"There are a lot of moving parts on Passover, but you need to remember that your family and friends are at your seder because they want to spend time with you," says Jamie Geller, the bestselling cookbook author of Quick & Kosher and Joy of Kosher. ”You set the tone for the seder so you want to be as prepared as possible, so you can be as relaxed as possible.”See Geller’s top Passover prep tips after the jump!
1. Be organized. I know it sounds like a chore, but it makes your life so much easier and it makes you a much better hostess.
2. Make a checklist. Once I did such an elaborate meal that I totally forgot elements of the seder plate. A checklist will keep you sane and on track.
SEE MORE: 12 Things To Make With Matzoh
3. Make haroset a few days ahead of time. Both Ashkenazic and Sephardic harosets taste better when they are prepped in advance, because the flavors of all the ingredients (apples, nuts, wine, etc.) have more time to develop.
4. Make a brisket, then freeze it. The meat will be that much more tender. Braised brisket tastes best when it’s cooked once, then frozen, then brought to room temperature, and then cooked again.
5. Wrap clean Passover greens (karpas) in wet paper towels. This trick will keep parsley sprigs and celery from going limp.
SEE MORE: Passover Brisket Recipes
6. Don’t overdo it. People won’t be as hungry as you think because they will have filled up on the foods from the seder plate. When cooking many different dishes for a lot of people, don’t feel that you need to have as many servings as there are guests. People don’t take three slices of brisket, plus roast chicken, a full serving of potatoes, and a big bowl of chicken soup.
7. Enlist helpers. My kids always help me and guests usually like to help.
8. Pull out serving platters and utensils ahead of time. Be organized enough that people can help you.
9. Plan to serve everything family style. Don’t waste time in the kitchen making a plate for each person. Pass large platters around the table so each person can take what he or she wants.
10. Let guests bring something. I go for a relaxed feeling when I’m hosting. If guests offer, give them something easy to bring: dessert, drinks, or more wine—you’re going to need a lot of wine.
See more from Epicurious:
The Best Kosher Wines
9 Passover Ingredient Swaps To Try
The Ultimate Passover Planner
Kosher Desserts for Seder