Tips and Advice from Oorah’s Veteran Pesach-Makers:
- Before you do anything else, plan your cleaning and cooking schedule, breaking
down big jobs into manageable, bite-size tasks. Knowing what you have to do
when to be ready on time will keep you from feeling overwhelmed. Make sure
to keep this schedule realistic based on your own circumstances—what works
for your neighbor may not work for you.
- Make lists for everything!
- Plan your menu in advance so you can make your shopping lists based on your
menu. But get the essentials (food for the Seder and first days) done first and
save the extras and the fancy dishes and desserts for last. If necessary, you can
always buy what you don’t get around to making.
- Invest in a standalone freezer—it will be your best friend! Most foods CAN
be successfully frozen.
- Instead of staying up all night for a week, start earlier and fit a few more minutes
of work into each day. Do as much in advance as possible.
- Pesach cleaning is not spring cleaning! It may be convenient to do both
simultaneously but don’t let it add unnecessary stress to your Yom Tov
- It may be helpful to “deep-clean” your kitchen early on in the process when
you have more time and your final cleaning right before Pesach will be much
- Don’t wait until right before Pesach to do all your shopping. Once you have
one room ready, buy a little each week.
- Don’t be afraid to use paper goods. They have really nice patterns now and if
it means you don’t have to stay up washing the dishes, use them!
- Plan your cooking schedule around your ingredients: for example, once you’re
peeling apples, make all your recipes with apples (compote, charoses, kugels
and cakes). You can also chop and saute as many onions or other vegetables
as you anticipate needing for all your dishes at once.
- Spread a clear plastic tablecloth on your counter or table when peeling. It makes
cleanup so much easier!
- Make time in your schedule for resting the day of the Seder.
- Once you’ve successfully made Pesach once, create a manual to update yearly.
Include how long various cleaning projects and cooking took you, things you
need to buy, quantities of food you need, what worked and what didn’t work…
anything you might find helpful the next year.