Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, now exhale slowly… That was easy, wasn’t it? Not for everyone…
I have found that most people handle mishloach manos in one of two ways: some people come up with a theme and then run around to find baskets, bags, and food to fit. Other people find a basket, tray or bag that they like and then build a theme around it.
In our home, mishloach manos is very simple – I go to Paperific and look for something to catch my eye. This year, I found wonderful inexpensive blue bags. I purchased packages of white tissue paper to put inside and decided that our theme will be Israel. What will go inside I don’t have totally worked out yet, but we all know how easy it is to find products made in Israel in Brooklyn stores.
For those of you still undecided on what to do this year, here are some products that will help you fill your Purim baskets.
Bakers Choice (OK, New Square Rabbinical Council, parve and dairy) is a Monsey based company that produces incredible baking products and toppings. Some of the wonderful products we sampled include crunches in flavors like hazelnut brittle and pistachio chips in flavors like peanut butter, white chocolate and regular chocolate chip, and sprinkles in chocolate and color. As many of you know, I have two wonderful grandmothers who love to bake. My grandmother in Boro Park makes a wonderful brownie that is rich and moist, and she only uses Baker’s Choice premium Dutch chocolate. So for all your baking needs this Purim – look for the Baker’s Choice products on your grocer’s shelf.
Mount of Olives Treasures (OK parve) produces organically grown herbal teas in Israel. Among the unique combinations of flavors they offer are green tea with jasmine, which restores and uplifts the spirits, and the chamomile with grapefruit, which has a comforting effect and is wonderful way to relax in the evenings. In our office, we fell in love with the Bethlehem Berry – a rich herbal tea made with white and green teas, a variety of berries, and olive, grape and pomegranate leaves. I have to say that the Bethlehem Berry is even better when mixed with the sweet apple spice – a delicious blend of apple, cinnamon, honey, orange peels and other flavors. The two combined make a delicious glass of tea that is both refreshing and relaxing. The tea bags come in a unique hexagon shape box with easy opening at the bottom so the tea bag slides out. There is also a beautiful gift box assortment and a way for schools/synagogues to fundraise. Mount of Olives Treasures products can be purchased on the web at www.mountofolivestreasures.com.
Sending mishloach manos to someone watching their sugar or carb count? Then pick up some packages of Sweet ‘N Low hard candy or wafer bars (Simply Lite Foods, OU dairy). The hard candies come in an array of mouthwatering choices. Some of those include butterscotch, which is made with real butter and bursting with flavor, fruits and cr?me, which are berries or orange with a hint of cr?me, butter toffee or chocolate caramel ‘n cr?me, or the incredible international coffee flavors – each one more delectable then the other. The wafer bars include chocolate or peanut butter and are a perfect crunchy snack.
Now this wonderful company also produces low carb energy bars under their Simply Lite label – some of the ones we sampled included caramel cream cups, apple crisp wafers, and a delicious white chocolate cappuccino bar. Don’t let the size of the bar fool you. They are filling and contain a nice amount of vitamins and minerals. All of the Simply Lite products can be found in major supermarkets and health food stores.
A Freilichin Purim.
About the Author: Magazine Editor, The Jewish Press
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