We can't always celebrate holidays with the ones we love, but this springtime Passover care package will make your college kids feel like they're part of the festivities and rituals, no matter what the distance. And is there anyone who doesn't love chocolate-dipped matzo or macaroons?
- Chocolate-dipped matzo: You can buy this Passover treat, but why spend the money when it's so easy to make at home? Stephanie Gallagher, About.com's guide to kids cooking, has an almost toffee-like recipe that's a snap to make. Caramelized butter and brown sugar are poured over the matzo and baked, then topped with chocolate, nuts and a sprinkling of coarse kosher salt. It's perfect for a care package.
- Macaroons: Whether it's coconut or chocolate, macaroons are a classic for this holiday. Again, you can buy them from your favorite bakery, but this video from About.com's guides to baking walks you through the baking process so you can make your own.
- Haggadah: Macaroons are lovely, but be sure to include a haggadah (or several) with the Passover treats, says one college mom, Laura. These booklets, which recount the story of the original Passover, encourage your college kid to "have his/her own Seder meal with friends." And if you include a packet of dried fruit and nuts, the traditional ingredients in charoset, it's even more meaningful. Charoset is a fruit and nut paste that commemorates the mortar used by the ancient Israelite slaves to build the Egyptian pyramids.
- Frogs and locusts: When it comes to care packages, a little whimsy is always good. Laura sends her kids "silly 10 plagues finger puppets," individually wrapped for added fun, along with her Passover treats. (Find them at your favorite Jewish supply store, or compare prices for these little puppets online.) Belinda, another creative college mom, sends "squirting frogs, gummy bugs and windup locusts." You also can order kosher, marshmallow-filled chocolate frogs and locusts from Zelda's Sweet Shoppe, a Chicago bakery whose fare won raves at the most recent Kosherfest, a food industry trade show.
- Matzo ball soup: At some universities, including Northwestern, Central Florida and the University of Wisconsin, the campus Hillel chapter will deliver steaming bowls of matzo ball soup to students who are sick or just in need of a little comfort. (Adorable!) Or, if your college kid has access to a dorm kitchenette, tuck a packaged soup mix into the care package for a little taste of home.