Rid your cupboards of leavened products and pull out your Haggadahs because its time for Passover! This Friday, April 3rd, is when most people will celebrate the first night of Passover with a seder. For those unfamiliar with Jewish traditions, the ceremony also known as Pesach entails a meal accompanied by a special prayer book called the Haggadah, a story that celebrates the Israelites’ escape from Egypt slavery.
Let’s face facts, most students will not make it home for Passover. Instead, they’ll have to endure a plethora of texts with pictures of their dogs, grandparents, and the mouth-watering spread. (Thanks, mom!)
It’s okay to miss home, but that doesn’t mean you should miss out on Passover traditions. Show your friends, Jewish or not, a great time by throwing a college version of your family’s Passover seder. Here’s a simple guide of the basics you’ll need to stir up your very own seder.
1. Seder Plate
All seders, placed at the center of the spread, consist of five items: maror, or bitter herb (think, horseradish!); a hard boiled egg; charoset, or a mixture of apple, walnut, wine (super easy to make); karapas, or vegetable (parsley is commonly used); z’roa, or a shankbone (this one is tough in a college kitchen, but you can use a beet).
Anything leavened—grain-based foods like breads, pasta, pastries, breadcrumbs, crackers—is off limits! The Hebrews didn’t have time to let their bread rise, remember? Matzah makes for the perfect substitute.
3. Matzah Ball Soup
Speaking of matzah, this probably could have been mentioned in the section above, but it’s just too important. Do your friends a favor and make matzah ball soup—I promise, they will thank you! It’s pretty easy to make and will serve as delicious leftovers too.
Because wine not? During a Passover seder, families drink four glasses of kosher, red wine—and that’s just for the prayers. Load up on vino and serve with the matzah ball soup. Yum.
5. Hand Outs
There are different versions of Haggadahs online—print one out and pass it around at your seder. Your guests will be glad they can follow along, even if you’re rushing through the prayers in Hebrew. The Haggadah will also point out other details you’ll need, like salt water for karapas and candles for prayers if you choose to go all out!
Happy Pesach, everyone!