I’m not the woman who shops for Passover when the items hit the shelves. It’s February or early March and I can’t even figure out what my kids are eating the next day for lunch. But Passover? We know the menu, friends. Stop pretending like this will be the year you try something new. I’m the woman who goes shopping for essentials the weekend prior, no matter what day the holiday will fall on, and perhaps another quick late night run within 48 hours of the holiday. I just can’t clean nor think that far in advance. And this was how I functioned before marrying a caterer who cooks everything, too.
This year, however, I felt the stress. Will there be enough of anything to carry us through April? Will we be allowed to leave our homes at ALL by then? Something came over me. I went shopping two weeks prior to the holiday. I took an outing sans children, blasted music in my car, and even splurged by buying terra chips. I ventured to my old stomping ground. Cherry Hill Shoprite is always stocked and cheaper than my local competitors. Let’s be frank...the $5 to cross the bridge between PA and NJ is not even a sliver of the savings you’ll see while socially distancing yourself from the Main Line.
It was a real blessing for me, though. I was able to walk each aisle intentionally, and stock up on the weird essentials that make this holiday nostalgic.
Let’s name a few (but not limited to):
-Vanilla sugar (good all year in my coffee so I buy a bunch. I honestly don’t bake on Passover.)
-Instant coffee (one of the weirder foods that just be KLP)
-my favorite Mrs. Adler’s jarred gefilte fish, sweet recipe (?)
-the white horseradish (don’t be a wimp)
-temptee. The large tub. Like a few of them. TYVM.
-dannon coffee yogurt
-tam tams, lightly salted
-jelly (for the temptee)
-pizza sauce (two jars and tht is where the pizza train must end)
My husband will stock up on food for Seder including meat, soup, veggies... plus, cheese, eggs, and any other weird random items I forget. Oh. The matzah. Anyone have a box to spare? JK. Why do they come in 5lb boxes anyway? Who even made up that tradition? Another time I’ll tell you about how my dad saved Mr. Striet’s life. #matzahman
This year let’s reframe things and give thought to why this year will be different from all other years. UMMM, well we know why. But seriously, remember that family is where everything starts and ends. This is our opportunity to buy less stuff, and embrace each other more. It won’t be about inviting cousin Stanley this year. It will be about singing Dayenu, even if you’re only 2 people together. And for those who will be alone this year for the holiday, my heart explodes for you. When this strange and isolating time passes, your seat will be waiting at our table.
Love and laughter,
Three amigos socially distancing in the living room.