Purim is a fun Jewish holiday. It's a celebration of a triumph. To help celebrate, the Jews are commanded to eat, drink, and share what we have with gifts of food and drink. I'm sharing our hamentaschen fest.
Here's a nutshell version of the Purim story. By the way, this is stolen word for word from Yael of Yael's Yummies. Her version is succinct and explains it well.
Tuesday is the Jewish holiday of Purim. "Pur" in Hebrew, means "lots" or "lottery". The holiday celebrates the bravery of Queen Esther and how she saved the Jewish people from the evil Haman (an advisor to the king) in Persia in the city of Shushan. He decided to do away with the Jews and drew "lots" to decide which day would be their doomsday. Queen Esther found out about his plan and basically ratted on him to the king (who up until that time didn't even know she was Jewish). Long, complicated story, but in short, she saved the day. The date that was originally chosen for the Jews to be destroyed , now became a day of celebration. It is a joyful, fun holiday , especially for children, who dress in costumes and parade around the city . The story of Queen Esther is read in synagogues throughout the world. It is a tradition that every time the name of Haman is mentioned, children and adults alike, shake noisemakers in the air, yell and shout, so as to drown out his evil name.
Side note: The story of Purim is called the Megillah. So if you've ever heard anyone talk about "the whole Megillah", it comes from reading the whole Purim story.
Anyway, on to the hamentaschen. Hamentaschen are filled sugar cookies that are traditionally served on Purim. The cookies are three cornered and meant to mimic Hamen's hat. At least that's what I was taught in Sunday School. There are other stories out there.
For the past four years, we've had hamentaschen baking parties. This year we had four five-year-olds and five eight-year-olds come to help us form the cookies. Traditionally, the cookies are filled with poppy or prune fillings. At our house we use chocolate chips, swirled chocolate chips, apricot jam, and raspberry jam. Any and all combinations of said ingredients can be used. One of the girl's friends has an egg allergy, so this is the recipe that I used.
It's a fun afternoon. I'm pretty sure that the kids ate as many chips as they put into the cookies. There was lots of giggling and messes, and it was just as it should be.
Here's a representative sampling of our goodies. The cookies turned out well this year. This just might be the recipe that I keep using, even if we no longer have an egg allergy.
The other TWD bakers made a lovely Lemon Cup Custard chosen by Bridget of The Way the Cookie Crumbles. Check out her blog for the recipe. I'll be back next week with a yummy looking cake.