Best Ways to Restock After Pesach
By Elisheva Blumberg, Lubicom Staff
You know that golden feeling you get after you’ve just unpacked loads upon loads of groceries from a massive, I-can’t-believe-I-just-spent-an-entire-week’s-paycheck shopping trip?
You know, that moment of abundance when your household is as well-stocked as a Shoprite warehouse? It’s a great feeling, but it ain’t a long-lasting one!
Come motzaei Pesach, chances are your kitchen (and your family) is begging for a restock. Before you head out for a post-Pesach food-buying bonanza, a few things to keep in mind:
Repurpose Pesach Ingredients
Here’s something that never ceases to boggle my brain: the minute Pesach is over, those gooey, delicious potato starch brownies suddenly morph into something distasteful. Inedible, even. Seriously, how have I been enjoying these things for the past 8 days?
The same thing happens to me with Pesach ketchup and mayonnaise. But you may find yourself having that sudden negative reaction to macaroons, those chocolate-covered jelly rings, or anything made with matzo meal.
Does this leave you wanting to toss your Pesach stash and get a completely fresh start? Hold up a minute!
In many cases, you can repurpose your Pesach ingredients to use throughout the year.
For example, though I’ve never found kosher l’Pesach ketchup that holds up to Heinz, I keep the Pesach stuff anyway — it works fine in roasts, stews, homemade bbq sauce, etc.
By the same token, Pesach mayo can be disguised in salad dressing.
Oh, and all that leftover potato starch is comparable to flour when used as a coating or a soup/sauce thickener.
Grocery Stores You Gotta “Pass Over”
After Pesach, chametz products cannot be purchased from a Jewish-owned store which did not sell its chametz during the holiday.
Communities often have yearly-updated lists with the stores from which it’s permitted to purchase chametz. Otherwise, you can call the OU to find out.
Once Lag B’omer rolls around (this year, it starts on the night of May 22, 2019) most halachic authorities say you can purchase chametz from any establishment.
And remember — you can always purchase non-chametz items, including kitniyot, at any store, even immediately after Pesach.
If your custom is to get rid of chametz (instead of selling it and storing it in your sealed cabinets), your post-Pesach shopping list can be ridiculously long...like, as long as your son’s hair always seems to grow during the weeks of sefira.
To get your house back to code, you’ll need a boatload of gluten — and there’s bound to be something you’ll forget.
My after-Pesach blind spot, for example, is barley. Barley! It’s happened at least twice on a post-Pesach Friday morning that I started making cholent and realized I had forgotten to buy barley. Now I always make a list to be sure I don’t forget anything. And I’ll tell you one thing — barley always makes the top of my list.
Here are some chametz items you might consider adding to your list:
- Barley (yep, I mean it when I say this baby is always at the top!)
- Fresh bread
- Frozen pizza
- Breakfast cereal
- Bread crumbs
- Wheat flour
- Alcohol (beer, whisky, vodka, etc.)
- White vinegar
- Soy sauce (some contain wheat)
- Mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard (some have the custom to get rid of these before Passover due to the possible grain content)
Shop in the Slow Lane
Yes, after your kitchen has been turned upside down and inside out for the holiday, you probably want to get back things back to normal. ASAP.
By all means, go ahead and decimate the duct tape off your cabinets, annihilate the aluminum foil on your oven range, pulverize the plastic liners in your fridge. After all, you’re a woman on a mission.
But when it comes to restocking your pantry and fridge, there is room to handle things with a bit more restraint. Though you may feel like tearing through the grocery store with a crazed look in your eye, there is also reason to take it slow (namely, your budget, which has undoubtedly been torpedoed by shmurah matzah purchases alone.)
Start with whatever your family needs immediately, and then you can steadily rebuild a stock of essentials. This works especially well if you can track the sales at your local supermarkets, purchasing in bulk when the prices are reduced.
Before you know it, you’ll be once again all aglow with that warm, fuzzy feeling of a fully-stocked kitchen.