What is the earliest time that I can do Kiddush on Friday night? For example, if candle lighting is at 7:20pm and sunset is at 7:38pm, am I able to do Kiddush between 7:20pm and 7:38pm? Or do I have to do Kiddush after 7:38pm, or even nightfall? Thank you.
Technically you can make kiddush even from Plag Hamincha, which it 6:28:15 in Baltimore this Friday. If you want to eat earlier, you should make kiddush preferably before 8:06 which is half an hour before the time to say kriyas shema. If you already davened Maariv and said Kriyas Shema, although you should resay it after nightfall, however since you already said Kriyas Shema, according to some poskim you can start your meal even during the half our before nightfall. However it is still preferable to start before half an hour prior to nightfall.
There is however another issue for the next little while, that even if one did daven maariv, since he hasn’t counted sefira yet, he shouldn’t eat within half an hour of the time to count sefira.
O:CH 235-2, M:B 235-19, Magen Avrohom 267-2, M:B 267- 5,6, 498-23,