Mandel Bread for Rosh Hashanah and A little Personal

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, starts tonight. Mandel Bread is staple dessert on our holiday table. It reminds me of a biscotti-style cookie, and is fantastic for dessert or breakfast served with coffee. My sister, Julie and my sister-in-law Debby, make the most incredible Mandel Bread I have ever tried. This is one of my favorite Mandel Bread recipes from my friend, Andy’s mom, Judy Rotenstreich. I am so thrilled to be serving Mandel Bread this year at my dad’s house with 21 other people after moving less than a week ago.

To get a little personal, I moved last Monday with my 3 kids into my dads house in Birmingham. Since my mom passed away recently, this was the perfect option for him and for me. It has been wonderful this week eating breakfast and dinner with my father as well as taking a work break and making him a morning smoothie. He has been very depressed the past few months (after the death of my mother), and he already seems like a different person. He said two days ago, “The highlight of the day was when Leigh (my daughter) came to tell me goodnight.” I cried.

My friend, Sara, told me the other day, “To find blessings during tough times”, and she is so correct.

-It is a blessing for kids to get the chance to live with their grandparents.

-It is a blessing to help to your parents when they are elderly.

-It is a blessing when your kids say that they slept great.

-It is a blessing to hear my kids laugh during tough times.

-It is a blessing to see your kids relaxed.

-It is a blessing that I still have my father, but that I can feel my mothers presence.

-It is a blessing to have all of your support.

So whether you celebrate the Jewish new year or not, here’s to fresh and new beginnings and a sweet new year!

 

Hamentashen Cookies: A Purim Tradition

Hamentashen are triangle fruit cookies served and eaten during the Jewish holiday of Purim which falls this year on March 20th for two days. They are recognizable for their three-cornered shape, a symbol of “Hamen”, a villain in the Purim story (who always wore a three cornered hat). The story of Hamen and Purim appears in the Biblical book of Esther. Purim is often celebrated by attending children’s carnival celebrations as well as the giving of food gifts to friends (including Hamentashen) and gifts to charity. The Hamentaschen shape is achieved by folding the sides of a circular piece of dough with a filling of apricot, prune, poppyseed strawberry, blackberry and even chocolate filled in the center. This recipe is wonderful, and kids love making and eating them.

Note: This recipe was given to me from a friend which she found on Allrecipes.