Anyone else starting Passover prep?
Here’s what I did last weekend in order to start the thorough, divinely ordained, obsessive-compulsive, halachically elucidated purging of the five grains the Torah forbids us from consuming, eating, or gaining benefit from during the eight days of Passover, which begin this year on April 14, at sundown.
I took out all of the frozen bread products from my freezer and turned them into croutons. Yes, this recipe is in my cookbook, but for those of you who don’t want to buy it (and it’s fine if you don’t; really, it is), defrost any old bread or pita or whatever and cut it into bite-sized cubes.
Put it in a bowl and drizzle a good amount of olive oil over the bread cubes. I don’t measure but my book editor made me, but whatever amount of oil gets the bread cubes wet with oil but not drenched is what we’re after. Then shake a little balsamic vinegar over the cubes, add some salt and pepper and maybe a few shakes of dried oregano or sage or powdered garlic, or just the oil and vinegar and salt and pepper is fine. Mix it all up. Put the cubes on a cookie sheet and broil them until brown, or bake them at 325 degrees for, I don’t know, 15 minutes.
Make sure they don’t burn or you’ll set off smoke detectors and have to put the tray on your front steps so that your kids don’t yell, “Ew, mama! What’s BURNING!? Are you trying to burn down the house and KILL US!?” Not that that’s ever happened in my house. Never. Ever.
2. Oatmeal cookies.
Need to get rid of oats? Darn skippy you do. Make oatmeal cookies and share them with anyone you know, especially those doing construction on your house because that’s happening over here. Take them to the beach and annoy your friend Nancy by giving them to her kids when she would probably rather they not eat tons of cookies. Give them to your kids on Shabbat morning as a special wake-up treat. Anything to GET THE GRAINS OUT OF THE HOUSE. Seriously.
The first half of the month before Passover is to be spent being aware of things. This is the kind of awareness we are talking about:
Oh, look! The space under the trash cans in that pull out shelf is coated with grimy weird dusty dirt and accumulated food that likely has one of the forbidden grains in it. Interesting.
Oh, wow! This microwave is apparently coated in some sticky sci-fi film-worthy film of grease that will probably need some good scrubbing to get off. Noted.
Oh, yikes, wow, holy Toledo! There are crevices along the rubber lining of my refrigerator that hold a lot of crumbs. Yeah, I should probably revisit that soonish.
It’s not just a blood-filled river in Egypt, folks. There are so many cleaning things that need to be done that I can be in denial about since I’m going to have to get to them anyway right before Passover. Examples include a really sincere sweaty commitment to truly vacuuming properly, cleaning my wood floors, scouring the bathtub, steam-cleaning the grout in my second bathroom which no one ever uses, and gathering every single dust bunny from my bedroom and hurling those bunnies into the trash.
There are still two or so weeks until Passover, but that’s what it’s looking like in my house two weeks out! Happy preparing!