Thursday, March 23, 2023

Pesach Preparations!

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We've just hit that point when the countdown to Pesach is truly on! There's no more room for denial, no more time to waste, no more keeping my head in the sand - Seder night is officially less than TWO weeks away!

excuse me while I scream (AAAHH)

This is going to be the first time since 2019 that anyone outside of our immediate family joins us for Seder. Not just for Seder, actually. We have 11 guests joining us for the first 4 days of Pesach (which includes 1 day of Yom Tov and 1 Shabbat)! And I feel extremely out of practice. Especially because we've barely even been having guests on regular Shabbatot (lately we've done a bit more hosting, but seriously - we got kind of stuck in the mindset that set in in March of 2020 and our home became much more of a private haven just for us).

So to get myself into the Pesach mode I started cleaning. But I jumped from one task to the other because I was feeling so anxious about "how on earth am I going to get it all done!" So today I did a little spring cleaning, a lot of laundry, a little pantry sorting, and started to clean all the scary things out of the back of the fridge. I also confronted one of my children who told me that yes, they'd seen some of those scary things and decided to leave them for me to deal with instead of actually removing them from the fridge! Maybe we need to find a way to make the back of the fridge easier to get at?
(Do your kids do that too? I mean, I remember telling them to use up the leftover pasta that was in the fridge. So why did I have to take out a whole science experiment and toss it today? Couldn't they just use it up? Or when they discovered they waited too long - couldn't they throw it out? I really will have to speak with them about this again.)

Another task I managed - I ordered new gas balloons. I was going through a phase in which I didn't want to use the gas powered stove. (Long story but I think my asthma is happier when we don't use gas.)

HOWEVER, it's just not practical to cook for 17 people for Seder the way I'd been cooking. And my kitchen would need to be rewired if I want to run more than 1 electric burner at a time, so in order to facilitate normal cooking for a crowd, I have to revert to using gas. After all, it's not like we uninstalled the gas stovetop(s), so it's easy enough to go back. And then we'll know if it actually affects my asthma, right?

I also placed our shmura matzah order, and my husband went out and found some spelt shmura matzah for me. So we'll be FINE, right? Note to Katzrin people reading this: if you want good shmura matzah get your orders in ASAP!

I've got to make my menus and make sure that most of the shopping gets done soon. I will admit to having started shopping last week in an effort to calm my anxiety about having 17 people for Seder, and we have a nice stash of shelf-stable Pesach items and some meat and chicken already, plus plenty of wine and grape juice.

But now chicken prices seem to have gone CRAZY! Please tell me it's not just here, because if it is, I'll be really unhappy with the store manager who told me that they went up everywhere and he expects they'll come back down after Pesach and Ramadan both end. Of course they will. It's always like this, and I know that it is, but I didn't manage to stock up on all the chicken we'll need before prices rose (I did get 3 kilos of chicken for Rami Levy's sale price this week. But I'll be using some of that for this Shabbat, so it's definitely not enough if we're going to have chicken over Pesach!). I also really have no idea how much chicken and meat we'll need for a group of 17 people for First day of Pesach and Shabbat Chol Hamoed! Anyone who knows how to get it right, please let me know how much I need to cook!

So where does that leave me? I think it leaves me trying to get a handle on things. So if I seem out of it, now you'll know that I am simply overwhelmed by everything I need to do right now - there is truly a lot to take care of (and I didn't list anywhere near the half of it here!). But I'll try to be friendly and make time for you too. Just please forgive me if I don't have a lot of time. Believe me, I'd love to just sit and chat and catch up. And we will. One day. But not right now!!

But I will admit to you, that I am REALLY looking forward to Shabbat and the break it brings. I plan to read the new book I just got. It was written by someone I know, which is so, so much fun! I also plan to be a little social, we'll see how that goes.

What are you up to in your Pesach prep? Let me know!

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