Thursday, March 1, 2007

hamataschen + five details

hamantaschen

I have been tagged by Cathy at one of my favorite new (to me) food blogs, Not Eating Out In New York, to tell you five things you might already not know about me. I find her site—and those pickles!—impossible to resist, so here we go:

1. My parents have two of my oil paintings in their living room. I painted them while taking a class on the Greek island of Corfu one summer between college semesters. I think I really thought at back then I’d be a painter when I grew up. I barely touch paints anymore, but when I occasionally run into one of my old boxes of art gear under the bed and get that whiff of turpentine, I kind of long for it. Later, I got more into ceramic sculpture, and this I miss all the time. If hell ever freezes over and I end up living in a house far from the city’s borders, I want a kiln. Just thought I’d put it out there.

2. I’m not sure that you don’t know this, but I am a reporter for my day job, where I write about techy stuff. What this means is that I could probably bore you to tears with an at-length discussion of the UAC features of Vista, but promise not to. (Alex, sadly, gets no such assurance.) It does not mean that I have even once successfully programmed a VCR. (Could I sound more old?) Of my ten immediate coworkers, I am the only girl. I am also the only one who brings in loaves of freshly baked bread, but I suspect that goes without saying.

after

3. I often design blogs for friends for free. I really love tinkering with stylesheets and code. What I’ve never quite mastered—despite number one—is the creation of graphical elements in Illustrator. It’s on my to-do list, though, item number 3,042 or something.

4. We still haven’t put together our wedding album and as of today, our second anniversary is officially closer than our first. What? Stop rushing us.

5. We’re a little obsessed with babies, but mostly of the “other people’s” varieties.

unbaked

Speaking of work, I brought in gem-colored cookies today and only one person—one person! I work in media! In New York City!—walked by and said “ooh, hamantaschen!” So, for everyone else in the room, hamantaschen are three-cornered cookies, filled traditionally with prunes, poppy seed paste or jellies and served during the Jewish holiday of Purim, which is, more or less, the Jewish Mardi Gras/Halloween and runs until next Tuesday. The cookies are named after Haman, the “bad man” in the ancient lore because he wore a three-cornered hat and, as if I weren’t an awful enough Jew, I actually had to look this up on Wikipedia. Shanda fer de goyim, indeed.

I did, however, remember exactly how to form them, as if the last time I baked them were two days and not over a decade ago. After reading Rachel’s lovely article on NPR yesterday, I couldn’t resist trying this cream cheese-based version last night and they are, of course, incredibly delicious. My only, tiny gripe, and I’m sure it was something stupid I did, was that I couldn’t get them to stay sealed once they expanded in the oven, despite trying pressing them firmly, brushing them with water before pinching the corners and bitching and moaning to my husband. Ah, well—shocker that didn’t do the trick. The only things I tweaked were adding a half-teaspoon of salt and an extra tablespoon of flour to the dough. I filled half of them with raspberry jam and the other half with a fig orange date jam (Dalmatia Brand) I found in the store last night and instantaneously fell in love with. Orange is a traditional hamantaschen flavor, so I was happy to find a way to tuck it in.

hamantaschen

And finally: I hadn’t intended for this to be my last post of the week—I have so many more new recipes to discuss!—but seeing as we’re damned close to heading out of town for a few days, it may well be the case. Thank you for your innumerable suggestions of where to go and what to eat. I’ve painstakingly copied them all, with comments for our referral and am so, so ready to hit the South.


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