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Happy Almost Springtime
By Eddy Robey

Just a bit over three weeks to go, and it will be Spring. Soon, we will all
be playing dress-up for Purim, so besides sending a Hamantaschen recipe, I'm
going to give you my handy dandy easiest spring cleaning tip too

Here is what I do to polish mirrors, furniture, windows, tile, and anything
else that needs it (even computer screens). Buy a few tubs of generic,
pre-moistened baby wipes. Open the tubs, and pour a cup of rubbing alcohol
into each. The wipes are already moistened with glycerin which gives a shine:
the alcohol kills germs and cuts grease. I keep one of those boxes in each
room, so they'll be handy.

Just throw the mess away, no dirty sponges or rags to wash. A pleasant extra
is that you won't have to inhale lots of cleaning sprays.

Now that your house will be as pretty as you are in your costume, on to the
Hamantaschen. After that, those of you who have Irish friends, and would like
to see those famous eyes smiling, can try baking a few Currant Scones for St.
Patrick's Day present to them.

Baskets of Smiles

The Earth is ready to awaken from a long Winter's rest. Although it is still
cold outside, each day brings us another few minutes of light. Soon, we will
celebrate our deliverance from oppression at parties, carnivals, and by
sharing gifts of love with our friends and families. Children will help roll
dough in the kitchen, and homes all over the world will be scented with the
joyous aroma of holiday baking. Baskets will be filled by tender hands, and
delivered with smiles as sunny as Springtime.

This recipe is a simple one to prepare. Always remember that the produce of
gentle hands has a taste of sweetness which will fill the heart, as nothing
else can do. This is as true for the bakers, as it is for those who receive
these treats. The little ones who help make Hamantaschen now, will be sure to
tell their own children of a day spent making and delivering gladness.
Memories will nourish their spirits, long after the pastry is gone. Thus,
will you feed them all their days

It is time for fun, fantasy, and deliverance. We can shed those long scarves,
which we have worn around our necks like nooses, and array ourselves as kings
and queens. The world is ready to celebrate the Vernal Equinox, and we are
commanded to our own giddy revelry in honor of freedom. I have a lovely dress
from India, with swishing skirts and beads, just the thing for a little
kitchen maid to play princess. Of course, I will be back in my apron soon,
but for Purim, I shall rise from my lowly position, as did Esther, and join
the court festivities. May all of you enjoy schnapps, sweets, and silliness.


2 cups Flour
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar, plus more for rolling the dough
2/3 cup Butter
1/3-1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 cup of Pastry Filling


Mix the Flour and Powdered Sugar. Cut in the Butter. Pulsing in the bowl of
your food processor most easily does this, but if you don't have one, use two
knives, and keep working with them until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add
1/3 cup Sour Cream and mix until the dough holds together in a ball.
Depending on the humidity, you may need to use a tiny bit more, but do
remember that this is a firm dough. Divide the dough into 4 portions, roll
each into a ball, and encase in plastic wrap. Put them in the refrigerator
for at least an hour.

When you are ready to roll the dough, dust the board and rolling pin
thoroughly with Powdered Sugar, adding more as needed to prevent sticking.
Roll to a bit less than an eighth of an inch in thickness, and cut into small
rounds. Place a teaspoon of filling at the center of each round and pinch the
circles into a triangle shape, Place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and bake
for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Remove the Hamantaschen from the cookie sheet, with a spatula (these are not
the jawbreaker Hamantaschen you get in bakeries, and are fragile) and allow
to cool completely on waxed paper before serving. DO NOT offer anyone a bite
right from the oven. The filling will be hot enough to cause burns.

PS My favorite filling is made by soaking 1 cup dried Apricots in Brandy to
cover, pureeing them in the blender, then stirring in 1/4 cup each Sugar and
ground toasted Walnuts.

Poppy Seed Pastry Filling (Dairy or Pareve)

There is a tradition of Dairy foods at Purim, because Esther is said to have
been a vegetarian. Most Poppy Seed fillings are Dairy, and rather
romantically made with Milk and Honey, but I will give you an alternative
ingredient choice, just in case you want to use this for a Strudel or Babka
at some other time as well.

A Bonus Use. If you would like to make Poppy Seed Muffins, substitute 1 cup
of the cooked Filling for Sugar in the basic Muffin recipe.

2 cups Poppy Seeds
3/4 cup dried Currants
1 1/2 cups Milk, Orange Juice, or Coconut Milk
1 cup Honey
1 tablespoon grated Lemon Zest

Place the Poppy Seeds in the bowl of a Food Processor, that has been fitted
with a metal blade. Pulse several times, until finely chopped, but do not
grind them to a powder. The goal is to crush them. If you don't have a
Processor, use a Mortar and Pestle.

Mix all the ingredients together in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. (Nonstick
coated, if you have one) Place over a medium-low heat, and cook, stirring
constantly, until thickened. Empty the filling into another container, and
cool before using.
A Special Note. Soak the pan and spoon as soon as you remove the cooked
Filling. It is very sticky, and hard to clean, if allowed to harden.

Copyright 2003 Eddy Robey

Currant Scones for St. Patrick's Day

Here is something simple to add to your celebration. No day in Ireland is
complete without an afternoon break for plenty of sweet, milky tea and
scones. The children can help you make these, and will certainly like having
a special tea party to enjoy them.


2 cups Self-Rising Flour
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
2/3 cup Currants
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 cup Sour Cream
1 Egg Yolk, mixed with a tablespoon of Water
1/4 cup Sugar


With the rack in the center, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a baking

In a small bowl, stir together the Baking Soda and Sour Cream.Set aside until

Mix the Self-Rising Flour with 1/2 cup of Sugar. Cut in the Butter, until the
mixture looks like Corn Meal. Add the Currants to the Flour mixture and stir.
Add the Sour Cream mixture to the Flour mixture, and stir only until a soft
dough forms; do not over mix.

Turn the dough onto the greased baking sheet, and gently pat it into a circle
about 1 inch thick. Using a long knife, cut the circle into eight pieces, but
do not move them. Brush the top of the circle with the Egg Yolk, and sprinkle
with the remaining 1/4 cup Sugar.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the Scones are a deep golden brown. Serve

Copyright 2002 Eddy Robey

Eddy Robey M.A.
Like all Jewish mothers, I feed everyone in sight, and have been at work in the
kitchen for over 20 years. Correspondence should be addressed to
<> and will be read as soon as the dishes are done. You can
find many of my recipes online at the  Gantseh Megillah . Please feel free
to forward this to anyone you think would enjoy it, as long as you include my



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