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Posts Tagged ‘Jewish holidays’

With all things Passover pretty much packed up until next year, we’ve been experiencing something of a denouement around here. I’ve been wondering what to blog about….what Jewish thing is going on in our lives now that the ultimate home-shuling holiday has come and gone?

Of course, if we were a little more observant, this problem might have solved itself. Beginning on the night of the second seder, it’s a tradition to beginning counting the Omer, counting down the 49 days until Shavuot. Exciting, right? Seven weeks of waiting until another big festival! Woo-hoo. Except for the fact that I wasn’t quite sure how to drum up a lot of enthusiasm for Shavuot, which doesn’t seem to have much going for it unless you are a really big fan of cheesecake.

So far, we haven’t been counting the Omer, but I figured it wasn’t too late to start (even though technically it is too late to start.) And since we were throwing much of tradition to the wind, why not get a little creative and borrow a custom from the Christian side of the family?

Enter the Omer Advent Calendar:omer2

 

Each night before bedtime, we are unwrapping a little bag with two gourmet Jelly beans from the leftover Easter bin at CVS. (I chanelled my mom, who used to take us to buy half price Easter bunnies after Passover ended.) To my candy-deprived girls? Pure heaven. Now they are thrilled about the counting, and I have five more weeks to figure out how to make Shavuot just as exciting.

Thanks to Jewschool for the inspiration to make my own, after googling “chocolate omer advent calendar.”

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phpcwryzjamEven though Purim is over a week away, we baked three dozen hamentashen yesterday. I am not the kind of person who typically prepares for a holiday (or anything, for that matter) many days in advance. But we had good reason to open up shop early – Bubbe was here. My mother makes the world’s best hamentashen. Cookie dough, prune inside (don’t even talk to me about chocolate chips and jelly you PAGAN) and overflowing with gobs of filling – exactly the way her Bubbe made them.

I am not a wonderful baker, at least not when it comes to anything that requires a delicate hand and patience. Which means, my challah is pretty good and I can churn out a tasty apple crisp, but trying to roll dough and hand-shape triangles usually leads to unattractive results. Overflowing lumpy brown jam doesn’t improve the picture, if you get my drift. So yesterday, Bubbe and the girls did a little m’dor l’dor (generation to generation) while mommy took pictures. Since Jewish cooking is a major component of the curriculum for those of us who home-shul, I’m glad my girls had a proper teacher.

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We didn't make quite this many

I forgot to take pictures of the fruits of their labor before I wrapped them and put them in the freezer, but I’ll post them when we make our mishloach manot.

And now, the secret recipe. This is how I wrote it down, about a million years ago.

Dough: 3 c flour / 2 eggs / 2 tsp baking powder / 1 stick butter / 1/2 tsp salt / 3/4 c sugar

Filling: 1 lb pitted prunes soaked overnight in water (about an inch higher than the prunes), cook with a little sugar and cinnamon until very soft. Squeeze in a little lemon.

Mix it all together. In a way that, you know, seems baker-y. Roll, cut and fill so they look like hamentashen. Hamayvin yavin.

Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes, until lightly brown around the edges.

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