Saturday, April 4, 2009

This Year, Next Year and All the Other Years

If you're reading this then you have a computer. The subject of this posting is a simple one: a computer should be a balabusta's best friend. And there is no time like the present to cultivate this friendship.

I keep a file for every yom tov. In this file is everything I need to know about what I'm going to have to do for that yom tov. I've been doing this for years and those files are a treasure trove of help. There are shopping lists, divided by categories of food. There are cleaning lists. There are food preparation lists. There are menus from one year to the next. There are recipes for regular and in-bulk cooking of food items. I use these lists both before and after a yom tov. After yom tov is over I go back to the lists and strike any items that didn't get eaten, adjust amounts for those that too much of was made, or that were not a hit with my family. The shopping lists tell me exactly how much of all the items I need to get for the things I'll be using and preparing--no guessing from year to year how many eggs or how many of anything is needed. I have also already created the lists for next year. If anything is left over from this year that can be carried over to next year, such as certain spices, after yom tov I enter the number and where they are stored on next year's list so I'll know what I have.

I looked back at the lists from the last time that Pesach went straight into Shabbos and found a sign I had made to post on the fridge: MAKE AN ERUV TAVSHILIN. A reminder we all should keep in mind if we're outside of Israel.

I have friends who have jokingly (or maybe not so jokingly) called me just a tad anal retentive or perhaps O/C in my habits. Shrugs off comments. I just don't like surprises of the negative kind. I'd rather be ahead of the game then behind going out of the gate. Those computer lists make life easier, and I highly recommend them. If you don't already store this kind of info on the computer I'm suggesting that you start this year. I truly think you'll find Pesach a lot easier next year if you do. A few minutes this year can save you hours and hours next year--what do you have to lose?


G6 said...

I'm a big believer in lists myself.
How else am I expected to remember from year to year how many packages of the Aleh Katif Maror to buy, how many pounds of matzoh, ditto as yourself on the eggs.....

I also keep a list of things I put away from year to year... sort of a "do not buy" list, as well as a list of things to replace (corkscrew, oilcloth, etc.)

It makes the last minute stuff so much less stressful.

newbie said...

Not exactly on the topic but I've been reading lots of the blogs that have Pesach postings and I get a feeling that some women don't like Pesach very much. It sounds like they can't wait for it to be over. They avoid doing anything for the holiday until they absolutely have no choice. There were lots of funny and happy posts before Purim but none really for Pesach.

Some of the posts like this one offer practical advice. A lot seem to be nothing but complaints. I guess my question is why don't the women like this holiday very much? It's my first time preparing for Pesach--I'm BT--and it's a lot of work but I assumed it was more for me that I keep asking questions about what I should do and not do and that the work would be easier next time now that I know what I'm doing. Shouldn't there be some positive excitement that Pesach is coming?

Rae said...

I can't speak for other women newbie, but for me the happiness of Pesach doesn't arrive until somewhere on the second day, if then. Basically I'm too tired and overworked to be very happy right now. I've been making Pesach for years and the work doesn't get less even with experience. You always have to keep asking the questions because every year the rabbanim change their mind about what is okay and what's not on food stuffs. The amount of company I get has gone up not down now that some of the kids are married. I guess what I'm saying is that this chag doesn't represent a lot of fun for me with kids and grandkids when I'm non-stop in the kitchen because it's just too much to have to explain to everyone else where I managed to find room for things in the kitchen. I don't hate the chag but if it wasn't there I wouldn't cry.

Rivi said...

I always laugh when the greeting for Pesach is chag kasher v'sameach. If you're the one responsible for the kasher part the sameach part is harder to find. I don't hate this yom tov but I can't say I look forward to it the way I do sukkos. Like Rae said I'm just too tired to appreciate the yom tov. And I'm one of those who started preparations early, a little before Purim.

And thanks Prof, I've been keeping those handwritten lists from year to year but they are going into the computer now. Can't think why I didn't think of this myself--probably sleep deprivation.

SuMMy said...

It looks like you and my mother-in-law have the same system- she uses it to get us our favorite foods.