A Tale of Two Passovers, Part 1

Do you stay at home for Passover? Or celebrate away? At a family member? On a program? However, you do Pesach, there’s a lot of preparation entailed.

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I grew up always celebrating Passover at home. My parents would invite our extended family and some friends that otherwise might not have had a traditional Passover seder experience. When I got married my in-laws lived in Arizona and we’d make the pilgrimage to Phoenix with young kids in tow to their house.

Once we had our own home and our family was outgrowing the Arizona space, we decided to spend a Pesach at home.

I love entertaining so I thought that this would be fun… new cookware, recipes, kitchen tools, etc.

Having not made the holiday before since being married, I severely underestimated what I was in for especially since I like to do everything well, just a little bit extra.

I needed to start from scratch - before Amazon Prime was what it is now. I didn't even have a peeler… and so began the hours of shopping, setting up, cleaning (even with help), changing over the kitchen, prepping, planning and cooking for a 3-day holiday. Our seders were beautiful but wow I gained new appreciation for my mother, mother-in-law and all those who regularly make the holiday.

The Passover seder was done and I woke up on day 3, tried to get out of bed, but I couldn't without sharp shooting pains up my entire back… I thought maybe I just slept funny… nope.

Let me try again… but no… I literally could not get up… my back was out. Luckily, we were invited to friends that day for the last lunch (at a friend who is one of the best cooks in my neighborhood) and I was looking forward to being out, but sadly I had to send my husband, kids, parents, and brother and sister-in-law without me.

Fast forward a few days of resting, heating pads and painkillers, I made it to the physiatrist. Who after examining me and running some tests asked me what I was doing when this happened. He happened to also be a member of my local synagogue. The doctor looked at me and said, “you didn’t by any chance make Pesach, did you?” Guilty as charged lol.

He told me every year he sees a few women, like me, who just overdo it. The level of prep we undertake is more than anyone is used to, and the stress can manifest itself in back pain. I had not one, but 2 slipped discs. I would need to be in PT for the next 3 months and go to “back school”. I did however get a cortisone shot which made me functional and I continued to return that first week for more.

The best part of the appointment was that he handed me a prescription to “go away for Pesach” next year! I wish I saved it or took a picture of it, but it might have been the best gift anyone ever gave me.

For the next 7 years, we went to different programs, in Israel, Florida, Arizona and Mexico. You will never hear me complain about packing and I am beyond grateful and appreciative of being a guest.

The next time I would make Pesach at home would be the day we moved into our new home, 4 years ago, with a brand-new kitchen, appliances and nothing to clean or prep. Note to anyone building or renovating a home, wait until Pesach to move in. Stocked with take out from some great local home chefs and my mom. Finished out an 8-day holiday with my back fully intact.

All of the kitchen tools and cookware I bought became known as “the sisterhood of the traveling Pesach bins”. The rubbermaid bins have been passed from friend to friend who is home to use when they found themselves making Pesach unexpectedly. If you know someone in need, message me! I’m happy to share.

Last year it was a Pandemic Pesach, I got to incorporate all the holiday memorabilia my kids had made over the years into the tablespace…

It was the Passover seder for 6, our family of 5 plus our housekeeper who was living with us and never experienced a Passover seder before. And of course, Dunkin joined us at the table too.

Here’s what I learned. I did not visit one store. I did everything online. And guess what? It was great. Amazon Prime is your best friend

My favorite DD is not Dunkin Donuts, but Disposable Dishes.
Order online from:
DishItOutNY*
LuxePartyNYC
EleganceTableware
OneStopShop
Kitchen Caboodles
Amazing Savings (in person)
And yes, even Amazon Prime

Elevate your table with a few finer pieces.

While the dinnerware and chargers may be disposable, I like to use real cloth napkins and glasses.
Here’s a lineup of some of my favorites from Mehlrose I am excited to offer you 10% off all these napkins, rings and disposable placemats from Mehlrose featured here.

I love how you can use each napkin and ring in different ways for different looks. Disposable placemats let you change the look of your table from meal to meal.

You can plan a color scheme or a few and reach out to your florist or just plan to pick up flowers in coordinating colors. Here are a few places I love in the Bergen County area:
Papaya
Plantshed
Privet

I also like to add some small fun touches. Rubber frogs have adorned our table for many years. As well as plague finger puppets and masks (the kind that cover your eyes).

While I love using the sentimental ceremonial items my kids made in nursery school, a few things could use some refreshing:
I love this beautiful Passover seder plate from Apeloig and their afikomen case is so fun.
This Matzah cover from The Trendy Table
I also love the stand up Matzah holder from Current Home

The traditional Passover is also a great time to get new kitchen appliances, serving ware to use fresh and then enjoy throughout the year:
That air fryer you've been eyeing….
The new set of salad bowls you’ve thought about
The glass storage containers

Here are a few of my favorite places to outsource and just make your life a little easier and sweeter.

Starting with dessert

Essentially Nourishing healthier, gluten, grain and refined sugar free desserts that are kosher for Pesach.

Cinch is a convenient home delivery app that not only saves time, but it saves money from all the unnecessary things you inevitably buy (at least I do) when you walk up and down the aisles of Costco. Cinch has a large selection of everything you need for traditional Passover including food, cleaning supplies, disposable dinnerware and even small kitchen appliances. Use code LISA15 for 15% off your orders through Passover.

Stay Tuned for Part 2... Passover, the Packing Edition!

For more Jewish holiday ideas, here's how we celebrate Purim.

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