Passover Food – What’s In, What’s Out?

Chametz, chametz and more chametz!

When my mother reminisces about what she could eat for Passover, she remembers that hardly anything was considered kosher for Passover – especially in the little towns where she lived, in remote reaches of this country. Today, what a different story! You can find almost anything approved for Pesach: cookies, cake mixes, even breakfast cereal. To confirm this, I toodled around Amazon, searching for "kosher for Passover food." Twenty pages of products came up, including Zelda's Passover Award-Winning Orange Chiffon Cake, Passover Cookie Platter. and Manischewitz Pancake Mix. But regular … [Read more...]

Passover FAQs – The Basics & Beyond

Happy Passover

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Before each holiday, I like to give myself a little refresher on the basics and find a few new tidbits that I hadn't known before. This year, I found fascinating posts from Rabbi Jason Miller and Rabbi Laura Novak Winer. Thanks to them for helping make our experiences even richer. What do “Seder,” “Passover” and “Haggadah” mean? “Seder” means order. And even though there is a huge amount of variability in how a Seder is conducted, the main elements follow a prescribed order, detailed in the Haggadah, based on 15 basic steps. “Passover” comes from the … [Read more...]

First Time Hosting a Passover Seder?

Does the idea of putting on a Seder overwhelm you? And when you think of a Seder, what comes to mind? What’s your vision of a Seder? On the Orthodox side of my family, both Seders (Sedarim) are multi-hour, joyful gatherings preceded by a month of pre-cleaning and weeks of pre-cooking.  It doesn’t start until after sunset and goes and goes and goes. All the kids chime in with the wonderful things they have learned in their Jewish day schools. That is a sharp contrast to our family. We’re an interfaith group that has about 45 minutes of Seder in them – not including dinner – before … [Read more...]

What You Said About Hamentaschen

Purim graggers while reading Megillat Esther

Our survey was entirely unscientific, but here’s what you said about Purim. Enjoy! What struck me was that, for families, the power of Purim is in the invitation to have raucous, laughing, celebratory fun – whether it’s parading as Queen Esther or listening to the Megillah (with graggers drowning out Haman’s name) or planning costumes. Hamentaschen preferences Poppyseed (mohn) – 38.46% (still my fave, too!) Prune – 15.38% Chocolate – 7.69% Jelly/jam – 30.77% Nutella – 23.08% Savory – 7.69% Other Apricot/raspberry Apricot   Do you roll out … [Read more...]

Wrestling with New vs. “Old” Hamentaschen

Purim cookies

I’m not talking about the hamentaschen vs. latke debates. There’s no question – choose both! What concerns me is my attitude toward hamentaschen. Can I expand my narrow view? Can I be truly open to new recipes? Since I generally only eat hamentaschen once a year, why would I want to deviate from my favorite (mohn – poppyseed) for myself and hubby or more kid-friendly versions (e.g., jelly-filled, chocolate-filled, Nutella-filled) for our little ones? I admit. I am incredibly drawn to some of the newer options. Like these mint chocolate hamentaschen, drizzled with chocolate … [Read more...]