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Purim

Which cocktail resembles who you’d be in the Purim story? Find your drink, or try the whole M’gillah

Whether you're the one hosting a Purim party or just want to rock out to some Jewish tunes while you get into costume before attending one, our Purim playlist on Spotify is sure to do the trick. It’s family-friendly and totally appropriate for listening with young children. Enjoy!

The Purim story presents us with a fascinating cast of characters. A misguided king, an evil adviser, a wise cousin behind the scenes, and the brave heroine who saves the day – there’s something for everyone.

Purim, a Jewish holiday in late winter, celebrates Queen Esther and her cousin Mordechai and how they saved the Jews of Persia from an extermination plot by Haman, the king’s vizier. Central to the observance is a public reading – usually in the synagogue – of the Book of Esther (M’gillat Esther, the M’gillah), which tells the story of the holiday.

Even though Hershel can no longer see, he remembers what things looked like before he lost his sight. After a vivid dream in which an angel reminds him to use that special ability, Hershel creates beautiful shapes from his mother’s hamentashen dough. His cookies earn him a compliment and a possible future job from the town baker.

Queen Esther's Jaffa Poppy Seed Tea Cake with Orange Brandy Sugar Glaze

By: 
Marcy Goldman

For Purim, make this cake in miniature loaf pans (usually 12 mini loaves per baking tray) and pack 2 or 3 of them in each Purim basket. This an especially moist, fragrant cake. You can substitute half and half or orange juice (for a pareve cake) for the evaporated milk, but the milk makes for a fine-textured, delicately crumbed loaf.

Ingredients: 
CAKE:
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups unsweetened evaporated milk or orange juice or half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon undiluted frozen orange juice or orange liqueur
2 tablespoons finely minced orange zest
1/3 cup poppy seeds
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
...............................................................................................
ORANGE BRANDY SUGAR GLAZE:
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup brandy (or ginger ale)
Zest of 1 orange, finely minced
1/2 cup sugar
Directions: 

Yield: 12 to 14 servings

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch loaf pans, one large 12-cup Bundt pan, or a 12-portion mini-loaf pan. (If using miniature loaves for a Purim basket, first spray the loaf pan generously with nonstick cooking spray, then line each mold with a paper baking cup widened to fit the loaf molds. This will make the loaves easy to remove and lend them that professional look.)

For the cake

  • Using a whisk or in an electric mixer, blend the sugar and oil. Beat in the eggs. Stir in the evaporated milk, vanilla, frozen orange juice, zest, and poppy seeds and beat well. Add the flour, salt, and baking powder, and blend until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s). Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, depending on the pan(s) used. When a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, the cake is done. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a cake rack.

For the glaze:

  • In a small saucepan, mix together the glaze ingredients. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved (about 5 minutes). Let cool, then drizzle over the cooled cake(s). Gather together the drippings and drizzle on the remaining glaze again.

    Marcy Goldman is a cookbook author of several titles including the upcoming The Newish Jewish Cookbook (February 2019 River Heart Press) and host of the popular website, www.Betterbaking.com. This recipe is reprinted with permission from The 10th Anniversary Edition of A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking (River Heart Press).

Purim costumes are a time-honored tradition dating back to the 16th century. Here is a list of Jewishly themed Purim costumes that are fun for the whole family. Get creative with them!

Shushan Purim is a unique day in the cycle of Jewish holidays. Purim is the only holiday whose date depends on where you happen to celebrate it. For most of the world, Purim occurs on the 14th of Adar. However, if you happen to reside in Jerusalem or the city of Shushan (where the story of Purim took place) Purim is on the 15th of Adar. Therefore, the observance is called "Shushan Purim."

Hamantaschen are the most recognizable food associated with the Purim holiday, but there are many different foods for celebrating Purim. Check out some favorite recipes from around the world.

When we say "Purim," three-cornered cookies are one of the first things that come to mind for many people. But where did they come from? Learn about the history of hamantaschen and browse a selection of recipes for all types of hamantaschen, both sweet and savory.

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