Thursday, April 17, 2008

Let's get this party started.

Here we go! Welcome to Test Drive Kitchen: Passover 2008 Edition. For the next ten days, I will be sharing tips on healthy, delicious, and affordable meals to enjoy during Passover. Why am I doing this? Simply put, this is my all time favorite holiday. It has always meant time spent with my extended family -and believe me, they are a fun bunch. We've had some hiliarious moments over the years during this holiday, and I will share a few with you this week. Also, growing up in a very non-Jewish area of New Jersey, I was often the only kid in the cafeteria with matzoh for lunch. Needless to say, being different wasn't always so easy. I can't help but think back to that time and marvel at my parents. I give them a lot of credit for infusing my sister and I with a strong committment to our Jewish identities.

Passover Basics: The Dos & Don'ts

(the following information was found on www.rabbinicalassembly.org - the Rabbinical Assembly website.)

Let's get this out of the way and start with what we can't have:

Say goodbye (for the week) to leavened bread, cakes, biscuits, crackers, cereal, coffees containing cereal derivatives, wheat, barley, oats, spelt, rye, and all liquids containing ingredients or flavors made from grain alcohol. Pasta is considered leavened, so that's a no-no, too.

Now, as a Jewish person from Eastern European descent (aka Ashkenazi), I will add a few other items to this list. They are: rice, corn, millet, and legumes (although string beans are okay.) This also means no items with corn sweetners, corn oil or soy oil. If you are a Jewish person of Spanish descent (aka Sephardic), you are free to enjoy these products during Passover.

So, what does that leave us with? Well, EVERYTHING!! Fresh fruits and vegetables, poultry, meat, fish, dairy products. Basically, Passover is a great opportunity to kick processed foods out of your life and embrace whole foods. Now do you see why I love this holiday?

I will admit, there are some real challenges. Breakfast is notoriously tough. During the rest of the year, oatmeal is part of my morning ritual. This week, I'll be sharing recipes that focus on fruit, yogurt or eggs. Another task to tackle is packing lunches for your kids. It's definitely a time to get creative.

I bet you wondering why I haven't mentioned matzoh yet. I will confess something to you. I like matzoh. I think it's very tasty. However, matzoh does not like me. Around the third day of Passover, my body starts fighting it (I won't go into details, but a few of you know what I'm talking about.) With that being the case, my hubby and I have only purchased one box of egg matzoh to get us through the holiday. Because I'm not a baker, I probably will not buy matzoh flour. If you're here to find out 1, 003 ways to make a meal with matzoh, you're out of luck.

What you will find here are meals made with real, unprocessed ingredients. You may discover a new vegetable or two along the way.

To all my new friends checking out this blog during Passover: Thank you for stopping by! I hope you take a few helpful tips and maybe a few recipes away from here. Please feel free to email me or leave a comment if you have any questions or just want to say hello.

To my blogger friends: Even if you don't observe Passover, I really appreciate you taking the time to read about something new! Please feel free to ask me any questions about the holiday or why we're doing this.

1 comment:

Ricki said...

Hey Karen,
What a wealth of information! Well done. Looking forward to seeing how you handle this sometimes tricky holiday (and don't forget, you ARE allowed quinoa!).

Have a very happy, healthy Passover!