Dear Mom,

250 hamantashen! Most people wouldn’t believe it, but those numbers don’t faze me. I remember Bubbe showering us with hamantashen months before Purim. As soon as the latke spell was over, she’d bust out the flour, butter and jam. Of course, she only gave us “the ugly ones,” which were just as tasty as the perfect ones.

In her later years, she started making Valentine’s Day cookies out of leftover hamantashen dough. She’d shape it into little hearts that she copied from playing cards and topped them with strawberry jam and chocolate chips. I know she copied the heart shape from playing cards because one year she messed up and made cookies in the shape of spades. She still called them hearts, and they were still just as tasty. It was sort of like how she used to make pizza with Velveeta cheese.

Her kreplach, kasha and blintz routine was far superior than her American food experiments. With one exception (cottage cheese mac n’ cheese), her normal kid food endeavors were usually disappointing.

The way that food traditions evolve to fit their spaces seems more recognizable than the ways that human change. In a way, food is a principle indicator of our evolution—of our movements, values, loyalties. Your Persian rice recipe for Purim was a creative recognition of Purim. It inspired me! I decided to pull a Bubbe and mix two cultures into one: I made traditional Persian cookies and added my own “filling” to retain the feel of traditional hamantashen.