Your Questions Answered: Passover plans!

Crystal wrote:

I was just wondering what you were planning for Passover this year. This is the first year that we will be hosting a Passover celebration at our home, and I'm really excited about it! Do you have any suggestions?

Yes! My Passover menu is similar to other years (see a past Passover menu and menu for the week of unleavened bread here).

Since Passover is the only time of year I make Matza Ball Soup, that is a delicious treat! I make homemade unleavened bread, which we actually really enjoy during Passover and Unleavened Bread. I also usually try to make a special dessert of some sort. This year, we're planning to experiment with cheesecake using a nut crust. I'll be sure to share what we create if it ends up being as delicious as we hope! ;)

Linda wrote:

We are Christians, who are starting to celebrate the Biblical Feasts. The more I read about Passover, the more variations I find.

We have looked locally to buy Matza bread, but can not find any. I would like to make my own, using regular flour. Is using regular flour acceptable? Can I make my own tortillas, using no baking powder, and use these during Passover? Or is Matza the ONLY choice for eating during Passover?

Since we are not Jewish, how much of the cleaning do we have to do? For example, we don't have separate Passover dishes. Do we have to follow Jewish regulations for scalding and scrubbing to purify our dishes and pans, or is a normal washing and scrubbing acceptable?

I am happy to share about what we personally do, based on our understanding of Scripture! While we respect the Jewish traditions surrounding the observance of Passover, we base our observance primarily on Scripture.

For example, in Exodus 12 we read that the Israelites carried their dough with them as they left Egypt. In our minds, this doesn't really line up with the "18-minute rule" -- that when the water and flour is mixed for unleavened bread, the bread must be made and baked within 18 minutes, after which time it is considered leavened.

It's certainly not wrong to make and bake unleavened bread within 18 minutes! But we also don't believe that mandate to be scripturally binding. For that reason, I make my own unleavened bread, using regular flour.

We have only one set of dishes, and I don't give them any special scrubbing or sterilizing before Passover. We aren't Jewish and aren't trying to be Jewish, only obedient to the Scriptures. :)

My Passover preparation is fairly basic. Aside from regular, normal housecleaning, I go through the cupboards and pantry and remove all leaven. We do a simple seder, eating unleavened bread, bitter herbs, and drinking grape juice or wine. We read Scripture and pray. We observe the appointed Sabbaths. Some years we have included footwashing as well, following Yeshua's example.

I hope this helps! For those of you who observe Passover and the feast of unleavened bread, I'd love to hear about what you do and why! :)

Comments

That's great Tammy, thanks for sharing!

For our Passover, we used to do "a plague a day" for the kids, but I started too late this year so we left it out. We make decorations, get books, color pictures, play games (we found some cheap passover games on ebay) etc. We decorate the table nicely, play passover music, and my husband does a little "study" before we start eating about Passover and Yeshua's relation to it. We usually have guests, so this helps everyone to understand. We have lamb, flat bread, matza ball soup, veggies of some sort and a dessert. Of course there is wine/grape juice as well. We don't do any of the Jewish traditions either, except for the Afikomen. That is really fun for the kids. We try to make it a very special time and just have as much fun and "specialness" as possible. :)

As far as the cleaning goes...my husband tends to go a bit overboard. He likes to move all the furniture around in every room to get all the leaven. It's a lot of work.

Question- I have read conflicting things about baking powder and baking soda. Would you say that those are both leaven since they cause things to rise? Or just the baking powder and yeast?

Thanks for sharing, Kim! How do you like to do your lamb (and what cut -- leg?)? Oh, we do the Afikomen also... great symbolism! :)

About the cleaning -- my husband does NOT like moving furniture to clean and usually doesn't care whether I *ever* do that or not! :) We also keep food pretty limited to the kitchen/dining area so... I don't think there's any leaven hiding behind our bookshelves. Not that my house can't use a good Spring cleaning though!! ;)

Technically "chameitz" is yeast; my memory is a little foggy right now, but Joshua and I have discussed this at length in the past. (Maybe I will ask him to add a comment with some thoughts on that!) For the first 7 Passovers of our marriage, we removed yeast, baking soda, and baking powder. Last year was the first year we removed yeast only. We also try to be considerate of the others who are celebrating with us; e.g. if we are celebrating with those who don't consume anything "fluffy" at all, we don't bring an egg-risen cake to that meal. :)

For the lamb...we have done leg, but if I remember correctly, last year we did something else because we had a lot more people. I can't remember what the cut was though! We usually get what we can fine that is "natural" lamb, and can feed as many people as we need. We have done the mint flavored lamb, and last year we did lamb with a mustard sauce and it was delicious!!

We limit our food to the kitchen/living areas as well, but sometimes the baby will have crumbs on his clothes that wind up in other places...or it will get tracked elsewhere by little feet before I have swept. I don't stress about it, but I honor my husband's request to move things around. lol

I would love to see Joshua's post on the leavening. My "heart" tells me that it's really just yeast. My husband thinks it's everything (bp, bs etc.) I try not to stress about specifics, but there's always a nagging feeling that I didn't look into it enough if I just let it slide. ;-)

I was wondering what your family does to celebrate. We do a similar prep and then we have a seder with our congregation the first night, and the second night we do one with the family. I have been reading about the Seder of Messiah on First Fruits of Zion for the last night, and I'd like to implement that for our family.

P.S. Your matzah ball soup looks amazing! Is the recipe on here?

Thanks! Yes, the photo is linked to the matza ball soup recipe, but I will add a text link below! :)

Thanks for this post, I'm always interested to find unleaved bread recipes...especially since I don't know to many people who celebrate this holiday! I grew up celebrating it, and still do. We always make a unleaved bread cracker, although it looks lots different than yours because it's not as thick. I remember a few years my Mom would make some other kinds of crackers that I need to get the recipe's for sometime...just to have them...but she didn't make them very often . I always make Swiss Butter Horns too, DH loves them and I do to, but hate making them as they are a pain. *giggle* However it's "tradition" for us to have them, so I'm willing to make them once a year. DH helped me make extra last year, and thought of an easier way to do it...which I use for making pie crust, so have no idea why I didn't think of it LOL...so maybe this year they won't be such a pain.

We aren't Jewish either, but like you try to follow the bible, and keep the feasts. We do the feet washing thing every year here.

I only found your site a short time ago...and haven't had time to really look to far into it, so what a pleasant surprise to find out you celebrate the feasts and eat only "clean" food, it's not something we run into much around here! :)

Thanks for sharing! I've only ever known one other person/family who made Swiss Butterhorns for Passover (the lady who gave me the recipe)! :) Joshua loves them too. :)

You might want to follow my blogs. I am discussing Passover recipes and within those, you get the idea of how I observe. I will be putting these on for another week.

http://comfycook.wordpress.com/
http://sweetsav.blogspot.com/

Thanks! :)

Thanks, Tammy, I found your post very helpful It clarifies a few things for me. I also found the comments helpful, so thanks everyone.

Linda
http://www.lindaslunacy.blogspot.com

I've made a "nut crust" for a pie here recently. Here's a recipe for you
http://happyfoody.com/2008/05/06/raw-strawberry-pie/

One thing the recipe doesn't say though is you should (for better taste in my opinion and to take out the bitter taste the nuts have) if you use pecans or walnuts you should soak them over night and change the water several times. Then let them dry. I used pecans and it was Totally YUMMY!

My husband was raised Jewish and became a Christian as an adult so we try to observe as many Biblical feasts as we can. We generally invite a few of our friends over for a shortened Seder meal. In our experience, most Christians know about Seders, but have no idea how to have them!

I usually serve matza ball soup (although it is a staple in our menu!) first followed by the seder elements of bitter herbs, horseradish, etc as called for in our very abbreviated Haggadah. For the dinner part of the meal we serve roast chicken with kasha varnkes (a pasta side dish with bulgar wheat that my husband grew up with) and roasted veggies. Passover cake for dinner. We use the book "Celebrating Biblical Feasts: In Your Home or Church" by Martha Zimmerman for our haggadah and for a few of the recipes.

I don't do the cleaning or take out the leavening -- my kids are little! Once they are older we'll do a bit more with the feast.

Very nice post Tammy! I think we are going to do a Seder this year ( you can tell I put so much planning in;). For the Seder meal we don't do any chemical leavening which means yeast, baking soda or baking powder. Now we try to separate out Biblical from Rabbinic observance. Rabbinic observance would forbid all corn also. We do the afikomen because that is a huge part of the symbolism and the tradition. Not only that, it is fun for the kids! We also do the 3 cups and the place for Elijah. But we don't really hold to the whole week's worth of food observance.

One of the reasons I mention Rabbinic observance also is that you are "supposed" to have Passover Matzah certified and blessed by a rabbi. The one benefit is that the thing they check is that it is pierced and striped (sound familiar). Also traditionally you should have a meat or dairy meal but not both. If I remember correctly, you are to wait 1 1/2 hours between to be kosher (which we aren't).

I have a matzah casserole recipe on my food blog. Another great thing is matzah brie. Yum!

I buy the canned tins of maccaroons and grind them in the food process. They make an awesome crust for an ice cream pie. Could be used for cheesecake, I bet?

Tammy,

I love reading your blog because you are so respectful of others with differing religions and observances. We follow Jewish tradiions, although we are not strictly observant. For us that means matzoh meal only - no regular flour, yeast, baking soda, or baking powder. Generally, it has to say "Kosher for Passover" on the package to eat during Passover, but since we're not strictly observant, we eat things that we feel do not conflict with the holiday. Things like corn were not around in the Middle East during biblical days so they weren't eaten. In today's world, observant Jews do not eat corn for that reason. But we don't see that line of reasoning so we're comfortable eating it. Some Jews don't eat rice; others do. Find 100 Jews, and you'll probably find 99 differences in how they observe. :-)

Anyway, if anyone has any Jewish questions, feel free to ask. As I said, I'm not ultra observant or an expert, but I grew up Jewish (and I'm 42) so I've been doing this for a long time. :-)

Thank you so much for the compliment! :)

Wait...I don't get it. How are Swiss Butterhorns Passover food??? Is there a recipe that uses matza flour?

My swiss butterhorns are made with regular flour, but no leavening. So I guess they are "Passover food" depending on how one observes Passover! :)

Not being Jewish, we don't have to follow their traditions...we just have to make sure there is no leavening in what we eat like it says in the bible, which is why Swiss Butterhorns is a tradition with us! :)

I also made some cheese crackers this year, that my Mom used to make now and then...course it sounds like they wouldn't be allowed either for the Jewish community, as they have corn meal in them. LOL I put the recipe on my blog yesterday, if anyone is interested in it.

http://dapperdoxie.blogspot.com/2010/04/i-love-this-time-of-year.html

It's interesting to see the differences between what we have always done and what others do. :)

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