Now that we’re done and through (some of?) the clean up, it’s time to look back and see what was good and what you want to change for next year. It’s tempting to just thrown it all in the boxes, but this is an important part of making next year’s Passover much easier!
I started by cleaning out my Pesach bins and re-inventorying them (with my wonderful dh’s help – it goes much faster with two people!) I found some rust on pans that I threw out, and I re-marked anything that I might get confused on next year. Colored electrical tape is a good option to mark pans and utensils, but you can also use nail polish, permanent markers, or even white out. Next year, you don’t want to wonder if that pan is dairy or parve!
I went through my spreadsheet and shopping list and wrote in how much we used of each item for next year’s shopping (it’s an excel doc, so I won’t even lose it!) I know how many eggs, how many pounds of matza, how much milk, how many pounds of chicken, and how much produce we went through. And I’ll be able to better estimate and prepare for next year. It makes Passover planning SO much easier!
What food can you keep for next year? Matza, matza meal, potato starch, baking powder, baking mixes, canned goods, and even spices and nut flours can be kept. Nuts and matza meal can be frozen, but most things should be stored in a cool, dark place. So check out the Passover clearance aisle and pay half (or less) or what the price would be next year. There is very little difference in most of these items over a year, and it can help stretch your Passover dollars!
Now onto the learning. Which recipes were hits? Which flopped? Which should you make more of, and what did you miss? Here’s my list:
- Make the strawberry lemon sorbet from KOAB, but as pink lemonade sorbet – more lemon and less strawberry (batch #2 this Pesach, and widely agreed to be amazing and better): Melt 4 C sugar into 4 C water. Juice 10 lemons and blend with 1.5 cups of strawberries and 1 tray of ice. Mix ingredients together and freeze in a deep 9 x 13 aluminum pan – NOT a regular cake pan, stirring frequently as it ices up. (Mara recommends reblending, but I never got to that.) We went through a total of 4 batches of the original recipe – so my recipe is doubled. (Did I mention it was a hit?)
- Smoothies are a big hit with most of the family – wash and freeze strawberries instead of ice
- Confetti kugel is good for the adults, but the kids don’t like it – make a half batch!
- Scrambled eggs and plain yogurt are a fantastic back-up for when the “I don’t like anything!” grumpies hit.
- Don’t make cottage cheese and drain it in a colored towel – no matter how old! Somehow pink cottage cheese is not very appetizing. (And that red towel is at least 6 years old!)
- Don’t use dairy chocolate chips in your parve meringues without thinking. That’s just silly. 😉
And my number 1 Passover baking tip (OK, I knew this, but I want to pass it on to those who can use it!)
Use half matza cake meal and half ground almonds instead of flour in your regular recipes to make chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodles, pumpkin muffins, and most baked goods! They won’t taste like they are kosher for Passover – but they will be!
Oh, and macaroni and cheese is always a well-received treat around here, but the day after Passover, my kids were gushing about the delicious lunch and very grateful. And that’s always nice to hear!