Shomer Shekalim

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High Holidays on a low budget: Hannukah

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I know, Hannukah, isn’t technically one of the High Holidays, but it is one of the most expensive ones.  And to complicate things more, finding gifts for our loved ones is not only expensive, but difficult as well.

Hannah from A Mother in Israel reminded me of the obvious truth that many overlook: when considering a gift, look for something personal that appeals to the recipient.  Apparently, it is the thought that counts.  Some ideas like a massage at a spa, or something that has to do with the receipt’s hobby will always have a personal touch.

Sometimes, the personal touch is not limited to what you can buy, but what you can make.  Miriam from Israeli Kitchen wrote in the following idea.

“Responding to your appeal for Hannukah gifts that are easy on the pocket, I’d say that good-quality home-made food and drink is always acceptable.

A pretty papier-maiche box full of cookies, 3 kinds

Home-made Kahlua or Irish Cream – recycle an attractive bottle or break down and buy one. Recipes widely available on the Net.

Two loaves of home-baked bread, 1 whole-wheat and 1 white.

Chocolate milk mix: 2 Tblsp. cocoa, 3 Tblsp. sugar, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 package vanilla sugar. Put all into an attractive cellophane bag or small ziploc bag. Stick a label on the bag instructing to put the contents in a blender with a liter of cold milk, blend for a few minutes, serve.”

What I like about this is how gourmet this is, how thoughtful it is, and how inexpensive it is (this is a blog about budgeting after all…).  Miriam’s idea takes the idea of a several hundred shekel gift basket and makes it warm and personal, all while breaking the supply chain in half.

While I am talking about this idea, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share my recipe for Jonny’s Irish Cream.  It’s good, parve, and can even be made Kosher for Pesach.

1 container of non-dairy creamer (about 4/5 of a pint)

3-4 eggs

1 cup of vodka

6-8 tablespoons of sugar

3 tablespoons of chocolate syrup

2 teaspoons of instant coffee

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon of almond extract

This recipe makes approximately 1 liter of Irish Creme.

When preparing be sure to use an electronic mixer – otherwise there will be little egg bits which are not too nice.  If you do not have an electronic mixer, then pour the finished product through a strainer in order to remove the little egg bits.

I know this post is a bit heavy on the food.  I plan to go through some other Hannukah ideas over the next week or so.  Right now, I suddenly feel very hungry.


6 Comments

  1. hi again says:

    I need some help with 2 things, perhaps you can help me.

    1) How much is kitzvat yeladim? I need a list of all the different amounts for different amount of kids, say 1-8.

    2) what is the poverty line in Israel? Does it increase as the number of kids increases?

    Thanks so much

  2. hi again says:

    Thanks but that kitzvat yeladim is out of date. Its from 2000 and its MUCH lower now.

    Anyone able to find a current list? I would greatly appreciate that. Thanks

  3. hi again says:

    Also, that second link did not work either

    Thanks anyways

  4. mimi54 says:

    Jonny, I’m slapping myself on the hand. *smack!* Hear that? For not having seen your Hanukkah post with my suggestions in it. Better late than never? But thanks, even rendered late, are thanks…so thank you.

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