OK!: What are some helpful tips you would share with others to get through the Passover Holiday?
Jill Zarin: Firstly, call or email everyone in the family who will be at the holiday gathering the week before seeing them. This way, they can't make you feel guilty and say, "We never hear from you except holidays!"
Secondly, eat something BEFORE going to Passover dinner. Why? Some families, like mine, enjoy the 26 pages we read in the Haggadah. For those of you not familiar with Haggadah, it's the soft covered book read out loud around the table prior to the Passover meal. My family loves it SO MUCH that some members like my Aunt Cookie ADD extra songs and stories to the pre-meal preparation. If your family is like mine, then I can guarantee you will be STARVING if you don't eat something beforehand!
And thirdly, take lots of photos and make 10-15 minute VIDEOS! Make sure you include everyone. I suggest trying to interview the elders at the table because some of them may not be around in a few years. The stories they tell will be told for generations to come thanks to you and your video skills, so do a GOOD JOB! APPLE has IMOVIE with amazing templates that will make you look like a professional!
OK!: For any major holiday every woman wants to know what to wear before consuming a big holiday meal. What do you suggest?
JZ: If you feel FAT, then there are 2 schools of thought:
A. Wear an elastic waistband (like Skweez Couture Ponte Pencil Skirt) and a large sweater or blouse over the waist so you have plenty of room to eat and be comfortable. Soup, especially my Chicken Matzah Ball Soup, is VERY filling and will make you feel bloated.
B. Wear button band skirt or a fitted dress that is snug, so you don't overeat.
Either way, make sure you ask for leftovers so you can eat more later!
OK!: Any major Do's and Don'ts to be aware of for Passover?
1. Don't forget your leftovers!
2. ALWAYS bring a house gift.
OK!: What are some of your favorite (and easy) Passover recipes?
Jill Zarin's Macaroons
2 (14-oz) bags sweetened flaked coconut
1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp. sour cream
1 Tbsp. heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract (Mexican vanilla preferred)
3/4 lb. (12-oz) bittersweet chocolate, melted
1. Preheat over to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients until thoroughly combined.
3. Press dough into a soup spoon or small ice cream scoop and release onto the baking sheet.
4. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool.
5. Dip one side of each macaroon in melted chocolate and place on a tray lined with wax paper.
6. Refrigerate 20 minutes before serving.
Grandma Helen's Latkes
6 Brown Potatoes
1 Chopped White Onion
Salt (add at end)
Matzoh Meal (Whole Wheat available and tastes the same!)
Put peeled potatoes in boiling water for 10-15 minutes until they become soft. Mash the potatoes with an egg, use one egg for every six potatoes. Add the chopped onions to the potatoes. Use an ice cream scoop and pat the potatoes into 1 inch pancakes. Roll the potato pancakes in matzoh meal. Add the pancakes to 2 inches of vegetable oil. Fry in a rolling boil for 5 minutes. Turn only once until the pancake potatoes turn medium brown. Remove the latkes from the fryer and set them onto paper towels to dry. Add salt to taste!
OK!: What is one of your favorite things you do each year at your family's Passover?
JZ: "History repeats itself" is such a cliche, but it really rings true when you read the newspaper and then the "Haggadah." We love making correlations. My family always finds a way to connect the past with the present and have vivid discussions at the dinner table.
What are some of your favorite Passover pastimes? Share them with us below or tweet us @OKMagazine!