This year, I was able to obtain a rather large quantity of Passover packaged foods from a kosher food pantry after I’d already done most of my Passover shopping. Plus, the shopping list already included a few treats for the kids, such as macaroons and marshmallows. I found myself in the unique situation of having a pantry stuffed full of things I shouldn’t be eating.
I didn’t have the willpower to stay away from all those delicious, ready-to-eat goodies sitting in the front of my pantry, plus I’d made some pretty poor food choices in the days leading up to Passover. Overall, I’d been eating “avoid” cheeses, too many grains, and not nearly enough vegetables. I was in a lot of pain by the first Seder- fibromyalgia pain in my upper back, neck, and shoulders, plus arthritis pain in my hips and ankles. Those pains weren’t fully gone when I woke up with a raging headache. Some baking soda in water helped quite a bit, but I knew I also needed to clean up my diet. I focused on eating enough meats and veggies and tried to stay away from sugar, but I wasn’t 100% successful with the latter.
Monday morning, I’d made pancakes with the leftover almond pulp from homemade almond milk, and I almost reached for some honey to put on top. That’s when it occurred to me- while the pantry might be full of things I shouldn’t be eating, there’s plenty of things in the kitchen that ARE good for me! We have plenty of produce in the house, and eggs, and a few kinds of canned fish. If I want something sweet, I should reach for fruit, not honey or sugar. I had 2 boxes of raisins and several cans of pineapple.
I decided to make raisin syrup, as an alternative to something sugary. I put a whole pound of raisins in a pot, added water, and simmered for a while. Then I pureed that in the food processor, and simmered it again. This was absolutely delicious when served hot on top of the almond pancakes with melted butter. On subsequent days, I used a bit in the batter in addition to using it as a topping. This raisin syrup is 100% compliant for me, and it’s keeping me from wanting any jelly or honey. I think this will be a new Passover staple, to be made every year.