This Friday night marks the first night of the Jewish holiday of Passover…and as all my fellow Jews know, Passover requires some serious prepping.
For those who don’t know what Passover is, it’s a Jewish holiday that celebrates their redemption from Egypt centuries ago. We retell the story of our redemption each year with family and friends, as we eat certain symbolic foods and remember the 10 plagues.
On Passover, Jews can’t eat unleavened bread or really, anything with flour in it. You can’t eat it, “own” it, or even have crumbs of it lying out. I say this as an explanation for the first few stages, for anyone who isn’t familiar with Passover.
And now, the 10 stages of preparing for Passover:
1. Spring cleaning on steroids
Every little nook, cranny, and crack is cleaned to get rid of any hidden crumbs or food.
2. Food shopping
Since you can’t eat any of the food you already have in the house, Passover requires a special shopping trip. This will range from ingredients for cooking to snacks.
3. Getting the kitchen ready
You gotta clean the kitchen, cover the counters, and tape up all the cabinets with non-Passover food and dishes.
4. Eating only in one room because the kitchen is Passover-ready
Don’t forget to brush off any crumbs so you don’t accidentally bring any into the cleaned rooms.
5. So. Much. Cooking.
6. Eating as much “regular food” as you can
Because it’s bye-bye bagels and pasta for 8 days.
7. Searching for chametz the night before
Jewish kids remember getting a feather and cheap wooden spoon from day/Hebrew school just for this.
8. Burning the chametz
I’m actually not certain why we do this. But on the morning of the day Passover begins, you’re supposed to burn anything you found the night before as well as breakfast leftovers.
9. Saying tearful goodbyes to regular food for 8 days
It’s tough. It’s really, really tough. But at least Jews know how to cook!