If you aren’t one of those people who has miraculously finished all of your Rosh Hashanah preparations by Tuesday night, you are looking for something to do with your kids while you are frantically running around the house. I really think having children help prepare foods for the holidays helps them feel important and if you make the effort to thank them in front of guests for the lovely creation they prepared, it goes a long way towards boosting their self esteem. Of course, you are going to have to erase from your mind those lovely pictures of elegant desserts and finely diced vegetables- kids aren’t able to do it, and when you relax your standards, it will be an enjoyable experience for everyone.
Here are some ideas for foods your kids can prepare. Some are appropriate for different ages so know your child’s capabilities.
I love marzipan. It is easy to work with and tastes great. You can buy it plain or colored and use it as sculpting material or as the glue between petit buerre crackers to all sorts of creations such as a sukkah with green sour sticks for schach. Don’t buy the fancier type for eating- it is too smooth and soft for sculpting.
Take a pitted date or an apricot and fill it with: marzipan, nuts, candied cherries, raisins, chocolate chips, peanut butter, etc. Or turn the date inside out and roll it in coconut after filling it.
Make icing with powdered sugar and water added to make the right consistency with a few drops of vanilla extract and food coloring. Paint premade or prebought sugar cookies. Extra points for apple or shofar-shaped cookies.
Also known as “batzek sukar”, this is also great for molding or cutting out shapes with cookie cutters. You can get in different colors or color it yourself. Use the creations as table decorations if you like. We have a great aversion to fish heads so we make them out of fondant- they are much tastier than the original.
The classic Israeli kids dessert.
This is the traditional recipe- I am going to add chocolate chips for a change as seen in newer recipes:
- Mix the following in a pot over a warm flame:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup liquid- milk, water, soy/rice milk, wine
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (unless you are using vanilla soy milk)
- When it is all melted, add 100 grams of margarine and continue mixing until melted.
- Mix with 1 package crushed Petit Beurre crackers (~1/2 kg)
- Shape the mixture into balls or logs (“chocolate salami”). If the mixture is too dry, add more liquid.
- Roll in sprinkles, coconut, or chopped nuts.
There are lots of different brands of petit buerre crackers, but to us the only ones with taste are the Gattengo Bros. brand:
Although this dish went out of fashion in the 80s, it is making a comeback for busy parents everywhere. If you don’t have a trifle dish, you can get a great bowl at Ikea for only 7 shekels. Layer chocolate cake (can be old/stale also), whipped cream, chocolate syrup or liqueur, chocolate chips and/or fruit (our family doesn’t like fruit). The top and bottom layers should be whipped cream. You can decorate the top as we did:
My kids love Milkys, but I don’t like the price. Our compromise: we make them at home. You can use chocolate pudding, vanilla pudding with or without food coloring, or jello. Make the mix and pour into short wine glasses. When cool put whipped cream and sprinkles on top. I got tired of buying the disposable glasses so I bought a set of four wine glasses from Ikea for 25 shekels.
If your kids are too young to cut fruit, take a cupcake tray and fill with different types of cut-up fruit. Let them make funny faces with the fruit, cover the plates and serve that night. Pomelit and coconut make great hair, raisins can be eyes and dates make great noses. Don’t forget orange slices for smiles! Here are some ideas:
That is all for now- post your own ideas as well!
Wishing all of my readers a happy, safe, and healthy New Year.