Today’s reader question comes from Shana via the KOAB Facebook wall. She’s wondering about making her first seder at home – and where to invest her resources. (I know – I’m in Pesach denial, too. Don’t worry – you can go back there just as soon as this post is over.)
This is the first year we are having Pesach at home. Do you have a “must-have” list for Pesach items – where to spend and where to buy cheap? I am torn between reusable and disposable and appliances vs just going super basic. Any advice would help! Thanks!
I’m sure my readers have plenty of great advice for Shana, but I quickly wanted to suggest a couple of points.
- Determine whether this is a long-term trend of making seder / all of Pesach at home or not. The answer will impact how much it’s worth investing this year. Even if it is long-term, remember your budget. If you don’t have the money, you don’t have it! And that’s okay. Those Israelites, I’m told, made do without even an oven.
- While I know it is the spirit of the law to use your finest wares for Peach, I have a hard time saving my best dishes for just one week out of the year. That said, I do try to have a few extra nice pieces – they are so much fun to unpack!
- If you will have more than twelve at your seder, you may want to focus on building up your cookware this year – and stick to disposables for dishes.
- Don’t try to do it all at once – and don’t feel the need to replicate your day-to-day kitchen. I wouldn’t recommend investing in any high-end appliances this year. See how it goes and if you’re really missing your food processor/kitchen-aid/blender/panini maker (just kidding), make a note of it – and plan to invest in one next year. That way, you’ll have all year to find the best deals!
- Don’t worry too much about putting together a huge collection serving pieces – at least in my experience, many of these come as hostess gifts.
- I would recommend investing in a good set of meat and pareve knives. And a few excellent cutting boards. They will never do you wrong.
- Finally, don’t forget hagadot, the seder plate, and any of the other traditional “artifacts” your family uses (we don’t have a special Elijah’s cup, for example, but rather use a wine glass). One day I’d love to upgrade our hagadot, but for now we have an inexpensive set of eight paperback Artscrolls. And we ask guests to bring some of their own as well.
That’s the extent of my brain dump, but I’m sure you can help Shana out? Let’s talk making your first Pesach in the comments section!