I’m a gooey-hearted enough reader to love a story with a sweet ending, and this weekend, the Jewish festival of Purim offers sweetness both in story and in story-inspired snacks. The festival, celebrating the triumph of courage over fear-driven oppression (is that redundant? Perhaps all oppression is, in some way, driven by fear) as told in the biblical Book of Esther (the whole megillah – really!) comes with a bundle of fun food traditions, including the giving of food gifts to friends, family, and with special, inclusive joy, to those less fortunate.
As Purim is a particularly vibrant festival for children, and considering the global need for emergency food, due to natural and political disasters, might I suggest adding a little gift (or a big gift, if that feels right to you) to children in need, via Unicef or the NGO of your choice? Unicef has many giving options, including:
-have your donation go directly to Japan to care for children in the post-earthquake/tsunami recovery period https://secure.unicefusa.org/site/Donation2?df_id=9640&9640.donation=form1, or
-support the supply and distribution of specific emergency needs, including nutrition supplements, eg: https://secure.unicefusa.org/site/Ecommerce?store_id=4221&VIEW_CATALOG=true&FOLDER=1054&TYPE=&NAME=
Back to my Eastern European roots….My background means that I have put Hamentachen, the soft filled triangular cookie-pastries at the top of my Purim list (though French Jews apparently love eating Palmiers at Purim, and other region have their own favorites).
I haven’t made my hamentachen for this year yet (but hoping to get them in under the wire!) so for now, I’ll point you to a few inspiring possibilities from other sources, all gluten-free (as so many of my extended family are affected by some level of gluten intolerance). Enjoy!
http://www.elanaspantry.com/gluten-free-raspberry-hamantaschen/uses almond flour; quite simple method (though I’d add a little xantham gum & poss a little of another gluten-free flour to help the dough’s flexibility)