Passover is more commonly recognized as a Jewish holiday however, more and more modern day Christians are celebrating their roots with a communal meal, Seder as well and teaching their families about the fulfillment of the scripture.
A brief history lesson: Before the Jewish people were set free from the Pharaoh of Egypt, God sent 10 plagues upon the Egyptians, the 10th being the killing of each first born. The Jews were told to take the blood of a Lamb and cover their door post to signal to the death angel to pass over them. The lamb was then roasted and served as cries of grief rose over Egyptian homes, and the Jewish families enjoyed their first Passover meal before escaping Egyptian Slavery.
Since the Israelites left Egypt in such a haste they couldn’t wait for the bread dough to rise so they ate what was the result of unleavened bread called Matzoh. The holiday begins with the Seder meal where the Passover story is read from a book called the Haggadah and continues for 8 days. Today, thanks to the internet and Pinterest, Passover can take on a bit of a creative spin with delicious Matzoh recipes, crafts and activities for the kids. Here, I have rounded up 10 fun (and yummy) ways to make your Passover holiday a celebration!
From Matzoh Brei to toffee.
1. Meal prep. Since rising flour is out, and Matzoh is in this week take a few minutes to plan out your meals. The wonderful folks over at Real Simple.com have a great checklist to prepare for the Seder Meal you can print and prepare.
2. Kid friendly snacking. There are so many delicious recipes floating around for Passover meals from Matzoh ball soup to pizza, try some of these great ideas for snacking with the kids: Passover Snacks
3. Matzo Brei is one of the many recipes that is often passed down from generation to generation. Since my father is yet to pass this one on I went to the internet in search of a recipe that comes close! (We like to sprinkle cinnamon over the top
and serve for breakfast but this dish can be served sweet, savory or for breakfast or lunch).
4. Breakfast and dessert, my 2 favorite meals of the day. Chocolate covered Matzo toffee is a staple in my house for sure! Takes only a few minutes to make and is always a crowd pleaser. Essentially all you do is lay the Matzoh flat on a cookie sheet, melt butter together with brown sugar and a bit of vanilla until hot a bubbly and pour over top. Bake for 25-30 minutes until hardened. Sprinkle a generous amount of chocolate chips over the top and spread until melted and evenly covered. I like to add a sprinkle of sea salt like in this recipe from Bakedbree.com but you can also add nuts, dried fruit, sprinkles or any toppings you’d like.
Turn your home and table into a celebration with a festive centerpiece, place setting and activities for the kids. Here are a few ideas for setting the scene.
5. Elevate the Seder plate on a cake stand for all to see in the center of the table.
6. Add a Seder place mat to the kids places. They can make their own before the big meal like this adorable one here on http://www.InCultureParent.com or create one for play like the felt plates found on www.designmegillah.com
7. Add a cup for Elijah that the kids decorate before the meal. You can create one using recycled materials in your home or get creative with some yarn and stickers like this colorful one found here on Toriavey.com.
Fun and games
8. Hide the Matzoh is traditionally enjoyed by children at Passover. Children are allowed 4 questions and search for the hidden Matzoh called afikomen. Help the kids make an Afikomen Bag for hiding the Matzoh before the meal. This easy to make felt bag is adorable from www.toriavey.com
9. Keeping kids entertained during any meal is difficult so start early and and use a children’s version of the haggadah such as Sammy Spider’s First Haggadah for a family friendly story the kids will understand and love.
10. Make a Matzoh house. As symbolic as the homes in the story of Passover, bring out the builder in you and help the kids build a home of their own. Don’t be surprised if half the decorations are gone before you finish! This Matzo house from Martha Stewart (with directions) has me drooling! Beautiful!
Personal note- My grandmother was amazing for sharing so many of her stories and our roots with me. We would spend hours talking about the special traditions and memories of her own childhood. While my Grandmother is no longer with us to critique this as I know she would have loved too, a special thanks goes out to my dad for clarifying many of the details and sharing so many special recipes of his father with me through the years. One of these days those will finally be in a recipe book for me! So whatever you celebrate whether it be Easter or Passover or both this weekend, I hope you have a happy holiday surrounded by those you love and cherish most.