guest post · Mesorah (Jewish stuff)

Let the Pesach Prep Begin!

Well, it’s definitely that time of year.  Pesach prep has begun (for some of us, at least).  In the weeks leading up to this holiday of freedom, I want to share some tips, tricks, and wisdom from around the web.

It’s understood that everyone has their own preferred method of cleaning, planning, and procrastinating.  Obviously not all of these pre-Pesach posts will resonate with everyone.  However, it’s my hope that by sharing a variety of experience and opinions, everyone will  find at least one useful tip.  Or maybe you would like to share some of your own useful tips!  Contact me if you would like to guest post, or if you just have some practical experience you would like to share.

Today’s post kicks off the Pesach planning with a post from my friend Brina, who likes to share her yummy recipes over at Mi Kosher Cocina.  Here are her tips.  Enjoy!

Little Man (back when he was really very little!) studying his haggadah

 ~ ~ ~

I love Pesach, I do really. After the house is clean and my kitchen is up and running, Pesach is one of my favorite yomim tovim. Maybe its because I experience a spiritual rebirth each spring, or maybe because I thoroughly enjoy watching my children participating in the sederim using their school-made haggados.   Whatever the reason, I love Pesach.

Now let’s backtrack a bit. I said I love Pesach, not the weeks leading up to it. That is because my husband manages a kosher department at a grocery store, and this is his busiest month of the year.  Thus, it is also my most stressful month of the year because I am a “single mom” from 7 am to 8 pm every day.

This is my fifth Pesach on this schedule, so I’m used to it, but it’s still hard nonetheless.  I am also fortunate that for the third year in a row my parents are coming the day the kids get out of school to help take them out of the house as I clean and cook.  I have gotten Pesach prep down as pat as I can, and I have devised a list of pointers that can hopefully help you get ready for Pesach too.

  • Start planning the day after Purim. Your kids are going to receive nosh on Purim regardless so try not to make them feel guilty that Pesach is coming. They still have to eat for the next month.
  • Make a no chometz outside of the kitchen/dining room rule year round. I do this so I only have to spot check the bedrooms and down stairs play area, leaving my focus on the two trodden rooms.
  • Give your kids cleaning jobs instead of constantly leaving them with a baby-sitter or mother’s helper. If they are 3 or older they have learned about Pesach prep in school. Let them take the magnets off of the fridge, sweep the floor, use wipes on the legos, etc.  Later, show them how to peel vegetables and help prep the Seder plate items.  Even if it might seem more stressful, the kids are grateful to spend time with mommy.
  • Enjoy chometz until you possibly can’t.  I don’t switch over completely until 3-4 days before. This year the Shabbos before will be chometzdik [bread will eaten] and we will be cleaning the kitchen, dining room, garage, and car for the next three days.  This gives me three full days of cooking time.
  • Keep a chometz freezer and sell items if possible. No reason to make yourself sick eating that last bagel or shnitzel if you don’t have to.  Remember, your family has to eat after Pesach too.
  • Indulge a little.  I usually buy a few quality chocolate bars to help me through the cooking.  Along with a glass of iced coffee, I can relax a little during all the hard work.
  • Finally, cook on yom tov if you have to. This year is only a two-day yom tov, so I will try to have most things done before the Sederim. But if not, I can always stick a chicken in to roast or meat in the crock pot during the day.  These are long days, so take advantage of the breaks in between meals.

I hope this list will make Pesach prep easier for all of you.  I know not everyone has a husband in the kosher food industry, so it might not be quite as stressful in your house.  Regardless, the last few weeks can be a daunting task for everyone.

With that in mind, I use a cliched “don’t sweat the small stuff” and wish all of you Life in the Married Lane readers a happy and kosher Pesach.

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13 thoughts on “Let the Pesach Prep Begin!

  1. I remember when we celebrated Pesach at this level of observance. We have kicked it down a notch in terms of the exhaustive cleaning (no more inspections with feathers, etc) and I just move the chometz down to the basement. BUT, like you, I love Pesach as it reminds me Spring is coming. And I feel connected to Jews from all over the world. Have a wonderful Pesach with your family, Rivki!

  2. I love Pesach too! I’m already looking forward to it. Sophie’s school does their annual Passover program right before they close for the week. It’s such a fun holiday.

  3. Helpful post. My favorite tip is to learn which items you’re able to buy without special Pesach certification to save money and avoid crowds. The OU has a pdf version of their guide here: http://images.ou.org/files/webpesach2012.pdf It lists quite a few items you can pick up at a regular grocery or Walmart or wherever. Happy preparations!

    1. That is so exciting! I love watching kids learn. My three-year-old is singing Pesach songs he’s learning in school, and it just makes me melt.

  4. I love pesach, but hate the cleaning and “switching over”… which means I procrastinate and then find myself doing everything in a mad rush on the last day. Thanks for the reminder that I really ought to get to it!

    1. you are not alone in your procrastination! I have a suspicion that certain events lend themselves to a mad rush, Pesach (of course), being one.

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