For those of us away from home for the first time, Passover can be both an exciting and challenging time. The tradition of gathering with friends and family to retell the story of the exodus from Egypt, and of course to share in a wonderful meal, is one most Jews hold dear.
It’s always fun to go to a friend’s house for seder, where you get to meet all their aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins. Since every household has their own unique variation of the story and meal, it’s interesting to experience an old tradition in a slightly new way. Finding your own community at Berkeley to celebrate with is also an exciting experience. It gives you a bit more freedom in your celebration, allowing you to have fun and new experiences.
But the challenge of keeping Passover, and avoiding all products with flour and yeast, inevitably comes. And for those of us who are more observant — avoiding rice, corn, soy and many other ingredients — it’s even harder. It usually begins to set in around the second or third day. The appeal of matzah, a flat, cracker-like bread that is eaten only during Passover, starts to dwindle. You begin to see bagels and cookies everywhere, and literally all you want is a sandwich and some crackers. You’re about ready to bite the head off of anyone who tells you that matzah is so yummy. You want something with actual flavor.
While adding some intrigue to your matzah might seem difficult at first, all you really need are a few key ingredients and the insider scoop on what to put on your matzah. Hillel will be serving one kosher meal for each day of Passover, but since you have to eat three times a day, these tricks will help make the rest of Passover seem shorter.
If you’re living in the dorms, the dining halls have some baskets of matzah at meals. This means you can take whatever is being served and turn it into a sandwich. Matzah with cream cheese for breakfast, matzah with peanut butter and jelly for lunch and matzah with whatever else you can find for dinner.
If you’re living in an apartment, stock up on some Passover essentials to eat with your matzah. Pizza sauce, shredded cheese, and an oven will be your best friend. Add some vegetables or meat and you’ve got yourself a meal. If you’re really feeling fancy, you can even make some matzah toffee. Get some butter, brown sugar, chocolate and nuts, then follow this simple recipe for the dessert of your Passover dreams.
If you’re eating on campus, some on-campus dining facilities have matzah available upon request. You can break some up and put it in your salad, or just snack on it with the rest of your meal. With a little nagging, you might even be able to get the staff at Pat Brown’s to make you a sandwich on matzah.
So while this Passover will inevitably be the test of will that it always is, let these eating tips help keep you feel full and satisfied as you imagine what it actually would have been like to wander the desert for forty years.
Contact Rachel Feder at [email protected]