This is the first year we’re staying home for the entire Pesach. A couple years ago, we went to my in-laws for the first days and came back chol hamoed, hosting my in-laws for the second half of Yom Tov (they are easy guests AND helped cook, so it was actually pretty fantastic). I don’t recommend traveling and making Pesach if you can help it, but if someone has to work chol hamoed, there’s not always a choice.
Anyways, we’re staying home this year. Since I had had some meager experience with “making” Pesach that one time, I’ve been pretty calm. I started cleaning and planning a couple of weeks ago, doing a little here and there, and, overall, have not been stressed out. Then, last night, I sat down to do a menu plan and my head exploded.
Usually, I enjoy menu planning because
I’m extremely type-A it helps me function efficiently. When I don’t menu plan, I end up running to the store multiple times a week, which I prefer not to do. Not making a plan for Pesach would mean a lot of shopping guesswork, probably a lot of unused items and wasted produce. I don’t have the time or energy for that, so I strongly prefer to plan, then make a shopping list, and go from there. It’s just how I roll best.
One of the big hurdles I didn’t consider is the awkward limbo phase when the house isn’t quite kosher for Pesach. I found this wholly overwhelmed. When would my kitchen be turned over? I wasn’t sure. What food could I make when? And where? How and what was I going to feed my family?
So, after royally freaking out, and posting said freak-out to Facebook and Twitter, I did the most sensible thing I could. I walked away from the menu planning, called my mother and moved on to a completely different task. Namely, putting away kitchen items I knew I wouldn’t be using from here on out (bye-bye coriander! See ya, toaster!). After making substantial progress, I felt much more calm and clear-headed.
Then, although it was late, I sat down to tackle the menu planning. The theme of this menu plan is KEEP IT SIMPLE! I scoured Facebook (one of my neighbors made a great page – a Passover Support Group. Fantastic idea!) and blogs for menu ideas, and emailed recipes to myself so I could print them off and put them in my Pesach notebook. Also, my mother-in-law is coming Thursday (Yay!), and she will definitely help with the cooking, so that’s a big relief.
Here is what I came up with:
the Pre-Pesach days
Monday, April 2nd - kind of almost totally cleaned for Pesach. Except not.
- lunch – Pesachdik noodles with cheese for the kids, roasted veggie salad for me.
- dinner – eat out
Tuesday, April 3rd - turn the kitchen over today, major limbo!
- lunch – more Pesachdik noodles for the boys, salad for me
- dinner – Bagels and cream cheese picnic on the patio. Serious vigilance will be exercised.
Wednesday, April 4th
- lunch – eggs with hash browns as a side (with ketchup, yum!)
- dinner – fish, matzah meal couscous and sautéed zucchini
Thursday, April 5th
- lunch – tuna patties and sweet potato fries
- dinner – scrambled eggs with some veggies, salad and egg matzah
First Days of Yom Tov
- Friday night/1st Seder, April 6th: Eggplant salad, Chicken soup (made by my MIL), Meat and Potatoes, some dessert courtesy of my MIL.
- Shabbos day/1st day lunch, April 7th: Marinated mushroom salad, Carrot salad (made by my MIL), Tuna patties, Sweet Potato Kugel, Cholent, some dessert courtesy of my MIL.
- Saturday night/2nd Seder, April 7th: Tomato Dip, Beet Salad, Chicken Soup, Smothered Caramelized Onion Chicken, Veggie Kugel, some dessert courtesy of my MIL.
- Sunday/2nd day lunch, April 8th: Cucumber Salad, Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Meat with Potatoes, whatever else is leftover, and (as you can probably guess) some dessert courtesy of my MIL.
Monday, April 9th
- lunch – eggs, salad (Romaine with cut-up veggies)
- dinner – leftovers from Yom Tov
Tuesday, April 10th
- lunch – hot dogs and spaghetti squash
- dinner – Meatballs and Smashed Potatoes
Wednesday, April 11th
- lunch – Matzah Pizza
- dinner – Salmon with Israeli salad and matzah brei
Thursday, April 12th
- lunch – eggs, salad and fried potatoes
Second Days of Yom Tov
- Thursday night/first night, April 12th: Roasted Eggplant Dip, Romaine salad with tomatoes, red onion and cucumber, Roasted Chicken, Dessert TBD
- Friday day/first day lunch, April 13th: Romaine salad, Tomato Dip, Carrot Salad, Beet & Carrot Latkes, Meat with Potatoes, Dessert TBD
- Friday night/second night & Shabbos, April 13th: Roasted zucchini and Eggplant Salad, Salmon, Roasted Veggies, Chicken, some dessert
- Shabbos day/second day lunch, April 14th: Egg Salad, Roasted Zucchini and Eggplant Salad, Pickles(?), Tomato Dip, Cholent, Potato Kugel, whatever else is leftover, and some kind of dessert.
And there you have it! The menu plan for the first Pesach I’ve ever really made. What’s the simplest thing on your menu?