Dear Shaina,

I think I am turning into Bubbe. Today I found myself craving oatmeal with cottage cheese…and enjoying it. And I had this tremendous urge to make hamantashen and send them all over the country. That was Bubbe’s job. I had never made a hamantashen in my life as long as she was in charge of the kitchen!

Bubbe would start bugging me several weeks before Purim (thanks to those free Jewish calendars) to buy poppy seed filling and prunes and raisins and all the other requisite ingredients for hamantashen. Never too old to try a new recipe, she adopted her friend Riva’s because they were the best.

Lid Dough Cutting

Bubbe always started her baking projects very early in the morning and spent most of the day mixing, rolling, filling, baking, counting, packing and calling friends and family to tell them, “The hamantashen are ready!” And they should come to her house to pick them up “right away!” I would get the “Get me some boxes right away!” call.

It was my job to help her meticulously count and pack some predetermined number to send to every grandchild who dared to live beyond the direct reach of her kitchen…and of course, her son and daughter-in-law in New Jersey. This elaborate project involving wax paper, plastic bags, mailing boxes and trips to the post office went way beyond the mere baking of hundreds of hamantashen. She made enough to ensure that friends and family throughout Birmingham and beyond had an ample supply for the entire month of Purim and that there would be enough surplus to fill a bucketful in her own freezer to nosh on and serve to guests long after the groggers stopped.

HamantashenSo, I am about to visit you and then the rest of the family in New Jersey and Purim is fast approaching. I get this crazy urge to make hundreds of hamantashen to bring to everyone…and I don’t have the recipe! I find poppy seed and cherry filling in the back of my kitchen cabinet further compelling me to act on my urge…and I still can’t find the recipe! I start emailing. Riva’s daughter doesn’t have it. I email Gail and Naomi thinking they may actually have made hamantashen and gotten Bubbe’s (Riva’s) recipe. Gail came through with an email that she sent to you last year with Riva’s recipe when you were looking for Bubbe’s hamantashen recipe. I forgot about that! I could’ve just called you.

Anyway, I made 62 (it seems I have the Bubbe counting thing, too) cherry and poppy seed filled hamantashen today. Tomorrow, I am moving on to almond filling mixed with chocolate chips. I may also try making some low-sugar hamantashen by cutting the sugar in half or using Splenda for the dough and using no sugar added jam for filling.

Anyway, get ready. I am coming to DC bearing tins filled with hamantashen layered between sheets of waxed paper and ready for distribution.

I guess there are worse things than becoming like Bubbe.

Love, Mom