Spring is here and that means that Passover preparations have been underway for quite some time. It is a great holiday to gather together, share traditions, and of course eat some amazing food. Passover is one of my favorite celebrations thanks to these reasons and others. I have so many memories of different Seders with my mother’s family and also with my father’s. Generations of us would come together at extra long tables, read the Haggadah, sing, laugh, and enjoy a special time. All of the kids would recite The Four Questions, but the biggest mystery was whether or not the matzah balls would be fluffy and who would find the afikomen.
Now that I have a family of my own, I realize just how much work goes into getting ready for Passover. Right after Purim, we start to think about what we will need. If we are having a Seder at home we need to plan those meals, know who is coming, and start making lists. Of course, this is also when Price Choppers around the area come alive with Passover foods galore. The store in Colonie, NY now has several aisles filled with many options. Here is a look from our recent adventure there!
In recent years, we have decided to keep things more simple for Passover eating. We eat our share of matzah, but try to stick with lots of fresh produce for sides and dessert. Of course, we do get a few boxes of the special cookies for the kids, but we limit them. Another new addition is quinoa. My husband, TechyDad, has tried several recipes to make this protein filled grain into not only a delicious pilaf, but also an oatmeal substitute. Yes, getting creative during this holiday helps to keep things exciting.
Our house will also be filled with Passover artwork that our boys have made at nursery school and in Hebrew School over the years. Books about the holiday will be pulled out to share for read aloud time, and fun Passover songs playing in the background as we finish getting ready. These new traditions are items that we want to add into the holiday for our children to remember. Actively involving them is key in helping them embrace their Judaism.
This week, while our boys are sleeping, we will slowly get our kitchen ready for Passover. We keep a kosher kitchen and switch out all of our items. During this holiday, we use different plates, pots, pans, and beyond. By the time everything is cleared and ready, the cooking will begin. The kids will help us to peel apples for charity, take out our plague finger puppets, and set the table. The stress of the week will vanish once we are all seated together Friday evening retelling the story that generations have shared. Watching my children learn, smile, and enjoy makes it all worth it!