Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation | Updated last by Rabbanit Leah Sarna on March 30, 2020 בס״ד
So you’re stranded in Lakeview for Pesach and you’ve never done this before. First of all, don’t panic. This is going to be weird and probably kind of lonely, but Jews have observed Pesach in all different crazy circumstances (for example, that first ever one? In Egypt?) and they got through it. You can too.
For guidance on how to kasher your whole kitchen and go all out, see our normal Passover Laws & Customs document (updated for 2020, here). This is just for minimalists. Here’s what you will need:
-1 Pot (this can either be one of your normal pots that you Kasher [see Kashering guidance in the Passover Laws & Customs document] or a new pot that you purchase and tovel)
-1 heat-friendly spoon
-1 pair of tongs
-1 sharp meat and/or pareve knife (can be kashered if handle is metal or hard plastic)
-1 set of meat knife/fork/spoon per person in your household plus a couple more for serving (you can kasher your regular ones)
-1 set of dairy knife/fork/spoon per person in your household (you can kasher your regular ones)
-1 meat plate per person in your household, plus potentially a couple more for serving
-1 seder plate
-1 bowl or cup for saltwater
-1 dairy plate per person in your household
-1 cup per person plus kiddush cup per person (if your regular kiddush cup is metal, you can kasher it)
-1 cup for Elijah
-Optional-ish: A corkscrew. Only optional for grapejuice drinkers.
-Optional: A kettle (could be your normal hot water one) will help with kashering but is not necessary
-Optional: A frying pan
-Optional: Cutting boards (can use plates instead).
-Optional: Pesach immersion blender or food processor
-Optional: Pourover/french press/whatever you use if you are too fancy for instant coffee
-Shabbat/Yom Tov candles
-Wine or grape juice, enough for 4 cups per person per night.
-Karpas. This can be any food that grows from the earth on which you make the blessing of “Ha’adamah.”(e.g. celery, parsley, potato, banana).
-Salt water for dipping
-Six whole Matzos. (You need three per night.)
-Maror. This should be romaine lettuce or endive lettuce. Many eat horseradish in addition.
-Haroset. (You can make this at home with a sharp knife by chopping up apples, some kind of sticky dried fruit, nuts, cinnamon and a tiny bit of wine/grape juice. You can also buy pre-made Haroset.)
-Egg for the seder plate (hard boil and then use tongs to roast on your burner)
-Bone for the seder plate (use tongs to roast on your burner)
-Dinner. Many people are accustomed to lavish seder meals. This is not necessary. More on meals in Appendix I.
-Hard boiled egg for eating (Yom tov dinner should include at least two cooked foods. Many eat a hard boiled egg at the start of the meal.)
YOM TOV MUST-HAVES:
-Candles, including any Yahrtzeit candles you will need for transferring flames as well as to commemorate Yizkor on the last day of Pesach
-Wine or grape juice for Kiddush at every Yom Tov dinner and lunch (extra for seders)
-Two whole matzos at every Yom Tov dinner and lunch (extra for seders)
-In order to cook on Friday, April 10th in preparation for Shabbat, you will need to make an Eruv Tavshilin. This requires one piece of Matzo and one cooked item (traditionally, a hardboiled egg).
MINIMAL KITCHEN KASHERING
-Clear everything off your countertops
-Cover everything that’s not KfP that can’t be closed behind cabinet doors (sheets or newspaper and masking tape might be good for this). Tape your cabinet doors closed.
-Follow instructions in outlined in Passover Laws & Customs guide for kashering:
-Countertops (for pouring boiling water, use either your pot or kettle)
-One or more burners of your stovetop (cover all other burners in foil so you remember not to use
-Optional but helpful for Matzo Pizza: Microwave
-Optional but helpful for warm food on Shabbat and Yom Tov: Cover your normal shabbat warming tray with foil.
-Prepare the top shelf in your fridge by:
-Clearing off everything off the shelf and wiping it down.
-Covering everything else in your fridge by putting in bags, using newspaper, etc (be sure not to constrict airflow).
-Keep all your Pesach food and utensils either on your kashered countertop or on the cleaned shelves in your fridge.
-Sell all of the Hametz you have stored away in your kitchen! The ASBI form can be found here.
This probably all still feels pretty overwhelming and not especially minimalist. Start out by making yourself a schedule so that you have a plan for: when you will make yourself a meal plan and grocery list, when you will do the shopping, when you will do the kashering and when you will do the cooking. It might help to find a friend who is also going at this the way you are and the two of you can keep your preparations on track with each other. Remember, the Jews have been doing this for a long time-- you got this! Chag Kasher v’Sameach, and as always, reach out to me (Rabbanit Sarna) or Rabbi Wolkenfeld with any questions that come up.
APPENDIX I: WHAT TO EAT
Pesach this year begins Wednesday night, April 8th. The seders are on April 8th and 9th, and Yom Tov flows straight into Shabbat beginning on Friday night April 10th. You then have another two days of Yom Tov beginning on Tuesday night April 14th. Here are a few easy ideas. If you plan all your meals in advance then you will know exactly what you need to acquire and you can minimize your time in stores. For advice on meal-planning, see this excellent blogpost by ASBI member Caroline Musin Berkowitz.
Have easy KfP ideas to add to this list? Send them to Rabbanit@ASBI.org
Delicious foods that do not need cooking:
-Matzo with cream cheese
-Matzo with other KfP spreads
-Fruit (& fruit salad)
Delicious foods you can make with one pot:
-Cooked vegetables. Steam, boil, or use the bottom of your pot as a frying pan.
-Chicken, boiled, cooked in a stew, or fried using the bottom of the pot as a frying pan.
-Fish, seared or stewed
-Matzo brei (using bottom of pot as a frying pan)
-Eggs: hard boiled, fried, poached, scrambled, shakshuka etc.
-Soups (either pre-packaged from store or made from scratch)
Delicious foods you can make in the microwave:
-Matzo pizza (include vegetables for fancy)
-Mashed potatoes (from flakes)
Next Level: Recipes from Kiddush and ShabbatTable Chef Mona Freidin, PhD.
No Cook (some recipes require food processor)
-Gazpacho (using chopped vegetables, tomato juice, olive oil, vinegar) can be chunky/brothy or smooth if you use an immersion blender or food processor
-Smoothies (fruit, yogurt or ice cream w bananas, honey)
-Caprese (marinate chopped tomatoes with tons of garlic, chopped basil or parsley, olive oil--let stand 1hr at room temp). Great served with matzah!
-Nut spread (walnuts, parsley, lemon juice, garlic, coconut aminos (optional), salt, pepper, olive oil--blend until smooth, adjust seasoning)
-Tapenade (olives, capers or israeli pickles, red peppers (jarred work well), olive oil, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, pepper--puree and adjust seasoning)
-Marinated feta (olive oil, pepper, + dried herbs) with tomatoes
-Farfel Stuffing (saute onions & veggies, add farfel & some stock, salt, pepper, garlic)--can be supplemented with cooked chicken
-Sauerkraut Beef (beef cubes, onions, sauerkraut, broth or water, can of tomatoes, pepper--cover and cook low until beef is tender--2-3h)
-Pesach Cholent (beef, onions, garlic, qinoa in place of barley, potatoes, ketchup?, salt pepper, water)
-Vegetable Soup with Matzoh Balls (make brothy veg soup--dump chopped carrots, potatoes, onions, canned tomatoes, cabbage, turnips, etc in pot with herbs, garlic, salt, pepper; add lots of broth or water and cook 30 min--in a pinch add instant soup packet; make matzoh balls (using mix) as per instructions; cook matzoh balls in soup)
-Carrot Soup with Coconut Milk (cook finely chopped carrots, a bit of oil, ginger, and onions until carrots are soft in water or broth, add cinnamon, salt, & pepper and cook a few minutes; add a can of coconut milk + a pinch of sugar and warm---puree if desired before adding coconut milk)--hot or cold
-Potato Soup (hot or cold) dairy or parve
-Beef Barbecue (beef, onions, ketchup, wine (optional), garlic, brown sugar, pepper, 1/2 lemon, vinegar, water or broth--cook on low until beef is shreddable--many hours; shred beef and add back to sauce; cook open to thicken if desired) If too saucy, either reduce sauce on stove or dump excess. Also works with dark meat chicken--just skin before adding and remove bones when ready to shred)
-Stove Top "Mac-Farfel" & Cheese (make simple white sauce with potato starch and milk, seasoning well with pepper & salt; add shredded cheese to make a thick sauce; toss in farfel or matzoh pieces)
-Steamed artichokes or asparagus with aioli, mayo, or melted butter