by Ozzie Nogg
Preparing for Passover is no easy task. Traditionally, you’re obliged to deep-clean the house to rid it of all leaven; change your dishes, pots and utensils; cover your kitchen counters with foil, etc. And then, after all that labor, you’re faced with cooking Seder meals for family and friends. For balabustas who run out of steam, Star Catering comes to the rescue with Seders-To-Go.
“We’ve been catering Seder meals for three years now,” said Mike Aparo, Director of Food Services at the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home. “And each Passover, more and more families call and order these delicious prepared meals. People live busy lives, and we all can use some occasional help in the kitchen. The chefs at Star Catering are happy to lend a hand so the host and hostess can relax and enjoy the Seder along with their guests.”
The 2014 Star Catering totally Kosher Seders-To-Go menu options include Charoset, Gefilte Fish Loaf, Matzoh Ball Soup, Beef Brisket, Roasted Chicken, Sweet Potato Tzimmes, Mashed Potatoes, Matzoh Dressing, Roasted Vegetables, Chocolate Matzoh Cake and Apple Kugel. “We can provide Seder meals for small or large groups,” Aparo said. “Call in advance and we’ll have your order ready for pick-up. All you have to do is put the food on your dining room table. Easy.”
Aparo and his staff also provide two Seder meals at the Blumkin Home. “Residents, their families and friends, really look forward to these dinners,” he said. The first Seder, on Monday, April 14, will be led by Andy and Carole Greenberg. Jim and Susan Polack and their sons Max and Josh will lead the second Seder on Tuesday, April 15. According to Aparo, the first Seder will feature Stuffed Cornish Game Hens, Herbed Yukon Gold Potatoes, Roasted Mixed Vegetables and Honey Cake. The second Seder menu includes Beef Brisket, Sweet Potato Tzimmes, Seasoned Asparagus and Fudge Chocolate Cake. “Of course, we’ll have Gefilte Fish and Matzoh Ball Soup at both Seders,” Aparo said. (The shift to strictly Passover food prep elicits varying responses from RBJH kitchen staff. “La chin- ga, lots of matzoh” said Marco Martinez, Catering Cook. “No bread for nine days! How’m I gonna survive?” moaned chef Tyler Wolles, Food Services Assistant, while Star Catering baker Jennifer Addison sang, “Hallelujah, I don’t have to make challah for a week!”
Between the Seders and preparing three meals a day for RBJH Residents during the week-long holiday, the Star Catering Passover grocery shopping list is staggering. Aparo and crew go through approximately 500 pounds of chicken, 220 pounds of corned beef, 180 pounds of whole Tom turkeys, 150 Cornish game hens, 100 pounds of chuck eye roll, 60 pounds of short ribs, 50 pounds of ribeye, 40 pounds of top of the rib, 80 pounds of walleye, 80 pounds of salmon, 80 pounds of cod loins, 50 pounds of pastrami, 50 pounds of smoked turkey, 75 pounds of tuna, 950 pounds of fresh vegetables, 75 pounds of sweet potatoes, 50 gallons of cotton seed oil and 90 pounds of matzoh. “During the week of Passover, the kitchen turns out 1000 matzoh balls, 60 pounds of charoset, 72 pounds of gefilte fish and 1600 matzoh rolls,” Aparo said. “Our own version of manna from heaven.”
To order your Star Catering Seder-To-Go prepared meals, call Mike Aparo at 402.334.6522 by April 8. “All our Passover dishes are available during the entire week of holiday,” Aparo stressed. “Passover is all about freedom, and that’s what we provide — food wise — for our customers.”