Wednesday, February 20, 2013


It's Purim and my Jewish friends are all talking about hamantaschen on Facebook, which is making me want some bad.

For about a year in the middle of the 80s, I worked at Bandito, a Tex-Mex restaurant on 2nd Ave., most of that time as a waiter on the lunch shift. I lived on Pitt St. near Delancey, so on my way to work I passed Moishe's Bakery on 2nd Ave. just below 7th St., next door to Kiev, the Ukranian restaurant where you could get a bowl of split pea soup (if it was Thursday, otherwise mushroom barley) with 2 very thick slices of challah bread with butter for $2.50 and call that dinner.

I started work at 10 or 11, I think, and I'd stop at Moishe's on the way and buy 2 hamantaschen, usually prune but sometimes apricot or raspberry. They were huge, about 4 inches across, buttery, and sweet. I ate those things every day for breakfast for months. One of them would be gone by the time I got to work where I'd put on a pot of coffee and try to leave the second one alone till the coffee was ready.

I had no idea then that hamantaschen were associated with Purim. Moishe's made them every day. I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't even know at the time that Moishe's was a Jewish bakery -- even with a name like Moishe's! I think I just thought it was Ukranian since so much of that part of the East Village was, back then.

I think Moishe's, incredibly, is still there. I'm pretty sure Kiev is not.

My friend Amy, who used to blog about Jewish parenting, published her grandmother's recipe. It doesn't look to hard. I told C that maybe I'd try to make some this weekend. Or maybe I'll make a pilgrimage to Moishe's.

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