“What foods other than hamantaschen are traditional for purim?!”
This is the question I asked myself (and google) this week. According to Wilshire Blvd. Temple in Los Angeles, there are quite a few of other more savory options. Among them are kreplach, filled with minced meat or vegetables to evoke the response of stopping and general noise making upon hearing ‘haman’. Some communities will also eat nuts and beans because *legend has it* Esther ate mostly these foods in the court of King Ahashuerus (he didn’t keep kosher).
So what about this year’s fun shabbat/purim combination?! Polish Egg Bread. Also known as “koyletsh” (or sometimes spelled: keylitsh, keylitch, koilitch, koylatsh) this is an extra rich challah type bread prepared for special occasions and Purim. Why Purim? Apparently the long strands for braiding are supposed to remind us of the ropes used to hang Haman. So morbid.
For those of us who can’t jetset to San Francisco to eat the famed Wise Son pickles, this easy-to-do recipe will not only provide tasty results BUT will also make you feel like a DIY superstar. The Heathens have offered a couple different variations of pickling, but I would like to add my favorite from the Ball Complete Book of Preserving. These make a fun gift (perhaps for the Purim mishloach manot you’re making in a couple weeks??)
Why bake the same version is challah each week when it’s so easy to snaz it up?! This Shabbat, try it with some lavendar.
I started, of course, with Amiee’s faithful challah recipe. Instead of adding plain water to proof the yeast, I used a lavendar infused water.
1 3/4 cup water
3 tb dried lavendar flowers
Add the water and lavender to a small saucepan or pot and heat slowly to a simmer. Remove it from the heat and let it cool slightly for a few minutes. Strain out the lavender flowers and allow the water to continue to cool to yeast proofing temperature (slightly warm). Continue the challah recipe as normal! *You can keep the flower buds in the water for extra flavor and texture.
warming up on medium heat
straining out the flowers
beautiful lavender water
My Bubbe (Yiddish word for grandmother) Julie is unstoppable. At 90 years old, she is still maintaining a three-story house, driving her car around Vancouver, and cooking up a storm. When my family and I are in town, we eat everything Bubbe makes for us–even if we are not hungry. I can still distinctly remember about 10 years ago when my father was interrogated by a US customs officer for carrying a poppyseed cake in a brown unmarked box, fresh from the oven. “What is in the box?” they asked. “It’s a poppyseed cake baked by my mother-in-law, I promise.” One of my favorites in her baking repertoire is kosher for Passover kamish. It almost doesn’t take like Passover. You may have heard kamish referred to as “Mandelbrot” or “Jewish biscotti”. It’s all the same: sweet, crunchy and delicious.
A New Orleans style chanukah doughnut.
straight from the source, c/o marc
My first encounter with the delicious beignet was with none else than the fabulous writers of this here blog. A week of gutting walls, removing roofing, bonding with katrina survivors and avoiding crocs in the bayou was highlight by some fabulous New Orleans food, including a trip to Cafe du Monde. Their famous square, sugar-covered doughnuts are heavenly so it’s no surprise that they are a tourist hotspot. Since chanukah begs us to embrace the oiliest of foods, I thought this would be a fun twist on the french treat–you can let me know what you think. Wikipedia shares lots of fun facts about the beignet (did you know they were originally made with chestnut flour?!) but I’ll leave the rest of the researching to you. Let’s get eating…
p.s. for a more detailed explanation of sufganiyot, check out Amiee’s post.
Because Marc is wonderful and brought me a pre-made mix, I don’t know exactly what went into my beignets. I DID however find a yummy sounding recipe for beignets on this new orleans cuisine blog.
method after the break