Waiting for Hamantaschen
So, inquiring minds have wondered as to my lack of hamantaschen posting this year. Purim happened over the weekend, the holiday commemorating the deliverance of the Jewish people from the hand of the Persians. Hmmm… history repeats itself if you consider Iran and Israel of today.
One of the most delightful aspects of the holiday involves those three-cornered cookies called hamantaschen (Haman’s pockets) or oznei haman (Haman’s ears). If you remember the Biblical narrative, Haman the antisemite wanted to do away with the Jewish people, never realizing that the queen herself, Queen Esther, was one of them. Eventually, the tables were turned, the people delivered, Haman hanged, and we get cookies.
I’ve told in the past how difficult hamantaschen are to find, depending on where you live. Growing up, I remember them in most grocery stores. Now, I’m hard-pressed to find them even in specialty bakeries. So, we’ve taken to planning ahead to visit the right shops, or to make them ourselves.
And that raises the whole issue of pinching the corners or folding the corners, the former looking better if they stay in place (rare), and the latter staying in place, but not looking so great. Kinda like hairdos. (Search the 3-D site for “hamantaschen” for earlier posts.)
Plus, don’t forget there’s a right way and a wrong way to fold the edges. Not everyone knows that.
Then we come to the question of what flavor filling and what it might say about you: prune (says old man to me, or ultra-traditionalist), poppyseed (you’re adventuresome because you don’t care that there will be tiny black dots in between your teeth), apricot (health nut that would love to go for marmalade but that’s not an option), chocolate/Nutella (girls just wanna have fun), cherry or apple (sweet and childlike).
Dr. Atkins will not be pleased, but hey, it happens but once a year.
“What flavor are you bringing?” I ask Benedetto, my supplier.
I still recall his first birthday we celebrated, when I bought him an apricot cake in Jerusalem. Good for him, good for me, since I didn’t want any of it, lol.
Jelly is such a special filling, why waste it on a flavor that’s not your fave?
“No chocolate?” I press.
“Okay, great, thanks for getting them.”
The problem is, the family and the cookies wouldn’t arrive for several days. I imagine baking some of my own. In my opinion, a regular sugar cookie recipe doesn’t cut it. BTDT. It needs to be a bit more chewy, with a tiny dash of orange juice in the dough. And of course, Nutella would be nice.
I check the pantry. Didn’t we have Nutella? Probably my better half finishing it off in one of his late-night raids….
In the fridge, the closest we have is lime and garlic salsa (I don’t think so…), one teaspoon of orange marmalade (no), and 1-1/2 teaspoons of raspberry jelly (just not enough). There’s horseradish and ginger root, and a variety of other odds and ends, but nothing helpful for hamantaschen filling. And it’s too cold to venture out unless absolutely necessary.
As in the days of Queen Esther, we will have to fast and pray until deliverance, or cookies, come….
Tags: celebrating Purim, hamantaschen, longing for hamantaschen, Nutella hamantaschen, oznei Haman, Purim cookies, what does your hamantaschen filling say about you?