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The Fresser

Last minute mishloach manot - Purim on a deadline

If you've left your Purim prep to the last moment, fear not. Gift bags can be pulled together in moments.

    You would think I'd be on the case. Nice homebaked goodies waiting all ready and wrapped for tomorrow's festivities. 

    Think again. 

    I did all my Purim prep weeks ago, so I could photograph it for the JC's food pages. All that lovely nosh is long gone.

    With the festivities imminent, it's panic stations, Chez Fresser. The only home-baked goodies to be found are some cute vanilla and chocolate spiral biscuits made over the weekend with the children. Snow is falling, school pick up is about an hour off. What to do?!!

    Like most Jewish mothers, my cupboards are never as bare as they seem, and a few moments digging around is all it took to come up with little bags that will make my children smile.  I bet you have a pack of biscuits or some chocolate knocking about your cupboards. 

    In these bags are Joe&Seph's salted caramel popcorn - I visited the factory last week (more on that to come) and left with a bag of treats. It is the BEST popcorn on the market, and my children adore every crispy, caramel-covered kernel. 

    I also found some chocolate covered raisins and popped a few of those in with a whirly, spiral biscuit and the treat was complete. Purim saved!

    If you are floundering, here are some tips on last-minute mishloach manot assembly:

    1. Cellophane bags: Tied with pretty ribbon, they make anything look like you've made an effort. Many a teacher present has been pulled together in minutes with the help of these beauties. Hobbycraft are my preferred rush-to supplier, but I try to always have a stash in stock.

    2. Save the labour: you only need one home made snack in there. Make up the rest with bought snacks — popcorn, chocolate covered nuts and raisins, jelly beans, even squares of chocolate will do. Or buy some macarons No one will mind what is inside. So long as it looks pretty.

    3. Keep it simple: don't get too busy baking if you're short on time. Home made treats like chocolate bark or chocolate fridge cake (the recipe pictured above can be found here) are super fast and easy. Or, if you really want to turn the oven on, mini muffins or simple shortbread biscuits are probably the speediest bakes. You only really need time to melt some chocolate and then chuck in (or over, depending on what you are making) some dried fruit, nuts, fudge or other treats before leaving to set. Both look and taste great. 

    Good luck and happy Purim! 

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