I had a rebbetzin who said Passover does not mean spring cleaning. In other words, don’t use Passover as an excuse to clean you house from top to bottom the way you would if you were doing spring cleaning. Yet is always seems like that is what I do. Maybe it is force of habit or things my mom and aunts taught me, the obsessiveness over having clean windows that sparkled and had no streaks when the sun shone through them.
Either way, around Purim, the spring fever sets in, my housekeeper adds a day a week to her schedule in my house, closets get cleaned out, clothes gone through, and spring cleaning begins. The men of the house get on ladders to attack the light fixtures, and hard to reach trim areas. A hired hand washes the outside windows and we handle the inside. The kitchen is the last place we attack, doing it as a team, emptying every cabinet in the days leading up to Passover as we vacuum, wash, and assure the house is free of hamatz. I want everything to sparkle with cleanliness and there is something about spring cleaning that makes me feel the house has that renewed fresh look and feel.
It may not be necessary for Passover but it makes me feel good to know my house is clean from top to bottom. Passover is the excuse, not the reason, for my obsessive cleaning, but that’s okay. Sometimes you just need an excuse to get something done. Would I do it if Passover didn’t come annually in the spring? Maybe, but I would not have a deadline, a time it had to be done by and may be things would slip. I get the adrenaline rush from the complete cleaning, the entire house being gone through, and the bags of clothes we give away.
So Passover does not mean Spring Cleaning but it sure feels good. In the coming weeks we will post recipes to our website at sarinassephardiccuisine.com for Passover in a special Passover section. We will also have a variety of haroset recipes from different countries. All the recipes will be in our Sarina’s Sephardic Cuisine app, available in the Apple Store, with videos, teaching you how to make some of these amazing recipes.