A group of Jewish women were recently asked what their favorite holiday was. The majority answered, “Purim!” Why? Because it is fun, can be participated in by all ages and, oh those delicious hamantaschen. All of the princess gear available make the holiday a standout for girls with beautiful costumes to become Queen Esther. And super-hero costumes are definitely boy favorites.
For me, stuffed cabbage and hamantaschen are the staples of Purim. I always look for easy-to-cook, shortcut recipes of the traditional dishes but with the same flavors intact. Conveniences such as frozen puff pastry and advance no-cook cabbage — detailed in Tips — leave time for more groggin’ and Purim play.
Thank you to the Joy of Kosher Internet site for pointing out that Queen Esther was a vegetarian, eating only plant foods. Check out the site for a myriad of hamantaschen recipes, even a vegan one!
TIPS & TRICKS
• Don’t bother cooking cabbage in advance. Simply freeze the whole head of cabbage overnight in a plastic bag. Defrost it at room temp or in a microwave, core and use the leaves to easily wrap meat. No fuss or mess.
• Have a box of frozen puff pastry sheets on hand. Prepare according to the accompanying recipe, sweet or savory.
• Get some good store-bought bakery chocolate hamantaschen and drizzle with your own from-scratch easy chocolate or vanilla frosting. It is then considered “homemade.”
Ilene Spector is a local freelance writer.