Photo Credit: Jewish Press

I would love to break down for you how to clean your house easily and stress free, but as this article will be coming out right before Pesach, and I’ve been spring/Pesach cleaning my own home since Tu b’Shevat, it won’t be much help.

Before you get too excited about when I start my cleaning, remember, I’m the organizista here. I love organizing. All year I look forward to tackling the big closets and toy bins. But nobody is perfect. We all have our flaws – I don’t like to cook.

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Luckily, my family does not starve. My husband enjoys cooking when he is home and my kids have been cooking and baking since the age of four. Although these contributions do help ease the load, the bulk of the daily cooking still falls to me. That means I need to plan a full eight days of Pesach meals – and food for the days leading up to Pesach once the kitchen is turned over.

Here’s how I do it using a minimum of processed foods and take out to keep down the expense and keep the food nutritious.

 

  1. A huge pot of chicken soup: Pesach is early this year and we can still expect chilly evenings on which soup will be welcomed. Traditional chicken soup, with chicken, carrots, onions, and potatoes, is a meal into itself. I make one big pot of soup and it can last most of the week. Once Pesach starts, I add matzah balls for an even more satisfying touch.

  1. Potato kugel: Another easy and cheap crowd pleaser that is easy to make in double or triple quantities. I make a basic one – 6 eggs, 6 potatoes, one onion, half a cup oil, and salt and pepper. I like to make it smaller pans and take them out as we need them.

  1. Grape juice ices: In my home, nothing says Pesach like grape juice ices. Here is a simple recipe: Boil one cup of sugar with two cups of water, remove from heat. Add half a cup of lemon juice, and two cups of grape juice. Freeze for a few hours, beat with an electric mixer, and refreeze. You can substitute any type of fruit juice and also double or triple it. No matter how often the kids take the container out of the freezer, it refreezes well. Still, if possible, I would recommend freezing the ices in smaller containers to avoid the refreezing as much as possible.

  1. Matza pizza: As I’m sure you remember, matzah is quite messy. So, I don’t love it when my kids eat matzah in the house during the year. As such, when Pesach comes around, my kids are salivating for matzah pizza, which is exactly what it sounds like: matzah with sauce and cheese. I would guestimate that my children eat matzah pizza at least once a day during Chol HaMoed.

 

5. Cakes and Cookies: As we eat gerbochts, the number of recipes available for delicious looking cakes and cookies grow by the year. As these often recipes flop after you spend an hour making them, I let my children do the work form me. They go through the magazines and make whatever cakes and cookies they want. Some are hits, and some are terrible misses, but they are happy to make them, and I don’t mind cleaning up. Sometimes I have a good piece of cake with my coffee, and I didn’t even have to separate 12 eggs to get it!

Stock up on plenty of avocado, cream cheese, butter, and cheese sticks, and you should be just fine for all eight days.

A kosher Pesach to all!

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Pnina Baim is the author of the Young Adult novels, Choices, A Life Worth Living (featured on Dansdeals and Jew In The City) and a how-to book for the Orthodox homemaker, Sing While You Work. The books are available at amazon.com. Pnina is available for speaking engagements and personal consulting. Contact her at pninabaim@gmail.com.