A Publication of the Union For Traditional Judaism
Shalom and welcome to the Passover issue of the Kosher Nexus. In this special edition, you will find a wealth of information for Passover. We all hope that this issue will help you with everything from preparing your home to purchasing Kosher L'Pesah products. We have even included some favorite recipes to help your family celebrate Pesah. If you have any questions regarding Passover, or kashrut in general, please refer to the box on page 6 on how to contact the Kosher Nexus. From all of us, and the Union for Traditional Judaism, we wish you a festive and meaningful Pesah.
Pesah begins on Friday night (April 10th) this year. The Search for Leaven will take place on the night before Yom Tov - Thursday, April 9th, after dark. At that time, all of the usual blessings and formulas would be recited. The Bitul (nullification) that is recited is generally only for that hametz which we don't know about. It is very important that we understand the words of the nullification formula. Therefore, for those who don't understand the Aramaic or Hebrew, it is fitting to repeat the words in English.
The final Bitul is done the next morning (Friday, April 10th) early in the day. At that time, all hametz must be gone from the home. We recite the Bitul, and we burn the hametz that we bagged the night before. Please check with a UTJ rabbi in your town for the latest time you can eat Hametz on Erev Pesah.
The Fast of the Firstborn takes place on Monday, as well. In addition to each B’chor, fathers of a minor B’Chor must also fast on behalf of that minor child.
Most synagogues will offer a Siyum (conclusion to a tractate of Talmud) at the end of the morning minyan. Attendance at a Siyum obviates the need to fast.
All preparations of the house and foods must be done well before Yom Tov. In order to prepare for Pesah, each room of the house must be carefully cleaned. The Kosher Nexus recommends a number of tips and suggestions:
1. Check all sofa and chair cushions and vacuum carefully.
2. Use a vacuum cleaner with attachments to clean all baseboards and corners of rooms. This works great in the corners of your children's closets and their drawers, too! (We all know how children love to hide things!)
3. Clean out toy boxes, and wash all toys that a baby may have spilled formula or juice on, or even played with at meal time.
4. Check between mattresses; one never knows what could be lurking there!
5. Pocketbooks, pant cuffs, coat pockets and jeans pockets (especially those of little boys) should be carefully searched.
6. Be especially careful during the cleaning of your den/TV room; you will be amazed at the places that hametz can be hiding.
The kitchen will require your most serious attention. If you follow our guide, you should find the process much easier. (It won’t make you happier, but it will make the work easier!!)
The Refrigerator: Empty the refrigerator. Clean the interior thoroughly using a new (and, therefore, Pesahdik) sponge. Remove all the racks, bins and shelves to facilitate cleaning. There are two halakhic stances concerning the interior of the refrigerator: Sefardim generally do not require lining/covering the shelves, etc. The Ashkenazic custom is to cover the plastic racks and bins. Restock the refrigerator with only Kosher-for-Passover foods.
Toaster Ovens: It really is not a good idea to use one of these during Pesah, but if you must, do the following: Empty out the toaster oven very carefully. Even better, use the reverse blower of your vacuum cleaner or a hair dryer to blow out the interior of the unit. Wash the tray and interior carefully. Cover the tray for the duration of the holiday. Run the unit on full heat for one hour. Of course, your best bet, if it is financially possible, is to purchase a new toaster oven to use specifically for Pesah.
Blenders and Mixers: If you can afford it, it is best to buy separate units for Pesah. Any parts that are plastic or rubber cannot be made Kosher for Pesah, according to Ashkenazic minhag (custom). Therefore, after thoroughly cleaning the motor part, and kashering the metal blades, put away all the rest of the unit and get new parts for Pesah. Contributing Editor's note: It is my experience that the stand-up mixers are much too difficult to kasher for Pesah, especially if used to make challah throughout the year. I noticed that no matter how hard I tried, no matter how much I cleaned the mixer, there were still traces of hametz. I solved this problem by purchasing an inexpensive mixer to use just for Pesah.)
Dishwashers: Sefardim require that the unit be run through a full cycle. The Ashkenazic custom is to clean the interior with a brush and then run two full cycles. Many Ashkenazic authorities also require that new racks be purchased for Pesah. The Kosher Nexus recommends donning a pair of rubber gloves and washing those dishes by hand, or better yet, having those teenagers help out! (It will keep them busy for a few hours and, therefore, out of your hair!)
Counters and Table tops: Sefardim clean and purge with boiling water. They do not require the covering of tables or the counters. Ashkenazic practice is to clean and cover all table tops and counter tops. Most hardware and/or decorating stores sell clear plastic. This can be cut to size and makes a nice counter cover. For ease of use, though, nothing beats Rubbermaidâ Shelf Paper- its self-stick back is perfect, and it comes away easily at the end of Yom Tov.
Sinks: Sefardim require a complete cleaning followed by purging with boiling water. The Ashkenazic custom is to kasher only metal sinks. All other sinks must be cleaned, purged with boiling water and lined or covered. A plastic dish tub with a few holes poked in the bottom, which sits upon a sink rack, works great.
Microwave Oven: (This does not include convection ovens, which must be made Kosher for Pesah the same way as a conventional oven.) Clean the inside of the microwave thoroughly. Remove any trays. Put a bowl of water in the oven. Turn the power up to full and boil the water for a few minutes until the entire interior is wet with steam.
Drawers and Cabinets: These must be cleaned and lined. Those that will not be used during Pesah need not be lined. The Kosher Nexus recommends that any cabinets and drawers that will not be used be sealed with a bit of tape, (or better still- put a “closed for Yom Tov” sign on it) to avoid any accidental use of items that remain inside.
Self-Cleaning Ovens: Run the self-clean cycle. Voila! One Kosher-for-Pesah oven. (And if that isn't the best reason to own one...!) You may also be able to put racks and stove-top trivets in the oven during the cleaning cycle, but please check your owner's manual first, as temperatures reach approximately 700 degrees during the cleaning cycle.
Note: The above pertains to self-cleaning ovens only, NOT continuous-cleaning ovens.
Ovens: Plain and simple, take the oven apart as much as possible. Remove any part that is removable, and scrub, scrub, and scrub some more. Basically, clean it until it won't come any cleaner! Use a lot of oven cleaner, but if you have a “continuous-clean” oven, check your owner's manual before applying an oven cleaner. Some oven cleaners will destroy the finish on continuous-clean ovens. After a complete cleaning, put it all back together and turn on the oven full blast for one full hour. When cool, cover your racks with aluminum rack covers, found inexpensively at the supermarket, or use new racks for Pesah. Your broiler pan cannot be kashered for Pesah unless you use a blow torch! It must be brought to a higher temperature than it is normally used for, hence the blowtorch.
Gas and Electric Ranges: These cooktops must be cleaned as thoroughly as possible. Remove all parts that you can and scrub. Remove the trivets from the range top, and after a good cleaning, cover them with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Lift up the range top--it is amazing all the hametz that you will find here. Clean it all out! For electric ranges, the coils are self-kashering. Just let them get red, and they are ready to go. For gas ranges, put your cooktop back together and turn on the burners for one full hour. When everything has cooled down, line the inside of your range with aluminum foil, and do the same for the range top. You have now completed kashering your stove for Pesah. Please keep in mind that the “blech” we use all year round cannot be made Kosher for Pesah. A new one will need to be purchased.
Bread Drawers: Ashkenazic custom is to clean the bread drawer and close it for Pesah.
What Are The Kashering Methods Used For Pesah? There are four possible ways to kasher for Pesah: A. Hagalah--immersion in boiling water; B. Libun--purification by flame by turning the metal white-hot (such as with a blowtorch, used to clean items like broilers and barbecues); C. Irui--pouring boiling water over the surface; and D. Milui v'irui-- soaking in cold water.
How Do We Kasher Utensils For Pesah? In general, the rule we follow is simple: Each utensil
is kashered according to its use. Halakhically, we say, "as the utensil has absorbed, so will it emit what it has absorbed." Many items can be made kosher for Pesah by Hagalah (the total immersion of an item into a larger pot of boiling water for a few seconds).
How Do We Do Hagalah? First take a Pesah pot and fill it with water. Bring the pot to a boil.
You are now ready to kasher (by dunking into the boiling water) each item that requires Hagalah. You may do only one item at a time. The Kosher Nexus recommends heavy-duty rubber gloves (the kind for handling chemicals), so that you do not get burned. Another great idea for dunking is to purchase a nylon net bag, and put your items into the bag, and then dunk the bag.
Each item to be boiled must be clean and must not have been used for the preceding 24 hours. If you do not have a Pesah pot big enough to use for Hagalah, use a hametz pot. Bring the pot to a boil, spill it over as above, and you are ready to dunk.
What Can Be Kashered This Way? In general, items made of metal, glass and stone may be kashered this way. However, the Kosher Nexus recommends that you be very careful with glassware, as the boiling water may cause breakage. There is an alternate way to kasher glassware for Pesah.
How To Kasher Glassware. Again, there are differing opinions on this. The Sefardim say that one only has to thoroughly wash the glass item. The Askenazic view is that glass needs to be kashered for Pesah use. To kasher glassware, you must first make sure that the items are glass, and not Pyrex. Only pure glass that has been washed and allowed to stand for 24 hours may be kashered.
Glassware requires a three-day dunk! Yep, count 'em, three days. The Kosher Nexus suggests using an "extra" bathtub or a very large wash basin. Put all glassware into the tub, and then fill with cold water. Completely empty the tub after 24 hours, and refill. Then empty it again, after another 24 hours have passed, and refill it. Finally, after the third 24-hour period has passed, you may remove your glassware. They are now Kosher for Pesah. (This method can also be used whenever you need to kasher your glassware that may have become trefe for some reason, or if you are just becoming kosher.)
There are a number of items that cannot be made kosher for Pesah. They include the following:
Any plates or bowls made of stoneware, bone china, porcelain or various clays are all porous and cannot be kashered. (Most china is a combination of various clays.)
Anything made out of plastic, as it absorbs food particles. (Ashkenazic custom only)
Baking pans cannot be made Kosher for Pesah.
Purchasing Kosher for Pesah foods takes some thought and planning. Many products that you use every day cannot be used for Pesah. Most items require special certification for Pesah. The list below will help you in determining which products do and do not need special Pesah certification.
The following items do NOT require special certification for Pesah:
Alba Dry Milk
Bicarbonate of soda
Cocoa (Hershey's Pure) - just open a new container
Isocal Ensure Sostocal Ipecac
Frozen juices without added vitamin C
Unsweetend, natural frozen fruits - not in any syrup
Tropicana Pure Premium Orange Juice
Fresh fruits and vegetables
Domino Brownulated and Domino Brown Sugar
The following products
certification for Pesah use:
Butter (even if bought before Yom Tov)**
We have heard that there are Rabbis who claim that butter bought before Pesah is acceptable on Pesah. We believe this to be wrong! Butter today often contains colorants that are totally kosher, but not for Pesah.
Canned fruits and vegetables
Honey (due to the possible undocumented presence of corn syrup)
Frozen fruit with any additives
Herbal teas are available for Pesah, but only in specially marked packages. Herbal tea must be certified for Passover (as well as all year long).
One certified sweetener with aspartame is Lieber's. Liquid Sweet and Low is OK to use for Pesah. There is powdered Sweet and Low (in packets) that is kosher for Pesah, in specially marked packages.
Beech-Nut Baby Foods has some varieties that are certified for Pesah. They must be marked KP (any processed store-bought baby food must be certified for Pesah).
Cottonseed oil needs only to be marked kosher for it to be used for Pesah.
Consumer Alert: Some red potatoes are colored to enhance their look. The coloring agent is of unknown origin. Ask your grocer to show you the box they came in. Look at the label, and if it says coloring, don't buy the potatoes.
Not all Manischewitz wines are kosher for Passover. Check each bottle carefully!
Many Caffeine Free Teas are actually chametz- beware!
Does the thought of Passover pizza thrill you? Well, get ready for a big rush: Season is offering KP Anchovies! (Ed. Note: See our Pesah Pizza recipe below!)
Dr. Deborah Bernstein, a member of the UTJ, has written a really super Jewish cook book. Called SECRETS OF FAT-FREE KOSHER COOKING, the book contains some of the best recipes we have ever seen. Although not per se a Pesah cook book, it is, nonetheless, a great book to have, and many of the recipes can easily be made for Pesah, too! Published by Avery, this oversize paper bound book is one the best we have ever seen. Thus far, we have tried about half of the recipes and enjoyed them all. Wake up those tired taste buds with some really healthy food from the good Doctor’s cook book.
Rabbi Ronald D. Price will be happy to sell your Hametz for you. You just need to send in the following form:
I hereby authorize Rabbi Ronald D. Price, or his appointee, to sell all Hametz of whatever kind in my possession, on or before April 10, 1998. My Hametz is located in_________________________(the rooms where it is stored). Name:____________________________________
Please mail this to our office so that we will have it no later than Friday, April 18, 1997.
Editor’s note: These recipes are from Contributing Editor Andrea Herrera. You can get more recipes from Andrea by writing to her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Beat eggs, and mix farfel and a bissel salt as if you were going to make a matzah brei. Spread the resultant glob on the bottom of a pan. (Don’t ask what size, this recipe is not for amateurs!) Bake for about 25 minutes or until it sets. (Try around 350F) Remove from the hot oven carefully. Pour tomato sauce over the crust and sprinkle some mozzarella cheese and garlic and oregano on top of that. Put back into hot oven (you didn’t shut it off, did you??) Bake until the whole thing sort of resembles a pizza. At that point, take it out and eat it.
1 c. water
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. matzah meal
1/2 c. matzah cake meal
1 T sugar
1 t. salt
You know the routine! Boil water and oil, add dry ingredients, add beaten
eggs one at a time. Bake in muffin tins or on baking sheet (better for
sandwiches) at 400 for 20 minutes, then 375 for 20 minutes.
Matzah Farfel Kugel
1 box matzah farfel
3 apples - peeled and chopped
1 cup sugar
1 cup raisins
2 tbsp cinnamon
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. "Grease" a 9x13 glass baking pan. Soak farfel in warm water, drain well and make sure to squeeze out extra water. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour into baking pan. Bake for 30 to 45 min., until firm and golden brown on top. Cool and cut into 24 squares. Best if served warm.
BANANA NUT KUGEL
Put three cups of farfel into a big bowl. Pour cold water over the farfel and then drain it immediately. The farfel should be wet and moist, not drowned. Beat four eggs and add to them 1/2 TSP Salt, 6 TBSP of Sugar, and 1/4 cup of melted butter (or pareve substitute). Pour about half of the mixture into a one and half quart baking dish. Put slices of banana (use two medium bananas) on top of the mixture. Top that with 1/2 cup of chopped nuts. Put the remainder of the mixture on top of the banana and nuts. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes or until set and lightly browned.
1 cut up chicken 1/2 C White Passover Wine
2 TBSP Sugar a bissel Paprika
juice of 2 gesundt lemons 1 Pressed Garlic clove
Wash your hands, then mix sugar, lemon juice, garlic, and wine together. Pour over the chicken. Marinate for 4 hours. Take a nap . When you come back, sprinkle paprika on chicken and bake one and one quarter hours (1 1/4) hours at 350F.
CREOLE VEAL CHOPS/ CREOLE CHICKEN
6 large veal chops (or 6 chicken cutlets)
1/2 C Matza Meal Oil (some)
11 OZ Tomato Sauce with mushrooms
1/2 C minced Onions 1/2 C finely sliced Celery
1/2 C finely sliced Green Pepper
Dredge the chops (cutlets) in the matza meal. In a large skillet, brown the chops (cutlets) in a small amount of hot oil.
Remove the chops (cutlets) to a large baking pan. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the tomato sauce with the rest of the veggies. Spoon this over the chops (cutlets). Cover the pan and bake at 350F for one hour or until tender.
Pesach Rolls (yes, really!)
1/2 cup margarine
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups matzah meal
Bring margarine, salt, and water to a boil, stirring to melt the margarine. Remove from heat. Add matzah meal, stirring until mixture is a smooth paste. Add eggs, one at a time, mix until smooth. Form into small balls, place on greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and puffed. Makes about 1 dozen.
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