Across Israel, Meir Panim responds to the growing needs of the country’s 1.75 million impoverished residents through various food and social service programs.
If your family is anything like mine, the first thing we discuss when planning a gathering is what
we’re serving. (In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I belong to an eating family.) In both of my grandmothers’ homes, everyone congregates in the kitchen and eats – all the time. So, in time for Chanukah, I pulled out some treats from our box that you can use at any type of family get together.
Volcano Orange Juice (Dream Foods International, Rabbi Dr. Umberto Piperno, parve). I
know. Why I am reviewing orange juice? Because this juice is much more than you would expect. High in Vitamin C and rich with anti-oxidants, it is produced with three different types of blood red oranges grown near the Mt. Etna volcano. The Taroccos orange is responsible for the magenta color of the juice. When we first opened the bottle we thought it was tomato
juice. The taste is reminiscent of Israeli orange juice. Our family enjoyed it very much - the 1-liter glass bottle was empty before we knew it. As to where you can find it - this is a relatively new product, introduced at the Natural Products West trade show in March 2003. You can find more information at www.dreamfoods.com. The company also distributes Volcano Lemon Burst, which is 100% lemon juice with lemon oil for an extra burst of flavor.
Unger’s Gourmet Italian Style Pizza Crust (Quality Kosher Foods, New Square, parve) is perfect for families. There are two delicious pizza crusts and pizza sauce in each package. The crusts are baked to perfection and the sauce has a great taste. The kids will have a blast preparing the pizza. Even Moms used to making their own pizza dough have raved about the taste and ease of use. Since they are parve, you can use any topping - everything from cheese
and vegetables to slices of salami and chicken. And at 150 calories and 2 grams of fat per 1/8 of the pie, they are not hard on your diet either. Coming soon are individual 6-inch size crusts. Look for them in your local kosher grocery and supermarket.
Premium Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix (My Gourmet Oven, Star K, parve). In a world of cookie mixes, this one stands out as incredible - all natural, lactose free and incredibly easy to prepare. My 15-year-old prepared three different kinds of cookies recently for a class Shabbaton, and this was the one people loved the most. You add some simple ingredients to the mix and bake – the smell of chocolate chip cookies fills the air within minutes and the taste of the rich Belgian chocolate chunks will have your mouth watering for hours. My Gourmet
Oven has 4 other great mixes including creamy peanut butter and caramel lemon. For purchase information or to find out how your school or women’s organization can use the mix for fundraising, check out their website at www.mygourmetoven.com.
Bone Sucking Sauce (Ford’s Fancy Fruit and Gourmet Foods, OU, parve) is the most incredible barbecue sauce you will ever taste. They are all natural and fat-free with a list of fantastic ingredients including molasses, mustard, horseradish and hickory smoke. If you are preparing chicken or meat for a family gathering - this is the sauce you want to use. We used it one Shabbos on chicken, and between my husband and son every piece was eaten. The sauce
comes in regular, hot, thicker style regular and thicker style hot. They also have salsa, mustard and hot sauce – which according to my brother (the family hot sauce expert) is truly amazing. By popular demand, they now have the sauces available in family-friendly half-gallon containers. Look for the full line of products in your local grocery and supermarket or on
the web at www.bonesuckin.com.
Another great family food is pancakes – or waffles, whichever you prefer. Every great pancake deserves great syrup. Maple Grove Farms of Vermont (OU, parve) has a wonderful line of fruit-flavored syrups. Red Raspberry, Boysenberry and Apricot are just some of the choices you can add to your pancakes. They also have a line of delicious fruit preserves, including Pumpkin Butter and Mint Jelly. Under their “Up Country Organic” line they have
certified organic syrups and pancake batters. All of the Maple Grove products can be found in your local supermarket or on the web at www.maplegrove.com.
At the end of great meal you might find yourself in need of a breath mint. Breathfx (BT Foods,
distributed by Quality Kosher, Star-K parve) is a dissolving breath strip with a nice minty flavor. Each package contains two compact cases with 24 strips in each. Look for them in your local kosher grocery.
And finally, for kids of all ages, coming in January 2004 for a limited run are two new flavors of Mike and Ike - Cherry Vanilla and Root Beer. As always with their products, each flavor is exactly as promised - the root beer tastes like a small sip of great soda and the cherry vanilla is a wonderful combination of great flavors
Have a wonderful Chanukah.
About the Author: Magazine Editor, The Jewish Press
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