I’m about to start a Passover cooking frenzy and realized I never got around to blogging about our Mishloach Manot project, which was both fun and exhausting. My 7 year-old-daughter announced early on that she wanted our gift baskets to include chocolate covered strawberries and the complete package came together from there.
I came up with the idea to use flower pots as our “basket” and my sister-in-law Rosie, suggested we put the strawberries on sticks so they looked like actual flowers. I loved the plan so I went to work several weeks in advance (thank goodness) gathering supplies.
I borrowed the Chocolate Dipped Strawberries recipe from The Shiksa in the Kitchen with one small addition. I added about a tablespoon of Crisco to the chocolate to aid in the melting process. I also broke down and bought an inexpensive double-boiler from Bed, Bath and Beyond. Yes, I know it’s nuts that I didn’t own one, but I’ve never had to melt gallons of chocolate before so a new pan was definitely needed.
Next, I found cute, colorful, plastic flower pots at the Dollar Store, along with Easter grass, green napkins, and the green blocks of styrofoam used for flower arrangements.
I cut the styrofoam blocks into pieces small enough to fit into the bottom of each flower pot and used a hot glue gun to “attach” the sytrofoam to the bottom of the pot. Next, I used hot glue to “attach” the green napkin to the center of the Styrofoam block so that the edges of the napkin “flowered” out to cover and hide the Styrofoam.
I added a bit of the Easter grass and filled each basked with:
A few pieces of Candy
Fun fruit and vegetable shaped erasers ordered from Raymond Geddes
Individual packets of Crystal Light, fruit flavored
Fruit seed packet (watermelon, etc.) purchased at Walmart for .29 cents (sadly, I couldn’t find strawberry seeds anywhere!)
The night before Purim, I washed 100 strawberries and added them to skewer sticks (purchased in the grilling/outdoor cooking section at Walmart). I melted a lot of chocolate using my double-broiler, dipped each strawberry into the chocolate and laid on a piece of parchment paper to dry.
I also dipped a few of the strawberries into chopped pecans while the chocolate was still soft.
After the chocolate had hardened, I melted white chocolate and added to a Wilton cake decorating bag with a small round tip to add the swirl design.
Next, all strawberries went into my refrigerator to chill and stay fresh overnight.
The next morning, I started the assembly process of:
Adding 3 strawberries to each flower pot by pushing the sticks through the napkin and into the styrofoam.
Covering the 3 strawberries with clear plastic bags purchased at Walmart (in the party section, used for party favor bags).
Tying the bag around each set of strawberries with ribbon and the cute tag my hubbie made.
My plan was for the Mishloach to be a “Fruits of the Vine” theme but in the end, everyone was too tired to come up with a cute poem so we ended up with a simple “Happy Purim” with a picture of a chocolate dipped strawberry. Maybe next year we should start with the design of the tag first!
I’ll admit that delivery was no piece of cake. Fortunately, it was a cool day in Texas so nothing melted but a few of the skewers did poke through the top of some strawberries so I had to make some adjustments before deliver. And we had enough strawberries left over to serve at a Purim dinner that evening.
All in all, it was a fun process and no treif was involved!
How about you? What was in your Mishloach Manot basket?
Here’s a quick supply list for the approve project:
- Plastic flower pots (dollar stores)
- Styrofoam block for flower arrangements (dollar stores)
- Green paper napkins
- Hot glue gun and extra glue sticks
- Easter grass (dollar store or Walmart)
- Fun erasers or any other fruit-related toy
- Crystal Light individual drink powder packets
- Seed packets (Walmart)
- Wooden Skewers (Grilling section of Walmart or Lowes, etc.)
- Ingredients for Shiksa in the Kitchen Chocolate Dipped Strawberries recipe plus Crisco and chopped nuts if desired
- Wilton decorating bags plus small round tip (can also try using a zip lock bag with tiny hole cut in edge. This didn’t work for me, but I was also tired and a bit stressed by this point!)
- Clear plastic party favor bags (Walmart)
- Gift tags