making lists and menus and stuff - all for Pesach (Passover). I have also
accomplished nothing all week, so I have (hopefully, once and for all, but
we know it's not true) proven to myself that worrying does not help.
Making Pesach is very overwhelming on many levels and for most people I have
been speaking with, it's the cleaning.
For me, it's the cooking, and that's why, even thought I have not begun cleaning my
house for Pesach, I have started cooking. Backwards? Probably. But I am a much
calmer and more efficient cleaner when I know that my kids won't be hungry. This
is called grandchild-of-a-Holocaust-survivor syndrome and I have it to the nth
So to make myself feel better, I started cooking this morning. I just love
a good cook and freeze. And thanks to my mom, this year's first Pesach-cook-and-freeze
marathon has been completed. You see, my house only has one kitchen. My
parents' house is much cooler, with two kitchens and my mom took the time this
past Sunday to make that second kitchen kosher for Pesach. All that kitchen
needed was a cook. But my mom works full time and doesn't have that much extra
time during the week. I do. Well, not extra time, just regular time. So Little T
and I packed up the car with all our pesach boxes and headed to my parents'
house this morning. And because my dad is such a good babysitter and because
Little T will just follow him around the house and be happy, I was able to
accomplish more in two hours than I would have in two days in my own house.
The freezer currently contains 4 pounds of breaded (matzah'd?) chicken
cutlets, 2 pounds of hamburgers, 2 meatloaves and an enormous amount of matzah
balls. Not a lot, but at least a dent has been made in the pesach cooking.
Anywho, this is the kitchen. It's tiny.
I like the idea of washing the dishes and pots as I go, I rarely embrace that
philosophy. I usually just wash everything in one long washing marathon when I
am done cooking. But today, because of the size of this kitchen/closet, I washed
as I went - and I have to say, it was SO much better. When I was done cooking,
I was done washing. It's really a much more relaxing way to cook.
I was in a very big rush so I didn't take step by step pictures of what I
made, but really, we all know what chicken cutlets and matzah balls look like. I
will, however, share the recipes. These are tried and true and all freeze very
well. Try and plan ahead and make doubles of what you'd like to have for the
second days of Pesach; that way you won't have to cook again. I just a love a
Hamburgers (Meatloaf, Meatballs)
The plan had been to make meatballs but funny (not haha funny, more like oh
crap funny) I could not, for the life of me, unearth my kosher for pesach can
opener. I searched through all (5) boxes and it just was not there. The thing
was, I had already mixed the ground meat with my meatball recipe. I needed the
can opener to make the sauce. I briefly considered baking the meatballs and
making the sauce at a later time, but I truly believe that Pesach is not a time
to channel your inner Martha and try new things. Stick with what hubby and the
kiddies like and you'll all be happier.
Of course, I found the can opener as soon as the meatloaf and hamburgers
went into the oven. Nu nu.
Here's the recipe:
4 pounds of ground meat
2 cups matzah meal
1 cup ketchup
Mix all. Shape into hamburgers (24) or meatloaf (4) or many many meatballs.
Bake on 350 for about 25 minutes for the hamburgers (flipping hallway through),
an hour for the meatloaf or 30 minutes for the meatballs.
Our favorite meatball sauce (for the 4 pounds of ground meat; use your
fraction skills to halve or third of whatever it):
2 28 ounce cans of tomato sauce
1 can of water
1 small can of tomato paste
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and add uncooked meatballs. Simmer,
covered, for 30 minutes. Cool and freeze in the sauce.
The chicken cutlets are even easier:
4 pounds of chicken breasts*, butterflied and thinly sliced
2 cups matzah meal
1/2 cup water
Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl and add the water, mixing them together.
Put the matzah meal in another shallow bowl. Dip each chicken cutlet in the egg
mixture, then in the matzah meal and place in a baking pan. I needed four pans
for four pounds of chicken. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, flip them
over and bake 5 more minutes, until they are cooked through. Cool and freeze.
*My chicken cutlets were purchases at Costco and they were pretty cheap
as chicken goes. However, I feel like when making so much chicken, it's worth it
to pay just a little extra and buy straight from a butcher. That way the butcher
can butterfly all the chicken breasts and you will save a ton of time. Just