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Preparing the Seder - the creative DIY way

Monday, 30 March 2015

As Pesach (Passover) is just around the corner, many of us are getting pretty frantic about hosting Passover Seder. Hosting Passover is a big task, and with three little monsters at the house it's never been more challenging.

The preparations are time-consuming and the meal planning (and there are many meals) can be overwhelming. And, I don't know about you, I always want to make the dinner table beautiful and stand out in terms of decorations. So, here are a few unique and creative ideas I'd like to share with you from my past hosting experiences:).

By the way, the word 'seder' means 'order', in case you didn't know. There is a reason for everything found on the seder table. Holidays are a personal celebration and should reflect your family's traditions; this includes foods that have been around your table for generations. However, I love introducing new foods to the old and present what I like to call 'pretty varieties'.

I made these matzah covers with my boys:). All you need is some felt, sticky foam shapes, big shiny letter stickers and more stickers - all accessories can be found at the dollar store!
Today, I will share my decor ideas for the seder plate in particular. Tomorrow, I'll let you in on some of my favourite simple to make yummy seder recipes.

Think Outside the Box...
Are you annoyed to wait patiently every seder as the bowl of charoset or vegetables for dipping get passed around? If you answer yes, then you will love this stylish idea. Last year, I experimented with setting my holiday seder table with an inviting round colourful sectional plate at each person's place. Even for the kids, I placed a sectional plat, and they were overly excited about it:).

It was not easy and took a lot of preparation and planning, in addition to all the other meals you have to worry about (and of course keeping all kosher for Passover). I purchased these simple plates from Walmart for $1 each:)!  I believe I recently saw them even at the dollar store. They are typically used to serve vegetables or fruits with a dip as birthday platters, and are divided into compartments. In each compartment I placed one of the ceremonial seder items. There is a portion of charoset, maror, a divided section that holds salt water for dipping in the middle, and separate sections for karpas (a vegetable - celery, parsley, boiled potato, carrot), z'roa (roasted bone) and beitzah (roasted egg).

Another creative and unique option is to use a bento box (you know the one they use for sushi), but it may require more effort to find and will most likely be pricier.

Don't be turned off by the bright colours and modern look. The latest trend is a mix of modern and traditional. Plus, who cares what everyone else thinks?! It's your family and you're hosting! Although, I still use a golden traditional seder plate as the religious centerpiece of the table.

The individual seder plates will be so convenient, stylish, unique and a cutting-edge addition to your Passover Seder Table. I encourage you to try it!

Make It a Unique Wine Conversation...

During the Passover Seder we are required to drink four cups of wine - one cup at four specific points. This represents the four expressions of redemption mentioned in the Torah. "To enhance the concept of redemption and freedom, we recline while we drink, have others pour the wine for us, and select red wines which are considered of importance in Judaic tradition."

If I have the time, I would like to try this creative idea this year. (Last year it was too much for me to handle on top of my to do list.) Try to select wines that speak to you. For example, I spent about five years living in France, so I like to select red wines from France, especially the regions where I enjoyed living the most. It is also nice to connect your wine selection to the Jewish community, for example selecting a bottle from places where the Jews were exiled in history, and learn and speak about that at the seder table.

I hope your Passover Seder will be a special one this year.

Chag Sameach to all those celebrating Passover!

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Disclaimer: This post has been written by Stella V.

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