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Hamantaschen 2002

Rise' Routenberg and I co-chair an all-volunteer professional catering company at our Synagogue, Congregation Agudat Achim (Conservative), Niskayuna, NY. We have been involved in the Hamantaschen Project for the last three out of four years. 2001 the local kosher bakery reaped the business! This is a little about what we did this year.

Many of you know that Rise' and I are a little meshugah, but that's what makes the world go round! This year for the third time we undertook the Hamantaschen Project (last year we were not able to do it, forgot why but we must have had big conflicts). And now the factory is closed for another season. And yes it was big time. Now not as big as the 20,000 I was reading about from a bakery just a few days ago, but for us and an all volunteer crew, it was huge.

We didn't feel like it was overwhelming because we were able to devote all our energy toward this project without too many other things going on. We did cater a Men's Club Kiddush for 150 but we can do that with our eyes closed at this point and we still continued to sell our frozen "Meals To Go" for people who live alone and don't want to cook for one or for households with both parents working or for a Shivah house, etc.

So now to the hamantaschen. We prepared the following using a 3-1/2" cookie cutter and a recipe for a very nice cookie dough that is most forgiving. Rise' and I probably rolled most of the forms but we had plenty of help filling and pinching them to look great. I did take some photos, still in the camera but will post soon.

We prepared the following flavors, Chocolate - 481, Poppy - 838, Prune - 456, Cherry - 680, Apricot - 543, Lemon (new for us this year but went over very well) - 147 and 345 assorted, strawberry and raspberry. 3490 cookies from this and then approximately 300 smaller size cookies using a 2 1/2 inch cutter in assorted flavors - no poppy or chocolate because we had run out of the supplies and were waiting for another order. Then we made and baked about 250 from yeast dough in poppy, prune, apricot and date. Grand total of 4040 hamantaschen.

We wanted to try a Yeast Dough recipe but didn't advertise it in our flyer. Used a recipe from one of our volunteers, made a little correction and were very pleased with the outcome. When we offered them to people as they came into the kitchen to make their purchases, everyone was most interested. We will make more next year. They were a big hit!

One of the other Synagogue committees runs a Shalach Manot project so we supplied 1800 hamantaschen for those bags. Over 300 people received bags on Purim including 70 of our seniors who may be living in Senior Facilities, Nursing Homes and a few still maintaining in their own homes. One friend wintering in Florida sent an e-mail indicating that these hamantaschen were absolutely the best she ever had since her childhood and she just celebrated 70 years last week! That was a nice compliment. But my inclination is that taste buds get flat with age!! But we'll accept the nice words anyway.

Posted by Barbara Swasser and Rise Routenberg