From the archives: Spring into the season’s activities while keeping it Made in America.
The Jewish holiday of Passover begins on the evening of March 30, while the Christian holiday of Easter will be celebrated on April 1. We previously shared ideas to help celebrants mark these special holidays with products from companies that support American job creation, and thought it would be helpful to share some again.
Easter is a very traditional religious holiday in the Christian faith celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But it's also a holiday that includes a bit of fun — and much of that fun starts with Easter Eggs.
Eco eggs are a great option for those who want to include treats in their eggs during Easter egg hunts. Not only are they Made in the USA, they also are eco-friendly, manufactured from 100 percent renewable content and are fully compostable. The eggs — made from non-toxic, durable, plant-based plastic — are available in two sizes and come in five assorted colors (pink, yellow, green, blue and purple). The company also manufactures eco grass to help fill out that Easter basket. Eco grass is made from 100 percent post recycled paper and is 100 percent recyclable after use, so you can easily dispose of it in your paper recycle bin.
But if you are looking for a more formal egg, be sure to check out the selection offered by the White House Historical Association for the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. The 2018 White House Easter Egg collection is available now; you can buy a single egg or the entire set of five colors. And there's a new Maine company supplying the White House this year: Maine Wood Concepts, based in New Vineyard, is making the eggs for the big event, although they are keeping things hush-hush.
Looking to dye your eggs? Check out Doc Hinkle Easter Egg Dye. Unlike ordinary dyes that must be diluted, Doc Hinkle's paint-on kit helps egg decorators create "beautiful, bright colors and patterns instead of dull single-colored eggs." Colors included in the kit include red, blue, yellow and purple, which can be combined to create new hues.
And don't forget about Easter candy! Jelly Belly jelly beans continue to be Made in America (the company also offers ready-made gift baskets, although it's unclear whether all of the items included are manufactured in the United States). Mike and Ike Easter Treats are also a solid pick, filled with flavors including grape, pineapple-banana, strawberry, lemon-lime and cherry. But get them before they're gone — the candy is available for a limited time.
The eight-day festival of Passover is celebrated in the early spring, commemorating the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. It begins by the removal of leavened food products (called chametz), which includes anything with wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt or their derivatives — so bread, pasta, cookies and most alcohol is out. Instead, celebrants eat matzah, an unleavened bread.
Passover is highlighted by the Seder meals, which take place on the first two nights of the holiday. The Seder includes four cups of wine, and celebrants dine on matzah and bitter herbs while retelling the story of the Exodus. Since the Seder is the most festive part of Passover, we'll focus on recommended wine (and grape juice) and other items for the meal.
Of course, there are a slew of American-made wine options out there. The AFL-CIO recommends brands like Arbor Mist, C.K. Mondavi, Chateau Ste. Michelle, E&J Gallo and Turning Leaf, which are union-made and can likely be found at your local store. As for grape juice, Manischewitz and Welch's have teamed up to offer 100% Concord Grape Juice, which includes no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or sugar. It's also sulfite free.
Manischewitz also continues to be a good option for finding processed kosher food products perfect for the Seder. The company also claims to be the No. 1 maker of matzo in the world.