July 23, 2024
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A lot of people complain that there’s nothing to eat on Pesach, but the truth is that it’s a great opportunity to eat healthy. You can’t eat most carbs, and no cake or candy is good enough to make you break a serious diet. You’re just eating four-course meals of nutritious foods for eight days straight. What could be healthier?

But if what you want is candy, you might be in a bind. On most Shabboses, for example, I give my kids candy for answering questions. What do I do on Pesach?

Well, technically, on Pesach, they’re supposed to be asking the questions and I’m supposed to be answering. But I want my candy.

So most years, I give out grapes. And this is great, because kids love grapes. But occasionally, one of them says, “Wait… Why am I working so hard to earn grapes? Grapes are a fruit, and I can take fruit any time I want!”

And I give him a grape for asking.

And the situation isn’t helped by the fact that our minhag is not to buy things like candy. Not that the candy is that great. The jelly candies you can buy on Pesach, for example, are the same basic consistency as the jelly you smear on matzah. So what do we give them?

We can get creative. Like I saw something in the store the other day called “meat lollipops.” It was a strip of meat, swirled into the shape of a cinnamon bun, stuck on a skewer. Totally kosher l’Pesach. And I said, “We can give those to the kids! Who wouldn’t eat meat lollipops?” I know they’d probably be my favorite kind of lollipop.

There’s also something you can make called “candied orange peel,” which is when you fish orange peels out of the garbage, cover them in sugar, and then your kids suck off the sugar and throw them back in the garbage. You can probably also do this with lemon peels, apple peels or whatever other peels you have lying around.

Potato peels!

Baruch Hashem, though, I have some candy recipes that everyone should be able to use:

Fruit Leather

Fruit leather is pretty simple to make. First, you make applesauce or some other fruit-based sauce. Just take the fruits, cook them if necessary and puree.

Come to think of it, you could probably also make this out of charoset. This would be a good way to get rid of your leftover charoses, because frankly, one apple makes enough of it to build a pyramid. And then you’re supposed to dip a huge spoon of maror into a little bit of charoses, and then shake most of the charoset back off. So by the time both Sedarim are over, you should end up with all of it left—more in fact, because you have all that you started with plus little gross flecks of maror. Why not use that to make fruit leather?

Once you have whatever mixture you’re using, spread it out on a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet about 1/8 inch deep.

At that point, you can slide the pan into the oven at 140 degrees Fahrenheit for about eight hours. And when you take it out, it should have a leathery consistency that would scare you if you’d never heard of fruit leather. At that point, you can cut it up with a pizza slicer, assuming you have a Pesachdikke pizza slicer. Why would you not?

This is a great recipe, because it’s healthy, and it’s fruit, but the kids don’t know it’s fruit, and what better time of the year to tie up your oven for eight hours at a time?

And in fact, if you want to have even more fun with it, you can take cookie cutters and make fun shapes.

What do you mean you don’t have Pesachdikke cookie cutters?

And if fruit leather doesn’t take long enough for you, you can always make

Rock Candy

Rock candy doesn’t have a complicated recipe either. You basically just start by boiling up a really thick sugar water. Like salt water, but thicker. Like Yam Hamelach thick. Then you pour this mixture into individual cups or jars—one for each stick—and you put a chopstick into the center of each one and figure out how to get it not to keep popping back up.

Wait, you don’t have Pesachdikke chopsticks? What’s going on with you?

Alternatively, you can use the skewer that came with your meat lollipop.

Once you’ve done that, it’s just a matter of time until the rock candy forms around your sticks! Set your oven timer for two weeks.

But let’s put it this way: If you can manage to kasher your kitchen about a week before Pesach, then your rock candy will be ready… approximately the last day of Pesach. Which is awesome! That way, you don’t have to wait until the very next day to have actual candy!

“You better enjoy this lollipop,” you should tell your family as they attempt to suck jagged rocks off a meat skewer. “It took us two weeks to make it.”

You can ask your kids to help you make it, but I’d suggest you don’t. No one who helps you make the rock candy is going to want any.

It happens to be that it’s not bad, if you’re into rock candy. And it definitely gives you a good idea of what people mean when they tell you that candy is pure sugar. My mother-in-law says this all the time: “That candy you’re eating is pure sugar.” Is that supposed to deter me? Pure is a good thing, right? If I saw a candy in the store that had a little label on it that said, “Pure sugar!” I’d be more likely to buy it. I don’t want adulterated sugar.


Mordechai Schmutter is a freelance writer and a humor columnist for Hamodia and other magazines. He also has seven books out and does stand-up comedy. You can contact him at [email protected].

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