Pesach.

Did you make notes for yourself for next year? Please share in the Comments section.

 

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Check the Passover clearance sales today!

Machine matzo produced from shmura wheat in IsraelI know we all want to put Passover/Pesach behind us and eat some real treats, but you can save a bundle today if you shop right! Check out the sales at your local grocery stores and delis on their Pesach leftovers. Some ideas for products that keep well from year to year (unopened unless otherwise stated):

Dry goods:

∞ matzah
∞ potato starch, matzah meal, matzah cake meal, matzah farfel – Use up your leftovers during the year and store the unopened for next year.
∞ matzah ball mixes – Use up your leftovers during the year and store the unopened for next year.
∞ cake, cookie, and muffin mixes – At a low price these can be a good quick dish to make in a pinch.
∞ cereal – We bought a few this year that were clearanced out from last year and they tasted fine.
∞ cooking wines
∞ cooking spray – Use up your leftovers during the year and store the unopened for next year.
∞ vinegar – We have stored opened leftovers successfully from year to year. My husband does not like cooking with Pesach vinegar, but he likes it for cleaning or for making homemade vegetable wash. See my post “Homemade vegetable wash: Worth it?”
∞ spices – We have used our leftovers for several years.
∞ soup mixes
∞ salad dressing mixes
∞ vegetable oil
∞ canned goods and condiments
∞ salad dressing
∞ wine

Perishables:

∞ margarine – Freeze to use next year.
∞ yogurt – You should not store this until next year, but if it is less than $.37 each, which is Aldi’s price per yogurt, then buy it to use now.

* Happy shopping! Post the great deals you find today in the Comments section!

 

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Putting away Pesach

Modern kitchen

I don’t know about you, but we were too tired to turn the kitchen back over last night. Our boys could not get to sleep after all the excitement of Yom Tov and that left little time to get anything done when everyone was asleep.

So if you still have to turn your kitchen over today, here is my checklist for saying goodbye to Pesach. Below is also the link for my complete Pesach Prep Checklist, which includes the items from this post as well as the forms mentioned. Pesach Prep list

Converting the kitchen:

∞ Wash all the Pesach dishes and pots and pans, etc.

∞ Take all the Passover supplies back downstairs. (Put them back in their boxes and bins.) This includes the kids’ seder supplies’ box and kids’ Pesach toys’ box.

∞ Uncover the counters. If you use a reusable covering, be sure to clean it and take this down with your Pesach supplies.

∞ Pack up any unopened leftover non-perishable Pesach food. Be sure to note what is left on your inventory form. Also make notes of any groceries that you didn’t use as much as you purchased.

∞ Move the opened leftover non-perishable Passover food out of the pantry or whatever cabinet you were storing it in (to make room for your regular items). Be sure to wipe the cabinet or pantry out.

The rest of the house:

∞ Catch up on your laundry.

∞ Bring up the non-Pesach stuff to put your kitchen and dining room back together.

Make notes for next year:

∞ Make notes on your menu from this year of what you liked, didn’t like, etc.

∞ I also like to add the names and locations of recipes we liked to our Menu Ideas list so we will remember them for next year.

∞ Make notes on your Pesach Prep Checklist of any things you would like to change for next year.

    • This might mean cleaning or preparations that need to be done sooner or differently.
    • Also make note of any new household items you purchased this year (add this to your inventory) or any items you want to get next year (add this to your wish list).

∞ Reprint your new Pesach Prep Checklist and file in your Pesach prep binder.

∞ Make a plan for the coming week to eat up any Pesach leftovers.

Related articles:

52 Week Challenge Week 16: After Passover review and SBB update (www.organizedjewishhome.com)
Cookie-ing up some matzo (rantingchef.com) – great recipe to use up your leftover matzah

 

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More kosher recipe sites

Charoset made with kosher wine, apples, pears,...

I have a few more websites to add to my list of recommendations for finding kosher recipes:

Aish.com – I love to go to this site for all things Jewish. They have great articles on parenting, holidays, the Parsha, relationships, politics, and so much more. Plus, they have great recipes! I have mentioned this website before in my post “Review: Aish.com.”

The Kosher Blogger – This blogger lives in Israel and offers a lot of great recipes that she has made successfully many times and are well-received.

Jewish-Life-Organized – This writer, organizer, and home manager has a section for dinner solutions and has many great articles, tips, and advice. This is another one of my favorite websites. Check out my review of her site at “Review: Jewish-Life-Organized.com.”

Happy reading and cooking!

 

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Where do you find kosher recipes online?

Recipes

Have you made your menu for the entire week of Pesach/Passover yet? I seem to be getting a lot of views on my blog from people who are still looking for recipes. Culling through all the websites that come up when you type in “kosher recipes” or “Passover recipes” in a search engine can be overwhelming. So, I thought it might be helpful to provide a roundup of great websites that have specifically kosher recipes. Please let me know of any other good ones you have used, so I can add them here as well!

Kosher on a Budget This blog is my favorite blog! The author’s main focus is on ways to save money, budgeting, great deals, coupons, and more. However, she also provides great posts on holiday planning and recipes.

Joy of Kosher – This is one of my new favorite magazines. We have tried a few recipes already this holiday and really liked them. The website includes videos and numerous recipes, many of which cannot be found in the printed magazine.

CookKosher – This is a relatively new kosher website that has many great search features.

Pomegranates and Honey – This is written by a local St. Louis chef. I have heard great things about her and her cooking.

Organized Jewish Home – This blogger writes about staying on top of your home and family, homeschooling, holidays, and recipes. She has great tips and ideas!

The OU – This is the largest Kashrus organization in the United States. Their website include hundreds of kosher recipes of all types.

Gourmet Kosher Cooking – This site is written by another blogger. Great recipes with a gourmet touch!

Leah Cooks Kosher – This chef shares her expertise and kosher recipes.

Chabad.org Kosher Recipes & Cooking – More great recipes from this worldwide education organization.

 

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