Planning Your Passover Menu Part 1

A couple of weeks before Passover, I like to sit down and plan the menu for the Passover seder. One good tip is to cook something the day before the cooking for the seder so that you and your family will have something to eat on that day and you won’t have to stop your seder cooking in order to make lunch and dinner. It really does help.

As I select which items I wish to serve, I write each ingredient for each dish on a “master list”. I will share with you in a later post my Passover notes from years past which provide some other tips.

The cookbook above is my favorite resource for planning my menu. The “Vegetable Trifle” is a must. You can easily make it the day before and just add the dressing before you begin your seder. I have a very large, clear glass bowl I use so that you can see the various layers.

Of course you must prepare the elements for the seder plate. The one you actually “make” is the charoset. This is a project Baruch and I always do together. Our’s is a very basic recipe which includes wine or grape juice, apples and walnuts. That’s it! I peel the apples and Baruch continues chopping as I add walnuts and grape juice to the container. Its color and texture are meant to recall mortar (or mud used to make adobe bricks) which the Children of Israel used when they were enslaved in Egypt. Every Jewish family has their own recipe.

As with any meal, I think of the meat, vegetables and dessert I wish to serve. Those who eat kitniyot can also plan that. Most Ashkenazi Jews live on meat, root vegetables and matza. Tomorrow I will share a recipe for a very traditional Passover dish.

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