Chef in the Kitchen
April Brings Us Passover, National Soy Month and Earth Day
Passover-April 8th sundown - April 16th sundown
Easter-April 12, 2020
Earth Day- April 22, 2020
National Soy Month
This Jewish holiday is celebrated by Jewish people worldwide. Fresh produce plays an important role in this significant holiday. Passover usually falls around Easter Sunday; and this year Easter is April 12
th and Passover begins April 8th at sundown. Passover commemorates the deliverance of the Jews from slavery in Egypt.
Passover is also known as the Festival of Unleavened Bread; in their flight into exile, the Hebrews had time to prepare only unleavened bread (matzo) to take with them. The holiday lasts one week. Families gather for a Seder for one main night and often additional nights. Generally, it is the second night of Passover. A seder is a feast filled with Passover traditions including reading, singing, drinking wine and eating special foods.
In the center of the table at every Passover Seder is a plate arranged with foods symbolic of the holiday. The only one that requires a recipe is charoset: this is a mixture of fruits, nuts, and spices. Charoset represents the mortar the Jewish people made while laboring as slaves in Egypt. Melissa’s offers a complete variety of fruits, nuts, and spices to accommodate the variety of ways it is prepared in Jewish communities all over the world.
Wine is also served during the Seder and is used and drank throughout the service. Children are served grape juice so they, too, can participate. The highlight of the evening is when the leader of the Seder hides the Afekoman, a piece of Passover Matzo used in the Seder, and the children have to search the home to find it. The child who finds it uses it to "bribe" the Seder leader who needs it to finish the service... He in turn gives the child a coin, or a dollar bill. It is all in fun. Also, the youngest child that can read is asked to read the FOUR QUESTIONS-these are simple questions explaining to the child, and the group, why we have Passover. Most services conducted in the home last from half an hour up to one hour.
For a special Passover Seder, choose from a variety of Melissa’s potatoes, boiler onions and fresh parsley for karpas; horseradish for chahzeret and morror; and apple-pears for a unique charoset. To accompany pot roast and poultry dishes during the Seder dinner, try Melissa's Baby Red Potatoes, Pearl Onions, Celery Root and Parsley Root, to enhance your meal. Fresh herbs and spices are popular for many Passover recipes so be sure to have plenty on hand.
This year Easter is Sunday April 12, 2020. The name "Easter" originated with the names of an ancient Goddess. Easter was named after Eostre. She was the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people of Northern Europe. Her name was derived from the ancient word for spring "eastre." The ancient Saxons celebrated the return of spring with a festival commemorating her. Easter was originally a pagan festival. The second-century Christian missionaries came across these pagans and decided to convert them to Christianity. They did it slowly, allowing them to continue celebrating their way, then slowly changing the holiday to a Christian holiday. Easter is celebrated by Christians worldwide with food and festivities.
This year, Good Friday is April 10, 2020. Many people attend church on Good Friday in preparation for Easter the following Sunday.
Earth Day is April 22. Earth Day began in 1970 as an annual day to demonstrate support for environmental protection. There are events held worldwide to create awareness Take a moment to think about how much waste you might produce… try some of these simple solutions to help the earth stay clean for generations to come.
Teach your children to respect the world and it will be a better place for everyone!
Some states have outlawed plastic straws. Buy a glass or metal straw and keep it handy for when you want to use a straw.
Recycle, recycle, recycle!
- Don’t forget to recycle your plastic, glass, newspapers, and aluminum.
- HAND SANITIZER! Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when you want to quickly clean your hands.
- Take shorter showers.
- Don’t leave the water running when you brush your teeth.
- Always have a full load when doing laundry.
- Always fill the dishwasher before running the cycle.
- Monitor your outdoor sprinklers; make sure they don’t go on in the rain!
- Don’t hose the cement outside to wash it down; use a broom and sweep.
Walk instead of drive.
- If it is a quick, close errand, walk. Save gas and get some exercise, too!
- Save gas and traffic by carpooling to work or school.
National Soy Month
Soy has become a very popular food item in today’s trendy food culture. As recent as 10 years ago, soy products were generally only available at health food markets or nutrition stores. Now you can find soy products in your local supermarket, and plenty of them! You can even find soy products at fast-food restaurants used in dishes like Impossible burgers. Plant-based and delicious.
Soy is a subtropical plant native to Asia, where it has been a dietary staple for over 5,000 years. Soy was introduced to the United States in the 1800s and soy cultivation began during World War ll.
Soy is an excellent source of protein, making it the perfect alternative for someone who doesn’t eat meat, like vegetarians or vegans. Melissa’s has a full line of soy products, including 4 different types of tofu, edamame, in and out of the shell, soy taco, soy ground and soyrizo. Delicious!
During National Soy Month, try something new and delicious featuring soy products. Take one step closer to a healthier lifestyle by incorporating more soy into your diet.