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  • 09Mar

    Two nights before Purim, and all through the house, Spice Girls radio was blasting and the smell of burnt hamantashins was rampant. After Chanukah, I thought I was off the hook for any Jewish holidays until Passover. But no, just like everything in Judiasm, there is another surprise thing/rule (well in this case, holiday). Zack told me not to worry because I can use electricity, dress up and drink. My three favorite things! So, I agreed to going along with Purim. However, he then snuck in the fact that we have to make these goody bags for everyone “Don’t worry. I will help you make the shaloch manot baskets. It is really easy.” That was easy for him to say, because the night we  were supposed to go grocery shopping and make hamantashins, he was conveniently studying for an exam! Although, he did promise to clean up, so I made sure to make an extra large mess which was easy to do cutting 60 cookies and making them in triangles in honor of some guy we hated. This seems like a strange concept. In a few years on, Kristalnacht, we are going to start making nazi pinwheels. Anyways, I have never had a hamantashan in my life before. I HATE fruit and vanilla cookies- which is every 3 cornered cookie I have seen. So in order to shake stuff up, I decided to make a chocolate cookie and a fun filled filling. This year I decided to go with a chocolate peanut butter hamantashin, and a smores one. Next year, though, I think I will mix purim drinking and shaloch manot, and try to make rum filled hamantashins. But we will see. As of right now, I don’t ever want to look at them again.

    At around 9pm I started making the hamantashins, not one of my brightest ideas. The first problem through this process is that because I insisted on making a chocolate cookie, I had to make my own hamantashin dough. So finally, I melted Ghiardelli chocolate and threw it in a hamantashin recipe. The second problem was that I forgot to get sugar for the filling, so luckily my friend was running out to do some chores, so she saved the day and brought me some in the snow storm. Why did I think it would be a good idea to talk to her for a half hour and forget the cookies are in the oven!  The only problem with chocolate is you can’t see if it is burnt because it’s brown to begin with. Also, my hamantashins weren’t really triangles. They were more like ovally blobs. Long story short, by 2am, they were finally done, and just as I took the last batch out of the oven, Zack walked in after a long day of studying. He was just in time to clean and put together the goody bags! So he had me add to my list of groceries individual raisins. I didn’t ask questions, I just went with it. When I picked them up and showed him the box, he cringed. I smiled and said, “Don’t worry, they are kosher.” He just rolled his eyes and shook his head and responded, “I said individual raisins.” I reassured him that there are lots of individual raisins in that huge box. I guess he wanted little packages to put in these shaloch manot baskets. Instead, I got a giant box of raisins that we poured into coffee filters and tied them up. And, by tied up I mean twist the top.

    After we had our little raisins fiasco and I finished burning the hamantashins, the next step was making these Purim bags. So we classily got zip lock bags and stuffed them. I wanted to put each kind of cookie in, but Zack said that the smores ones were too gross. He is just so kind. Anyways, once they were all stuffed we thought about attaching a cute little note card, but at 3am we got lazy and just wrote straight on the bag. We had to write a warning because I used MILK chocolate. I wanted to write: “WARNING: do not eat after meat or you will get struck by lighting and die”, but there wasn’t enough room on the baggies. So Zack just used his law school skills and made a trademark infringement and wrote an “OU”D.  Also, I wanted to write Purim Tov, because I can actually write that in Hebrew. But Zack decided to stick to the writing and write Purim Sameach instead. Finally, by 4am, all that was left were dishes for Zack to wash, so I went to bed! The next day was a snowed-in shabbas. Nothing too exciting beside the fact that for megillah reading, I WAS DRESSING UP LIKE A SPICE GIRL!!!!!!

    One Friday night in January, after a few glasses of wine, my friend was talking (I don’t think I was even originally included in the conversant -*ion, but who knows), and she came up with the genius idea of dressing up like the Spice Girls. So of course that made me even more excited for Purim. So I took the initiative to organize it as a Spice Girl at heart. I nagged my friends to dress up as Spice Girls. I was set to make as tsnyus as Spice Girls as possible. I knew it was going to be hard, but we just each wore what we felt kosherly comfortable to wear to shul (or in my case, what Zack would actually let me wear to shul).  I got the Rebbetzin of the shul to be Baby Spice. Of course, when I tried to show her how innocent Baby Spice is, essentially naked pictures of Baby Spice would pop up on the computer. Luckily, I convinced her to go for it, telling her that she could wear whatever she felt comfortable in. So she got a blonde wig, a cute jumper with a long sleeve shirt, and I leant her my platform shoes. Next, I convinced my friend, whose husband’s name is David, to be Victoria Beckam (a.k.a Posh Spice) and her husband to be David Beckham. So I went through my closet and showed her some of my clothes and Betsy Johnson diamond shoes, and she koshered it herself by putting a longer skirt and a long sleeve shirt underneath (check out the pictures). My next friend decided to be Sporty Spice. So here is where the issue came in. Purim is a holiday where you dress up and you aren’t praying. So can you wear pants for your costume and not cover your hair? But of course Judiasm takes the fun out of everything, and is going to say, “of course girls have to wear skirts on a ‘dress up’ holiday”. I feel that on a dress up holiday, there should be a “get out of jail free” card. You can actually dress up how you want to.  Anyways she looked awesome and wore track pants, a work out top, and had a kick butt pony tail. Lastly, my friend with the black hair was going to dress up like Scary Spice. She lived close enough to home where she could get her original zebra print skirt and her Steve Madden platform shoes. I decided to take one for the team and be Ginger Spice, the Playboy model Spice Girl.

    First, I was going to wear these skin tight plastic pants and hot pink shoes and a low cut tank top (which is totally something that she would wear), but Zack nixed it. After I tried on like 10 more things, he finally let me wear my Australian flag wrapped around as a dress with white leggings and a sweater. I wore a red wig for 3 hours on Purim and wanted to die. I don’t know how Jewish women are expected to do this always. So while looking fabulous, we all went into shul to listen to the megillah. It was all silent and a guy singing nicely and then all of a sudden everyone started booing and screaming and making noise. I jumped up in my Spice Girls shoes so suddenly, that some of the safety pins holding up my flag dress started to pop out and later stab me. NO ONE WARNED ME. I thought it would be like shul- silent and boring. Anyways, nothing really too exciting besides lots of pictures happened. But, Zack promised me alcohol and I was really disappointed that there was none to be found at shul. But then came the seudah’s the next day.

    Sunday morning we woke up nice and early around 1pm. I put on my gym clothes to work out and opened my door and there were like 5 Jews walking towards our front door. It was like elves delivering presents on Christmas morning. Maybe next year I can decorate my door so it feels like Christmas. It was good and bad. It was good because Zack and I were getting all these cool themed shaloch manot bags and baskets. It was bad because we only made like 4 shaloch manot bags. I was in absolute shock all day. I didn’t know about how big these bags were supposed to be and how they could have a cool theme. Zack said our theme was “ghetto”. We kept receiving shaloch manot from people we weren’t expecting on giving to, so we had to take apart our received shaloch manot to make other shaloch manot. Our very own “Frankenstein shaloch manot”. But every few minutes, more baskets kept coming to us. It was like a joke. They kept coming and coming and coming, and pretty fast too, and I didn’t know what to do. Of course, Zack left me to die while he played video games. Over the next few hours, our tables and floors were filled with candy, fruit and other random stuff from baskets. It looked like a college kid’s birthday party with all the wine bottles we received and unhealthy candy on the floor.

    Anyways, here is where I would tell you about my first Purim soda…I mean seudah, which I realized after I told everyone I was going to a Purim soda. Anyways, we went to Zack’s family first which was great. We got more shaloch manot baskets and I got 4 glasses of wine. Then we decided to seudah hop and go back to our neighbors. Problem was that Zack’s family’s seudah was meat and Zack forgot to pass along to me that my friend’s seudah was milk, so we have to wait 3 hours in between and at my drinking rate, I was going to pass out before then. So I decided not to eat anything and only drink peanut brittle cream martinis (at the time in my head, they were possibly parve because I assumed that they were made with Kineret parve whip cream). I don’t really remember much more after that. All I know is that when I woke up with a headache in the morning, Zack told me that I accomplished the Purim mitzvah of not knowing the difference between Haman and Mordechai. I can go along with a holiday like this.

    Lessons Learnt:

    1. Do not make shaloch manot baskets in a zip lock bag… you look like Jewish trash (if there is such a thing)
    2. Don’t start making hamantashans at 9pm at night because they take forever to make and it’s hard to perfect the shape.
    3. Hamantashins don’t have to be boring old cookie and fruit, you can mix it up and still be kosherish.
    4. You don’t need to be nicely dressed up for megilla service because it isn’t a yomtov or shabbas.
    5. You can’t say Puim Tov, you say Purim Sameach. Also, you don’t go to Purim Soda’s you go to Purim Seudahs.
    6. Purim is the best holiday because you’re allowed to use electricity, dress up and drink.
    7. Always remember to ask yourself what the food situation is going to be like if you party hop.
    8. You can be a kosher Spice Girl!

    

6 Responses

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  • Danielle Says:

    Love the post! Next time I make hamentashen, I am totally going to go for the s’mores version…sounds delicious :)

  • sholomo Says:

    You are one spicey girl

  • Lynn Says:

    Brooke,
    I think your blog is awesome BUT….you are so totally hysterical and the issues you’re discussing are so “foreign”, interesting and outrageous to most people (including ME) that you should really get yourself a TV talk show with guest “experts”, sponsors (like matzah companies, etc.). There are certainly enough Jewish customs and holidays to fill a weekly, if not daily, program, right?

    If you tell me that “your sect” of Judaism doesn’t allow women on TV, I will SCREAM….

    You are SO, SO TALENTED!

    Love, Cousin Lynn

  • Love, Becki Says:

    I have so much fun reading your blog…it is wonderful to watch you try so hard to make your marriage work in such a foreign religious environment. Keep it up…eventurally it will get easier. In the meantime, keep writing and letting us learn and enjoy.

  • gualetar Says:

    The subject is fully clear but why does the text lack clarity? But in general your blog is great.

  • Michelle Says:

    Love the post! Next time I make hamentashen, I am totally going to go for the s’mores version…sounds delicious :)

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