Prepping Pesach for the first time?
I know this year a lot of people are doing Pesach alone for the first time. I remember my first time doing a Pesach as overwhelming and confusing. And expensive!
Based off of my own experiences, I'm going to have a few posts for you. This one is about essentials needed to run Pesach, and then extras you may choose to incorporate. I'll also be posting recipes, food/ingredient lists, and the system I use for meal planning.
Pesach shopping You need to order butcher paper and masking tape to cover stuff. I like to do a layer of that on the table, then tin foil over it so it’s more spill-proof. You can also tape down a plastic, either the disposables or the thick vinyl layers, and then put a nice tablecloth over it for meals. Everyone has their own preference for counters - if you don't have kasherable counters, I will clean them thoroughly, then cover with butcher paper and tin foil. The paper can also be used to cover cabinets if you're selling chamets and to line shelves in your pantry, cupboard, and fridge if that's something you do (it's what we do). If you have older kids, assign them some of these tasks. That's how I learned to do it!
The first big decision to make is whether you want to use disposables or buy real cups, silverware, dishes, and tablecloths. If you want to buy real silverware, you may want to focus on fleishik so you can use it for the Seder. We use disposable wine cups and reusable plastic cups. I have Pesach china but we usually buy pretty disposables because of my kids. If you buy milchik silverware and you have multiple younger kids, make sure you have enough spoons for each kid to be eating yogurt or Leben at once. I started with a set of silverware for 4 that came with big and small forks and big and small spoons, which was plenty for us when the kids were little because they used the small spoons and forks. You have to economize!
I have serving pieces from a mix of the dollar store, Home Goods, and pulling out old wedding gifts we never used during the year. Next – lots of disposable tins, or invest in a few pieces? Pyrex, Corningware, and roasting pans have all joined my Pesach family over the years. It’s probably cheaper to buy one good vinyl or fabric tablecloth to use the whole week rather than multiple disposables.
Essentials – try to color coordinate to make it easier on yourself and your family. I marked everything milchik blue, fleishik is red/orange, and parve is green. Where I could buy things in that color I did as well.
My kitchen is set up to let us prep vegetables parve so we can run through prep quickly. If you never do that, you won't need as much Parve stuff as I'm recommending.
Fleishik Large stockpot with lid (mark the handle and lid), large frying pan (mark the handle), 2 wooden spoons (can easily be marked with Sharpies or nail polish). Chef’s knife, paring knife. Soup ladle. Cutting board (a three pack of milchik/fleishik/parve flexible mats should suffice for a basic purchase). Tupperware set with lids. 1 plastic strainer. 2 oven mitts. Measuring spoons
Milchik Medium stockpot with lid, large frying pan, 3 Tupperware w/lids, oven mitts, pasta spoon, whisk, wooden spoon, paring knife, chef’s knife. Measuring spoons.
Parve 2 medium saucepans with a lid (if you prefer to prep a lot with parve, get a frying pan as well), peeler, corkscrew, can opener, strainer, nutcracker, measuring spoons, measuring cups, mitts, grater, wooden spoons, kettle, paring knives
Seder Seder plate, tablecloths, wine cups, matza holder. Eggs, potatoes/parsley/karpas, maror (in the gemara they discuss using bitter lettuce; if you're in a pinch this year please consult with your Rav about an alternative to horseradish), charoset, chicken wing, lettuce. Matza, wine, grape juice
Fleishik Silverware Serving pieces Baster Roasting pans Knife block Sink strainer Baking sheet Instant Pot 4 mugs Salt shaker A sturdy cutting board
Milchik ice cream scooper Mugs Cookie sheets Pyrex mixing bowl w/lid, tongs, serving trays/pieces Trivets
Parve Hand mixer with attachments Tupperware w/lids Ices molds Water pitcher/Brita French press Durable plastic cups Ice cream scooper (for ices)
Sturdy cutting board
Misc Seder toys Heavy clear plastic table covers