Passover: Favorite Holiday Memories

I hated helping with the Passover dishes. Bringing up set after set of dishes from the basement and bringing down the sets we used 51 weeks out of the year was an ordeal! Glassware, pots and pans and of course 2 sets of silverware needed to be lugged upstairs too. After spending almost a year in the basement everything needed to be washed. My parents did not have a dishwasher. I have lots of memories about Passover. Foremost as a kid was the work involved in preparing for the holiday.

The cupboards had to be scrubbed clean before the Passover dishes, cutlery, pots and pans and glassware could be put back. The refrigerator needed to be cleaned and all ‘chamatz’ brought down to the basement too. We must have made 50 trips up and down those stairs in just setting up the kitchen for the week. Then after the Holiday we repeated the process! Collective, OY!

My Mother made carrot candy for Passover. It was a big deal. Lots of cooking and laying it out across the kitchen table to firm up and lots of discussion if it was a good year or not. Carrots honey and sugar and lemon peel were cooked in a huge vat of water. To me it was never that tasty for the efforts, but it was my Mother’s Passover specialty so we ate it and said we loved it.

My parents usually hosted the Seder, sometimes both nights. Up to 25 people seated for the dinner was always fun. All the traditional foods and foods of the times like Jell-O molds were presented. The matzoh balls, were they light and fluffy or hard like rocks? My Grandmother made her own gefilte fish that everyone clamored for!

The best part about Passover as a kid was that my Father was off for the week. It was the only time of the year that my Dad was on vacation for an entire week. My Dad’s family owned restaurants and they closed them all for the week of Passover every year. Sometimes the Holiday coincided with school vacation and we would go on vacation for a couple of days. It was a treat to have my Dad home for dinner every night, and to eat dinner at home.

 Weintraub's

Passover is not my favorite eating holiday because I have a sweet tooth. I have never met a Passover dessert that satisfies my taste buds. Desserts aside, I have sweet memories of the Holiday. Happy Passover.

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