Home-baked Cookies in MM

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  • #619301

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    How do people put home-baked cookies in mashloach manos?*

    Do all of their friends really trust their kashrut status enough to eat them without question?

    Do you eat home-baked cookies that someone gave you in a mashloach manos?

    *I know “how” ~ What I mean is that how is that acceptable and the thing to do when it seems like people are picky about whose homes they eat at and such.

    Thank you 🙂

    #1227740

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    If someone doesn’t trust my kashrus, they are not my friend.

    #1227741

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Really? And you trust all of your friends’ kashrus?

    #1227742

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Why does it have to be personal?

    #1227743

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    What about Cholov Yisroel?

    Do you only consume Cholov Yisroel dairy?

    What if you do but your friend does not or vice versa?

    Are you really not friends?

    #1227744

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    LB: “Why does it have to be personal?”

    I agree. It shouldn’t be personal. Different people have different standards. Also many people are ignorant of certain halachos. Some people are very chilled-out by nature which is a big maaleh in many ways, but sometimes the flip side is that they are inadvertantly not as careful as they should be in their kitchens.

    I had a friend whose house I ate in until I spent some time in her house and realized that I can’t trust her kashrus since I saw that she did things that were seriously problematic. (There were goyim who used her ovens and microwaves to heat up their own – possibly treif- food, and then she would use the ovens and microwaves for her own family’s food without covering the food even though her husband told her she had to double-wrap it. And I’m sure many people ate in her house without knowing about this. There was even a seminary that heated up food in her ovens unsuspectingly).

    I probably have many friends whose houses I shouldn’t eat at. There are many things that people are either unaware of or not careful about (probably myself included – I’m not sure if I should be eating in my own house). Kashrus is not a simple thing.

    #1227745

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    If nobody trusted anyone Kashruts, they wouldnt eat in other peoples houses

    However to make things simple, I just give sealed single packed hemish items so nobody questions. Just easier that way

    #1227746

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    When I was growing up, it was very common that people didn’t eat in other people’s homes. I don’t know if it was an out-of-town thing or a generational thing, but I don’t notice that as much anymore. Personally, I have grown very lax (I’m not saying that is good; just stating a fact).

    I remember one kid who wasn’t even allowed to drink a cup of water in anyone’s house. Her parents were concerned that if she drank a cup of water in someone reliable’s house, her younger siblings might follow her example and eat something problematic in someone’s house whose kashrus was questionable. Her father is actually a known Rosh Yeshiva, although I didn’t realize it at the time (and maybe he wasn’t yet).

    If you don’t eat at anyone’s house, then you don’t have to worry about insulting anyone. But it takes a lot of discipline.

    #1227747

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    ZD: “However to make things simple, I just give sealed single packed hemish items so nobody questions.”

    That’s a good policy. Especially since the mishloach manos’s are liable to get mixed up with each other, so even if the people in question would trust your kashrus, they might not know who it’s from.

    #1227748

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    LB, this was a good point that you brought up in this thread. I don’t know if I would have thought about it when preparing mishloach manos. I just think about the fact that I don’t have time to bake. But it’s a very good point, and it makes sense to follow ZD’s aitza (unless you know for sure that all the people you are sending to would eat your food).

    #1227749

    Meno
    Participant

    Why would it not be acceptable for me to give to someone else items which I hold are kosher?

    They know who it’s coming from, if they don’t want to eat it they don’t have to.

    Btw, once upon a time there was no such thing as packaged goods, yet there was still a mitzvah of mishloach manos.

    #1227750

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    Meno – You can do what you want, but maybe it’s nicer to avoid doing that if you know that they may not eat it.

    #1227751

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Meno: Yes for MM being around but did people always bake at home for others?

    Maybe they gave fruits?

    Maybe they purchased cookies from a local bakery that everyone used at the time?

    #1227752

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    ZD: I heard that many people don’t eat at other people’s houses.

    Not just rabbis who wouldn’t eat at other people’s homes.

    My impression was that some people only eat in a few friends places.

    #1227755

    Meno
    Participant

    I made the cookies. I keep kosher. As far as I’m concerned the cookies are kosher.

    If someone wants to take precautions and not rely on my kashrus, they are more than welcome, but that’s not my problem.

    (Btw, I often don’t eat home-baked goods that I receive, but I have no problem with people sending them)

    #1227756

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    LB: “Maybe they gave fruits?”

    I thought of that, but that would have posed even bigger problems when we were in EY. But maybe in the times of the Beis HaMikdash, this issue (of not trusting others kashrus) did not exist to the same extent.

    LB: “Maybe they purchased cookies from a local bakery that everyone used at the time?”

    That would work. But I don’t know if they always had bakeries. But maybe there were always individuals who ran their own home-baked-goods business as a parnassah.

    #1227757

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Meno you said “(Btw, I often don’t eat home-baked goods that I receive, but I have no problem with people sending them)”…

    Why don’t you eat them?

    #1227758

    Meno
    Participant

    I don’t trust their kashrus

    #1227759

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Lol well then.

    Do you regift?

    I guess regifting also has issues since if you don’t trust the Kashrus then you may not be able to give it to someone Jewish.

    Knowing that for yourself, why give homebaked cookies to someone else when they also may not eat it?

    #1227760

    Meno
    Participant

    “Do you regift?”

    That would be a big problem, I agree

    “Knowing that for yourself, why give homebaked cookies to someone else when they also may not eat it?”

    Why should everyone miss out on these delicious cookies just because some people won’t eat them?

    #1227761

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Everyone re-gifts Shalach Manot

    Just dont regift Prune or Mon Hamantashn. Most people dont like them

    #1227762

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    I’m assuming that you assume that most people you send to do trust your kashrus. And that combined with the idea that “it’s the thought that counts” and you consider home-baked to be either more meaningful and/or less expensive is the reason you give home-baked even though some might throw it out?

    #1227763

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    “Just dont regift Prune or Mon Hamantashn. Most people dont like them”

    Maybe that’s why you should regift them. Then they will have something to regift :).

    More importantly, make sure you don’t regift to the sender. Or to someone who is likely to regift to the sender. Of course, you have no idea where something might end up. So best is to only regift things that could have been sent by anyone (definitely not home-baked – that would be a bad idea anyhow because they will assume you baked it, and they might trust your kashrus and not the other person’s. Also, it might be genaivas daas, since they will think that you are a good baker.)

    Best to regift things that are not original like taffies or oranges/apples.

    #1227764

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    RebYidd – there seem to be a lot of qualifications one must have in order to be zoche to be your friend:

    1. They can’t be a telemarketer.

    2. They have to trust your kashrus.

    What else is on the list?

    #1227765

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Thank you Meno, I was starting to find this thread really disturbing. To think some communities have reached a point where people don’t want other people’s home baked goods and people have to buy things whether they can afford it or not because they need to worry about who trusts them…

    Meno you are so right, send what works for you, and let your friends accept it lovingly and make their own decisions.

    B”H I receive boxes and boxes of people’s mishloach manot after purim to redistribute and there are still plenty of people sending homebaked goods. Having to prepare and give mishloach manot with the underlying concern that people don’t trust your kashrus is about as ironic as it gets for anyone who understands why this mitzvah exists.

    #1227766

    funnybone
    Participant

    If I get your MM and see who it’s from, and I trust your kashrus, I will eat it right away.

    Once Purim is over, I have no idea who sent what and all the loose cookies and cakes get thrown out.

    #1227767

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    There is nothing disturbing about people being considerate of other people whether that means going out of their way to buy packaged food because they think the people they are giving to would prefer that (as ZD does) or going out of their way to bake things because they think the people they are giving to would prefer that (as Meno does).

    Boruch Hashem we have such wonderful people in Am Yisrael who are so considerate of others – each in his own way.

    #1227768

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    “Why should everyone miss out on these delicious cookies just because some people won’t eat them?”

    Good answer – so I was miskaven correctly.

    #1227769

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    Sorry, LB – I forgot the most important person in this thread – our esteemed OP who showed the most consideration by starting this thread in the first-place. And who showed tremendous thoughtfulness by thinking of this issue in the first place and trying to figure out the most considerate way to make Mishloach Manos.

    YAY LB!!!!!

    #1227770

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    it is disturbing because that is hardly how the issue was presented and i dont appreciate you ‘attacking me’.

    #1227771

    shebbesonian
    Participant

    Has nobody heard of ?? ??? ???? ????????? Unless you have a reason to be suspicious, you should assume that somebody who keeps kosher is baking kosher cookies for you. It is fair to suspect that the flour might be ???, but you can just ask about that if you’re makpid, and if you are worried about products from ??? ????? you can separate ?????? ??????? yourself.

    #1227772

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    I have not read all the responses but:

    LB: in my neighborhood we just mark it “homemade”. It is the decision of the receiver not the giver what to ultimately do with it. I recently received a cake baked by mother’s neighbor. I just told my guests who made it as I began to eat the cake. It was their choice if they wanted to partake.

    #1227773

    Meno
    Participant

    shebbesonian,

    Would ?? ??? ???? ???????? apply here?

    The issue here is not whether the person is telling the truth. The issue is that the person may rely on kulos upon which other people wouldn’t rely.

    If you applied ?? ??? ???? ???????? here, you could probably use the same rationale to eat food with any kosher certification as long as there is a Mashgiach that is shomer shabbos.

    #1227774

    Joseph
    Participant

    My great uncle doesn’t eat any food his wife didn’t prepare at home. Year-round. Even his siblings.

    #1227775

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Thanks but I cannot take any credit. It’s actually thanks to learning from other people and posters-who-are-also-people about circumstances and challenges that come up.

    One such challenge is having limitations on which homes one and one’s family will eat at [how do I rephrase this sentence so it doesn’t end in a preposition?]

    So come Purim, how is it that people give homebaked treats to a broader scope of people — which may include friends, family, teachers, neighbors, and children who show up at their door with MM too — and those people will all eat these treats?

    Maybe there was some unspoken Purim code where all MM baked goods are permissible?

    Maybe it’s a majority situation, like finding unlabeled meat in the parking lot of a shopping center where the majority of stores are kosher?

    Then… that is assuming that people eat the cookies. So another question is whether this is indeed the case, and people do eat what they receive. Because the MM is meant to be a treat for the person to enjoy, for one thing. Are these MM really being eaten?

    Or maybe it’s a social and fun thing and people enjoy seeing them even when they don’t actually eat them and maybe ask for the recipes later?

    The other thing is the love that goes into the gift… That’s real.

    And as people invest time into finding the perfect recipes, ingredients, and then spend hours pouring their hearts into such delicious treats, hopefully someone else is eating and enjoying them too.

    Plus imho I think it would be easier to shrug off a neighbor tossing out a few Kedem tea biscuits in a baggie that you gave them than three of your homemade hamentaschens that your children would eat up in a heartbeat had they been at home.

    Anyway thank you 🙂

    #1227776

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Meno: Have you ever had anyone ask you if you liked the homebaked good that you tossed out?

    What’s the halacha here?

    #1227777

    golfer
    Participant

    Lightb / OP,

    I’m not here to share cookies or hamentashen.

    But seemed to me nobody answered your question: what people used to send in olden times.

    While I’m not old enough to have received MM in the days when the Mitzvah was instituted (sorry to disappoint), I was around in what some people think of as ancient times.

    People sent home baked goods. Ladies baked all their own favorite cakes and cookies and arranged a variety on a plate with one non-mezonos item. Sometimes that was an orange or an apple, sometimes it was a slightly more exotic fruit, and sometimes a small bottle of wine or whiskey was added.

    I still remember my mother’s friends, many no longer with us, by their own specialties, and by whose MM the kids fought over.

    This speaks for one community, chased out of their homes in Eastern Europe by the Nazis, who rebuilt their lives in America and tried to do things the way they were done back home.

    I remember as a child receiving MM from more “American” families who had spent more time on these shores, and looking in puzzlement at the bag of chips and the bottle of beer accompanied by the ubiquitous orange, sitting sadly on a plate with nothing homemade accompanying them on their MM journey.

    Time passed. The delectable many-layered delicacies, lovingly baked by skilled hands, were replaced by small tins of hastily home-made brownies and a hamentash, often bakery made.

    Then a new minhag evolved, popularly known as a “THEME”. The costumes of the bearers of gifts must correspond to the foodstuffs in the MM. So pint-sized doctors will deliver syringes filled with whatnot, little builders will bring you candy lego bricks, deep sea divers will deliver jelly fish, tiny tots in sombreros will deliver tacos, and somewhere there’s always one dejected little boy who wanted to be a policeman but his mother put him in a bunny costume so he could deliver her carrot muffins.

    It’s wonderful to see everyone concerned about the Kashrus of the foods we ingest on a day when there’s so much eating going on. After all, Seudas Purim is one of those times when we perform a Mitzvah just by enjoying our meal. But don’t forget the feelings that are supposed to be in your heart as you send and receive MM, even before one morsel enters your mouth.

    #1227778

    Meno
    Participant

    LB,

    Never happened and I don’t think it ever will. People generally get mishloach manos from a bunch of different people and the givers should understand that. I think it’s unreasonable to expect a follow-up on every mishloach manos that you send (not saying you shouldn’t thank people, as they would surely appreciate it, just saying they shouldn’t necessarily expect it).

    Funny story though, my wife and I once regifted a wedding gift (it was a challah board – we received two similar ones). A little while later the person who gave it asked my wife if we like it. My wife responded with something super smooth. I forgot exactly how it went but it was something like “Oh it’s beautiful…every week”. Everyone was happy

    #1227779

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Maybe its where I live, but nobody gets Kedem tea Biscuts .

    #1227780

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    golfer i must be closer to your age – i have those same memories!

    #1227781

    golfer
    Participant

    Syag it’s so nice to know someone else remembers!

    Maybe we even actually shared MM somewhere sometime…

    😉

    #1227782

    Meno
    Participant

    Wait, you mean Mordechai Hatzaddik didn’t send Spongebob-themed Mishloach Manos?

    #1227783

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Funny story though, my wife and I once regifted a wedding gift (it was a challah board – we received two similar ones). A little while later the person who gave it asked my wife if we like it. My wife responded with something super smooth. I forgot exactly how it went but it was something like “Oh it’s beautiful…every week”. Everyone was happy

    I hope you remembered to take the card out before you regifted it.

    #1227784

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    LB – you are allowed to (and supposed to) lie for the sake of shalom. I think this would fall in that category.

    #1227785

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    no meno, and frankly neither should anyone else

    (where is my nausea emoji?)

    #1227786

    Meno
    Participant

    I hope you remembered to take the card out before you regifted it.

    I also hope neither of those people is reading this.

    I should stop talking before I get myself into trouble.

    #1227787

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    meno – i dont know if it was you or not but i do know someone who received a challah board with a gift card in it FOR the giver. I know of someone else who passed on a challah board and knife set without realizing their name had been engraved on the knife.

    #1227788

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    Golfer’s memories are similar to my experience growing up and as a young married. Nobody sent store bought or packaged items except if there was a bottle of alcohol.

    In 1990 I was shul president. The rabbi and I discussed the problem of receiving home baked items that we might not reliably eat. We got together with the president of the sisterhood and came up with a new program.

    The Sundy 7-10 days before Purim was baking day at the shul Members brought in their ingredients and they were all checked and approved (or not) by the rabbi. All mixing was done with shul utensils in shul keilim. Baking was done on the shul’s sheet pans or disposable aluminum trays. After teh items were cooled each person would package tehm in polyfilm tape or tie them shut and a sticker would be affixed stating that these homemade goodies were made under the personal supervision of Rabbi xxxx and were Pas Yisroel and pareve or cholav Yisroel as marked.

    We charge $18 per baker which went to the Matonos Evyonim Fund.

    This system worked well for about 10 years until the shul building was sold. The new building did not have dairy ovens.

    My BIL was a shul rav in Massachusetts and adoped this idea and it has been in place fopr 25 years.

    #1227789

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Meno I read it. You still have 14 or 13 minutes left to delete it and our lips are sealed.

    #1227790

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    “I know of someone else who passed on a challah board and knife set without realizing their name had been engraved on the knife.”

    Syag Lchochma: Awww omgosh!!! <3

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