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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Purim Postscript

We make fairly simple mishloach manot. And, though in theory I do limit everyone to 2-3 friends, in practice we still end up with around 20 deliveries.

Here is what I learned from this year:

A. Buy supplies the week after Tu B'Shvat, including:

  1. paper plates (to make hamentaschen mishloach manot)
  2. funky candies (so that the kids are giving something they would like to get)
  3. popcorn kernels ('cause everyone loves popcorn and it's a great filler)
  4. fruit (to pretend that we are giving something healthy)
  5. plastic bags & ribbon (if necessary -- these are supplies we usually have on hand)
B. Decorate the plates and staple them into the hamentaschen shape on Ta'anit Esther (the day before Purim, two days before Shusan Purim).

C. On Ta'anit Esther, make a list of to whom we want to deliver mishloach manot and figure out the delivery route.

D. Either print out or have kids make cards saying "Purim Sameach from _______" on Ta'anit Esther. NOTE: DO NOT pre-address the mishloach manot! Since all the mishloach manot are the same, it just makes it complicated to keep track of which mishloach manot goes to whom.

E. Make popcorn, and bag, it on Ta'nit Esther or, latest, on Purim.

F. Prepare the mishloach manot on Purim. (prepare at least 5-10 extras)

G. When possible, do tag-team deliveries. This year, we dropped off each kid at a different house, then picked them up in reverse order on the way back. This method only works when you have several deliveries in close proximaty, and have to return from the same direction as you came. Still, it definitely saves some time.

Every year, I think how cool it would be to give something thematic or practical. I would love to be put together enough to distribute fresh salad and mini-lasagnas.

Who knows, perhaps if I manage to follow these guidelines, and prepare in advance, I will substitute healthy, nutricious ingredients on my pre-Purim shopping list. Though I suspect that my kids will still want to deliver "fun" (read: unhealthy) mishloach manot to their friends. After all, as I noted above, they only want to give what they would be happy to get!

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,


Robin said...

We ended up with all junk food in the ones the kids got too (and gave, for that matter - for the secular community that's generally all it is, just some sweets for the kids).

I'm terrible at the presentation though, mine always look awful. I'm intrigued by your paper plate hamantashen, any chance of a pic or an explanation, because I'm not able to picture what you mean.

Anonymous said...

The lovely thing about kids getting older is they take on more and more of it. So this year only one daughter was home to bake - and I didn't have to bow under pressure to bake stuff I didn't want to - so I did make healthy, but as someone else mentioned, only gave a few out of the healthy ones - every year our list gets smaller and smaller, too.

But the people who got the healthy ones really loved them.


Batya said...

An easy container is the one from the mushrooms, or other fancy vegetables. Fill and wrap with pretty paper.
I baked apples this year. Some people got a baked apple and an artichoke.. and some junk.
Now that the kids are out of the house, I don't give as much, and there's nobody to criticize.
I never write names in case someone isn't home.

Ilana said...

Robin, fold up the "sides" of the paper plate the way you would fold up the "sides" of the circle dough to make a Hamantasch.

Anonymous said...

I made our delivery list on the computer last year, so this year all I had to do was edit it on Taanit Esther instead of re-writing it every year. Plus we can print out more than one to coordinate with multiple delivery routes. i also edited it after Purim so that next year we wont forget so-and-so who gave us something so nice...