Let me paint a picture for you. It’s 1986 and there’s a Purim party being hosted at the local elementary school. It’s got your usual timeless 80’s fun: Cake walk, balloon animals, bounce house and, of course, a costume contest. It’s an endless sea of little girls dressed in princess dresses and little boys wearing drawn-on beards and painted crowns. There are so many princesses and kings you’re starting to wonder if Disney has sponsored the event but then you spot her, that one little girl who is dressed like she walked straight outta the desert circa 700 B.C. She’s wearing a hand-sewn, elaborately embroidered caftan complete with a keffiyah wrapped around her little head. There is no doubt in your mind that this kid came dressed to attend a Purim party, too bad that Purim party wasn’t being hosted in 786 B. C. instead of 1986 A.D. Just when you start finding yourself getting lost in that intricately woven gold brocade on this 6 year-old’s caftan, someone announces that it’s time for the costume contest. All the princesses, kings, occassional zoo animal and, of course, the Biblical 6 year-old, climb the stage so that they may be judged for their costumes’ originality. The children wait in anticipation (and by ‘wait’, I mean fidget so badly it looks like all might simultaneously pee in their pants from nerves) and then it’s announced: The winner of this year’s Purim Costume contest is . . . Whitney Lacefield (now Fisch), dressed as Biblical Queen Esther. “YES!! VICTORY IS MINE!!!”
That’s right folks, for two years in a row, I won the Temple Kol Emeth Purim Costume Contest. By the second year, parents started complaining that I kept winning (I still can’t get over the fact that grown people complained about that). I mean, it’s not my fault my Israeli cousins hooked me up with some sweet desert-wear. And besides, both of those wins netted me gift certificates to the local toy store where I spent my hard-earned credit on Jem dolls. I was collecting Jem, all here friends AND the Misfits and this costume contest was helping me make that happen. What I never took into account, however, was the fact that I would, eventually, no longer be able to fit into my glorious costume. By 1988, I was the height of your average 12 year-old even though I was only 8 years-old, and as a result, I could no longer fit into my cash-money costume. Purim was never the same after that but then I had a child and, well, costume fun was back.
Last year was our first Purim with our baby girl and it didn’t dawn on me that I might need a costume until the day before Purim. The result of this last-minute scramble is shown below. Bonus points if you can guess the two people she is dressed as (one is a fictional character and the other is real).
Now about these recipes! The fine folks at Natural and Kosher were seeking recipes for Purim featuring their product. I’ve been a fan of their product since going kosher as they, thank Gd, put out a lot of my favorite cheeses that I thought I’d have to kiss good-bye once I started keeping kosher. They offer a safe haven for me and my cheese-loving self and I am very grateful. And as for featuring recipes that would work well in a Mishloach Manot bag so of course I chose to make a hamantaschen (a recipe I think will impress all your friends) as well as a different take on all those homemade Cheez-it recipes you see on Pinterest. You can find my recipes over at The Joy of Kosher (here for the Hamantaschen and here for the Cheez-its) but until you get there, please feel free to drool over the pictures below. Chag Sameach, y’all!
*This post sponsored by the generous folks at Natural and Kosher
Camembert Hamantaschen with Apple Cinnamon Preserves