A Purim Tradition
A Purim Tradition
March 10th, 2020 • York, Maine
Written by: Liza Darvin, Copywriter
As a kid, growing up with a Jewish dad and Catholic mom felt like having the best of both worlds: twice the holidays, twice the presents, twice the food. Adult me is considerably less gift-obsessed, but I’m still every bit as enamored with the dishes and family traditions that come from celebrating both religions. Deep-fried, golden-brown latkes and custardy, raisin-studded kugel for Hanukkah; prime rib or a rack of lamb with butter-loaded mashed potatoes for Christmas; my grandmother’s soul-warming matzo ball soup and saucy, slow-cooked brisket for Passover; a spiral-cut ham and carrot cake for Easter—these foods are such a huge part of what the holidays mean to me.
It’s no surprise, then, that Purim is another favorite of mine. Often marked with lively parades, costume parties and feasts, Purim commemorates how Queen Esther helped save the ancient Jewish people from Haman, a political advisor during the Persian Empire and the villain of this story. In my family, we celebrate by making hamantaschen or “Haman’s pockets,” the customary pastry of Purim.
Stuffed with fruity fillings and shaped like triangles, these treats are something between a hand pie and a thumbprint cookie. Crafting them from scratch is a labor of love, but one that my dad takes on enthusiastically every year. He pulls out all the stops, making both vanilla and chocolate cookie doughs and up to five different fillings that range in flavor from the traditional (poppyseed and prune) to the modern (banana). Our kitchen is thus transformed into a mini hamantaschen factory, with my mother, brother and me stepping in to help amass dozens of each variety. Thankfully, the assembly process is pretty straightforward: roll out the dough, cut out individual circles, dollop a small amount of filling into the middle of each circle, pinch to form three sides and bake. To this day, a piping-hot hamantaschen is still one of my favorite things to eat.
Interested in making your own but not feeling as, uh, inspired as my dad? I’ve found that Stonewall Kitchen jams are a great shortcut for the fillings. My recommendation: grab some friends, select your favorite jam and bake up a batch while enjoying a new tradition in the making!
Liza Darvin joined Stonewall Kitchen in November of 2017 as the in-house copywriter where she covers many different avenues such as product description, e-mails, and sweepstakes! She loves taste-testing all the products, especially the Roasted Garlic Aioli (her favorite!). When she’s not surrounded by all of Stonewall Kitchen’s deliciousness, she’s eating her way through the infamous food scene in Portland, Maine!