The help

If you are hosting the Seder, you will need it.

Millenium 370 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Millenium 370
(photo credit: Courtesy)
I remember as a child, my mother used to send us to our Aunt Aliza’s a few days before the Seder to help. We were sent out to collect food from her favorite stores, we polished the silver and dusted the shelves. The older children were even allowed to take out the good Passover china from storage and help dry it after our aunt washed it. I remember it as the best of times. Thinking back, I am not sure our aunt shared those feelings.
It seems much easier for hostesses now – with new cleaning aids and other shortcuts. Here are a few that landed on our desk this year.
Ball magic
The new compact vacuum cleaner by Dyson not only has the renowned Radial Root Cyclone technology, which captures microscopic dust in virtually minutes, but is easy to operate, clean and store. Engineered to follow faithfully, DC39 is Dyson’s first cylinder vacuum with ball technology for stable maneuvering around the tightest corners. Other cleaners often behave like an errant shopping trolley – their crude casters drift across hard floors, are awkward to steer and can topple. They lurch into furniture, veer off at tangents and may be difficult to pull. This model sits on a ball, has a lower center of gravity and is easier to pull. Coupled with a unique central-steering system, it uses an articulating chassis and central pivot point for negotiating tight turns and circumnavigating sofas. Three models are currently distributed in Israel: the Origin, NIS 2,949; the Allergy, NIS 3,290 (for people with dust and other allergies); and the Animal, NIS 3,690, for those with pets. Prices may vary in different stores and seasonal sales. Available from April at most electrical appliance stores.
Easy does it
Even if you are in the middle of spring cleaning and all of your cupboards are done, your kitchen and bathrooms may still need a last touch just before the guests arrive (or after a few kids have been in and out of your kitchen…). The Nicole wet wipes for floors and work surfaces are lifesavers – pull one out, wipe and throw away. There are four items in the Nicole series: general cleaning wipes; floor; parquet floor; and glass wipes. No need for a bucket or soapy water, and it can be done even when wearing your best holiday clothes. I love using the floor ones in my kitchen at the end of every day. NIS 12 for a pack of 50 general cleaning wipes; NIS 13 for the glass and window pack of 36 wipes; NIS 13 for a pack of 10 floor wipes; and NIS 17 for a pack of 10 parquet floor wipes.
New designs for the Seder table
Most kitchenware stores offer new designs for Passover. Bergner has a really pretty spring flower 18-piece porcelain set for six, and other designs. NIS 199 at all up-market homeware stores.
Paldinox offers more up-to-date sets. Its lines are among the prettiest imported to Israel, including Miss Blackbirdy; Staplegoed; Pip Studio; Leif; and others. To find a store near you go to For the more traditional – a set of white porcelain bone china is always in good taste.
The sets imported by Millennium Marketing are available at Arcosteel Kitchen in the Tel Aviv Port Market and other stores. The price for a 18-piece set is NIS 352 if you buy two, or NIS 416 if you buy one.
And if you choose the easy way out and opt for disposable dishes, check out the pretty ones imported to Israel by Penelope of Ramat Hasharon. The store offers the prettiest disposable tablecloths and tableware, which provide a perfect solution if you are not sure how many guests you will have, or don’t feel like washing dishes for a week after the Seder.
The store also offers bowls and serving dishes – a great idea if people are bringing food and their dishes do not match your designs, or if you need extra table accessories. Penelope, 8 Haharash Street, Ramat Hasharon. (03) 5473263.