Purim is fast approaching and what is more traditional kosher food than the homontashen. A sweet staple which has lasted for many years.
New cooks or celebrity chefs can not reinvent the wheel. They can create new adaptations and techniques to modernize the old recipe, but the basics remain the same. Recipes handed down from one generation to the next generation will endure longer than the latest brand setting celebrity chef.
I was looking at my files of recipes and came across a delicious one that has withstood the test of time. This old recipe comes from The Jewish Home Beautiful by Betty D. Greenberg and Aletha O. Silverman.
4 cups of flour
3 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cups sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
Grated rind of orange
1/2 cup oil
The Poppy Seed Filling
1/4 pound poppy seeds
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup raisins
2 tbsp. honey
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. grated orange grind
Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl, break the eggs into the center, add the oil, and stir well. Mix all together and knead lightly until smooth. roll out one eighth of an inch thick. Cut into 31/2 inch rounds. Put a heaping teaspoon of filling in the center, draw up two sides and the the third across and pinch the edges together, to form a three cornered pocket. Bake on a greased baking sheet at 375 degrees for about half an hour, until nicely browned.
Clean the poppy seeds carefully, wash with boiling water and drain. Add a cup of water, cover and allow it to steam for two to three hours on a very low flame. Drain and grind until grayish in colour. Mix with the rest of the ingredients and fill the dough.
Seriously, why change a recipe that has endured for so many years and tastes delicious. Celebrity chefs try to mesmerize you with new words and techniques, but the basics of what they are doing is based on the foundations of the old recipes. Old recipes may not be in style, but they sure tastes good and will last longer than the latest branding chef.
Enjoy Purim and all its wonderful traditions and foods.