Menu for Hope III



Dear Friends, it’s that time of year again – the time when between bites of cookies and sips of champagne, we should all stop for a moment and think of those less fortunate than ourselves, of the hundreds of millions around the world who do not have holiday sweets coming out their ears and a huge feast to look forward to later this month but instead barely enough to keep their families alive. Yes, it’s time for the third annual Menu For Hope, an event founded and organized by Pim and collectively run by food bloggers around the globe in order to raise money for those desperately in need. Last year was a smashing success, with over $17,000 raised for UNICEF and the earthquake relief effort in Pakistan. This year our funds are going to the UN’s World Food Program, an organization dedicated to providing emergency food aid and carrying out rehabilitation and development programs for populations around the world. Did you know that ten million people die of hunger every year? Or that 30 percent of the population is hungry in more than 70 developing countries? Or that annual food-related emergencies around the world have doubled over the last decade? I don’t want to sour anyone’s holiday mood, but it’s all too easy to become blind to long-lasting crises like this, particularly when they’re not attached to a high-profile disaster. But – and here’s the good news – it so easy to make a difference! All it takes is a small donation, even $10, and not only will you be helping to fund the WFP’s many activities, but you’ll also be entering yourself in a raffle to win one of dozens and dozens of absolutely incredible prizes. If you ask me, we should have no trouble topping last year’s total!


(prize code EU24, can be shipped anywhere in the world) 



My own contribution to this year’s campaign is a two-part prize which should appeal to all you traveling foodies! Part one is a 12-month subscription to the magazine that should be familiar to all readers of this site by now, Food and Travel. Not only is F&T a fabulous magazine, full of gorgeous photography and articles on exotic corners of the globe, but they have a special connection to this site by virtue of the fact that Manuel and I had an article published in last month’s issue! This subscription has been generously donated by the magazine itself, and is valid no matter where in the world you live. Depending on your location, that represents a value of up to £69/$135. And since it might take a couple of months for your first issue to arrive, I will be sending you a special bonus 13th issue – the November issue that contained our article on Jamaica!


Hover your mouse over the image above to view
the never-before-seen back side of the lunchbox! (may take
a few moments to load depending on the speed of your connection) 

But that’s not all. On the assumption that you might just feel like setting off down roads less traveled after reading this magazine, I will also be sending you your very own traveler’s lunchbox to take with you! Yes, the second part of the prize is your own hand-made, one-of-a-kind (so far), sticker-covered green aluminum lunchbox made to match the logo of this website! I just want to stress that this lunchbox never existed until now – the image in the banner is a photoshop composite of pictures I found on the internet. Nevertheless, I searched high and low to locate all the components needed to construct a real one, and in all modesty I must say I am more than pleased with the result. Not only is it durable and stylish, it is just the perfect size to hold a few snacks to sustain you as you traipse through the Malaysian jungle or amble down country roads in Provence. And to get you started I’ll be sending it to you filled with a surprise selection of some of my favorite edibles, several of which you’ll recognize from this site. I think it goes without saying that you’ll be the envy of all your traveling companions!


Here’s what you should do…
1. Decide what you want to buy tickets for by perusing the prizes on offer at all the regional hosts:
US West Coast: Becks and Posh
US East Coast: The Amateur Gourmet
US (the rest): Kalyn’s Kitchen
Canada: Cardamom Addict
Asia Pacific: Grab Your Fork
Special wine bloggers’ host: Vinography
and/or Pim’s global list.
2. Once you know what prize(s) you want, go to the donation page at
3. Make a donation! Each $10 will give you one raffle ticket toward a prize of your choice.  Please specify which prize or prizes you’d like in the ‘Personal Message’ section in the donation form when confirming your donation.  Tell us how many tickets per prize, and please use the prize code. The code for my prize is EU24.
4. If your company matches your charity donation, please remember to check the box and fill in the information so we could claim the corporate match.
5. Please also check the box to allow us to see your email address so that we can contact you in case you win.
6. Come back to Chez Pim on January 15 when we announce the results of the raffle. I will also post an announcement here with the the winner of my prize.

Thank you so much for your support a
nd for helping to make this event even more successful than last year!!


5 thoughts on “Menu for Hope III

  1. Melissa: Your prize is fabulous! (or course…) Thanks so much for supporting this very important cause. The auction’s already off to a fantastic, and successful start. Hope your readers bid on this one-of-a-kind masterpiece (plus the magazine), as well as many of the other objects.

  2. Oh Melissa, you’re playing to my weaknesses. I am a food and wine magazine addict. I can’t say no. Especially not to one with the smarts to publish your writing. I also love that you made a real version of your lunchbox. How cool is that?! You’re too generous (and creative).

  3. I want it! I can’t even say what I want more – the magazine or the lunchbox! Just one question, Melissa, would you send this lunchbox to anywhere in the world? I’m living in Sydney and I reckon the postage will be quite horrible…

  4. I would donate if I could…right now I’m working on another menu, my father’s 60th birthday menu which is all desserts:1) first decade 0-10: real OJ gum drops, made with freshly squeezed orange juice and thickened to a jelly with fruit pectin.2) second decade 10-20: bittersweet chocolate truffles on a cinnamon stick3) third decade 20-30: creamy raspberry cheesecake with floating raspberries (thawed raspberries set in clear jell-o)4) fourth decade 30-40: lime zest-scented panna-cotta with a blackberry coulis5) fifth decade 40-50: a variation on fruit marzipan – 3 cubes of marzipan with fruit, each made from a different nut and a different fruit. a ) pistachio marzipan with candied orange peel and perhaps a little orange blossom water (optional)b ) almond marzipan with dried cherries soaked in cherry liquerc ) hazelnut marzipan with dried prunes soaked in brandy or cognac.6) sixth decade 50-60: a sexy layered dessert – bottom layer heavily sweetened red currant jelly (we have some frozen currants that need using pronto), middle layer vanilla panna-cotta (with dad’s insanely good homemade vanilla extract), chopped caramelized pistachio (croquent… how does one spell it?) for crunch, and a thin top layer of an intense bittersweet chocolate cream.Israeli dessert wine throughout the meal, and to toast dad at the end of the meal, 1 shot of tokaji dessert wine we were given as a gift years ago. hopefully it hasn’t gone off yet, we’ll check on far I’ve made the OJ candies, the red currant jelly layer for the 6th dessert, all marzipans… I’m just about to make the panna-cotta mixture for both desserts, and coat the truffles. later today or tomorrow morning I’ll be making the cheescake. mmmm…

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