Going mad with power (desserts)

So, I probably signed up for more than I can actually handle with this Feastly coming up on Sunday. You know, the one I shamelessly promoted last Saturday. Now, I’m not crazy enough to try to make everything on Saturday and the half of Sunday I’ve got before people show up – so, I wrote out a schedule of all the things I need to make after work this week. (Yes, our kitchen looks exactly how you’d expect after half a week of this – what can I say, the dishwasher is backed up.)

Tuesday: Mandlebrot
Wednesday:  Poppy seed filling for Hamentaschen
Thursday: Apricot filling for Hamentaschen
Friday: Dough for Struedel and Spice Bars (up to the ‘chill over night’ step)
Saturday, day: Finish the struedel and spice bars
Saturday, night: Rugelach
Sunday, morning: Apple-honey Challah
Sunday, day: Hamentaschen

Sunday evening, post-party: collapse

That was just a whole bunch of random words wasn’t it? Well, to anyone who didn’t grow up Jewish. For reference, most are of Yiddish origin.

Mandlebrot – Adam looked at the end result last night and said “Biscotti!”

Okay, that’s mostly fair – they’re a twice-baked almond … biscuits (said by Adam with a snooty London accent)
MandlebrotAlso said tonight? “These are so good, why aren’t you making more? Like right now?” Love you too sweetheart, but we’re mostly out of almonds right now. 🙂

Hamentaschen – a pastry folded into a triangle with various and sundry fillings, peeping out of the middle. Traditionally served during Purim (which is, in fact, this Sunday). Also, totally my inspiration/excuse for this party.

Rugelach – A triangle of dough wrapped around filling (usually including jam/jelly and/or nuts) then curved into a crescent shape. Or made more like a log-roll, then sliced and baked. Either way, good things.

Strudel and Spice Bars – both these recipes are from my grandmothers. Grandma Lil was known for her cooking skills. Grandma Rita… not so much. But her spice bars are excellent anyway and somehow or other, someone in the family talked Rita into writing down the recipe. Grandma Lil’s strudel, that one I know how we managed to save it – I asked her to dictate it to me when I was 13 and wrote it down.
Strudel is really a fall dessert – layered slices of dough with jelly, graham cracker, nuts, and spice filling. Occasionally I’ll throw in some dried apricot pieces, just because I like them. But what the heck, I went with a Jewish Desserts theme for this party and I only know about Strudel from my Grandma – much more observant than I have ever been. Even if wikipedia tells me they’re from Austria.
Frick if I know where Grandma Rita’s Spice Bars (butter, sugar, raisins, water, cinnamon, cloves, flour and baking soda) originate from – they could have come to her in divine revelation for all I know. Personally, if a higher power cares that much about giving us desserts, that is a kind and caring god. Or one who likes heavier set populations. ‘Cause these? So not healthy.

Apple-Honey Challah – Challah is traditionally served every Friday night as part of Shabbas. But for Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year’s; typically sometime in October), apples and honey are a thing. Apples to represent the cycle of the year (b/c it’s a round fruit) and honey to represent wishes for a sweet/good/happy year to come. And Rosh Hashanah challah? Made as a round loaf, instead of the traditional 4-strand braid – cycle of the years thing again. Now, I’ve made challah before. I know it has long rising times. I can braid this stuff. It’s just adding filling (apples and honey) to the dough, right?

THREE rises. THREE! 1.5 hours, .75 hours, and 1 hours.

[Expletive] my life.


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