Purim is very very noisy. Ask any parent. It’s the holiday when the kids are encouraged to yell and laugh and stamp their feet and grog their groggers in the synagogue sanctuary, all in an effort to “stamp out” the sound of the evil name Haman, a man who tried to destroy the Jewish people.
So it’s a lot of family fun. Even if you sometimes want to put on earmuffs or take an aspirin or two.
There’s some pretty good food too. Usually Hamantashen, the triangular cookies (stuffed with prune, apricot or raspberry lekvar or, these days, with chocolate and all sorts of modern fillings). Or kreplach, also triangular, this shape to resemble Haman’s hat.
But after all is said and done and we make merry as we should, one of the best parts of Purim (next Wednesday night, March 7th) is re-connecting with others. Reconnecting with community, friends and family. By offering small gifts of food.
It’s a delightful tradition. Unfortunately, like so much else, over the years it has become sort of commercial and some people feel as if they have to spend a fortune on fancy packages from fancy stores.
But you can make a little something instead. Banana bread. Lemon scones. Vegetable soup. Guacamole dip or salsa. Homemade jam. Anything small and handy enough to bring over to a neighbor or a friend.
Like these chocolate dipped crystallized chunks of ginger, which would taste really good with coffee or brandy after the kids go to sleep and it’s quiet in the house.
Chocolate Dipped Crystallized Ginger
3 ounces semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons whipping cream
30-35 pieces crystallized ginger
Melt the chocolate and cream in the top part of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Let the ingredients melt, remove the top part of the pan from the heat and stir to make a smooth, uniform mixture. Dip each piece of crystallized ginger in the chocolate mixture, shake off the excess and place on waxed paper or parchment paper to dry. Makes 30-35 pieces