Hamantaschen, the small triangular pastries that holds a sweet filling of honey, poppy seed, prune, or apricot, are one of the traditions of the festive Jewish holiday of Purim, which begins tomorrow night.
I love making this little pastry, which is also called Haman s hats. It is a reminder of the story of Queen Esther in the Bible and a reminder of the Jews deliverance from the threat of destruction in ancient times.
My colleague, Blade staff writer Ryan E. Smith, always makes Hamantaschen with a dough that reminds me of sweeter cookie dough. I usually make the recipe from cookbook author Joan Nathan that is made with brown sugar, making it a drier (and less sweet) dough. This year I m trying a cream cheese pastry. And here s a Hamantaschen dough made with eggs and honey from the National Honey Board. They are all delicious.
5 to 6 cups flour, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup shortening
5 eggs, divided
1 cup honey
Filling such as poppy seed, prune, apricot, or blackberry
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Combine 5 cups flour, salt, and baking powder; mix well. Make a well in the center and add shortening, 4 eggs, and honey. Work together until dough is formed, adding flour as needed. Roll out thinly and cut into 4-inch circles. Place 1 tablespoon of filling on each; fold up three sides and press together into triangles leaving tops somewhat open. Beat remaining egg and brush over dough. Bake at 350 degrees 20 minutes or until browned.
Yield: 3 dozen
Malabar Farm State Park near Mansfield, Ohio, educates visitors about the value of local food supplies. One of the park s most popular food products is maple syrup. Malabar produced and sold 134 gallons of pure maple syrup in 2008, an $11,000 value. The 33rd annual Maple Syrup Family Festival continues today and Saturday and March 15 at Malabar Farm State Park, at 4050 Bromfield Rd., Lucas, Ohio, southeast of Mansfield in Richland County. The free event is held from noon to 4 p.m. and is open to the public. The park is open 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. There also are guided tours through the house, which belonged to Louis Bromfield. Malabar was the site for the 1945 wedding of actors Humpfrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, and the location of their honeymoon.
New York State will offer a sweet treat for visitors this month as more than 110 maple producers across the state celebrate the 14th Annual Maple Weekend (mapleweekend.com). Events run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 21, 22, 28, and 29. In addition to boiling sap into maple syrup, sugar houses provide other activities.
Sauder Village s The Barn Restaurant in Archbold will hold Slice of White House Life, a historical dinner, beginning at 5:30 p.m. March 24. Recipes from the White House Cookbook circa 1887 will be prepared.
The meal will feature Winter Vegetable Soup, Fish Croquettes, Beefsteak Rolls and Potatoes. Spinach with Eggs, Scalloped Tomatoes, Stewed Onions, and Scalloped Cheese are also on the menu. There will be breads, beverage, and assorted desserts.
Registration and pre-payment are required. The cost is $30 per person or $27 for Sauder Village members. Call Andi Erbskorn at 800-590-9755.
The Red Prince apple is now sold exclusively at Meijer stores in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. The apple has a deep-red exterior with a juicy cream-colored flesh. It originated in the German/Holland border region in 1994 and it is a cross between a Jonathan and Golden Delicious.
The variety has its peak flavor in winter. Red Prince is grown mainly in Canada; only one grower has been granted permission to grow the variety in North America.
Celebrate music, food, and wine in the Grand Lobby of the Valentine Theatre following the Toledo Opera s performance of Salome on Saturday. Dinner will be served at 9:30 p.m.
Wines will be selected to accompany each course by sommelier Dominique Simon. Following passed hors d oeuvres, there will be a three-course dinner. The cost is $250 per person. Deadline for reservations is March 11. Call 255-SING for tickets. Opera tickets are separately priced.