I love Pesach for its down to earth, back to the basics frame of mind, and because I love the kitchen and Pesach affords me the time and opportunity to cook and bake with the most basic ingredients.
Pesach in the RAAWWW! We’ve come a long way since the time that the only available kosher for Pesach items were potato starch, hisachdus salt, black pepper, and oil! In my day, we already had chocolate syrup, chocolate bars, mayonnaise and, of course, Kedem raspberry syrup. Not to mention a host of other products which my Mother did not deem in necessary to use. We learned, above all how to do without. We didn’t buy ground nuts. We had bowls of whole walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts which we shelled for eating and baking. And we did not have the convenience of purchasing pre checked, bug-free lettuce. In those days, year round salads were comprised of iceberg lettuce, which we would cut into chunks (non checked!). On Pesach, we bought Romaine lettuce, as a bitter herb and sometimes we mixed it with Belgian endives. The endives did not need checking but the Romaine checking was a project delegated to my father and often started when he came home from shul seder night!
We’ve come a long way since those days of few available Pesach items. Today there are Pesach stores dedicated to Pesach items, and even small Mom and Pop groceries (of which there are few left today!) have an aisle or two of Kosher L’Pesach items.
I must say that I get upset when I see blatant retakes on such chometz items as breakfast cereals, pasta, and even pizza and rolls (frozen) being marketed and sold. How will the next generation view Pesach? Certainly not with the “we can live without it” mentality that we were brought up with. In our generation of ”anything goes”, and with our kids seeing little or no deprivation on Pesach, is it surprising that unfortunately, for many youths, this mentality carries over into their every day life?
What can’t you live without for 8 days?