Mar 16, 2016

The Story Behind This Hamantaschen Story!

Laura Aron Milhander is the author of Kar-Ben's newest Purim story, Not for All the Hamantaschen in Town. In Not for All the Hamantaschen in Town, the Three Little Pigs- Rishon, Sheni, and Shlishi - are getting ready for the Purim carnival. They can't wait to play games, eat hamantaschen, and march in the Purim parade. But they all need crowns for their Purim costumes. Rishon makes his paper crown very quickly. Sheni spends a little more time on his poster board crown. Slishi works hardest and longest on his wonderful papier mache crown. But will their fun at the carnival be spoiled by the big bad wolf? After all, wolves love hamantaschen, too!

Read Laura's guest post all about hamantaschen below, and then check out her book over on the Kar-Ben website!

"Hamantaschen! Also called oznei haman, they deliciously link our diverse population of Jews, and just as our people are diverse, so are our hamantaschen.

There are hamantaschen made with cookie dough, yeast dough, honey dough, cream cheese dough, sour cream dough… Hamantaschen with the tried-and-true prune or poppy seed filling, apricot or raspberry filling… Hamantaschen with chocolate filling, chocolate hamantaschen with peanut butter filling… Girl Scout Cookie-inspired hamantaschen… Parve hamantaschen, dairy hamantaschen, even meat-filled hamantaschen… Palm-sized hamantaschen and single-bite hamantaschen… Hamantaschen recipes from professional cookbooks and temple sisterhood cookbooks, and from a multitude of websites… I can produce a hamantaschen resume that goes back decades. While I won’t be making “all the hamantaschen in town,” I’ll certainly be making enough for my family and for the shalach manot my children give their teachers (religious school and secular). But what kind of hamantaschen? Do you have a favorite recipe you stick to year after year, or do you browse online sites for new and unique challenges?

We Jews aren’t the only ones who loves hamantaschen, however. In Not for All the Hamantaschen in Town, there is a hungry wolf who has a craving for the Purim pastries, too, and he will do just about anything to get them, including huffing-and-puffing the crowns off three little pigs’ heads. I had the idea for writing Not for All the Hamantaschen in Town after reading my children a secular retelling of another fairy tale. Retellings are popular and frequently offer their readers insights into other cultures and traditions, and I wanted to create one with my own Jewish twist. Weaving Jewish holiday celebrations into familiar fairy tales would be something special to offer Jewish families, giving our children the chance to see well-known characters observing our holidays and learning valuable lessons as well. There is even a delectable hamantaschen recipe at the end of the story!

What recipe will you make? I have come full circle to find that my favorite hamantaschen are the traditional ones: A simple, sweet dough filled with poppy seed and apricot fillings. I may continue to try the latest recipes from year to year (taco hamantaschen, ├ęclair hamantaschen), but making hamantaschen like the ones our ancestors made and enjoyed as they, too, celebrated Purim really hits the spot.

I hope you have a Chag Purim Sameach!"

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