Every year, about a week before Purim, I remember (in my usual disorganised, slummy mummy fashion) that I've done nothing about mishloach manot.
As I’ve been writing (or at least thinking) about Purim for weeks, I have little excuse.
It’s not hard to line up last minute tasty treats. Bake up a few treats and pop them in a little plastic bag tied with pretty ribbon. Job done.
But this year I have a new (self-imposed) challenge. I want to my gifts and packaging as eco-friendly as possible. And then I found out that I could also do good with my purchases! A double mitzvah
Why go out and buy more packaging for someone else to dispose of? Why not either use something you have at home or something that can be reused by the lucky recipient.
So I’ve been doing some research and have a few cute ideas for how to upcycle your packaging that would have Greta and David kvelling:
These make the BEST containers. You can either punch holes in the tops and thread some ribbon or tape through, or cut out handles. And either leave the exteriors as they are and fill them with a breakfast-themed assortment – think muffins; chocolate cornflake cakes and jars of granola; or cover them and fill them with whatever you like! Genius!
I have a big box in my garage piled full of these. They are so useful! Soak off the stick label in warm soapy water - if it's a mission, give them a scrub.
I then use them to store nuts and seeds or new jams and spreads and even to display flowers. I especially love the mini ones that you get jam, ketchup and mustard in. They especially cute filled with brightly coloured jelly beans or smarties; or you could buy a few differently coloured spice mixes. Larger jars are perfect for layering up dry ingredients for a cake or cookie recipe. Think sugar; flour; cocoa powder; cocoa; chocolate chips etc. Print out the recipe, roll it up and attach it to the side of the jar with a wooden spoon. Or keep it small enough to stick to the side of the jar. Only with the larger ones, obviously – unless you’re a pixie. With very good eyesight.
Or you may want to fill them with home-made jam. Chia seed raspberry jam made with frozen berries (find a recipe here) is ready in minutes without the faff of boiling up sugar for hours, and makes a lovely, low sugar, alternative to regular jam.
Who doesn't love a kitchen utensil or dish? You could fill a colander with ingredients, for example. Then the lucky recipient would get years of use out of their gift caddy. Or (double whammy) use one of the beautiful dishes from Kisharon which you can find in Temple Fortune at the Kisharon Gift and Homeware Store, Equal. Fill salad bowls like the ones above with salad seasoning; some crunchy seeds and perhaps glass jars of salad dressing - home-made if you have enough jars. Or even bottles of oil and vinegar.
4. Charity-produced goodies:
Whilst talking at charity conference, Her Space, yesterday I came across the gorgeous mishloach manot produced by the Noa Girls. At this stage, it may be one for your diaries for 2021, as I'm told they sell out really fast.