The Altsveyser

Gefilte fish March 24, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — altsveyser @ 6:10 pm

How cute is this?  I tend to only eat gefilte fish to be polite, and require a LOT of horseradish to choke it down.  But these are so cute I might reconsider.


Yellow cap alert! March 12, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — altsveyser @ 1:03 pm

I saw my first robin of the season last week.  But some say the real harbinger of spring is the bloom of yellow caps on bottles of kosher-for-Passover Coke and Diet Coke.  Keep your eyes peeled!  (Thanks to Dr. Dan for the alert!)


Mishloach manot bags March 11, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — altsveyser @ 6:27 pm

So I’ve been searching for cute bags to package mishloach manot.

 Mishloach manot is the sending of gifts of food on Purim.  It is mentioned directly in the Book of Esther (9:22).  The custom is to send gifts of at least two kinds of food to friends and neighbors on the holiday (there are also separate cutoms of giving gifts to the needy and tzedakah to charity on the holiday).  It’s a wonderful opportunity to do something nice for friends, family, and the community.

I’m having folks over for hamantaschen making this Sunday (including 6 kids!).  I want to have supplies on hand so that people can package their goodies for giving.  I’ve been looking at a few packaging options.

 I think these sandwich bags from Mobi are adorable (what an obvious idea- wake up, Ziploc company).  I love the Todd Oldham ones, but don’t know if I want to support the designer branding of a sandwich bag with that extra buck.

 There’s always a more traditional Purim-specific box or bag. seems to have cornered the market on these.  The boxes strike me as funny- there’s jolly white Mordechai being lead around on the king’s horse by a dark Haman.  I think it highly unlikely that Mordechai was as white as a Raphael Jesus, especially in comparison to Haman.

I think what we’ll end up doing is going with the classic brown paper lunch sack.  The kids can decorate them however they’d like and staple them up.  It’s probably one of the better environmental options (no plastic, no bleaching, I’ll look for recycled content).  And the price is right.

I’ll look at some reusable container options.  Ooh- sounds like I need to check out the new District Target!


Speaking of Purim

Filed under: Uncategorized — altsveyser @ 2:42 pm

How cute (and unintentionally funny) is the Solo fillings website? 


Purim is coming

Filed under: Uncategorized — altsveyser @ 2:36 pm

and that means hamantaschen. 

A few years ago at this time I went to a bakery in downtown DC that I know carried hamantaschen year-round.  I didn’t see them.  When I asked I was told that they get them in at certain times of the year.  Purim was just not one of those times.

 That’s like when I went to buy kosher wine right before Rosh Hashana in a grocery store in southeastern Virginia.  I was told that they only carry it around the holidays.

I also love going to the Safeway before Passover and seeing that freestanding tower of  Passover products.  Someone always takes care in covering the shelves with layers of foil and paper towel.  Unfortunately, they then fill the shelves with the entire line of kosher products (from the “ethnic” foods section).  Year-round matzo, egg noodles, the works.

I do honestly love it.  There was no tower of mazo in the grocery stores where I grew up.  And the dynamic of the effort/misundertanding is a metaphor for the Jewish experience outside of Israel (and New York).   I appreciate the effort.  But I also appreciate the humor in how these things always seem to miss the mark.


Hello world! March 10, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — altsveyser @ 9:10 pm

An altsveyser is a know-it-all.  Guilty as charged.

This is a new blog intended to alert folks to fun products, events, ideas, and opportunities as they pop up in the Jewish world.