At a kiddush I attended recently, the conversation centered around sharing war stories in the form of the Pesach minhagim women had grown up with and exchanged when they got married, whether it was adding or subtracting certain practices. I took note of the combination of relief and wistfulness, as well as the hardcore commitment to certain habits.
Then my friend’s mother related how one of her sons-in-law has particularly time-
consuming and challenging food-related minhagim, such as only cracking nuts with a nutcracker and not using an oven that was used during the year for chometz. My jaw dropped in awe of this woman as she matter-of-factly recounted how she accommodates her son-in-law.
But what she said next really sat with me. “It’s fine, I want this couple to come to me for Yom Tov.” So simple, but such a clear path to not getting worked up about extra hours of work.
I’m not going to say I never get worked up about extra work piled on already hardworking women, but considering that minhagim are the what brings to life a potentially black-and-white Pesach, approaching this topic with completely logical reasoning is going to result in a conversation that runs in circles.
So much of the Pesach atmosphere in each of our homes is guided by minhagim. Our customs, whether passed down for generations or just a few years old, are the flag we hold high, and they determine the culture in our homes on this Yom Tov in particular. Our culture is enriched by a Pesach atmosphere that buzzes with “because that’s what we do in our house.” And this is a mesorah to give over to our kids, hopefully alongside a positive Yom Tov spirit that will also be passed on for generations.
Wishing you a good Yom Tov,
Food Editor, Family Table
Editor in Chief, Kosher.com
- 4–5 large russet (or Idaho) potatoes, sweet potatoes, and/or carrots
- 2–3 Tbsp oil
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).
Peel vegetables using a wide vegetable peeler. Place them in cold water for around 15 minutes to an hour.
Dry the potato slices. Drizzle a baking sheet with oil, and place potatoes on it in a single layer. Sprinkle with seasonings and bake for 10–12 minutes.
Note: If you have an oven with convection mode, I highly recommend that you use it. Convection circulates the air in your oven and will keep the potatoes “frying” better than regular oven bake-mode.
Add a bit of lime zest and chili powder for that familiar chip flavor. Or add herbs of your choice, such as basil or rosemary.
For dried fruit, choose fruits your family loves. Slice them as thinly as possible, and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a 175°F (80°C) oven for 4–5 hours.
(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 789)
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