My husband and I have a ritual every Purim evening. We love to open each shaloch manos and take note of each theme and creative packaging. We sort the foods into different bins (drinks, snack foods, parve candy, dairy candy, baked goods, fruit, and refrigerator items) and sample a few items, too! Since I started my blog, this ritual involves taking pictures of the best shaloch manos as well.
Check out the amazing creativity of my St. Louis friends (and my own family):
For the first year ever, we did a family costume (see above). Instead of making each kid their own requested costume, we decided together on a common theme. After I shared a few ideas, my oldest son came up with the idea of dressing up as chess pieces. I found a few pictures on Google, but no instructions. So here is what I did:
For the hats:
My husband found chess piece stencils online. The original stencils were too small, so he saved them as jpgs and pasted them into a Publisher document. He printed them on 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper, cut them out, and then traced them onto black posterboard. We made two of each chess piece. We cut out wide strips for the headband and attached two of each piece to the headbands with a stapler. We stapled the two pieces together at the top.
For the shirts:
I bought inexpensive black t-shirts at Michaels. They sell adult and youth sizes. I thought about weaving strips of black and white felt together to make the chessboard, but with only a week to go before Purim, there was not enough time. Instead I found a checkerboard plastic tablecloth on Amazon Prime. I cut the tablecloth into pieces the size of a regular piece of felt. I then used glue dots to attach the tablecloth squares to the felt. I attached the whole thing to each shirt with safety pins.
If I were to make these again, I would recommend taking the time to do the felt weaving or perhaps look for a felt-backed tablecloth instead of plastic. The safety pins pulled at the cloth and two of my boys ripped theirs a bit. Luckily I was able to give those two my husband and my chess board for their shirts for one more wear (they had to wear them at school today, Shushan Purim).
OUR SHALOCH MANOS:
We did a Rolled Fruit theme this year. I saw a recipe for Berry Babka Muffins in the Late Winter 2017 issue of Joy of Kosher and knew it was what I wanted to make. Little did I know how much work it would be! They were very tasty, but because they were so much work (and puffed up so much), I could only include one per container! (Note for those of you who might get this magazine – each roll of dough actually made two muffins. The first roll I tried as per directions was too big to fit in a cup of the muffin tin!)
I prefer to use a reusable container when possible, but cost is definitely a factor. We give out almost 60 shaloch manos, so anything more than $.50 is cost prohibitive. This year’s containers were 3 for $1.00 at Dollar Tree. I dressed them up with Washi tape, fake flowers and rhinestone stickers from Michaels. We included a note (with our picture and notes about the food) and a fruit roll-up. Simple, but I hope delicious and pretty!
MORE WONDERFUL SHALOCH MANOS:
Butterfly life cycle – This was one of the most creative shaloch manos I have ever seen! My friend Jessie (and Daniel) attached the following to a cardboard life cycle display (design from Oriental Trading, circle cardboard from Restaurant Depot):
- white sixlets (from Party City) for the caterpillar
- a worm through a cookie (worm – kosher candy aisle, cookie from Dollar Tree) for the egg
- a Twix bar for the cocoon (I did not realize that mine had fallen off when I took the picture)
- a butterfly lollipop (lollipop from Party City, wings from Oriental Trading) for the butterfly
- bags (from Amazon)
- alternative ideas – marshmallows for eggs, smaller cheaper lollipops for the butterfly, eye stickers to decorate the lollipops, and Tootsie Rolls for the cocoon
Chocolate delicacy – My friend Chanie (and Shmuel) made an elegant homemade chocolate bark tree (with nuts and fruit) with a beautiful poem! I have no clue how she made a ton of these beauties!
More homemade chocolate delicacies – Chocolate toffee bark with pistachios! Beautiful box, too! Thanks Pirchie and Yosef! Another amazing recipe and woman!
S’mores theme – My friends Talia and Chaim even had matching costumes for the whole family!
Amazing homemade goodies – Thanks Batsheva & Tzvi and Hindy & Daniel.
Go Bananas theme – Thanks Debra and Marc!
Chocolate theme – included homemade hot cocoa mix. Thanks Debbie and David!
Honey theme – Thanks Vicki and Warren!
Pirate theme – included candy necklaces, homemade cupcake, a chocolate pirate lollipop, liquor, and a ring pop. Thanks Chana and Josh!
Irish/End of the rainbow theme – they also had matching costumes! Thanks Vicki and Mark!
French revolution theme – These friends of mine always come up with amazing matching costumes and shaloch manos! They are so creative! Thanks Bella and Yosef!
Doctor kit – These friends also had matching doctor/nurse costumes to go with their doctor shaloch manos. The bag was filled with medicine (Jordan almonds) and a bandage (fruit by the foot) and attached to a Dr. Pepper.
Elegant packaging and an orange theme – included a Pellegrino sparkling drink and special orange candies in a tin. Thanks Tammy and Mark!
Salad theme – included lettuce, dressing, and breadsticks. Thanks Rivka Serel and Yaakov!
Favorite things – My friend Amy (and Joshua) made a poem about their family’s favorite things. Each item goes with a different person in the family.
I would love to hear all your great ideas as well!
Stay tuned for my post on matching costumes and shaloch manos!
- Purim inspiration (Ideas from 2016) – this post includes links to other Purim posts as well
- Shaloch Manos Gallery 2012