The Afikomen is a piece of matzo that gets hidden by the father or the leader of the Seder. The child who finds it gets a small gift or treat. The matzo represents the Jewish people's haste to leave Egypt—they were unable to allow the yeast in their bread dough to rise. They took the raw dough on their journey and baked it into flat crackers (matzo) in the hot desert sun.
Please your friends who celebrate Passover by making them this classic Afrikomen (matzo bag) for Seder dinner. You might want to include a special prize with your gift for the lucky child who finds the hidden matzo.
Time frame: Two to three hours
Level: Moderately easy
What you need:
- Piece of fabric 20 x 12 inches
- Straight pins
- Sewing machine or needle and thread
- Ironing board and iron
- Shoelace or cord
- Large safety pin
- Gold trim
- Gold glitter
- Box of matzo
- Small gift
- Fold the material in half with the right sides of the material together. Use the folded edge as the bottom of the bag and pin the two side edges together. Using a 1⁄2-inch seam, stitch the pinned edges with a sewing machine or a needle and thread. Remove the pins.
- Using an iron, press a 1⁄4-inch seam around the top of the bag toward the wrong side of the bag. Fold this pressed edge down again to the wrong side of the bag, forming a one-inch casing along the top. Press the casing down and pin it in place to prepare for sewing. The pressed casing should be seen on the wrong side of the material (which at this point is still on the outside since it hasn't yet been turned right side out).
- Stitch the casing using a 1⁄4-inch seam around the bottom of the casing. Leave a two-inch opening on one side of the casing to insert the cord. Reinforce the stitching at each end of the opening by reversing over the original stitching. Remove the pins from the casing.
- For the drawstring, use a shoelace or cut a piece of cord that is double the width of the bag plus eight inches.
- Secure a safety pin on the end of the lace or cord and thread the cord through the opening around the casing to the other side. Tie a secure knot in the two ends of the cord. Do not resew the opening because the cord will be pulled through the hole.
- Turn the bag right side out. Glue or sew gold trim around the top of the bag. Write the word “Afikomen” on the center of the bag in glue. Sprinkle gold glitter over the glue and allow it to dry. Shake the excess glitter off the bag. Place a piece of matzo in the bag and add a small gift for the child who finds it.
More on: Passover
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Great Gifts © 2001 by Marilee LeBon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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