Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Preparing for Pesach (aka Passover)

This week marks, perhaps the busiest week of the year for Jewish people. It's the week before Passover and we're all busy getting our homes, ourselves and, most importantly, our kitchens ready for this holiday of unleavened bread.
For those of you who aren't aware of what is involved in this holiday, I'll give you a brief and very summarized explanation. The holiday of Passover commemorates the Jews' freedom from generations of slavery in ancient Egypt. Y'know the pyramids? Yeah. That was us.
Anyway, apparently Pharoah had a brief change of heart about the slavery, and when Moses commanded "let my people go", Pharoah responded "alright...take 'em and go". So, the Jews very quickly prepared to leave Egypt (on foot, of course) and headed for the big, vast, merciless desert, where they would wander for forty years. The reason we eat "matzah" (unleavened bread, which looks like a cracker and tastes like the cardboard box in which it's packaged) is to commemorate the fact that the Jews had to flee Egypt so quickly (so as not to allow Pharoah time to change his mind and force them back into slavery), that they didn't even have the 18 minutes of time required to allow their loaves of bread to rise before baking.
Now, I know what you're thinking: "So...what's the big deal? You can't eat bread for eight days, so what?" The truth is, though, that it's actually much stricter than that. We don't consume any leavening agents whatsoever. That includes all flours, yeasts, legumes, and other such products. That means...no bread, pasta, pita, beans, rice, oats, etc. etc. etc. And, of course, it's not enough that we can't eat them, but we also have to ensure that not a single solitary crumb of bread (or other aforementioned types of food) are left in our homes. As such, we must clean every room, every nook and every cranny in our homes. The bedrooms, the bathrooms, the closets, the cupboards, etc. We also have to change all of our dishes, so as to ensure we don't come into contact with dishes that have touched said food products. I know, we're insane.
So, as you can imagine, this being the week before Passover, Jews around the world are ridiculously busy cleaning their homes and getting themselves ready for this eight day holiday.
Being spoiled and lazy, I paid my cleaning lady to spend some additional 'quality time' (ie. cleaning) with me. She helped me clean out my kitchen and all the bookshelves in my home. I love her.
Tomorrow I'll start cooking. I'm making three large batches of Passover-friendly biscotti (without flour!! I know...it's amazing), as well as some zucchini frittata concoction that we're serving at our first seder (traditional ritual dinner).
Ok, lots to do...so I'll end with that. To all my Jewish readers (I dunno...do I have any readers at all?), have a joyful and kosher Pesach.


Anonymous said...

you got some jewish readers hun, have a chag sameach.. wonder if you can guess who this is... sneaky..

The Impatient Patient said...

Is it cupcake??