Kosher Korner: Passover Edition 2024

As we prepare to celebrate our freedom from slavery, the miracles performed by G-d, and our kids learn the four questions and songs about frogs, we may feel like we are slaves again to the cleaning and cooking.
But … never fear, Rabbi Levy Teitlebaum, Director of the Ottawa Vaad Ha Kashrut, is here with some tips and tricks to make the Passover preparation easier, along with some recipes that are quick after a long day. 
1) Remember to sell your chametz (leaven) before Passover. Any community Rabbi can help.
What does it mean to “sell your chametz”? Our friends at have the answer:
“On the holiday of Passover, we are commanded not to have any chametz in our possession. Any food that is made from grain and that has been allowed to rise (ferment) is chametz. Common chametz items include bread, cakes, breakfast cereals, pastas, many liquors and more. Any chametz that was in the possession of a Jew during Passover is forbidden, even after Passover ends. This applies even if the chametz is locked up and out of sight.
“So, what is someone to do if they want to hold on to their prized Scotch collection or freezer full of challah?
“The solution (as explained in the Code of Jewish Law, O.C. 448) is the ‘Sale of Chametz,’ in which the food is sold to a non-Jew before Passover. After the holiday, the non-Jew sells it back, and it can once again be enjoyed.”
2) Passover cleaning applies to only cleaning places where food may be found. Rooms or areas of the home where food isn't brought need not be cleaned.
If your child is never allowed to eat in the playroom, you don’t need to spend extra time there. Bathrooms? Just a regular clean. Kitchen? Plan to be there for a while. Here’s a list to make things easier.
3) Fresh salmon and other kosher fish doesn't need a kosher for Passover symbol. 
Save time, money, and stress and buy fresh fish for your seders. As long as the skin is on and you can see that it is a fish with scales, it’s kosher. Did you know that all fish with scales have fins? It means that the beautiful salmon side at Produce Depot can be eaten during Passover. Why not try making your own gefilte fish this year?
4) It's good to check what items are considered kitniyot (legumes), or foods customarily not eaten on Passover. There are lists of online or ask your Rabbi for details. 
The official 2024 guide from COR (the Vaad for Toronto) is available at the front desk of the Soloway JCC. It will have a complete list of the status of all foods. However, as a general rule, Jews identifying at Ashkenazi (Jews from Eastern Europe) generally do not eat kitniyot and Jews identifying as Sephardi (Jews from the Middle East or Spanish speaking countries) generally do eat kitniyot.
5) Did you know that its possible to use your everyday utensils on Passover?
Standard cutlery and pots that are made completely of metal, no rubber handles or tips, can be boiled and made kosher for Passover. Rabbi Teitlebaum will be hosting an evening to bring your metal utensils and make them kosher for Passover. Join him on April 11 from 8pm-9pm in the Hillel Lodge Lobby. 
More specific information on cleaning your kitchen can be found on the Ottawa Vaad HaKashrut (OVH) website.
Recipes for a busy Passover
Life doesn’t slow down just because our kitchens are operating from a completely different food plan. Sometimes it can be hard to think about what to make after a long day at work during the week of Passover.
To help, we have scoured the internet for some amazing quick meals, some meals that are family-friendly, and meals that fit several different dietary styles.
Jamie Geller offers us this little treasure.  Ready in just 20 minutes, this can be made as a stew with hearty vegetables or a finger-friendly dinner for kids.
This is the best recipe you’ve never heard of. It is a staple in the home of the E-Bulletin staff writer. It was discovered years ago when there were small kids about and now it’s a tradition. A Passover can’t go by with out it.
An elevated way to make eggs, these crepes can also be sliced thin and added to chicken soup. Top with the vegetables in the recipe or substitute for your favourite vegetables.
From our friends at PJ Library, we have a ‘grab n’ go’ food that is good for kids and adults alike. No time to make eggs? Bored of matzoh, cream cheese, and jelly? Try this!
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that many meals from the rest of the year can be made on Passover. Grilled chicken with a yummy dip is always a great meal.
This recipe is great for a cold refreshing meal after a busy day. In under 20 minutes dinner can be on the table complete with salad.
There is so much nuance to Passover, so many customs, traditions, and shtick. It has such a high degree of variation in observance and practice that it is the most celebrated Jewish holiday in the world. This is a great time of year to try out something new, take on a new observance, try a new dish, and make this holiday meaningful for you and your family.
Chag Pesach Sameach! Happy Passover!