Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pesach Countdown--4 Days to Go

Suggestion for the Day #1: Don't leave your perishable shopping until a day or two before Pesach--today is a perfect day. Dairy goods have a long expiration date and will last quite well for all of Pesach if you shop today. And yes, fruits and vegetables will do so as well if you take care to not buy produce that is at full full ripeness and won't last more than a day or two. Any produce that you do buy fully ripe should be used for Shabbos meals.

Suggestion for the Day #2: If you bake at home for Pesach this is a good day for it. Baking can be a messy job and time consuming as well, so get it out of the way now. And while you are at it, bake everything you will need for Pesach and freeze what is not going to be eaten now.

Suggestion for the Day #3: If you use fresh greens for your soups on Pesach, clean and check them today if you have not already done so. Decide how many packages you need of the greens based on how many pots of soup you will be cooking over yom tov and prepare that many packages ready packaged. Now, freeze the wet packages in individual plastic bags, except for any you will be using tomorrow. They stay beautifully in the freezer and there is no loss of flavor when cooking. Since checking and cleaning the greens can be very time/labor intensive--not to mention that it can create a mess in the kitchen--do them all now.


Anonymous said...

Your suggestions assume readers aren't employed, or are employed by frum institutions that give plenty of time off for Passover.

Are you hoping a Jewish magazine will read these posts and hire you to do a similar series next year?

ProfK said...

Actually Anonymous, if you figure out what people have to do for Pesach preparation, these suggestions apply equally to those who work as to those who don't or who take time off at Pesach. I do presume with these suggestions that no one is attempting to 1)do whatever minimal cleaning is required rather than wanted, 2)do all the cooking and/or baking, 3)do all the shopping on only this upcoming motzoai Shabbos and Sunday/Monday. Even among those who work full time, 9-5 jobs it's my experience that these people also begin Pesach prep well before the day before yom tov. Even if only the hours between 6-7 and 11 to midnight are available, the suggestions can apply or can be adapted.

Aiming for a Jewish publication to pick up these ideas? Not likely and certainly not my intention. The suggestions are already published--right here on the blog. Suits me just fine.

abba's rantings said...

"Dairy goods have a long expiration date"

not all expiration dates are created equal.

"Even among those who work full time, 9-5"

who still works 9-5?

abba's rantings said...


forget the jewish magazines. i doubt they'd pay you. instead you should turn the posts a pre-pesach planner or calendar and sell it in the judaica stores and jewish groceries.

JS said...


For reference, how many meals are you planning and how many people at each of the meals? Do you serve different things at each meal (is the menu entirely different) or do you reserve items? For example, do you make a huge pot of chicken soup or a large turkey that will last through multiple meals? Do you do all Pesach cooking before Pesach or do you do some cooking on the day of yom tov?

Miami Al said...

Getting your produce now? Really? I'll go out Monday on my way home to get Produce for Yom Tov, and either Thursday for Thursday night through Shabbat, and Sunday for Sunday night through Yom Tov.

Sure you can get unripe produce, but why get un-tasty produce.

ProfK said...

JS, a little hard to reference just how many meals because my kitchen has been cooking Pesachdik since Tuesday. But basically beginning with Sunday it will be 6 to every meal and 2-6 guests for about half the meals. Monday will be lunch and then late afternoon is a traditional "snack" meal and then the two sedorim and the two lunch meals. For dinner Wednesday night I count on leftovers from yom tov. Thursday night is vegetable/cheese omelettes. The seder meals are basically the same but the lunch meals have variety--baked marinated salmon for one and tuna patties for the other with blintzes souffle at both. The meals for Shabbos and for the second days are different dishes to every meal. I have four different appetizers that I rotate depending on the meal. Certain sides are prepared pareve and are served to every meal to cover personal tastes of the people I'm serving--tossed salad, Israeli salad, Hungarian cucumber salad, cole slaw, carrot/fruit salad, compote.

I try to cook all major dishes before yom tov or at least have them prepped to cook before yom tov starts, such as the salmon.
I cook pots, plural, of soup before yom tov--we're soup fans--and I freeze for the various meals I'll be serving the soup for. Ditto on the homemade lokshen. About the only thing I cook on yom tov is steaming fresh veggies and preparing fresh tossed salad and cutting up fruit, melons and the like. And acharon shel Pesach we eat breaded chicken cutlets (we don't eat gebrokts the rest of Pesach) and they can't be made ahead. Chol ha'moed I'll cook for Shabbos and the second days. Then there is our Shabbos afternoon tea, number of guests as yet unknown.

Today I'm baking and will freeze all the extra to be taken out as needed over yom tov and Shabbos.

JS said...

Sounds good. What meal are all your readers invited for? :)

Anonymous said...

Even if only the hours between 6-7 and 11 to midnight are available, the suggestions can apply or can be adapted.

Generally people who work full time (for a non-Jewish organization that doesn't give off days before yom tov) want to spend their evenings eating dinner with their families, helping kids with homework or other projects, paperwork, and so on. No one has time or energy to work a full day and then clean for 5-6 hours.

Rae said...

Sorry Anonymous, but if you want a kosher home for Pesach (and not so incidentally food to eat for the chag) then what you mention isn't going to work this close to Pesach. For one thing, the day schools and yeshivas are all on vacation already so homework isn't an issue. No one has time or energy to clean/prepare for 5-6 hours after working a full day? And will you have the time/energy to start Shabbos night and pull a sleepless marathon for two days? The time is there now--energy is a different thing. If you're worried about flagging energy then next year start a month earlier and do only 1-2 hours of work a night.

Unless you're planning on skipping Pesach this year, just what would you recommend that is workable? That would cover the necessary cleaning--yes there is some--the shopping, the preparation while still allowing you not to work when you get home from your 'other' job?

Abba's rantings said...


"Unless you're planning on skipping Pesach this year, just what would you recommend"

That's why god made parents

Anonymous said...

Rae - for the reasons you mention, that is why many working people only clean the minimum halachic amount and cook simple foods. Yet there seems to be disdain for this approach. Why the disdain for a fellow Jew who is doing his or her best?

Miami Al said...

Anonymous 8:55,

I'd much rather my wife be a great mom and wife during the weeks leading up to Pesach, and the house not sparkle, than the house sparkle, and my kids not have a loving and caring mom for those weeks.