There’s more to Purim than Hamantaschen. Gasp! Did we just say that? Purim actually comes with four mitzvot, or “to dos”, which are listed toward the end of the Book of Esther: 1) reading the megillah; 2) festive meal; 3) alms to the poor; and 4) gifts to your friends. The latter item, mishloach manot, is meant to comprise two types of food, so the receiver can make two separate blessings.
Over the years mishloach manot have taken on a life of their own, moving beyond the simple duo of hamantaschen and grape juice and instead becoming works of creative art, with food contents and packaging all matching a theme. The mass of sugary treats started getting out of hand, with crash diets and emergency dentist visits on the day after the holiday, and many communal organizations now offer communal mishloah manot, one larger package sent by multiple folk. The only downside to these, however, is the lack of individuality. There’s still nothing like planning, executing and delivering your own mishloah manot.
So we’ve put together a list of our five favorite Purim basket themes, all of which are quickly assembled, and in most cases, the ingredients easily found in your local grocery store. And don’t worry, we haven’t left out the Hamantaschen altogether!
- Brown Cow yogurt
- Kellogs’ mini cereal box
- Horizon single-serving milk or chocolate milk
- Layered fruit salad in a glass jar, or whole fruit like banana or kiwi
Bagels & Lox Breakfast:
- Selection of bagels
- Mini cream cheese tubs
- Selection of sliced veggies (cucumber, tomatoes, red onions, capers)
- Pretzels with spicy mustard packets
- Beef Jerky or cold cooked sausage
- Beer, preferably a Colorado microbrew
- Scones (home-baked or try the ones from Two Bite, available at Kings Soopers or Whole Foods)
- Mini jam jars
- Cucumber sandwich (crusts removed, halved into triangles, with cucumber and cream cheese filling)
- Selection of teas
Milk & Cookies:
- Horizon single-serving milk
- A selection of home-baked or Pepperidge Farm cookies
What kind of mishloach manot are you sending this year? Let us know!