Brace Yourselves. Passover is Coming.

With Passover rapidly approaching, my apartment is in a tizzy of preparation. And by “tizzy”, I mean I have a long list of things to do, and every time I look at a closet that needs cleaning out, or a pantry that needs to be ransacked, I sigh and find something else I’d rather be doing. Like trying my hand at underwater basket weaving, or catching up on iPhoto album-making projects.

In all seriousness, many of you have been asking me if I was going to be posting any Passover recipes. The answer is yes. And no. Confused yet? Here’s the scoop. I have a very clear philosophy on Passover food. With the exception of my Grandmaman’s Alsatian Fried Matza Balls (stay tuned for that one), I don’t eat “Passover food” on Passover. I eat food that happens, by its very nature, to be kosher for Passover. A minimum of matza in general. Real food made with real ingredients. Lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and cheeses.

This is why rather than mark recipes as “Kosher for Passover”, I am going to mark them as “Passover Friendly”. None of them are strictly for Passover – they just happen to be dietarily appropriate. All of my “Passover Friendly” baked goods use nut meals as “flour” substitutes. No baking with matza meal or matza cake meal. (Nothing that tastes like sawdust.) As a result, nut allergy people may get a bit miffed at me this week, but gluten-free people will LOVE me. This is the ONLY time of year that the Gluten-Free people will love me. I will bask in the adulation and then move on.

Finally, a crash course in the minutiae of Passover dietary tradition…
Some people follow the Ashkenazi tradition in which they do not eat legumes (kitniyot) on Passover.

Some people follow the Sepharadi tradition in which they do eat legumes (kitniyot) on Passover.

While, my family hailing from France, I grew up in the Ashkenazi tradition, I married into the Sepharadi tradition, my Husband’s family hailing from Persia. This means that I get to eat legumes (beans, rice, peanuts) on Passover. (I like to joke that this is why I married him. I’m only sort of joking). This makes Passover much easier.

I will always indicate when a Passover Friendly recipe is only appropriate for legume-eaters, and when (or if) substitutes can be made to make a recipe friendly for all.

The plan is to start out by posting desserts that may be appropriate for the Seders and for any other festive meals to which you may be invited, since people are already freaking out – I mean, planning ahead. Then I will move on to other miscellaneous recipes – breakfast items and the aforementioned Alsatian Fried Matza Balls – that may help sustain you throughout the week.

Stay tuned!

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