Once upon a time there was a girl, and when that girl shopped for Passover food, she bought Passover ketchup, Passover mayonnaise, and Passover salad dressing. And then, one day, that girl snapped. While wandering the aisles she looked at the $7 bottle of ketchup in her hand and thought to herself… This. Is. Insane.
Every year I found it so easy to be seduced by the specialty Passover products, the ones that promised me crunchy cereal, soft cookies, and ketchup with that special corn syrupy tang. And every year, I tasted the ketchup, angrily shook my grocery receipt, and cursed the whole holiday.
And then I finally let it drop. I allowed the pretense of Passover perfection to fall away and I embraced my rabbi’s motto—KISS: Keep it Simple Semites. After 10 years of dreading Passover, I pared it down to the essentials: clean, cook, and stop kvetching. And then I started to enjoy myself. If we need ketchup (and really, does anyone need ketchup?), I cook up a small batch from scratch. Homemade mayonnaise takes about two minutes to make and we never use bottled salad dressing… why I ever bought it for Passover is anyone’s guess. We manage just fine, it turns out, with the barest matzah basics. No one misses the expensive stuff and I sure don’t miss the expense.
But there is one recipe that has rescued my Passover experience more than any other. We eat it for breakfast, we snack on it, and it makes the best bedtime snack. It’s a cereal, it’s a trail mix, it mixes with yogurt… it’s fabulous! My husband, who loves bread with a passion that rivals the love I feel for chocolate, manages to get through the week largely fueled by this recipe.
I want to share it with you, Kvellers, because we all deserve a Passover that is meaningful but also as stress-free as possible. Now that would really be something to kvell about.
Exodus Trail Mix
1 box of whole wheat matzah farfel
Your choice of dried fruits and nuts (I usually do raisins, diced apricots, cranberries, coconut, pecans, and walnuts)
Vegetable oil to lightly coat
Maple syrup or honey to lightly coat
Stirring periodically, Bake in a shallow baking pan at 350° until golden brown and slightly crispy.
Cool and enjoy!