How is it possible to not enter Passover in a frenzy of cooking, cleaning and shopping? There must be some way to entertain and yet not be an overwhelmed host or hostess. The secret is to use time-saving shortcuts whenever possible. Here is a sampling of several great ideas to help save you time and reduce the stress. These tips should help you enter the Festival of Freedom without feeling tied down by unnecessary work imposed on ourselves - by ourselves!
This will prevent many stress-related scenarios. For example, making a menu ensures that you do not flip through a cookbook and make whatever catches your eye. Doing that would mean that you'd probably end up with many extra desserts which are usually not such great hits at the table unless they're tried and true concoctions (what catches the eye more-potato recipes or brownie recipes?).
Shopping without a plan should never be an option. By creating a menu, you'll be able to compile a list of necessary ingredients, which makes a handy reference as you stroll down the supermarket aisles. This will also ensure that you don't forget essentials such as grape juice or matzo meal. Lists are great for preventing last minute trips to the store, which are a hubbub of frenzied shoppers in the last few days before the holiday.
Create dishes that can be served in two different ways. For example, make something easy like basic Passover Chicken Nuggets and use the leftovers for a fantastic Passover Chicken Pot Pie dish or a Zesty Lemon Chicken Salad Matzo Hors d'oeuvres. The possibilities are endless with a little imagination and planning. By pre-planning and making a little extra of a great dish, you can create new and exciting Passover dishes that your family will love. This innovative recycling of good food will also help keep your fridge from being packed with leftover containers. As much as you'll regret it, lets face it, you will throw out those leftovers and the expense alone is a reason to save and reuse your food creatively.
There are many things that you can buy for Passover and continue to use all year round. If you buy extra, you won't run out mid-holiday when there's usually not many Kosher for Passover items left in the store. Buying two Manischewitz® Potato Starch cans can leave you feeling a lot more relaxed and it's perfect for all year round. Don't buy two bottles of grape juice and then have to run to borrow from the neighbor by the third or fourth meal. You can buy what you need and save the extra bottles for many months after Passover.
Leave your baking and cooking talents for experimenting during the rest of the year. On Pesach, buying desserts can save you a lot of time and energy. Manischewitz® offers a dazzling array of delicious desserts such as Ultimate Triple Dipped Macaroons. There's really no need to make Potato Pancakes or Matzo Balls from scratch when you can simply pick up a box of Manischewitz and be done with that part of your meal. However if you were to bake, make things that are simple and delicious and, most importantly, can freeze well. Having a great dessert that you can and will want to eat after the holiday is over will make all your efforts well worth the time it takes to bake.
For a holiday as important as Pesach, it's essential that you come to the holiday feeling happy and relaxed. Using the tips above, you can be sure that you'll enter the Festival of Freedom without feeling overworked.