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Oh, Today We'll Merry, Merry Be!

Hooray for Purim! (I'm going dressed as. . . a grad student. . . )

Grad School Town is heavily Lutheran, and I can't go to a bakery to get hamentaschen, so I tried my hand at making my own for the first time. They're cooling right now. Most of them came out pretty well, but I have now learned why you go to the trouble to make filling instead of using jam. I made prune filling, but I ran out, so I filled the last hamentaschen with apricot and cherry jam. They leaked. All over my baking sheet. I think the prune ones will be okay, but that baking sheet will need a lot of soaking once the hamentaschen cool enough to be removed.

So. Next year, I will just have to make more real filling. But yay, I have hamentaschen!


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 24th, 2005 07:48 pm (UTC)
What are hamentaschen? (And, come to that, Purim?)
Mar. 24th, 2005 08:08 pm (UTC)
Purim is the Jewish holiday celebrating the saving of the Jews from Haman by Esther and Mordecai. The central feature of the holiday is the reading of the Book of Esther, known as the Megillah. Because the name Haman is so evil that it is to be wiped from the earth forever, people get noisemakers (called groggers) and rattle them whenever Haman's name comes up in the Megillah. So a Megillah reading will sound something along the lines of:

Rabbi: ". . . and then when Mordecai learned of whrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr's plans to kill the Jews, he went and told Esther. Esther told the king that whrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr was planning to kill the Jews. . . "

It's a jolly, noisy holiday, celebrated by dressing up and partying. As the old joke would have it, it represents the history of the Jews in three sentences: They tried to kill us. They failed. Let's eat.

Hamentaschen are the traditional Purim sweet. The name is Yiddish, and it means "Haman's pockets," which are filled with money. They're a kind of cookie pinched into a triangle shape (to represent Haman's three-cornered hat) filled with some sweet filling (to represent the money). The Sephardim make their cookies in the shape of his ears, but I'm Ashkenazi, and I made the triangle shape.
Mar. 24th, 2005 08:24 pm (UTC)
They tried to kill us. They failed. Let's eat.

Sounds a very practical summary. And a fun holiday.

Tomorrow is Good Friday - that's hot cross buns. Rather stodgier and less sweet. But traditional.

Mar. 24th, 2005 09:10 pm (UTC)
Oh, yummm! Would you mind emailing me one? (I'll even take the ruined one with the jam on the outside, as well as the inside.)
Mar. 24th, 2005 10:53 pm (UTC)
Let's give it a whirl, shall we?

To: Karri
From: French Pony
Subject: Hamentaschen

One prune and one apricot hamentaschen coming right up!


. . . Splorch!

Oh well. . .
Mar. 24th, 2005 11:36 pm (UTC)
I'm with Karri. I wish I had someone who liked to bake and did it and lived near me.
Mar. 25th, 2005 12:35 am (UTC)
Well, you think your University might need an ethnomusicology professor in six to ten years or so?
Mar. 25th, 2005 02:03 am (UTC)
Uhmm. I can't say that I know! I'm embarrassed to say that I don't even know if we have a music dept. Is that where it would be? I think maybe not.
Mar. 25th, 2005 10:27 am (UTC)
I make the MAD cookies! :).

My brother in law has a thing for hamentaschen. I tended to to the shape elseways, but the filling was good quality apricot preserves, and lekvar (prune).

Put down a sheet of aluminum on the baking sheet. Spray the stuff if the recipe calls for it with whatever shortening is appropriate and comes that way.

Much easier clean up. They leak. :D.

They sell them EVERYWHERE here. Bakeries, groceries, but again, this is Long Island, and we're all lucky that way. We're great for kosher delis (Mmmm..corned beef on rye), bagel places, and kosher food aisles at the grocery, expecially this time of year on the last.

Mar. 25th, 2005 01:02 pm (UTC)
They sell them EVERYWHERE here. Bakeries, groceries, but again, this is Long Island, and we're all lucky that way. We're great for kosher delis (Mmmm..corned beef on rye), bagel places, and kosher food aisles at the grocery, expecially this time of year on the last.

Uh-huh. Rub it in, yes, please. . . But, on the bright side, living in Grad School Town is making me that much more resourceful, having to make things I could easily have bought before. I made bagels once, and at Hanukkah, I made latkes from scratch instead of from a mix. And now hamentaschen. I may tackle challah next. . .
Mar. 26th, 2005 11:50 am (UTC)
MMMM! Oh don't remind me of challah. Yes, it's everywhere, it just isn't GREAT.

GREAT left town with my best friend's grandparents, when they sold their bakery.

(For anyone familiar with Long Island, going back about a dozen years, and then to like the thirties, or forties, there was CUSTOM BAKERS. Best Challah. Best Apple Cake. BEST CHEESE CAKE EVER! Best CHOCOLATE CAKE EVER...sighs.)

Their challah was a huge loaf, and it made the best french toast in the world. Soft. Fluffy. Not dry...mmm.

Making things is good, though. Sometimes, it's best that way, anyway!

Apr. 1st, 2005 04:53 am (UTC)
I actually got to eat hamentaschen two nights ago. The Jewish member of our book club made bunches for Purim and saved some for us. We had almond, apricot, and prune. I'm glad you explained about the Sephardim 'cos when our hostess explained about Haman's pockets, I was thinking "ears." Good to know it was a scrap of memory about something I no doubt read somewhere.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )


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